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Baljaffray revel in Scottish Cup upset against St Convals

St Convals YFC 2

Cooper 52, Hindle 63

Baljaffray United FC 3

Morgan 7, Lyall 31, Minnis 85
  • 2-3
  • Saturday, 09 September 2017
  • Beith Astro
  • Under 16´s
  • Scottish Youth FA Cup - R1

Not quite a tale of David and Goliath, however some instinctive finishing and resolute defending provided Baljaffray Utd with a shock 3-2 victory over favourites St Convals YFC.

A game of two halves; PJDYFL Division Three side Baljaffray took a two goal lead in the first half, before St Convals - a Division Two team - clawed their way back into the game to set up extra time where Baljaffray scored the winner to proceed to the second round.

On a gloriously sunny September Saturday, it was a perfect afternoon for the first round of the Scottish Cup. 

Additionally, with both sides winning comfortably on their last outings, it had the makings of a good game of football, and the boys didn’t disappoint.

It was St Convals who carved the first chance of the match, when a corner came in which Robert Caldwell met with a bullet header, but luckily for Baljaffray they had someone on the post to hook clear.

However, a few minutes later, Baljaffray took the early ascendency. Straight from a throw in on the right, the ball found Cameron Dodds inside the Saints box - he took a touch and laid it back to number 15 Robert Morgan, who rifled the ball into the roof of the net to give his side a dream start.

Saints most certainly didn’t panic despite the early setback, although it was evident their boys were growing frustrated as they struggled to get a foothold of the game and retain possession.

They did create another golden opportunity with 20 minutes gone though. Gavin McKay ran down left hand side of the box before turning and cutting the ball back to Rhys Weir whose powerful shot inside the area swerved just wide.

As the half wore on, Baljaffray were awarded a free kick for a silly foul from Saints defender Kyle McKendrick on the right wing. Morgan delivered an enticing cross into the six-yard box for the unmarked Adam Lyall to double the underdog’s lead. 

Poor defending from the St Convals backline and ‘keeper who missed the ball, but take nothing away from the terrific ball from Morgan, who was superb throughout.

The referee signalled for half time shortly after, with the Bearsden side well worth their lead by capitalising on errors made by the home team.

  • Half Time:
  • St Convals YFC
  • 0-2
  • Baljaffray United FC

With St Convals’ Scottish Cup hopes hanging by a thread, they had to come out and throw the kitchen sink at Baljaffray – and that’s exactly what they did.

McKay provided Kyle McInnes with an early test as the number 10’s forceful shot stung the keeper’s hands as he got down low to his right to keep the ball out.

However, neither McInnes nor his solid defence could keep the potent Saints attack out all day. A corner was floated in from the right, and after a scrap in the box to win the ball, it eventually landed at Marc Cooper’s feet as he volleyed the ball high into the net, similar to Baljaffray’s first goal.

The St Convals onslaught continued as they had a free kick from winger Reece McDonald go agonisingly close to levelling the game, but McInnes produced another fantastic one-handed save.

Perhaps the best save of them all moments after, McInnes managed to beat the ball away from a goal bound header from McKay at the back post after an inch perfect cross from Bayley Hindle on the right wing.

With little over 15 minutes left on the clock, St Convals pressure finally paid dividends. Weir played a lofted ball over the top of the Baljaffray defence for Hindle to show his sheer pace and power as he calmly slotted underneath the onrushing McInnes.

Full of confidence after recovering the two goal deficit, Saints continued their dominance and looked more likely to score. However, the resolute Baljaffray defence stood strong, with both left sided defenders Lyall and Darroch playing particularly well with various important blocks and interceptions.

After 80 minutes, a winner could not be decided as Baljaffray held out to force extra time in this Scottish Cup tie.

  • Full Time:
  • St Convals YFC
  • 2-2
  • Baljaffray United FC
The break between full time and the start of the extra period appeared to give Baljaffray a boost with their energy levels as it was them who started on the front foot.

And with the first clear chance of extra time, Cameron Minnis scored the winner from an incredibly tight angle to send the Baljaffray players and coaches wild. The ball found its way to Minnis towards the byeline and his low shot found the net to give his team the all important goal.

St Convals looked stunned by this latest setback on a frustrating afternoon for them where they struggled to convert their chances.

As the clock was ticking down, St Convals threw all their men forward in search of an equaliser. With possibly the last action of the first round tie, Saints hit the bar with a last-gasp header as the game was very nearly sent to penalties.

However, a minute later the game ended and the Baljaffray players commenced the celebrations after a long hard fight against the odds and live up to their underdog tag.

Their 3-2 victory versus a team in a higher division perhaps proves that there isn’t much between the leagues in the Paisley and Johnstone District, as well highlighting the magic that the Scottish Cup can muster up.

Final Result: 2-3


St Convals YFC
Baljaffray United FC
21. Bryan Turley
1. Jack Clemett
2. Adam Gray
5. Reece Porter
6. Marc Cooper
7. Reece McDonald
9. Scott McGowan
10. Gavin McKay
11. Rhys Weir
14. James McCafferty
15. Bayley Hindle
16. Robert Caldwell
17. Kyle McKendrick
18. Jude Ritchee
20. Zak Robinson
4. Francis Swan
21. Kyle McInnes
16. Lewis Mcallister
3. Duncan Osborn
4. Lewis Craig
6. Sam MacBeth
8. Adam Lyall
9. Matthew Gillan
10. Cameron Minnis
11. Lewis Collins
12. Fraser Edwards
13. Sam Lessani
14. Cameron Dodds
15. Robert Morgan
18. Paul Darroch
Star Player
St Convals YFC
Baljaffray United FC
McKay was at the centre of all things good for St Convals on a disappointing afternoon for his team. His ability to drive at the opposition defence and constant energy was evident throughout.
Kyle McInnes played an absolute blinder between the sticks for his side and prevented Saints from scoring on a number of occasions, especially in the second half of regular time.
Magic Moment
St Convals YFC
Baljaffray United FC
When Marc Cooper launched the ball past the helpless McInnes, you could sense it was a turning point in the match where Saints would come back into the game.
There could have been a few for the Bearsden boys after a successful all-round performance – but it has to be the joyous scenes when Minnis scored the winner and sent Baljaffray into the next round.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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