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Raith Rovers into next round of Youth Cup after seeing out Inverurie Loco Works

Inverurie Loco Works 1

Cooper 66

Raith Rovers 3

Opuku-Berchie 29, Smith 75, McLeod Kay 82
  • Sunday, 29 October 2017
  • Harlaw Park
  • Under 20´s
  • SFA Youth Cup
Raith Rovers produced an impressive away performance against Inverurie Loco Works to secure a spot in the next round of the SFA Youth Cup as the two clashed at Harlaw Park. Two late goals from Raith were enough to ensure that they came out on top against a resilient Locos side.
 
As the game kicked off, both teams started with intensity despite the adverse weather conditions. Inverurie had the better of the play in the opening minutes as Cameron Moultrie swung a dangerous free kick towards the head of Andrew Watt who saw his effort go narrowly wide of goal.
 
However, it did not take long for Raith to begin dominating possession in the middle of the park. Jack Smith played a dangerous through ball which would have sent Kieran Dall in on goal if not for a fantastic interception from Locos defender Campbell Marr.
 
The half continued to be difficult for Inverurie, with Raith not allowing them to pass the ball fluently due to their strong pressing. Another chance fell Rovers way as striker Yaw Osei Opuku-Berchie teed up Dall just inside the box. Dall struck the ball well but it was met by a quick reaction save from Inverurie keeper Jamie Butler who tipped it over the bar.
 
Raith’s continued pressure eventually paid off as they took the lead half an hour in. A corner from Ryan Stevenson came to the head of Opuku-Berchie. Losing his man, he drilled the ball to the keeper’s left with a powerful header and helped his side to take a deserved lead.
 
The rest of the first half continued in the same vein – Locos found it difficult to get enough time on the ball to create any clear chances to trouble the Rovers defence. They did, however, manage to keep shape solid in order to limit the damage that Raith could do with their possession.
 
As the teams went off for half time, Raith had a deserved lead. Inverurie would need to do a lot more going forwards if they were to advance to the next round whilst Raith would be looking to continue as they left off.
  • Half Time:
  • Inverurie Loco Works
  • 0-1
  • Raith Rovers
An impassioned half time team talk may have been the cause for the Inverurie resurgence in the second half. It looked as it would be far more even, with Locos stepping their game up to match that of Rovers.
 
Rover’s forward Smith showed an impressive bit of skill as he turned his man to create space for a shot. Hitting the ball low, Butler got down quick to parry before collecting the ball in order to see out any further danger.
 
Shortly after, Raith thought that they had gone two in front when Opuku-Berchie put the ball in the back of the net. Good skill from Smith allowed him to play a low cross into the box which ricocheted to Opuku-Berchie for an easy tap in. However, the linesman had already flagged for offside.
 
Raith would come to rue their missed opportunities as Locos found their way back into the game through an excellent goal. An unfortunate misplaced pass from Rover’s James Berry ended up at the feet of Locos attacker Jordan Cooper. Spotting keeper Rory Brian slightly off of his line, Cooper struck an audacious chip from outside the box, falling delightfully over Brian’s head and into the back of the net.
 
Only minutes later Inverurie had an opportunity to take the lead. A goal kick from Brian went straight to Locos forward Josh Bolton on the edge of the Rovers box. One on one with Brian, Bolton hit the ball hard but high, soaring over the bar and out for a goal kick.
 
It was another corner which led to Rovers going into the lead. Floated in in by Euan Valentine, the corner found the head of Smith who restored Raith’s lead by hammering the ball past the helpless keeper.
 
In order to try and claw back the all-important goal, Inverurie moved to a three at the back formation. However, this left them to the mercy of Rover’s attacking threat. Substitute Fionn McLeod Kay showed impressive skill on the edge of the box to break into the area, placing the ball low into the bottom corner where Butler could not reach it.
 
Even with their lead all but secure, Rovers continued to put pressure upon the Locos defence. A lovely piece of skill from Stevenson saw him beat two players before surging into the box, forcing a fantastic save from Butler from his resulting shot.
 
In the end Raith Rovers came away with a deserved victory against an Inverurie side who put up a strong fight, particularly in the second half where they showed good attacking threat. However, it was not enough to beat a Rovers side who looked composed in possession and deadly in attack.
 
Congratulations to victors Raith Rovers who will no doubt be excited to see who they draw in the next round and many thanks to both teams for putting on an entertaining spectacle.
  • Full Time:
  • Inverurie Loco Works
  • 1-3
  • Raith Rovers

Lineups

Inverurie Loco Works
Raith Rovers
1. Jamie Butler
2. Harrison Hinks
3. Campbell Marr
4. Craig Gill
5. Andrew Watt
6. Thomas Reid
7. Cameron Moultrie
8. Josh Reynolds
9. Josh Bolton
10. Jordan Cooper
11. Ethan Grant
12. Mitchell Cheyne
14. Lee McAllister
15. Bryce Dawson
16. Stuart Simond
17. Josh Christie
1. Rory Brian
2. Jamie Watson
3. Euan Valentine
4. James Berry
5. Josh MacDonald
6. David McKay
7. Kyle Bell
8. Ryan Stevenson
9. Yaw Osei Opuku-Berchie
10. Jack Smith
11. Kieran Dall
12. James Collins
14. Fionn McLeod Kay
15. Keir MacAulay
16. Lewis McCann
17. Chris Peden
18. Ross Hain
19. Kieran Swanson
Star Player
Inverurie Loco Works
Raith Rovers
Star player for Inverurie Loco Works was Andrew Watt. During the first half when Inverurie had their backs to the wall for large portions, Watt was strong in his defence. His solid play at the back helped to ensure that his team could go into the second half with a fighting chance of moving into the next round.
Star player for Raith Rovers was Jack Smith. Smith was a constant threat going forwards for Rovers, creating a vast amount of opportunities for his team. On top of this, his goal was crucial as it came at a time when Locos were looking dangerous.
Magic Moment
Inverurie Loco Works
Raith Rovers
The magic moment for Inverurie Loco Works was the fantastic goal from Jordan Cooper. Not only did this goal put Inverurie right back into the game, it was also of spectacular quality. A chip of this quality requires great technique and left the keeper no chance of saving it.
The magic moment for Raith Rovers was their third and final goal. Fionn McLeod Kay displayed some impressive individual quality to burst into the box and coolly finish the ball past the keeper. On top of this, this goal secured Rovers’ place in the next round of the cup.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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