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St Andrew's beat Strathclyde on penalties to win Queen's Park Shield for first time in 75 years

St Andrew's University 0

Strathclyde University 0

  • St Andrew's win 6-5 on penalties
  • Wednesday, 04 April 2018
  • Lesser Hampden
  • College & University
  • Queen's Park Shield

St Andrew’s University won a gruelling battle against Strathclyde University on penalties – securing the Scottish Student Sport’s Queen’s Park Shield for the first time since 1943.

It was a game that was always going to be won in a narrow fashion, and St Andrew’s had goalkeeper Alec Cadzow to thank for some terrific saves in the second half that kept Strathclyde at bay.

However, the game’s MVP, Alex Dodgshon, stole the show with a combative display that really symbolised the effort and commitment St Andrew’s put into the game.

The victory just typified St Andrew’s run throughout the tournament, having beaten Heriot-Watt University on penalties in the last-16 before knocking out Stirling and Aberdeen universities by one-goal margins respectively.

In contrast, Strathclyde had powered their way to the final. Nine goals scored in their previous three games had them coming into the game flying with confidence, and they started this one well.

Harry Clark worked well down the left to whip in a cross for Ross MacKenzie, but the midfielder’s header was held by Cadzow.

St Andrew’s threatened for the first time before the 10-minute mark, with Max Balmford hooking a well-taken effort over.

 

Dodgshon and co started to take control after the opening 15 minutes - creating several big openings that should’ve put them ahead.

Bolotov was set up after a terrific through ball from Dodgshon, but fired a low effort just wide. Minutes later, as St Andrew’s started controlling possession, Bolotov connected well with Balmford’s cross – forcing Ryan Truesdale to tip over.

From the resulting corner, Matthew Holden nodded over at the near post.

Despite the opening period of dominance from St Andrew’s in the opening 25 minutes – Strathclyde nearly caught them with a big sucker-punch.

Kyle Richford found space to run through on Cadzow. The St Andrew’s goalkeeper came out to smother, but the ball fell kindly for David Aubrey, who fired a miss-hit effort wide.

Strathclyde really grew into the game afterwards and made it a scrap after the impressive opening from St Andrew’s.

Chances weren’t flowing towards the end of the half, however.

Aubrey fired in a free-kick from 20 yards that was clutched by Cadzow, but it was the only real moment Strathclyde had before the break as the football became scrappy.

It was a half in which St Andrew’s started well, but some early misses cost them the lead going into the break.

On the other hand, Aubrey missed a big chance for Strathclyde just after the half-hour mark, as both sides had big regrets going into the break.

  • Half Time:
  • St Andrew's University
  • 0-0
  • Strathclyde University

After a strong start to the first-half, St Andrew’s made a similar start to the second as Dodgshon continued to dictate things.

In the first five minutes, Bolotov’s fierce strike was parried away by Truesdale, before a fizzing Balmford cross was held again by the Strathclyde goalkeeper.

St Andrew’s were dictating well, spraying the ball around and penning Strathclyde back through their patient possession.

Yet again though, Strathclyde just weren’t in the mood to let this game run away from them. Lovely foot-work from Jordan Bryce saw him slip Clark into space. Clark sized up a shot that took Cadzow two attempts to grab the ball.

Chances remained at a premium for long spells, as the midfield battle became intense. Bolotov continued to look lively for St Andrew’s, but credit must go to an alert Strathclyde back-line, who refused to allow service to be played into him.

As the game headed towards the final 20 minutes, St Andrew’s again started to probe.

However, just when it seemed like St Andrew’s were going to start threatening, Strathclyde gave warning of their capabilities on the counter.

The impressive Clark was alert to latch onto a big fumble from Cadzow, but his poke towards goal drifted agonisingly wide and into the side-netting. St Andrew’s had gotten away with one there, and there was shock around the vocal crowd at Lesser Hampden – many of whom were in staunch support of St Andrew’s.

Bolotov will have been frustrated at being inches away from connecting with a deep Isaac Bonisteel cross, before firing a clever shot on the turn that was comfortable for Truesdale.

With the final five minutes looming, it was time for Cadzow to come into his own.

Strathclyde had, out of nowhere, started putting on incessant pressure towards the St Andrew’s goal.

Clark in particular was at the heart of everything with his clever awareness of the space around him, and it was he who forced Cadzow into a real, top-class stop.

Strathclyde had reached the by-line down the right, and when the ball was cut-back and running loose – Clark was on-hand to hammer a high-shot that looked a goal all the way into the top left-hand corner. However, Cadzow pulled out a sensational stop to thwart Clark and save St Andrew’s Shield dream.

The stop came minutes after Cadzow had denied both Richford and Aubrey before the death.

As Kris Gray clipped an effort over the bar in added time for Strathclyde, time had just about run out as the dreaded penalty kicks loomed.

The shootout was a fitting way to settle what had been an evenly-matched contest throughout, with both sides very much holding their heads high as the full-time whistle went.

  • Full Time:
  • St Andrew's University
  • 0-0
  • Strathclyde University
The final penalties lay to both Findlay Tough of St Andrew's and Niall Herron of Strathclyde respectively. Tough confidently dispatched his penalty, which was the norm for St Andrew's in an impressive display of spot-kick taking.

Herron's low strike, however, was saved low to his left by Cadzow, who had earlier made another terrific stop from Gray in the shootout. It was these saves that ultimately won the Shield for St Andrew's - making history in the process.

St Andrew's University:
Murray scored
Bonisteel missed
Balmford scored
Cameron scored
Bain scored
Pilley scored
Tough scored

Strathclyde University:
Cruickshank scored
Gray missed
Percival scored
Clark scored
Aubrey scored
Richford scored
Herron missed

Final Result: St Andrew's win 6-5 on penalties

Lineups

St Andrew's University
Strathclyde University
1. Alec Cadzow
2. Daniel Pilley
3. Lion Herfort
4. Isaac Bonisteel
5. Findlay Tough
6. Matthew Holden
7. Michael Cameron
8. Alex Dodgshon
9. Max Bolotov
10. Ian Murray
11. Max Balmford
12. Andrew Meaney
14. Donovan Mawson
15. Jerome Wells
16. Luke Bain
17. Mathew Davitt
1. Ryan Truesdale
2. David Stewart
3. Jake Percival
4. Kris Gray
5. Liam Gordon
6. Niall Herron
7. David Aubrey
8. Ross MacKenzie
9. Kyle Richford
10. Jordan Bryce
11. Harry Clark
12. Ian Cruickshank
13. Conor Logan
14. Murray Sirel
15. Adam Currie
16. Sean McCorkindale
Star Player
St Andrew's University
Strathclyde University
Alex Dodgshon - Simply led from the front. Really commanding display from Dodgshon as he scrapped for every ball and had a touch of quality and composure about him throughout the game. A performance fully deserving of the title in what was a supremely tense cup final. Another quick word must go to Cadzow as well for his saves.
Harry Clark - Always looked like Strathclyde's brightest spark when going forward. He really tried to light the game up with his directness, and nearly grabbed a winner had it not been for the stunning reflexes of Cadzow. Positive display by Clark in tough conditions.
Magic Moment
St Andrew's University
Strathclyde University
Has to be the late stop from Cadzow. Flinging his left arm out to deny Clark's high strike was the key moment in the game. There was no doubting that without that stop, the long wait for the Queen's Park Shield would've continued for St Andrew's. A top, top save.
A couple of late bursts to the by-line created positive chances for Clark and Aubrey late on, and it was a period in the game where Strathclyde were turning up the heat. It was a lovely period of keep-ball from Strathclyde, and credit must go to them for piling on the late pressure before the death.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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