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Saturday, 04 February 2012 17:35

Falkirk young guns stun Rose to reach final four

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Bonnyrigg Rose 'A' Under 21s
Falkirk Athletic Under 21s 
Competition: SYFA Challenge Cup - Quarter Final
Venue: Poltonhall 3G
Date: 04/01/2012
Author: Robbie Forsyth

Bonnyrigg Rose 'A' vs Falkirk Athletic (Under 21s)Falkirk Athletic stunned Bonnyrigg Rose with a devastating combination of last ditch defending, clinical set pieces and counter attacking. Rose went ahead through Sean Patterson, but surrendered their lead through an own goal. Darren Flynn put the hosts back in front, but the scores were level at half time courtesy of Martin Russell. Alex Miller headed Falkirk in front after the break and despite Bonnyrigg's pressure, the visitors sealed their semi final spot when Miller netted number four.

The Scottish Cup has a knack of producing some magical stories, one of which saw its latest chapter take place at the Poltonhall's artificial pitch on a cold and wet Saturday afternoon. Falkirk Athletic are a team who have progressed through the ranks together and are enjoying their first season of Under 21s football, with a youthful squad containing only three players who don't have a further two seasons ahead of them at the age group. Automatically entered into the West of Scotland 21's YFL's fourth tier, Falkirk haven't set the heather alight in the league. However, the Scottish Cup has been a different matter, with victories against Giffnock SC (Division 2), Glasgow University (Division 1) and Steins Thistle (Premier Division) seeing them progress to the quarter final stage.
Their hosts were Bonnyrigg Rose 'A', one of the most well known Under 21 outfits in the country, and current South East Region league and cup holders. Campsie, Murieston United, Mossvale and Rosyth Recreation had been disposed of as the Midlothian outfit made their way to the last eight of the national competition. After bowing out at the quarter final stage last year, they were keen to go on step further, and reach the semi finals for the first time since season 2007/08.
The first half hour passed almost without incident. Jordan Gray's long throws were looking like Falkirk's most likely path to goal, whereas Bonnyrigg had enjoyed a lot of possession without any real cutting edge. In the 31st minute the game exploded to life. Jordan Lister, always looking drive down Rose's left hand side, got a yard on his marker and dragged the ball back to the feet of Sean Patterson. The striker took one touch to open up his body, before placing the ball in the bottom left hand corner. 
Bonnyrigg were ahead, but not for long. The visitors raced down the other end, earning a corner. A well executed delivery took a touch off a Bonnyrigg defender, diverting the ball beyond Andrew McQueen. 
The scoring didn't end there. Darren Flynn should have done better with a free back post header, which was comfortable for James Penman in the Falkirk goal, but he made up for in style just a minute later. Another cross from the left hand side eluded both attackers and defenders inside the area, arriving at the feet of Flynn on the angle of the box. The right-winger hit the ball first time and connected well, powering the ball low and beyond Penman.
One more twist remained as the half time whistle beckoned. A trademark long throw from Gray was partially cleared but Falkirk returned the ball into the danger area and Martin Russell's close range header could only be headed into the roof of his own net by the Bonnyrigg defender. 2-2 and the end of a pulsating first half. 

Half Time: Bonnyrigg Rose 'A' Under 21s 2-2 Falkirk Athletic Under 21s
Bonnyrigg Rose 'A' vs Falkirk Athletic (Under 21s)The second half started with a bang as once again, Falkirk undid Bonnyrigg from a set piece. This time there was nothing scrappy about it as a pinpoint corner was bulleted home by Alex Miller. The visitors were in front in a goal which would shape the pattern of the remaining minutes.
Bonnyrigg pinned Falkirk in their own half for long spells with Richard Ramsay denied by a Penman double save and Gary McCormack heading into the hands of the away keeper with a free header from ten yards. Despite the home side's pressure, Falkirk were looking more and more dangerous on the break, as they countered with pace and flowing passes. The best of which saw a sweeping move result in Miller putting the ball inches wide of the right hand post.
The home side continued to press and the away side continued to sit in and counter, in true cup tie fashion. The next goal was crucial and it fell to Falkirk Athletic. Alex Miller was in the right place at the right time and drilled a low shot, which McQueen couldn't keep out. 
With the two goal cushion under their belt, Falkirk oozed confidence and saw out the closing stages with just one scare - Penman saving well from Lister's half volley.
The final whistle whistle went and the Falkirk contingent celebrated reaching the final four of the SYFA Challenge Cup. A truly remarkable achievement from a team who could well be the youngest in the competition. They join Tranent Juniors, who are now the South East's sole representatives, and await the outcome of the postponed tie between Knightswood Juveniles and Campsie Black Watch.
Full Time: Bonnyrigg Rose 'A' Under 21s 1-1 Falkirk AthleticUnder 21s

Bonnyrigg Rose 'A' Under 21s
Falkirk Athletic Under 21s
1. Andrew McQueen
2. William Lunn
4. Richard Ramsay
5. Greig Callaghan
6. Laurie Jones
7. Glen Marshall 
9. Sean Patterson
10. Jordan Lister
14. Gary McCormack
15. Darren Flynn
18. Jonathan Kelly
3. Jordan Bain
8. Darren Landells
12. Patrick Lewis
16. Callum Hunter
17. Scott Finlayson
1. James Penman
3. Gregor Mabbott
4. Craig Stuart
5. Thomas Pate
6. Rohan Hamilton
7. Kevin Lees
8. Alex Miller
9. Craig Irvine
10. Kevin Clarke
11. John Hickey
14. Martin Russell
16. Eoghan Millar
17. Scott Blair
18. Aaron Ritchie
19. Callum Wood
20. Jordan Gray

Givova are an Italian sportswear brand (click here to see range) who cover all tiers of the game, from Serie A's Chievo Verona and Catania, to grass roots. They have hit Scotland so look out for YFS team members in their Givova kit at your game!
Givova UK Man of the Match: Laurie Jones
Givova UK Man of the Match: Jordan Gray
Last modified on Tuesday, 09 July 2013 18:19
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