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Wednesday, 02 October 2013 00:00

Thomson masterclass earns Tynecastle victory

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James Gillespie's HS
Tynecastle HS
Hamilton 40
Thomson 15, 28, 30, 32, 48


Senior Lothian Schools FA - West Division
Saughton 3G
27 September 2013
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Football is a team sport. If the performance of the team as a whole is poor, a single player is unlikely to be able to do anything about it. However, in a clash of two equally strong teams, a single player can often make the difference and win the match for his team if he catches a perfect day. Benn Thomson of Tynecastle High School’s senior team had the game of his life last Friday in the match against James Gillespie’s High School, when he scored all five goals in a 5-1 victory that was not as one sided as the score suggests. Both teams had not got off to an ideal start in the new season of the Lothian Senior West Division and were desperate to earn their first points.

At the beginning of the match, the two teams cancelled each other out and defended well so that there were not a lot of scoring chances. Both sides played the ball through midfield and had a couple of good combinations but were not able to deliver the penetrative pass that would confuse the other teams’ defence and create an opening.

After 15 minutes, Thomson grabbed his first goal of the match when he nodded home from within a packed six-yard box after a corner kick delivered by Craig Aitken from the right-hand side.

Only four minutes after having conceded the first goal, Gillespie’s had the opportunity to equalise. Mitchell Goodman broke through on the left wing and swung a cross into the box which landed next to the back post. However, James Hamilton wasn't able to connect and the ball was cleared. Also, Ben Smyth’s attempt from 18 yards after a corner kick didn't trouble Cameron Western in the Tynecastle goal.

Tynecastle went two up in the 28th minute when Aitken passed the ball to Joe Hemmingway who was standing at the 18-yard line. Hemingway passed the ball on to Thomson who flicked the ball into the upper left corner from 20 yards.

Two minutes after that, Thomson scored again. After a long kick from hands by Cameron Western, the Tynecastle forward found himself dribbling towards the goal with three defenders in front of him. Somehow, Thomson managed to keep possession of the ball and was suddenly standing 20 yards away from the goal. Everybody expected him to pass the ball to one of his team mates who had raced clear on the wings but Thomson was confident enough to strike the ball into the left corner again.

If anyone was still unconvinced Thomson was having a perfect day, there was no doubt after the 32nd minute. Hemmingway’s corner kick from the left-hand side found Thomson’s head and the Tynecastle forward had no trouble knocking it in from short distance.

Gillespie’s were down by four goals now although they had not necessarily been outclassed. In fact, Gillespie’s, too, had a couple of good opportunities. Eventually, they drew hope in the 40th minute when Jordie Bell outsmarted Tynecastle’s defence with a fine ball which found Hamilton who was running towards the goal, clear of the defence. He managed to curve around Western and put the ball into the empty goal from the right-hand side of the box.

Half Time: James Gillespie's HS 1-4 Tynecastle HS

The  goal seemed to encourage Gillespie’s to forget about the unfortunate first half and in fact, they started well in the second half and had a couple of good scoring chances. Thomson smashed the home team’s hopes of a comeback. Once again, Thomson jumped highest after a corner kick from the left in the 48th minute and netted his fifth goal of the day.

Immediately after that, Thomson's match came to an end when he was substituted. A well earned rest.

In the following minutes, the match cooled down considerably and there were not a lot of chances anymore. Steven Nicolson could have scored another goal for Tynecastle after a through ball delivered from midfield in the 71th minute but goalkeeper Laurie Donaldson’s brilliant save prevented further damage.

Gillespie’s, too, had some more chances but the home team either missed their attempts or the drives were saved by Tynecastle’s goalkeeper Western.

In the end, Tynecastle’s victory was deserved but perhaps victory by a smaller margin would have been a fairer reflection. In a fairly balanced match, Benn Thomson’s made the difference and it won't be a match he will forget anytime soon.

Gillespie's now look forward to a baseement battle with Forrester, with neither team having registered a point to date. Tynecastle's next fixture is against Queensferry.

Full Time: James Gillespie's HS 1-5 Tynecastle HS


James Gillespie's HS Tynecastle HS
1. Jed Corney
2. Ben Williams
4. Byron Muphkudzwa
5. John Jone
7. Brendan Ferry
8. James Hamilton
9. Mitchell Goodman
10. Jordie Bell
11. Evan McCulloch
12. Rory Barraclough
13. Max Allison
14. Sam Gallaway
15. Laurie Donaldson
16. Dany McGuire
17. Ben Smyth
1. Cameron Western
2. Craig McKay
3. Alan Downie
4. Daniel Harley
5. Calum Davidson
6. Aaron Martin
7. Steven Nicolson
8. Joe Hemmingway
9. Benn Thomson
10. Struan McCall
11. Kyle Fairgrieve
12. Steven Dick
15. Aidan Downs
16. Craig Aitken
James Hamilton scored a good goal and had a hand in a number of good pieces of attacking play, which on another day could have resulted in goals.
Benn Thomson was the man of the match because of his goals, no doubt, but Craig Aitken played very well, too, and created a number of chances due to his fine passing.
Frank Carstairs, teacher at James Gillespie's HS, said: "Tactically, we were not too bad but the other team just had more heart than we did and won more of the important challenges."
Mr. Connor, coach of Tynecastle, said: "The score did not reflect the closeness of the game. Of course, Benn's five goals were fantastic but the team as a whole played very well."
Last modified on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 15:02
Sascha Bolder

Sascha Bolder | YFS South East Region Journalist

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