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Sunday, 14 January 2018 14:56

Hibs into quarter finals with Caley victory

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Inverness Caledonian Thistle & Hibernian met at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium to fight it out for a place in the quarter finals of the SFA Youth Cup. The wind was fierce however nothing to worry about with regards to putting the game off. It was certainly blowy though. Considering Inverness were in Scottish Championship action against Queen Of The South the day before, the pitch was in immaculate condition for this game.

A home tie against Morton is up for grabs in the next round which will be the quarter final stage. Hibs had the first real opportunity of the game after 5 miunutes. A great ball was driven in from the left hand side from Adam Watson which just missed a required connection from Ruari Paton.

Excluding that early chance, both sides had tepid starts to the game. Aidan Wilson was nearly through on goal for the hosts after a long ball however the idea was dealt with by Martin Debrowski in the Hibernian goal.

The crossbar denied Hibs going in front on 28 minutes after a 25 yard effort from Adam Watson had Daniel Hoban in the hosts goal beaten however the effort crashed off the woodwork before being cleared to safety by the Caley backline.

Hibs broke the deadlock after 34 minutes. A swinging ball came in from Fraser Murray which was met by Josh Campbell who fired home a fine header. Inverness tried to capitalise at the other end straight from kick off after a through ball found Kieran Chalmers however efforts to get an equaliser came to a halt after his effort went over the bar.

Callum Donaldson then sent in a wind assisted cross towards the Caley goal in order to try & extend Hibs’s advantage however Daniel Hoban was able to tip it onto the post & clear it to safety. Hibs were looking really comfortable after the goal with the chance through Chalmers being Caley’s only dangerous situation towards Hibs as the game approached half time.

Jamie Fullan was then through on goal for Hibernian however a goal saving challenge from Ryan McRitchie denied the winger. Hibs kept on the attack and a Murray corner was met by Watson however the effort was knocked wide after an armyload of pressure from Inverness.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 21:26

Dees hold Hoops to halt their winning run

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Dundee ended Celtic's winning run in the Development League, holding them to a 0-0 draw at Links Park. Both sides had their chances, but goalkeepers Calum Ferrie and Ross Doohan both produced the goods to earn their sides a share of the spoils.

The visitors threatened first when PJ Crossan jinked to the by-line, but he could only hit the side netting with his shot.

James Vincent nearly opened the scoring after six minutes, but saw his shot come back off the post after good work from Jack Lambert.

Both sides were evenly matched and trying to work the ball out from the back at every opportunity. Randy Wolters saw a stinging strike palmed over by Ross Doohan on the half hour mark.

Monday, 11 December 2017 11:02

Vale into last 16 with extra time winner

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An extra time winner from Jake Watt was enough to separate Aberdeenshire outfit Deveronvale & Glasgow side Palace Park BC.

The real winners of the day though were the volunteers who were out in force to make sure the game got the go ahead and it wasn't a wasted trip for the visitors. They had been hard at work on Saturday before further snow fell on the 4G surface at Myrus, meaning an early start on Sunday morning.  Deveronvale also got a plough to clear the snow off the pitch which made a massive difference and the surface was clear again come kick off.

It was a cold game for many with both sides deserving acknowledgement for playing good football in what were difficult conditions. The temperatures throughout the whole match were never above freezing, meaning a bitter afternoon for the spectators.

Palace Park had the firstt real opportunity of the game after five minutes. A Robbie Hay effort was parried by Curtis West in the Vale goal before McKenzie Graham knocked the ball wide of the left hand post.

Vale attacked at the other end and a ball from Brodi Smith found Logan Macauley Mill however his effort went straight at Adam Stewart in the opposition goal. Macauley Mill then had another effort on goal in the 22nd minute however this was yet again denied by Stewart.

Palace Park took the lead in the 29th minute. A great ball found Corey McCoag who headed home from close range. Palace Park had the bulk of the possession in the first half and their patience paid off.

The Glasgow & District Youth League outfit then doubled their lead a minute before the interval when a good move found McKenzie Graham who rounded West before finishing off. Palace Park deserved their lead going into half time, however a 2-0 lead is never a comfortable position to be in. 

Mossend met St. Peters in the fifth round of the Scottish Youth Cup in what proved to be an exciting and enthralling game of football, with both sides desperate for victory to get into the later stages.

Both teams came into the match with 100% records in their respective leagues, but something had to give in this cup tie in Belshill.

The away side started off strongly, and on a slick but firm pitch began to play some nice football straight from the kickoff and before Mossend had really started they were behind.

After some good build up play involving Chimwemwe Goma, the ball eventually broke to Thomas Haggarty who finished well to give St. Peters the lead after only two minutes.

The Paisley team were dominant in the opening stages and Mossend goalkeeper Adam Brown made some good saves to keep the lead down to one.

With their first real attack of the match the home side created a wonderful opportunity to level the match, but Martin Lockhart's effort smashed against the crossbar.

That chance gave Mossend the belief that they were well in the cup tie and they started to take charge of the game, winning three corners in a row and creating chances as a result.

The home team scored a deserved equaliser after 27 minutes. Mark McQuade was played clean through via a deflection from a St. Peters defender, and he fired the ball past Declan Shaw to make it 1-1. 

Mossend goalkeeper Brown continued to make some smart stops as St Peters began to create chances again after conceding, but they couldn't retake the lead before the end of the first half.

Goalscorer McQuade went down injured just before halftime and couldn't continue, meaning John O'Hagan had to replace him in what at first seemed to be a blow, but instead resulted in being a game-changer. 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017 21:42

Dees battle back to beat St Mirren

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Dundee got back to winning ways in the Development League, coming from behind to beat St Mirren 3-1. After falling behind to Conor McBrearty's header, Max Anderson levelled the tie before half time. In the second half, an own goal from McBrearty and Matty Henvey's header secured the win for Dundee.

The Dees were seeing most of the ball in the opening stages, but Randy Wolters' swerving shot from 30 yards was their only noteworthy effort as the Saints defence stood firm.

With 17 minutes gone, St Mirren took the lead when Sam Jamieson headed a free kick to the back post, and Conor McBrearty scrambled the ball into the net.

The lead would prove to be short lived when Max Anderson won the ball high up the pitch 11 minutes later. The Dundee forward made no mistake with a cool finish past Chris Henry.

Matty Henvey was denied twice in quick succession after 35 minutes. The striker seeing his initial effort blocked by Andrew McDonald, and then his snap shot was pushed away by Hendry.

Sunday, 26 November 2017 16:51

Brilliant Barrhead defeat depleted Antonine

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A hat-trick from Jamie Gray helped Barrhead to an emphatic win over a depleted Antonine squad.

There were also goals from Peter Haggarty, Christopher Burns, Jack Eadson and a goal of the season contender from Conor Bradley.

With the away team missing as many as 6 first team regulars it was always going to be a difficult game for the away side.

The game started with the Antoine game plan becoming pretty clear, trying to pack the defense and use their pace on the counter.

But that game plan went out the window quickly as Barrhead took the lead through Gray. And it came after a wonderful lay-off from Haggarty to Gray who finessed the ball into the far corner.

It could have very easily been two soon after when Fraser McLaughlin smashed the crossbar from 35 yards out and at this point, even though it was 1-0 it wasn't looking good for Antonine with them having very little attacking threat in the first half.

For the next 20 minutes there were very few chances for both teams in the first half with Antonine being very defensive and frustrating Barrhead very well. 

But Barrhead got their two goal cushion and it came after a bit of pinball in the penalty area. The ball fell to Haggarty who stroked it from close range.

The goals came flowing after that as Blair Dawson spilled a long shot from Eadson into the path Gray who bundled the ball home.

And they weren't finished there in the first half as Conor Bradley scored a goal of the season contender as he dribbled to the byline, turned back and curled it directly into the top corner.

Greenock Morton U20s ran out 3-1 winners in the Renfrewshire Derby against St.Mirren U20s at Cappielow. It was a fiery affair that saw the visitors finish the game with eight men as St. Mirren lost all composure. Morton kept their head to progress through to the fifth round of the Scottish Youth Cup. 

Ben Eardley opened the scoring before two goals from Ben Armour sealed passage into the next round for the hosts. Conor McBrearty scored late on but it was little more than a consolation for St. Mirren on a day they would soon rather forget. 

St. Mirren were presented with a golden opportunity to take the lead in the opening minutes of the game. Sam Jamieson ran onto a long clearance and found himself alone with just the ‘keeper to beat. Charlie Carracher pulled off a terrific save to deny him and keep the game level. 

It wasn’t long before St.Mirren were punished for not taking their early chance. On the sixth minute, Ruaridh Langan took a tumble in the box and the referee decided Langan was impeded as he awarded the home side a penalty. Langan dusted himself off to take the kick but rattled the ball off the bar. Fortunately for Langan, Eardley reacted quickest and was there to head home into an empty net. 

Morton came close to adding a second quickly after. A corner from David Anderson went through a mass of bodies before hitting the post. The referee came to St. Mirren’s rescue this time as he awarded a free kick before the ball could be bobbled into the net. 

St. Mirren passed up on a couple of really good chances to get back on level terms. A superb cross by Evan Horne found Robbie Leitch all alone in the middle of the box. Leitch did well to find space but he then ballooned his volleyed shot over the bar. A deflected cross from Conor O’Keefe got the better of Carracher but the cross bar came to the Morton ‘keepers rescue as the ball bounced away to safety. 

Morton would double their lead on the half hour mark through Armour. Mitchell Duffy produced a superb tackle to win the ball in the midfield, he then sent a perfectly timed through ball to Armour who kept his cool to finish beyond the on-rushing ‘keeper. 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:39

Hendry hat trick helps Saints down Dees

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Callum Hendry grabbed a hat trick as St Johnstone beat Dundee 5-0 in the SPFL Development League. The Saints hit man scored three times in a first half that saw Kyle McLean also find the net. Scott Struthers completed the scoring late on.

Dundee started brightly, with Randy Wolters seeing a shot deflected behind for a corner, before Matty Henvey brought a save out of Ross Sinclair.

Saints opened the scoring after 11 minutes, when Callum Hendry jinked his way into the Dundee box before dispatching a low shot across Kyle Gourlay into the corner.

Hendry doubled the Perth side's advantage after 20 minutes. Ian Smith was robbed by Kyle McClean in the midfield, and he picked out Hendry who cut away from the defender, and bent the ball into the far corner of the net.

Dundee were offering little in an attacking sense, while Saints looked like scoring every time they went forward. Sean Struthers flashed a shot narrowly wide before Jamie Docherty was denied by Gourlay.

Hendry continued to torment the Dundee defence, and grabbed his third three minutes before the break. The striker beat two defenders with a clever flick, before driving into the box and slotting past Gourlay.

There was still time remaining for Saints to add a fourth, thanks to McClean’s volley from the edge of the box.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:06

Queen's rescue point against Celtic

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Queen’s Park fought back from two down to rescue a point against holders Celtic in the group stage of the City of Glasgow Cup. Celtic had led through two goals from Scott Robertson but a Kyle Docherty penalty and Scott Dunn header meant the points were shared at Lesser Hampden.

The visitors got off to the perfect stop as two minutes in, Ross Paton was adjudged to have tripped Robertson in the penalty box. Robertson took the penalty and sent Kieron McDougall the wrong way to give Celtic an early lead.

Queen’s Park fought back in what was a very even contest but it took to the half hour mark for number Ryan Mullen to be forced into a save as Lee Whitmore drove down the right but the keeper was equal to it. Mullen was called into action again a few minutes later but once again was able to deny Whitmore from equalising.

Those saves would be crucial for Celtic as they doubled their lead seven minutes before the break. The Hoops had looked dangerous from corners throughout the first half and on this occasion, Robertsons delivery was perfect as it looped over the keeper and found its way into the far corner of the net.

Celtic had the chance to extend their lead when number Karamoko Dembele picked up a loose pass from Queen’s Park but his effort drifted just wide of the right hand post.

 

Rangers fought off a Partick Thistle comeback to go through to the next round of the Scottish FA Youth Cup

Goals from Zak Rudden and Andy Dallas early in the second half looked to see Rangers through but then a quick brace from Neil McLaughlin took the game to extra time.

Then Rudden got his second either side of Serge Atakayi and Dapo Mebude to see Rangers into the next round where they will face St Johnstone.

Thistle finished the game with 10 men as Andrew McCarthy was sent off with minutes left of extra time for a second yellow after a foul on Atakayi.

The first chance of the game went to Rangers as a well whipped ball in from Jamie Barjonas met the head of Cameron Palmer whose header was straight down the throat of Goalkeeper Jamie Stevenson.

Thistle then had the best chance of the first half after McLaughlin went on a mazy run but his shot was tame. It was a great opportunity for the Jags and one that McLaughlin would've certainly felt that he could do better.

Then Atakayi had a fantastic opportunity and it came in bizarre circumstances as Barjonas put in a fantastic challenge which was picked up by Atakayi but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper.

Chances in the first half were few and far between as both sides were locked in a scrappy midfield battle. However it did set up n entertaining second half.

 

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