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Sunday, 16 September 2018 14:02

Goals galore as Albion Rovers defeat Rossvale

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Albion Rovers defeated Rossvale Rovers 7-4 in an intense Scottish Cup 2nd Round tie. Four goals from Luke Barclay and other goals from Declan Lochran, Aaron Sweeney and Harris Heath sealed the win for Rovers. Rossvale's goals came from Darrell Eadie, Lewis Stewart, Ben Hamilton and Kian Royle, but on the day, Albion were too strong for Rossvale.

Albion opened the scoring on six minutes from the penalty spot. A long ball into the box by Declan Lochran was dropped by Rossvale keeper Aidan Mulholland, who then pulled down Aaron Sweeney as he was about to put the ball into an open goal, leaving the referee no option but to point to the spot. Luke Barclay stepped up and sent Mulholland the wrong way.

Rossvale then had their first chance. Good work from Lewis Stewart on the right to press the Albion defence and win the ball. He then found the space on the wing to cross into the box for Darrell Eadie whose first-time shot was well saved at point blank range by Alistair McMillan in the Albion goal.

Albion then had a chance to make it 2-0. A lovely through ball by Aidan McCarthy into the Rossvale penalty area caused a defensive mix-up at the back, which led to Albion being awarded an indirect-free kick. From the resulting free-kick, Sean Holmes laid the ball back to Luke Barclay, who struck an effort through the wall which was well saved by Aidan Mulholland.

Rossvale then levelled the scoring in the 21st minute. Cameron McKay played a ball into Kyle Martin who had the space and played a great ball into Darrell Eadie, who took one touch and dispatched the ball into the corner of the net.

Albion were back ahead just two minutes later. A corner from Harris Heath was knocked on at the front post by Barclay which was not dealt with by Rossvale and the ball fell to Declan Lochran who restored his sides lead with a cool finish from close range.

Their lead was then doubled on the 25th minute. Harris Heath again heavily involved. He found Barclay on the edge of the box who controlled the ball and carried it into the area before smashing a shot past Mulholland into the corner leaving him no chance.

Rossvale grabbed a lifeline just before half time. They were awarded a free-kick 30 yards from goal, which Lewis Stewart stepped up to take and his effort sailed over McMillan. A fantastic goal which put Rossvale right back into the tie.

Sunday, 02 September 2018 17:02

Hearts and Rangers get point across in tough draw

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Hearts and Rangers were even in Edinburgh in a goalless match that saw plenty of the midfield, occasional bite, and few chances.

Bar an early Hearts shot drifting left, the opening exchanges were mild. Hope for the hosts came in the skilled touches and turns of Jennifer Margaret Dodds and the presence of strike partner Emma McFadyen, while Rangers’ effort to locate their opponent’s vulnerability by rotating the ball through midfield was admirable. Yet by the 15th minute there had been no further strikes at goal as both defences pushed play into the middle 30 metres of the park.

A thaw in that defensive dominance began to appear as the half evolved, with Hearts the first to threaten just before the 20 minute mark. McFadyen floated a lob wide right after miscommunication in the Rangers back line, and a minute later a challenge between Dodds and Rangers keeper Chloe Rae required a clearance from behind the Glaswegians’ number one. With Hearts pushing forward, Rangers went long, and Leah Mulrine almost reached captain Ellie Macdonald’s lofted pass.

Nonetheless, it was the home side for whom the chances were beginning to fall, and when Dodds emerged from some touchline tackling in the 27th minute she was free of the fullback on the right and able to cross. McFadyen’s header went past Rae but also the post.

Rangers’ ship steadied and the half subsequently fell into another midfield battle. The first signs of needle crept in as space diminished, and it was unsurprising that the final chance of the half came from pressing rather than passing, with Rangers almost undoing themselves from their own goal kick but McFadyen hitting wide.

Dundee advanced to the second round of the Irn Bru Cup with a 4-3 penalty win over Hibs. Dan Jefferies netted a late equaliser for the Dees, who opened the scoring through Tom Bradbury in the first half.

The first chance of the game went the way of the young Dees when Cammy Dow met Cedwyn Scott’s cross. The winger’s header didn’t trouble Hibs keeper Paddy Martin as it flashed wide of the far post.

Jack Lambert saw a shot deflected behind for a corner after good link up play from Scott and Matty Henvey. Hibs broke from the resulting corner and forced Sam Jackson into a smart save.

Callum Moore combined with Scott at the edge of the box after a darting run from midfield, but Martin was equal to his low strike after 12 minutes.

Sean Mackie let fly from the edge of the box for Hibs, but his effort sliced harmlessly away from goal.

Dundee looked to have opened the scoring when Scott met a Lambert free kick, but a point blank save from Martin kept the ball out. The keeper’s efforts would prove to be in vain as Lambert clipped in a cross that Tom Bradbury headed into the net after 22 minutes.

The lead would prove to be short lived as Fraser Murray fired Hibs level three minutes after Dundee had opened the scoring. The ball broke to the striker after a last-ditch block from Bradbury, and he made no mistake with an emphatic curling finish from 15 yards.

Hibs were quick to respond as Innes Murray fed the ball into his namesake Fraser, but the striker dragged his shot wide.

Scott was denied by Martin once again as Dundee looked to retake the lead. Henvey teed up his strike partner at the edge of the box, but he could only fire the ball straight at the Hibs stopper.

Henvey drilled an effort wide from 25 yards shortly before half time. A quick break from a Hibs corner saw a Lambert strike deflect wide.

Scotland squandered early chances and switched off in the second-half, allowing England relatively easy passage to the Toulon Tournament final. Mikey Johnston’s individual wondergoal put the Scots ahead, but a goal from Callum Connolly and a brace from Eddie Nketiah secured the win for the Young Lions.

Oliver Burke came closest to opening the scoring. The powerful winger received a high through ball, and his good first touch took him away from Jake Clarke-Salter, but his low shot smacked the face of the post and the chance was gone.

England's best first-half chance came to Everton midfielder Kieran Dowell. Keeping the ball in well, Eddie Nketiah curved a cross to the back-post. Callum Connolly nodded it back into the middle, but his knock-down evaded Dowell and Scotland cleared.

But, it was Scotland who took the lead with an absolutely stunning goal from Mikey Johnston. The Celtic winger picked the ball up on the half-way line, skipped past Connolly and Dowell and cut onto his right as the crowd got to their feet in anticipation. He then cut back onto his left, surged into the box past Jonjoe Kenny and blasted past Freddie Woodman from a tight angle.

Tempers flared before half time when two very late challenges seemed to go unpunished. Firstly, Nketiah went flying in late on 16-year-old Billy Gilmour, and then Ronaldo Vieira swung wildly at Jason Kerr. Handbags ensued, but the Mexican referee brandished no cards. 

Three second-half goals from Linlithgow Rose secured the under-14s Tony Macaroni Cup in a 3-1 success against Broxburn Athletic Colts.

It was the perfect game of two halves, as Broxburn totally controlled the first half without being able to kill the game, before Linlithgow showed their clinical ability in the second 35 in a half of dominance.

Broxburn took a first-half lead through Sean Rafferty's terrific strike. However, Linlithgow struck back with three goals in the final 13 minutes from Kamil Spalony, Joseph Osborne, and Harry McMartin to win the cup.

Neither side really took control in the first 10 minutes, but Broxburn were determined to put an early press on to try and force some errors from Linlithgow. Credit must go to the likes of Fraser Iag and Osborne however, as they and the rest of the defence didn't budge and stayed composed.

But, with the game still to settle into a pattern - Broxburn stunned Linlithgow by snatching a 15th minute lead. Rafferty collected the ball in the box, before showing a pacey turn of feet to get away from two defenders and hammer a shot over Matthew Wallace.

The goal really settled Broxburn into an impressive pattern of play. Murray Lowe was a constant menace in the number 10 position, showing some great technique to take the ball under control and look for passes in behind Linlithgow.

However, it was more the general style of Broxburn's play that was impressing the spectators. They were determined to play with the ball on the deck, with many good ball-players in their side showing their skill as they looked for a second.

Maddox Ireland was making some promising moves in behind Linlithgow's back-line, and showed good feet to get away from Oag before sending a teasing cross into the middle. Unfortunately for Broxburn though, there was nobody to divert it goalwards.

Lowe continued to impress as he fed Craig Bailie, whose low effort was easy enough for Wallace, before Lowe himself had an optimistic pop off target.

Linlithgow were trying to mount attacks on the counter, but they were rushing their passes and struggling for composure on the ball. They did have one lovely move that involved Euan Walker, McMartin, and Andrew McGill. However, when McGill caught sight of goal in the box, he was quickly shut down.

With half-time just moments away, Broxburn should've doubled their advantage. A cross from Ryan Allan caused havoc in the Linlithgow penalty area. As the defence struggled to clear, it fell kindly to Jack Begg, who could only screw wide on the turn from yards out.

Corey Brown was the hero as his penalty save in the shootout saw Bathgate Thistle win the Under-13s Tony Macaroni Cup in a 4-3 penalties win against Broxburn Athletic Colts.

The shootout came after a stunning 70 minutes that saw the entertaining clash finish in a 3-3 draw, whilst the sides also couldn't be settled in extra-time.

Cameron Sheddon bagged a brace as Shay Hamilton scored the other for Broxburn, whilst a double from Matthew Ross added to a Toby Baldock penalty at the start of the second half.

Bathgate started the game looking bright and constantly looking for the run of Ross in behind the Broxburn defence. Twice in the first 10 minutes did the young attacker nearly get in behind, but Broxburn marshalled him well early on.

And it would actually be Broxburn who fired themselves into an early lead on eight minutes. Liam Crook showed some flashy footwork down the left before spotting Sneddon on the edge of the area. Sneddon took a touch before firing low under the arms of Brown and in.

Bathgate responded positively. Ross and Ben Drummond almost burst through, but touches let them down, before Ross slashed an effort wide on the turn in an impressive spell for Bathgate.

As Thistle just couldn't get the ball under control in front of goal in the first half, Broxburn nearly made them pay with 10 minutes remaining in the opening half. Ethan Grant created an angle for himself in the box. He sent a powerful low effort towards the far corner that was well parried by Brown and tapped home on the follow-up by Crook. However, unfortunately for the forward, he was flagged for offside.

And just moments later it should've been 1-1. The lively Toby Baldock collected a deep Evan Curtis free-kick. After darting past his man, Baldock then sent a teasing ball across the face of goal that was nearly met by Ross, but he miss-hit the ball and it went wide.

Bathgate continued to try and apply some late pressure before the end of the half, but other than a Ross strike on the turn, credit must go to Broxburn's defence for keeping Thistle relatively quiet.

Louis Maclachlan became a viral sensation as his goal from the halfway line helped secure the Scottish Cup for Spartans as they beat St. Andrews BC.
 
St Andrews managed to see off Glenvale before a more comfortable victory against Edinburgh City. They then defeated Longniddry Villa before tight games against Gartcairn, Belshill and Spartans saw them progress to the semifinal where they overcame Giffnock United by a two goal margin.
 
Spartans road to the final started much more smoothly with two comfortable wins against Haddington and Arbroath. Wins against Jeanfield Swift, Blantyre and Giffnock Reds followed before two tougher games against Cumbernauld Colts and Westdyke to see them through to the final.
 
One of the goals of the season started off a very good game with both teams going for it however it was Spartans who came away with Scottish Cup glory after another few good finishes and a dramatic last few minutes.
 
Spartans could not have asked for a better start as, straight from kick off, Louis Maclachlan had the audacity to shoot from the half way line which went over the keepers head and into the back off the net.
 
St Andrews pushed for an equaliser and they got a free kick in a very dangerous position however it was deflected off the wall and went out for a corner.
 
Spartans then doubled their lead after a corner was swung in and a bullet header by Oscar MacIntyre gave the St Andrews keeper no chance.
 
The game continued to be quite a scrappy affair however Spartans held on to their two goal lead going into the break.
Glenvale avenged their Scottish Cup final defeat last year, beating Spartans at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie to lift the prestigious trophy this time round.
  
Spartans road to the final began with a tight victory over Spartans Colts followed by a very comfortable win against Pumpherston United. They then overcame Spartans Reds, Leith Athletic Colts and Erskine Athletic before a tough game against Airdrieonians. They faced a strong Harmony Row side in the semifinal however the Edinburgh side just managed to come out on top.
 
Glenvale saw off St Mirren Athletic and PFD United before putting 10 past Westdyke. They then had close games against Charlie Miller Academy, Jerviston and Tynecastle before beating Hillwood in the semi-final to book their place at Airdrie 
 
The game started brightly with both teams trying to move the ball and it was Glenvale who had the first real opportunity, however it was comfortable in the end for Spartans’ keeper.
 
Shortly after, Glenvale took the lead after a wonderful ball over the top of the Spartans defence played through Fraser Lee who scored with a great finish across goal into the bottom right corner.
 
Glenvale’s second came just after the half-hour mark. A quick break just after a Spartans corner saw a nice lay off from the Glenvale striker straight into the path of Jack Smith who took it well and hammered it past Niall McFadden in the Spartans net to double their lead.
 
Only five minutes later Spartans won a penalty after a foul on Jack Crombie. Keir Russell stepped up to take the penalty however he smashed it over the bar and it remained 2-0 Glenvale.

It was Burnbank FC vs Pro Football Academy in the final of the McCartney Scott Cup final, played at Wishaw Juniors.

For most, if not all of these boys. it will have been the biggest games of their careers so far, albeit at a very young age, but I’m sure the nerves were huge as the teams came out for kickoff. 

The game began in frantic fashion, with both sets of teams understandably desperate for a fast start but with a strong wind both sides struggled to keep the ball in the early stages. 

There was a long delay early in the match as the Pro Football keeper went down after a goal kick and after some treatment he had to be replaced by sub keeper Liam Glavin.

The first real chance fell to Burnbank as Darren Odonohue was sent clean through by captain Terry Dolan and he looked a certainty to score but Lewis Campbell produced a brilliant last ditch tackle to deny him.

Burnbank were the better team in the opening 15 minutes, winning several corners in a row but they couldn’t find the breakthrough. 

In their first real chance of the game, PFA took the lead after 20 minutes. A flick from a free-kick fell to the feet of Alex McKay who despite getting clattered by the Burnbank keeper, managed to squeeze the ball in and put his side in front. 

This gave his side the confidence and momentum they were looking for and it only took another 5 minutes for Pro Football to double their lead. Cian Murphy was given too much space in the middle of the park and he played a great ball over the top of the Burnbank defence for Mckay and he finished well under the goalkeeper to grab his second of the final and give his team a huge advantage. 

Pro football were beginning to dominate the match, passing the ball well and not giving their opponents anything. 

It looked like Burnbank’s best chance to get back into the match was from corners and they created a good chance from successive corners but captain Dolan couldn’t quite direct his header goalwards. 

Burnbank finished the half strong but couldn’t test the Pro Football goalkeeper and would need something special in the second half to turn the final around. 

A stunning second half comeback from Hutchison Vale was enough for the Under 13s inspiresport Scottish Cup Final to head to Edinburgh in what was a great cup final for the neutral.

Cove Youth FCs route to the final involved wins over Middlefield Wasps, Lasswade Thistle, Kilwinning Rangers, Erskine Youth, Banks O'Dee Albion and Falkirk CFC.

Hutchison Vale beat Loanhead Miners, AM Soccer Club, Knightswood,Stenhousemuir, Eddlewood, Johnstone Burgh and Grassroots Development.

Hutchison Vale had the first big chance of the game when Tyrone Core raced clear of the Cove defence and his effort from the edge of the box evaded Cove goalkeeper Lloyd Sharp, however defender Calum Somers was there to block the shot off the line.

Cove went a goal ahead in the 25th minute. A good corner from Josh Robb from the left hand side came into the danger zone which tested the opposition defence and Liam Duthie was there four yards from goal to volley home and give Mark Robb's side a dream start.

The Aberdeen side kept at Hutchison Vale and a second goal arrived four minutes later when a Robb pass found Kasen Seed who produced a half volley which found the roof of the net past Vale goalkeeper Dean Brownlee.

It was turning into an entertaining final and Vale reduced the deficit, Core turned his marker getting the striker free on goal and the forward found the bottom left hand corner from 16 yards to put the Edinburgh side back into the game.
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