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National Competitions (501)

Hibernian hosted Celtic in a rare SPFL Development weekend match, held at the Hibs Training Centre in East Lothian. Despite the recent torrid weather in Edinburgh, the surface was playable and the game went ahead, sandwiched in between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon derby matches for the respective first team sides.

The SPFL Development League is shaping up for an exciting run in. Celtic were many people's favourites to reclaim the crown they lost last year to Ross County. However, with UEFA Youth League and other commitments, they have racked up a number of postponements, building up a bank of games in hand. The Hoops still looked on course to climb towards the table's summit, but recent defeats to Aberdeen and Kilmarnock have set them back.
In the mean time, the bright crop of Hibs youngsters had been taking full advantage. An impressive eight wins in their last nine matches saw the Hibees top the table, three points clear of second place Dundee with a game in hand. They now led Celtic by fourteen points, having played five games more.
The match started at a high tempo, with two good footballing sides aiming to get the ball on the deck and play it out from the back. With a recent lack of first team action, Oli Shaw was starting for Hibs and it didn't surprise many to see the prolific Development League striker open the scoring. A well taken finish was the difference between the sides at the interval.

Celtic U17s ran out the victors in the young Old Firm derby after an intense game at Lennoxtown, comfortably dispatching Rangers.

Celtic got off to a flyer with Scott Robertson and Paul Kennedy giving them a 2-0 advantage. Kennedy's superlative free kick in the first 10 minutes was particularly a highlight, but Rangers grew into the game more with Matt Yates giving the Gers a lifeline at half time.

Yates then gave Rangers their equaliser after some great link up play between him and Murray Miller. But then Celtic turned it on more and regained their lead after Robertson's shot was saved but he was their to tap the rebound home.

The game was killed off after some great footwork from Karamoko Dembele was finished off by a wonderful strike from the young star. The icing on the cake came after a great save from Lewis Budinauckas the ball falls to Kennedy who cuts it back to Barry Coffey who taps it in from close range.

The game stated at a high tempo with both teams pressing high and a real intensity about their press but it was Celtic who took the lead after some lacklustre Rangers defending let Robertson through and he was able to tap it round the on rushing Budinauckas.

It wasn't long after that when Celtic doubled their lead and it came from a bit of class after Dembele was fouled. Up stepped Kennedy who was able to curl the free kick over the wall and right into the top corner giving the 'keeper no chance.

After that Rangers grew into the game with Adedapo Mebude causing all sorts of problems down the right hand side and he was so unlucky after he showed his pace and power to get to the by-line to cut it back along the edge of the six yard box, but there was no one there to get the final touch.

Rangers were able to get a way back into the game and it came from a Zac Butterworth cross and Yates was there to tap the ball in from very close range.


Tuesday, 20 February 2018 20:43

Curran strike sees Dees edge past Killie

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Jesse Curran's second half strike earned Dundee three points against Kilmarnock in the SPFL Development League. Craig Wighton started alongside Lewis Spence and Kevin Holt in an experienced Dark Blues line-up.

A series of early Dundee corners didn't trouble Killie, but a looping header from Kevin Holt was eventually pushed over the bar by Curtis Lyle after six minutes.

Dundee were bossing the possession but didn't trouble Killie's backline. A pop shot from Jack Lambert was all the Dark Blues had to show for their efforts.

Holt saw a low free kick from 25 yards kept out by Lyle, as the first half ended all square.

A late Stephen Mcfee help to give Pollok Juveniles a much needed win over a very good St Mungo team. This win helps them move above St Mungo into eighth in the league while St Mungo drop down into ninth.

Josh Wynne had given St Mungo the lead with a superlative over head kick but that was cancelled out shortly after when Lewis McTaggart scored a beautiful finessed shot into the far corner.

The game started with both teams trying, but being unable, to get a foothold in the game with a couple of half chances but nothing clear cut, until Daniel Moy, of Pollok, was slipped through by a wonderfully weighted through ball and his subsequent shot was wonderfully saved from Craig McLaren.

St Mungo, on 21 minutes, took the lead and it came from some tricky footwork from Jamie Young, who he stood it up for Wynne on the edge of thye box who incredibly scored an overhead kick into the far side of the net.

It was all Pollok in the first half after that but they weren't really creating clear cut chances as the defensive structure of St Mungo was tight with little gaps.

But Pollok did equalise just nine minutes later when McTaggart controlled on the edge of the box and then finessed it into the far corner giving McLaren no chance of saving it.

Pollok were the team most likely to score again in the first half but they were again unable to create any real goal scoring opportunities from all this pressure.

Their best chance probably was when the ball fell to Ross Fulton in the box from a corner but his shot was sliced over. 

Cove & Falkirk battled it out for a place in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup on a dry, but chilly day. A big crowd came out in force for this one with both teams doing very well to get to this stage.

Cove Rangers' & Falkirk's senior teams clashed in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup last Saturday & Cove Under 13s were ball boys for the day. The game last week was a cracker and this Scottish Cup tie had all the makings to be a cracker as well.

The hosts started the game very well and used home advantage to good account. There was nothing clear cut in terms of chances for either side and it was going to be one of those games where both teams battled it out.

Mark Robb's side opened the scoring after nine minutes. A cross came in from the left hand side which was met by Anton Chauvin who crashed home the opener past Nathan Kuhn to give Cove the best possible start.

Both teams tried to keep playing football afterwards on what was a heavy surface to play on after the recent weather. The game was on a tepid note in the remaining exchanges of the 1st half, however the hosts went 2-0 with Charlie Rothnie through on goal before keeping a cool head to finish past Kuhn with a composed finish.

Kristopher Orr then had a free kick for Falkirk just before the interval which was delivered straight into the box, however Lloyd Sharp dealt with the situation by catching the ball. Cove deserved to be in front as the first half came to a close.

Monday, 12 February 2018 20:45

Scott brace seals Dees derby double

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Cedwyn Scott’s double helped the Dundee to the top of the Development League table, while keeping Dundee United stuck at the foot of the table.

The striker netted twice in the closing stages of the first half, as the Dark Blues recorded a comfortable victory, and welcomed back striker Craig Wighton from injury.

Despite coming into the match as underdogs, it was United that had the first opportunity of the game. Dom McMeekin looked to have opened the scoring after five minutes, but Kyle Gourlay produced a fine one-handed save to deny him. Logan Martin fired the rebound goalward, but Jordan Piggott cleared the ball off the line.

Jack Lambert should have opened the scoring after 11 minutes when he dispossessed Cammy Ballantyne, but Deniz Mehmet smothered his shot. The United keeper kept out a curling effort from Max Anderson as Dundee looked for the opener.

Brandon Mason set up Idris Kadded just after the half hour mark, but his tame effort was straight at Gourlay. This was a chance United would rue missing, as moments later Jordan Piggott released Jesse Curran, and his low cross was swept home by Cedwyn Scott.

Dundee didn’t take long to double their lead as less than a minute later, Luc Bollan floored Scott inside the penalty area. Mehmet dived the right way and kept out Scott’s spot kick, but the striker smashed the loose ball into the net for his third goal in as many games.

Wishaw faced Clydebank in this eagerly anticipated Scottish Cup Quarter Final, played at Wishaw Sports Centre. 

There was a hint of a rivalry in this match with the two teams having played each other on a few occasions recently, with Wishaw facing the incredibly difficult task of defeating last years winners of the Scottish cup in what would prove to be a wonderful advert for Scottish Youth football.

The home side started the better, putting pressure on the Clydebank defence and forcing some early corners.

It was from one of these corners that Wishaw took an early lead, as Gary Torrance's corner created havoc in the Bankies penalty area and eventually Colm Lafferty was on hand to force the ball home after six minutes. 

Clydebank slowly began to get back into the game with more possession and efforts on goal, most notably of all was a great strike from Ronan Officer from just outside that was brilliantly saved at full stretch by Jamie Mitchell. 

The away side grabbed a deserved equaliser after 28 minutes, Officer this time finishing well from a tight angle into the bottom corner although Wishaw goalkeeper Mitchell may feel that he could have stopped it. 

It was to get even better for Clydebank only minutes later as they took the lead with a great team goal. Some good play in midfield resulted in Matthew McLennan delivering from a wide left position, and Thomas Cruden's wonderfully placed header looped over the goalkeeper and gave his team a 2-1 lead. 

Wishaw could have drew level on the stroke of halftime but they could not force the ball home following a scramble in the Clydebank penalty area. 

John Smith's goal in the third minute of injury time earned Dundee a 3-2 win over Development League leader’s Hibs. The result lifts the Dark Blues into second place, just three points of Hibs at the top of the table.

Hibs handed a start to former Hearts defender Faycal Rherras, while Olly Shaw lead the line for the league leaders. Roarie Deacon featured alongside Genseric Kusunga and Lewis Spence for Dundee and he had them ahead twice in the match, but goals from Lewis Allan and Gregor Woods’ injury time header looked to have salvaged Hibs a point until Smith converted Deacon’s cut back.

Dundee came flying out the traps, and look the lead after six minutes when Deacon turned inside the box and fired a low shot past Maciej Dabrowski at the near post.

Deacon went close moments later when a corner fell to him at the edge of the box, but his volley flashed wide.

After a slow start, Hibs began to grow into the game, and equalised when Lewis Allan beat Dundee keeper Jeremy Malherbe to a cross, and headed the ball into the net.

The footballing cliché that you're most vulnerable when you've just scored proved all too real for Hibs as Dundee launched an attack from their kick off, and Deacon curled the ball into the top corner from 15 yards.

Hibs had Dabrowski to thank for keeping them in the game. The goalkeeper denied Deacon, Jack Lambert and Cedwyn Scott before half time.

Sunday, 04 February 2018 20:15

Westdyke into quarter finals with home win

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Two sides that had superb league campaigns both in the Aberdeen and Lanarkshire leagues went head to head at Lawsondale for a place in the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup, where Edinburgh side Musselburgh Windsor lied in wait.

Westdyke started the game the brighter team and had the more clear cut openings. Connor Napier had a tame effort denied by Steven Vincent in the visiting goal and Jake Buirds had a shot saved by Vincent.

The hosts took the lead in the 10th minute, an effort from Napier was denied by Vincent however Andrew Buchan guided the ball home from close range to give last years Under 13s ADJFA champions a great start.

Myles Gaffney was a real handful up front for Mill United and he knocked an effort just wide after being released through on goal. It ended up being a really good end to end Scottish Cup tie, however there was still a long way to go.

Buchan then tried to get his second of the game after a Luke Renforth shot, which had been saved by Vincent, rolled into the feet of Buchan however unfortunately for himself and Westdyke, his effort hit the side netting with the net wide open.

Mill United levelled just before half time, a ball came in from Josh Findlay which was met by Myles Gaffney who was free in space who volleyed home a fine finish from six yards out past Marc O'Donnell. The keeper might be a relatively small height for a goalkeeper however he was having a good game.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 09:35

City defeat Drumsagard to reach semi-final

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Edinburgh City overcame a stubborn Drumsagard 3-1 to progress to the semi-finals of the SYFA Cup on an extremely windy Sunday afternoon in Newton.

Jonathan Sedstrem’s double along with a goal sandwiched between the two from Dean Burgesss ealed the win for City, although Ballie Hunter pulled one back for Drumsagard.

Edinburgh kicked off in blustery conditions and had the ball in the back of the Drumsagard net within two minutes. A long free kick from the halfway line found captain Joseph Healey on the edge of the box; the central midfielder couldn’t get a shot away but the ball fell kindly to Sedstrem, who lashed in a powerful shot from 25 yards.

Both sides clearly wanted to set the pace of the game and flew into a number of increasingly rash challenges. The two sets of players flew into tackles and play rarely lasted more than 15 seconds before the referee blew his whistle again.

Clear-cut opportunities were hard to come by for either side as they struggled to break each other down, although Drumsagard looked slightly vulnerable to City’s counter-attacking threat.

Edinburgh thought they had their second when Samuel Newton poked the ball in at the back post but the linesman raised his flag for offside.

City wouldn’t have to wait long for a second though – moments later, Burgess made it 2-0 to the visitors. Newton hit a low, powerful cross into the box that reached Burgess. The attacker got his first-time shot away and the ball took a couple of deflections on its way to goal before reaching Paul Everett, whose reaction stop wasn’t enough to stop the ball bouncing over the line.

Edinburgh dropped the pace a little after the second, pressing with slightly less intensity than they had previously. Left-winger Newton looked increasingly dangerous on the left, using his pace and agility to outwit the Drumsagard defence.

Around this point Aaron Lonie had to be substituted off – already on a yellow, he could have picked up a second on no less than three separate occasions. Realising this, the Drumsagard coaching staff replaced him with Gary Clark in central midfield.

Drumsagard came within inches of pulling one back after some impressive wide play from Ian Last. The winger broke down the left a fired a low cross to the edge of the box where Hunter was waiting. The attacker struck a powerful effort but the ball rebounded off the bar.

Edinburgh then came close to a third in fortuitous circumstances. Blair Short hit a free kick from the halfway line and the wind caught the ball, forcing Everett to palm the ball over the bar. The keeper showed an excellent reading of the ball in testing conditions.

With half an hour played, Drumsagard then pulled one back, making it 2-1. Jay Nelson drove with the ball from deep before sliding it to Hunter, who held possession for a couple of seconds before playing it back to Nelson. Nelson drove towards goal and coolly slotted past the onrushing Thomas McLean.

Edinburgh had one last chance before the break to make it three when striker Liam Edmonston got on the end of a ball in behind the Drumsagard defence. The forward used his strength to hold off the defender but had his shot blocked by Everett, who palmed the ball behind for a corner.

The referee blew his whistle not long afterwards to bring a hard-fought first half to a close.

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