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The draw for the fourth round of the Scottish Youth Cup has been made and it has drawn up a potential classic as Edinburgh rivals Hearts and Hibs meet.
Hibernian are the current champions, having beaten Aberdeen in last years final, and Hearts will be looking to spoil the Hibees party, having dispatched of St. Mirren in the previous round. 
Elsewhere, Rangers will make a trip to Greenock to take on Morton and Celtic will have to await the winners of the third round tie between Inverness and Hamilton.
The full draw is as follows:
Motherwell v Aberdeen
Haddington Athletic v Cove Rangers
Queen’s Park v Ross County
Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian
Kilmarnock v Dundee United
Inverness Caledonian Thistle or Hamilton Academical v Celtic
Greenock Morton v Rangers
Dundee v Clachnacuddin
All ties are scheduled to be played on Friday 7th December.
Monday, 12 November 2018 17:09

Glasgow City vs Dryburgh Athletic - Match Analysis

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The stage was set for this years cup final at the interminably cold Oriam centre in Edinburgh, Glasgow City set themselves out in a classic 4-2-3-1 shape with McGlinchy, Ronald and Scott rotating the three midfield positions, Hammil and Crooks taking up the wide left and right.
Dryburgh forward Katie Shaw offered a spearhead to the Dundee side, the defensive pairing for City had to be on their toes consistently with Shaw's pace and physical presence proving to be a problem
Initital stages of the game proved to be a balanced affair, Dryburgh held their own and proved that they were more than worthy finalists with a determined and focused approach, it was the league winners however who eventually broke the deadlock seven minutes into the game.
Dryburgh had clearly done their homework, offering a more defensive representation, a layer of five made up the defensive element of their shape, clearly set out to try and deal with City's well known passing style that proved to be so useful in their hugely successful league.
This was utilised to establish a sizeable 5-0 lead, including a hat trick by the excellent Lucy Sinclair, was countered following a mistake in the City defense, which allowed Gabrielle Watt to pounce and deliver a stark reminder that the powerful dundee side were not out yet.
City continue to dominate with their experience and well honed technical ability taking lead, Dryburgh using their dedication and workrate in attempt to surpress but ultimately this city team, who have been playing together for number of years now, proved to be too strong for the resilient Dryburgh. 

Glasgow City - Karsey McGlinchey

Glasgow City’s victory was dominant, achieved with goals from strikers, midfielders, defenders, starters and substitutes. Both wings were utilised, and bar one loss of concentration after scoring their fifth, the back line was comfortable. In such wins the goalscorers get the glory and statistics, but much of this team’s success comes from quick single and two-touch ball movement across and up the pitch, a philosophy personified by Karsey McGlinchey.

McGlinchey’s play is a good lesson in the importance of a player keeping her head up and considering space. By taking a few wise steps into gaps, she repeatedly gave her defenders a safe outlet on the ground, avoiding the need to hit long aerial balls; shifting and switching the play via minimal touches - whether five yards or to the opposite flank - ensured Dryburgh could never settle. This metronomic football was the foundation for players further up the field to be creative.

Being the gel between the lines means that communication and discipline are important elements in McGlinchey’s game. Her constant talking to defenders and fellow midfielders, and holding back when others advance, was both apparent and vital to an overall fluid, winning structure for the favourites. Consider, for instance, a moment in the 67th minute when a bounce deceived one of her centre backs, but McGlinchey was within sprinting distance to cover.

Yet perhaps this excellent midfield performance was best exemplified by a passage of play at the beginning of the second half. McGlinchey started an attack in the 43rd minute, following play into the box; a minute later she was sliding in at halfway to halt a potential breakaway. Not long after, a lofted ball over the left back sent a team mate through one-on-one. A single spell showed patience, support, discipline and distribution. This is why she has been given call-ups to the senior side.   

A few pot shots from distance towards the end highlighted that goals may not be her forte, but with the result secure and possession near total, such exuberance was excusable. After all, it is not every day you get to be a cup final winner. That said, such is her ability there may be more days than most. This was a great individual display in a brutally strong team performance.


Dryburgh Athletic - Gabrielle Watt

For Dryburgh, heavy underdogs going into the final, spirit and endeavour were always going to be as important as the scoreline. Midfielder Brodie Clark had some promising moments, particularly in the opening salvo when she got beyond her direct opponents and required stout defending. Striker Gabrielle Watt, meanwhile, epitomised positivity in an often isolated role.

There may be nothing more tiring - and potentially dispiriting - in football than having to work without the ball, but Watt proverbially lead from the front. This is not, however, to state that running was her only weapon. When the ball was won she attacked defenders, with one dribble in the second half requiring three players to stop her.

The highlight, for Watt and the team, came in the opening period. Glasgow had just added to their tally when a lofted ball from Dryburgh’s midfield suddenly created a 50-50 bouncing ball near the centre back. Watt, synonymous with energy, went after it and won. Through on goal she calmly rolled the ball home, provoking the manner of team and crowd celebration that is genuinely heart-warming. Here was a tangible reward for an afternoon of intangible work.

Musselburgh Windsor - Rosie Livingstone

Rosie was very unlucky to be on the losing side for Musselburgh Windsor. Livingstone was a self striker for the South East Region outfit and had plenty of opportunities and also linked up with other players around about her and built things up.
Plaudits need to go to Sarah Knox as well who did well and covered every blade of artificial surface.
Livingstone didn't on the scoresheet for Musselburgh but definitely made things tick for Windsor despite losing the game. The game was played in an exceptional manner and Livingstone would have enjoyed playing in such a showpiece occasion.
Donside Girls - Demi Taylor:

Demi was phenomenal for Donside Juvenile Under 13s in their cup final victory over Musselburgh Youngsters, the captain set up 2 goals and also created an assist which led to the winning goal.
Taylor was very vibrant in her movement alongside her vision and eye for goal.

Taylor has unbelieveable shooting ability with a couple of great strikes, alongside that, Taylor also had additional chances which either went wide or over the bar.
Demi Taylor deserves a Scottish Cup winners medal round her neck after leading the Alford side to victory.
Monday, 12 November 2018 13:46

Rangers vs Hibernian U15's - Match Analysis

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Rangers victory in the Under 15s final was deserved, although ultimately a tougher contest than the early exchanges indicated. As initial pressure evaporated, and Hibs found a previously absent cohesion, attrition as much as tactics came to the fore.

Whilst the first half ended goalless, possession and territory were primarily with the Glaswegians. It was control built upon midfield, where they owned superior numbers, shape, and consequently options. Hannah Robinson, Kirsty MacLean and Hannah Jordan rotated around and across the centre, ensuring each ball player had not only support, but choice.   

For Hibs, the formation was stretched. Wide players Lalita Hirani and Mya Bates operated towards the touchline, leaving central midfielders Phoebe Friend and Emma Mitchell against three opponents - four if a striker dropped deep - which tempted them to fall further towards their centre backs.

The midfield and defence were so close, frequently no further than 25 yards from their own goal, which made the defence tighter but possession difficult to hold. Players had to aim long, but Hirani, Bates and Eilidh McEwan were isolated. They offered speed, but beating a team from halfway is a low-percentage game.

Conversely, Rangers could move the ball to their fullbacks, or have advanced players pull wide only when play became too congested in the middle. As long as their defence stayed alert to potential breaks, the best hope for the opening goal was theirs.

It was perhaps a surprise that it took until the second period for that goal to come; that it originated in midfield numbers, however, was not. Winning the ball in the Hibs half, there was an immediate numerical advantage and midfielders to spare. With space into which to progress, Summer Christie’s 20 yard shot into the bottom right corner was certainly the optimum decision.

Hibs equalised swiftly, both in time and style. In many ways, their goal epitomised their earlier play as much as Rangers’ effort had. A long ball finally found success, with speed taking play past the defence. Only Hirani and a single defender were able to keep up, and without sufficient cover the striker was able to cut across her defender to convert the cross.

That goal inspired Hibs, who suddenly succeeded in joining their play with greater consistency. Ella Blamire filled the gap between strikers and the centre, and Hirani and Bates were able to tuck in, receiving and playing balls on the floor. The midfield monopoly cracked, Rangers found themselves struggling, and Hibs’ Friend could outwork her opponents as extra time arrived.

In an effort to reverse the tide, Rangers removed their centre forward, asking Jodi McLeary and Robinson to float in from wide positions. It didn’t appear to be effective, until suddenly it worked in the best fashion possible. McLeary chased and won a ball a long ball, turned in to find Donohoe, and then to the open MacLean, who had made great efforts to catch up with play. They had, in a manner, replicated Hibs’ strike to win the cup.   

Monday, 12 November 2018 12:03

Rangers vs Hibernian U15's - Players of the Match

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Rangers Player of the match - Kirsty Maclean

It was Rangers who lifted the U15s Scottish Womens Youth Cup at Oriam last Saturday. The Glasgow side took all the spoils in a tighly contested game which went all the way to extra time. The game winner was scored by Kirsty Maclean, who overall had an absolutely outstanding game. Besides her goal, the central midfielder stood out, and especially in the latter stages of the game, she showed no signs of fatigue, and continued to dominate the match.

She had seemingly adopted a deep lying playmaker role, sitting deep, and distributing the ball forward. She was not afraid to get stuck in and did brilliantly to stop several break away attempts by the Hibs side and stretching their backline through her excellent distribution.

Everytime she was on the ball, she looked composed and concentrated. It seemed like she could always find a pass no matter how many players were around her. Her ball control was second to none all game. It was as if the ball just stuck to her feet, as it hardly ever got away from her.

The second half was very evenly contested, with Hibs getting back into the game. It was Maclean again, who often calmed the game down, and got her team to keep the ball on the floor, and retain possession.

With the game firmly in the balance at 1-1, extra time was where Maclean really excelled. She was still fighting for every loose ball, every 50/50. Both teams were pushing forward for that winner, but it was Maclean that found it, late into the second half of extra time.

The composure she had displayed throughout the game, was once again the factor in her goal. She latched onto a pass from her team mate inside the box, took one touch, and slotted it away into the right hand side of the sprawling Hibernian goalkeeper.

She didnt let up there either. As the clock ticked on, it was Maclean again who played a brilliant ball over the top of the Hibs defence to Abbie Mackay who had her effort, tipped over the bar by Grace Mitchell in the Hibernian goal.

After the game when asked if her cup winning goal was the most important goal she has ever scored, she replied with a resounding yes.

Overall, the Rangers team had many impressive performers, however it was Kirsty Maclean who caught the eye.


Hibernian Player of the Match - Zoe Murray

In what was a very tightly contested game, Hibernian can be very proud of their performance.

All of the Hibernian players put in a brilliant shift, and were unlucky to come away without any silverware. Their defence was solid almost all game, with full back Zoe Murray being the outstanding one from the number four.

With Rangers being the dominant team in the first half she put in a real shift, going in for every tackle and doing well to contain the dangerous Rangers attackers. When the game shifted in the second, she continued to contain, contributing to their excellent defensive effort.

Everytime she was faced up on a one vs one she always knew what to do, not commiting herself and losing her position, but instead concentrating and waiting for the opposition to make a mistake.

Hibernian overall as a team worked really hard, and must be dissapointed that their effort was not rewarded. Ella Biamire was probably the most threatening on the attacking side of things due to her ability to get past her marker.

She set up to Lalita Hirani's opener in the second half. Grace Mitchell, the Hibs goalkeeper, also did well, making some very important saves especially in the second half.

Friday, 09 November 2018 10:44

Preview: SSF Women's Cup 18/19

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With another season of SSF Women’s Cup action about to get underway proper, what better time to catch up on all you need to know, as the journey to next April’s final at Ainslie Park begins?   
19 teams began the tournament this year; Glasgow Caledonian 1’s, St. Andrews 3’s and Dundee & Angus 1’s have already fallen.
But with most teams entering the tournament at the last 16 stage - and with many of those matches taking place next week – YFS is here to bring you up to speed as we move one step closer to crowning this season’s champions.
Stirling are the team they’re all out to beat – they’re looking for a hat-trick of titles after winning the 2017 and 2018 competitions, defeating Edinburgh 2-0 in the last season’s final.
And YFS spoke to the head coach of Stirling’s first team, Craig Beveridge, who – despite only taking charge of the squad a little over a month ago – has been with the team at Lesser Hampden each of the past two seasons as they’ve claimed Scottish Cup glory.
As he explains, for a team that compete week in and week out against some of Britain’s best student teams in the BUCS Premier North Division, there is always a pressure to perform when they come up against Scottish opposition:
“We definitely go into the tournament with ambitions of winning it,” he said. “Because we’ve won it the last two years, I think the girls expect to win it – they know themselves that anything else would be seen as a massive disappointment.”
Stirling begin their quest for three in a row at home to Glasgow 2’s – although due to league commitments the fixture date has not yet been confirmed.
But Beveridge is looking forward to taking on Scottish opposition, yet knows the team can’t afford to take anyone lightly:
“We normally play against the same British teams and they’re quite physical and pose similar threats,” he said. “So it’s good to play against different teams.
“We try and get as much information as we can on [Glasgow 2’s] and see how they’re doing in the league and things like that.
“Fortunately, the girls are very professional, and they go into every game with the mindset of working as hard as they can and playing as well as they can.”
Such is the nature of student football, players graduate and re-building jobs are required on an almost season-by-season basis.
However, Beveridge explains, Stirling go into the cup this year with a strong core of players who know what it’s like to win the trophy.
He said: “We have seven or eight regular starters that were with us last year, so some of them have been here before.
“A couple, such as our captain Chloe Logan who’s been here for four or five years now, have seen and done it all.”
Glasgow 2’s will come into the match as underdogs, but they’ve already defeated Glasgow Caledonian 1’s 2-0 in this competition and will be hopeful of causing a major upset against a side three divisions above them.
Stirling’s second team are also in action; they travel to Abertay to take on their first team in a match of teams in contrasting form.
Abertay currently sit rock bottom of Division 1A with six defeats from six, whereas Stirling are flying high in Division 2A with three wins from three – a run that includes a remarkable 7-6 victory over Dundee 1’s.
One of the more intriguing ties of the last 16 will see an Edinburgh 3’s side that won 4-2 against St. Andrews 3’s in the last round take on Edinburgh’s first team.
The 1’s currently sit top of Division 1A and are fresh from a 6-0 victory over Edinburgh 2’s, so it’ll be tough for the Division 3A third team to impact the game, but it’ll be interesting to see how they equip themselves against their university’s top players – and the side that Stirling defeated in the final last season.
St. Andrews 2’s reward for defeating Dundee & Angus College in the first round is an away trip to Glasgow to take on their first team.
St. Andrews 2’s are another side with a 100% league record; they’ve won all three of their Division 3A matches this season, so they’ve every reason to go into the match full of confidence, but they’ll be up against a Glasgow side currently sitting second in Division 1A on goal difference and looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season - to St. Andrews first team – when they meet next week.
St. Andrews 1’s 2-1 victory over Glasgow moved them level on points with their opponents and Edinburgh 1’s at the top of the league, and they’ll be looking to continue building momentum when they host Heriot-Watt 1’s next week.
The Watt head to Fife looking for their first win of the season – they’re currently rooted to the bottom of Division 2A.
Robert Gordon 1’s welcome Strathclyde 1’s in a battle of Division 2A teams.
RGU got the better of Strathclyde when they met in the league at the end of October – 5-0 in Aberdeen – and are narrowly ahead of Strathclyde in the league, so will go into the game as favourites.
Also up north next week, Aberdeen 1’s host Edinburgh Napier 1’s.
It’s been a mixed bag in the league for both sides; Napier have six points from four games this season, whilst Aberdeen have six points from six games – although they are playing in a higher division than their visitors.
The final game from the round of 16 sees an Edinburgh 2’s side with one win from their first six league games take on Dundee 1’s in the capital next week.
The away team also only have one league win to their name this season and will be hoping to cause an upset against their Division 1A opponents.
Stirling 1  v  Glasgow 2
Robert Gordon 1  v  Strathclyde 1
Edinburgh 2 v  Dundee 1
St Andrews 1  v  Heriot-Watt 1
Abertay 1  v  Stirling 2
Glasgow 1  v  St Andrews 2
Aberdeen 1  v  Edinburgh Napier 2
Edinburgh 1  v  Edinburgh 3
Friday, 09 November 2018 09:57

SWF U17s Scottish Cup: Glasgow City Preview

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Glasgow City head coach Craig Joyce believes it is testament to his players that they have made it to this weekend’s U17 SWF Youth Cup final at Oriam.
City have had to overcome three massive tests in order to set up this Saturday’s meeting with Dryburgh Athletic, and Joyce believes the squads work ethic has been key to their success this competition:
“They’re in four nights a week, which is a lot to ask any young player,” he said. “To turn up, be consistent and work hard – they do it.
“It’s not been done overnight; the quality has been built up over five or six years - the way they move the ball and the work they do off it is testament to their character and the effort they put in.
“The person comes before the player for us at City.
“I think sometimes that message can get lost in football, but hard work and work rate come before everything and these girls have that in abundance.
City have conquered Celtic, Rangers and Hibs en route to the final, scoring nine goals and conceding just one.
And Joyce couldn’t be happier with the way his team have played:
He said: “We’ve been up against basically all our rivals – if you want to put it that way – so we’re chuffed to have come through them and make it to the final.
“We knew the threat Hibs would bring to the party; they’re a very, very good side.
“I thought on the day the players were excellent; the way they moved the ball, the way they fought to win it back; the way they worked as a team – they executed everything we set out for them.”
But despite that emphatic 4-0 semi-final victory at Ravenscraig in September, it’s the second-round performance against Celtic that stands out for Joyce:
“I can’t highlight any individual, because they were all fantastic,” he said. “But if the team don’t come together and push on in the second half and show the quality they’ve got then we don’t make the quarter-final.”
In Dryburgh, City are up against a team that has been scoring for fun in this competition, and know they’ll have the quality to punish them if they do not turn up on Saturday:
“Dryburgh are a very good side,” said Joyce. “They’re quick in attack, physical, they work to their own advantages and we saw in that semi-final against Murieston that they’re pretty ruthless in front of goal when they got their chances.
“We need to move the ball quickly and take our chances when they come, as we did in the Hibs game.”
Dryburgh Athletic “deserve to be on this stage” as they prepare to meet Glasgow City in the SWF U17 Youth Cup Final at Oriam this Saturday.
That’s according to John Beatt, club chairman and U17’s manager, who can’t praise his team enough for their efforts this year.
The majority of the side have just made the move up from U15s and have enjoyed a fantastic season; they won the North East League Cup back in August and finished second in the North East League.
And Beatt believes the success they’ve achieved is testament to the players:
“From a coaching perspective, the girls have been first class all season,” he said. “They have worked so well together, and this really shows in the performances and results throughout the year.
“The girls have played some lovely football on the way to the final, scoring some fantastic goals.
“It’s been a joy to watch at times and they’ve certainly kept the supporters happy.”
No wonder.
Dryburgh have been free-scoring on their march to their first ever Youth Cup Final; they put ten past Montrose in the first round; three past South East League Cup winners, Broxburn Athletic Colts, in the second round; nine past Raith Rovers in the quarter-final and three past SE Joelle Murray league champions Murieston United in the semi-final.
And it’s that semi-final performance that Beatt has particularly fond memories of.
He said: “Showing the character to come from a goal down against Murieston and go on to win the game was fantastic.
“Murieston are a quality side and to win in the manner we did was a definite highlight.
“That was our first appearance in the semi’s, so we just tried to approach it like any other game and keep the girls’ feet on the ground.
“That approach worked really well during the game, but everyone was thoroughly enjoying the occasion during the celebrations.”
With the anticipation to Saturday building, excitement levels throughout the club are growing, but they know if they’re anything less than their best then a strong Glasgow City will punish them:
“The girls are really looking forward to Saturday,” Beatt said. “They’ve been working hard to prepare and are sure to be in good form on and off the park this weekend.
“We’ve got two bus loads heading to Edinburgh and numerous car loads too, so Oriam should be maroon and blue come 4pm.
“Days like this don’t come around very often, so we’re going to enjoy every moment.
“To meet a side the calibre of Glasgow City is exciting and we will have to be on the top of our game to compete, that’s for sure.”
Thursday, 08 November 2018 16:17

SWF Youth Cup 2018 - Match Centre

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On 10th November 2018 six teams from six clubs will descend on Oriam National Performance Centre in Edinburgh. Donside Juveniles, Musselburgh Windsor and Dryburgh Athletic aim to win the first SWF Youth Cup in each of their clubs' history. Hibernian, Rangers and Glasgow City look to continue their clubs' fine tradition in this competition. 
YFS will cover the matches with video, photography, match reports and analysis. You can find links to all of the coverage below.
Match DVDs
The match DVDs contain the full match, presentation ceremony and post-match interviews. You can order yours below:

Your Team

Donside Juveniles v Musselburgh Windsor U13 Girls

Donside Preview | Musselburgh Preview | Match Report | Photo Gallery | Match Analysis | Players of the Match | Cup Lift | Video Clip of the Game
Hibernian FC v Rangers FC U15 Girls
Dryburgh Athletic v Glasgow City U17 Girls

Dryburgh Preview | City Preview | Match Report | Photo Gallery | Match Analysis | Players of the Match | Cup Lift | Video Clip of the Game