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Spartans on the spot to beat Arthurlie

Spartans FC Reds 0

Arthurlie Juniors 0

  • Spartans FC Reds 0-0 Arthurlie Juniors (Spartans win 3-2 on penalties)
  • Saturday, 01 February 2014
  • Ainslie Park
  • Under 16´s
  • TWS Scottish Youth FA Cup - Quarter Final

Charalambos (Harvey) Nafpliotis | YFS South East Region Journalist

The game started evenly with both sides fashioning some chances. A battle between O’Neil of Spartans and McTaggart of Arthurlie in the middle of the park made for good viewing as both players tried to get control of the game for their respective sides. McTaggart played in Sharman for Arthurlie early on but good defensive work stopped a real chance from forming. The first real chance of the game fell to Spartans, Rutherford collecting a pass from O’Neil before driving in to the box and having a shot which Arthurlie goalkeeper Mitchell saved well at point blank range.
Arthurlie responded well soon after with a free kick curled in by Deane met by a strike from Wilson which went just wide. A number of free kicks followed for both sides, enthusiastic challenges to be expected when competing for a place in a cup semi-final, however neither team was able to make the most of the set pieces. An exception to this rule however came on around the 25 minute mark. A free kick on the edge of the box for Spartans saw Hosey go for goal aiming for the top corner, bringing out a magnificent save from Wright in the Arthurlie goal to deny the hosts the lead.
Soon after Arthurlie had their own chances to take the lead. First Paul Brown made a dangerous run towards goal, this however was stopped emphatically by Spartans defender Lewis Mooney. Arthurlie’s Whitehorn then took the ball from midfield beating two men before unleashing a low drive, although this was well saved by Spartans goalkeeper Jamie Mitchell.
  • Half Time:
  • Spartans FC Reds
  • 0-0
  • Arthurlie Juniors
The second half started at a good tempo with both teams exhibiting good passing ability, good team defending on both sides kept the score 0-0 however. Arthurlie created the first real chance of the second half, this coming from a free kick in a central position from around 25 yards out. McTaggart with the effort which zipped just wide of the Spartans post.
After this chance for Arthurlie it was Spartans who started to dominate in terms of possession. This nearly led to a goal when a corner floated in by Sutherland was met by the head of Hosey who nodded just over the bar. Spartans continued in search of an opener when good running from Allan led to him cutting inside and drawing another smart save from the visiting goalkeeper. Free kicks seemed to be the order of the day as both teams tried to wrestle control of the game from one another.
A long range effort from a free kick by Arthurlie’s Deane saw the ball well gathered by the Spartans goalkeeper, whose quick distribution led to a chance at the other end when Allan controlled a through ball from the back to race forwards towards goal, only to be denied a shot at goal by good defending from Arthurlie’s Garrigan. Spartans continued to press and a good cross from Deane was knocked clear by the Arthurlie defence, this only as far as Spartans’ Sutherland however  whose shot was saved by Wright, when the rebound fell to Spartans’ Allan, Wright reacted brilliantly again to keep the score level.
Around the half hour mark the game saw a dismissal, McFadden shown a second yellow by the referee.  Perhaps unsurprisingly after the dismissal it was Spartans who took control of the game, keeping possession and probing at the Arthurlie defence. To the visitors’ credit their defence stood firm with Goalkeeper Wright the standout. First Weight raced off his line to pip the ball from the advancing Allan, who had been played through by a lovely ball from Floyd. Wright was involved again as he showed great bravery in an aerial challenge to claim the ball which was floated in from a Spartans corner late on.  Despite the numerical advantage Spartans were unable to find a way past a resolute Arthurlie defence and the score at the end of the second half remained 0-0, paving the way for extra time. 
  • Full Time:
  • Spartans FC Reds
  • 0-0
  • Arthurlie Juniors
Extra time began very evenly with Arthurlie looking determined to make an impact despite the hosts’ extra man. Early pressure from Spartans needed good defensive work from Arthurlie to keep the score level. Healy found O’neil on the edge of Arthurlie’s box with a nice pass and only a great block from Arthurlie’s Deane denied O'Neil the chance to hit the ball across the goalmouth for the onrushing Spartans players. Arthurlie would have a chance to take the lead themselves just before the end of the first half of extra time, Sharman found Wilson with a clever ball over the top but Wilson was unable to capitalise as defensive pressure from Spartans saw the ball go out for a throw before he was able to get in to a shooting position. Wilson was involved again as he connected with a free kick but this was well saved by Mitchell in the Spartans goal. At the end of the first half in extra time the score remained 0-0.

On to the final period of play and it was Spartans who started the better of the two sides. Good work from Hall as he beat a man and produced a dangerous cross which was punched clear by the Arthurlie goalkeeper. Spartans fashioned another chance almost immediately with Sutherland brining the ball down well before angling a long pass to Allan who hit the ball of his man and won his team a corner. Spartans were unable to capitalise on the corner however and indeed it was Arthurlie who would have the best chance to break the deadlock with just 2 minutes remaining. McTaggart latched on to a long ball up field and was clean through on goal, only a fantastic save from Mitchell kept the score level as the Spartans goalkeeper raced off his line coming out of the box to block McTaggart and send the ball out of play for a throw. This was to be the last real chance of the game and after a long battle the two teams faced the lottery of a penalty shoot out to determine who would progress to the semi-finals.

The penalty shoot-out is always a harsh way to determine the outcome of a football match. Nerves and camaraderie both on show as the players took their positions. Sometimes in penalty shoot-outs one person stands out, on this occasion it was Spartans goalkeeper Jamie Mitchell. Mitchell saved the first penalty with good confidence and then proceeded to save a further two as Spartans advanced to the semi- final by beating Arthurlie 3-2 on penalties.

Final Result: Spartans FC Reds 0-0 Arthurlie Juniors (Spartans win 3-2 on penalties)


Spartans FC Reds
Arthurlie Juniors
1. Jamie Mitchell
2. Daniel Healy
3. Oran Hosey
4. James Pringle
5. Lewis Mooney
6. Daniel Sutherland
8. Kieran Price
9. Lewis Hall
10. Calum O'Neil
11. Michael Allan
15. Sean McCorkindale
16. Blake Rutherford
18. Jack Murray
19. Dillon Floyd
20. William Linton
1. Jack Wright
2. Reece Garrigan
3. Andy Deane
4. Ben Cardwell
5. Stuart McLean
7. Ross McCrorie
8. Matthew Sharman
9. Jamie Jones
10. Paul Brown
11. Reiss McFadden
12. Murray Wilson
14. James McTaggart
16. Dean Whitehorn
17. Ross McCaw
18. Josh Young
Star Player
Spartans FC Reds
Arthurlie Juniors
Jamie Mitchell. The goalkeeper was in very good form, penalty heroics excluded. He made smart saves to deny the visitors throughout the game, most notably in the second half of extra time where the goalkeeper came off his line to block the onrushing Arthurlie attacker.
Jack Wright. Wright, like his counterpart, was in inspired form during the match. He made a number of good saves and showed good command of his box, his effort epitomised when he rose above all in his box bravely to collect a dangerous corner. A very good performance.
Magic Moment
Spartans FC Reds
Arthurlie Juniors
Undoubtedly for the home side the magic moment came right at the end of the match. Goalkeeper Jamie Mitchell saving three of the opposition penalties to help his side to a 3-2 win.
For the away side's magic moment one must look once more to the goalkeeper. Jack Young making a fantastic save from a direct free kick taken by Spartan's Hosey to keep his team in the game.
Club Views
Spartans FC Reds
Arthurlie Juniors
Spartans' Stephen O'Neill said: "I thought the boys played very well. Arthurlie made it very difficult for us, particularly in the first half. I just had a feeling it was going to go to penalties from about the first 10 minutes of the second half! For Jamie to save three penalties, that's unbelievable."

  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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