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Battling Hutchie through to SPORTSassist Final

Spartans 1

Walker 33

Hutchison Vale 1

Akugbo 68
  • Hutchison Vale win 5-3 on penalties
  • Sunday, 08 February 2015
  • Ainslie Park
  • Under 13´s
  • SPORTSassist Cup

Charalambos (Harvey) Nafpliotis | YFS South East Region Journalist

Spartans U13's took on Hutchison Vale U13s for a chance to get in to the SPORTSassist cup final. The game started brightly with both teams battling for possession. James Gordon of Hutchison Vale showed early on that he was to have a big impact on this game. “Hutchie’s” number 12 was involved early on as he attempted to thread a through ball towards Davies, only good defending from Spartan’s Pearson stopping a real chance from forming. 
 
As the game progressed both teams exhibited good passing moves, Kyle Dempster and Jack Crombie were particularly impressive. Their interlinking play created a good chance for Spartans when Dempster, having created some space for himself down the wing, played a clever ball to Crombie who shot just over the Hutchie bar.
 
As both teams wrestled for possession of the ball there was good team defending from both sides. There was also strong battling in the midfield, in particular from Pearson of Spartans and Stewart of Hutchie, who both  chased down the ball and looked to frustrate the opposition keeping the score level. Chances would however fall for both teams towards the end of the first half.
 
First it was Davies for Hutchie who was unlucky not to put Gordon in to a scoring position with a great through ball, which moved just too fast for the forward and was collected by Stone in the Spartans goal. Spartans responded well however stringing some good passes together in the midfield before the ball was picked up by Jordi Yewdale who made a darting run along the left side before delivering a great zipped cross in to the box. Yewdale can count himself unlucky that on that occasion there were no takers for Spartans, the ball instead being blasted clear by Jonny Gordon in the Hutchie defence.
 
Hutchie were to create the best chance of the game shortly afterwards with danger- man James Gordon latching on to a ball played up from the midfield and hitting a powerful shot at Stone in the Spartans goal. The goalie blocked the effort but had Troup to thank as he cleared off the line for Spartans to keep the game level.
 
With chances created for both sides it was Spartans who finished the half strongest and this led to the opener just before the half time whistle. A well worked set piece saw a corner delivered low, the ball falling to Spartans Robbie Walker who tested Hutchie keeper McFadden and made no mistake with the rebound to make it 1-0 Spartans going in to half time. 
 
  • Half Time:
  • Spartans
  • 1-0
  • Hutchison Vale
Football is indeed a game of two halves and this proved to be the case in the second 35 minute period as the visitors looked determined not to let their cup dreams fade and put in a strong performance from the off to try and get back into the game and halt Spartan’s domination of the ball, particularly in the latter stages of the first half. Rory Grant for Hutchie created a good chance with a marauding run up the wing playing in cross which was blocked out for an early corner.
 
Hutchie continued to press with Reilly finding James Gordon up front with a good cross, the forward creating some space and lashing the ball just over the host’s bar. With around 10 minutes of the second half played one player began to really stand out for their team.
 
Hutchie’s number 11 Fletcher Hendry dominated in midfield, linking with many of his team mates and helping to keep the tempo high, while providing pinpoint passes to try and open up the Spartans defence. Indeed Hendry had a hand in a near equaliser as his clever ball over the top found James Gordon who took the ball down brilliantly only to be stopped by a fantastic challenge from Spartans Gregor Roland. Rolland would be involved again soon after, reading the play well to intercept a dangerous ball from Hutchie’s Justin Akugbo.
 
Spartans responded well to the pressure and attempted to recapture their first half form by playing a number of neat passes, looking to unlock the resolute Hutchie defence and add a second to secure their passage in to the final. 
 
With around 25 minutes played Keir Russell delivered a great ball in to the box for Spartans from a long range free kick which looked inviting but was in the end well cleared by Hutchie’s Reilly. 
 
With the game drawing to a close it was Hutchie’s James Gordon who was the standout and with just 2 minutes to go he would win his team a pivotal free kick. Spartans goalkeeper Harry Stone was forced to come off his line in an attempt to beat the onrushing Gordon to the ball and although he did so he was adjudged to have handled the ball outside of the box. Hamilton was on free kick duty for Hutchie on this occasion and his looping ball rattled the bar before the rebound was fired home by Akugbo to level the tie at 1-1 and ultimately send the two teams in to extra time. 
  • Full Time:
  • Spartans
  • 1-1
  • Hutchison Vale
With a place in the final at stake nerves began to show on both sides and the solid shapes that both teams had displayed throughout the match suffered a little as a result. In the ensuing battle for possession Hutchie’s Jonny Gordon was determination personified as he jostled with 3 players around him early on, before maintaining his balance and scooping the ball wide to an awaiting teammate in order to retain his side’s possession. As the game wore on tired legs meant chances were at a premium. Tired legs may indeed have been the cause for a number fouls that were to follow, most notably Troup of Spartan’s challenging Hendry of Hutchie who was advancing on goal. Just before the half time whistle in extra time Spartans would try to take the lead with some training ground corner work. Two short corners in quick succession were cleverly executed but the Hutchie defence proved to be quick to respond and blocked crosses from Spartans’ Durda and Crombie respectively, keeping the score 1-1 at end of the first half of extra time.

The second half continued in much the same vein as the first with both teams looking to break one another down and fashion a chance to win the game and avoid the lottery of a shootout. Both teams did indeed create reasonable chances to win the game. First Hutchie’s Fraser sending James Gordon in on goal, but once again Gordon was beaten to the ball by the Spartan’s goalie who came off his line quickly and picked up the ball. Spartans would then have a chance in the last 2 minutes or so with Rolland finding Mason with a long ball, but the forward was unable to take advantage of his position on this occasion and his shot went wide of the target. In the end neither team was able to produce a winner and the game went to a penalty shoot-out to decide who would progress to the final.

The penalty shootout started evenly perhaps reflecting the largely even nature of this contest. Both sides scored their first three penalties. It was Niall McFadden who proved the hero for Hutchie however as he saved Spartans’ fourth and fifth penalties to send his side through to the next round.

Final Result: Hutchison Vale win 5-3 on penalties

Lineups

Spartans
Hutchison Vale
1. Harry Stone
3. Gregor Rolland
4. Thomas Baur
6. Christopher Pearson
7. Jack Ewing
8. Daniel Troup
9. Reece Mason
10. Jack Crombie
12. Kyle Dempster
13. Kornel Durda
14. Keir Russell
15. Campbell Swanson
16. Jordi Yewdale
17. Luke Morris
18. Robbie Walker
19. Murray Lockhart
1. Niall McFadden
2. Rory Grant
3. Ben Reilly
4. Jonny Gordon
5. Jamie Crawford
7. Cameron Fraser
8. Jack Stewart
9. Tom Davies
11. Fletcher Hendry
12. James Gordon
13. Murray Wheeler
14. Jamie Robinson
15. Justin Akugbo
16. Blair Houston
17. Rory Hamilton
Star Player
Spartans
Hutchison Vale
Kyle Dempster The midfielder was imposing, particularity early on and provided a nice number of crosses and passes to help their attacking threat. This combined with his continuously high work rate ensured a great day for the player.
James Gordon The front man was at the forefront of his teams attacking moves and had numerous good chances throughout the game. Although he did not manage to get on the score sheet himself the fact that he was able to get in these positions throughout the game demonstrates fantastic awareness and a very successful 70+ minutes for the young striker.
Magic Moment
Spartans
Hutchison Vale
The great understanding between Dempster and Crombie was evident throughout the game.Both players read one another's movements and this was particularly evident when Dempster found the onrushing Crombie ealry on who was unlucky with his finish. Not so much a magic moment but rather a magic understanding between two young players! Very pleasing to see.
Undoubtedly for Hutchie one moment stands out. When Fletcher played a great ball over the top for James Gordon and the forward showed great skill to bring the ball down and fashion himself a chance. A great pass and great composure all demonstrated in one moment.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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