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Spurs hang on for massive win

Spurs Juniors 3

Ramsay (OG) 20, Gray 26, Dewar (Pen) 52

Kennoway United 2

Lumsden 38, Mann 59
  • Sunday, 05 April 2015
  • Recreation Park, St Monans
  • Under 17´s
  • Domestic Supplies U17's League

Matthew Sigsworth | YFS Fife Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Spurs Juniors coach Michael Bissett hailed his sides determination as they hung on to beat Kennoway United in a fiercely contested match at the Recreation Ground in St Monans on Sunday.
 
A goal from Marc Gray, sandwiched in between an own goal from Aaron Ramsay and a Craig Dewar penalty sealed the deal for the hosts, while goals from Craig Lumsden and Liam Mann were not enough for the visitors who played for much of the second half with ten men after Daniel Murray was sent off for a push on Dewar.
 
The numbers were evened up late on as the hosts had Ryan Low dismissed for a high boot, but it did not stop the home side taking all three points to move within a point of first place in the Domestic Supplies League, while still holding a game in hand on all three sides above them.
 
A look at the league table before the game showed just what was at stake in this match, with both teams sitting towards the top of the league, and separated by only 6 points having played the same number of games.
 
What was produced was an enthralling, entertaining game of football that was end to end for almost the whole match, with no shortage of drama.
 
It was the home side that created the first chance, with Dewar beating his man following a quick break from a corner, and his cut back found Ryan Allan unmarked, but his right footed shot was saved by Craig Henderson in the Kennoway goal.  
 
Dewar looked lively up front for Spurs, and he came close with an effort of his own soon after, cutting inside from the right to hook a left footed shot towards the far corner, but the ball sailed harmlessly wide.
 
Kennoway soon found their feet in the match, and Mann was unlucky not to score with a peach of a volley that dipped just over the bar after a free kick into the box was only half cleared.
 
The game was being played at a frantic pace, and Stuart Fowler was almost set free behind the Spurs defence with a good through ball, but he didn’t quite have the legs to catch it, and the danger was snuffed out by Dion Gear in the Spurs Juniors goal.
 
Dewar was then played in again on the left hand side, but his first time effort was comfortable for the ‘keeper.
 
With the game being played at such a frenzied pace it was perhaps inevitable that the first goal would come from a mistake, and so it proved to be when the home side took the lead on twenty minutes. A ball over the top had Ramsay running back towards his own goal, and with eyes fixed firmly on the ball but under pressure from an attacker he tried to head back for his goalkeeper to collect, but instead found an empty net as he unwittingly nodded the ball past the onrushing Henderson.
 
It was a moment of madness and a little harsh on the visitors, who up until that point were firmly in the game.
 
With the boost of the goal still running through their veins, Spurs soon went two goals up to double the trouble for the visitors.
 
A mazy run into the box from Allan ended with a low shot which was well saved, but Henderson could only parry the ball and Gray was on hand to nod the ball into the net.
 
Having conceded two quick goals it would have been easy for Kennoway to let their heads drop, and it is to their credit that they fought back into the game.
 
A quick free kick from midfield to the left wing was followed by a cross back to the edge of the box, but the forward side footed a volley over the bar.
 
It was a signal of intent from the visitors, and they were soon rewarded as the arrears were halved before the break. A penalty area scramble ended with a toe poke towards goal from Lumsden, the ball was smashed clear by the Spurs defence, but crucially not before it had crossed the line; and despite protests from the home side the goal was awarded.
 
Kennoway then had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping the score 2-1 for longer than thirty seconds, as Dewar raced clear of a sleeping Kennoway back line, but his shot was saved fantastically by the feet of Henderson.
 
Dewar had another chance to reinstate his sides two goal advantage just before the interval. Jack MacKenzie fired in a cross which Dewar met with a glancing touch, however the ball flashed just past the wrong side of the post.
 
It was Henderson who was again at the centre of the action with the last chance of the half, with Gray taking aim from all of twenty yards, but the shot was fantastically tipped away to keep the score at 2-1.  
  • Half Time:
  • Spurs Juniors
  • 2-1
  • Kennoway United

The pace of the game continued into the second half, and some quick play on the right from Kennoway almost brought them an early goal. As the ball was headed clear it was met with a diving header from a striker, but the ball landed just the wrong side of the post.
 
Despite the fast start from the visitors, it was Spurs who bagged themselves the first goal of the second half. Following a foul in the penalty area, Dewar stepped up to calmly slot the penalty home with a left footed finish.
 
As they had in the first half, Kennoway continued to search for a way back into the game, and Mann missed a fantastic chance to do just that when he crept in unmarked at the back post; but he couldn’t direct his header goalwards, instead diverting a corner behind for a goal kick.  
 
As the game went on, tensions and tempers began to get stretched, and Murray was the first player to see red after he pushed Dewar in an off the ball incident.
 
Despite now playing with less men Kennoway seemed galvanised, and as is often the case they arguably played some of their best football following the departure of Murray. They were soon back to within a goal of Spurs as Mann atoned for his earlier miss by scoring from almost exactly the same position, creeping in at the back stick to prod home following a deep corner.
 
Kennoway were now piling on the pressure as Spurs struggled to contain the ten men. Jordan Barclay was almost played through with a chipped pass, and several more corners eventually came to nothing.
 
There was only brief respite for the home side, but they were a constant danger from set pieces and Ryan Low went close, heading over from a Robbie Wilson corner.
 
It was a frantic final fifteen minutes, and there were two chances in quick succession for Kennoway as the game ticked towards full time.
 
First Lumsden spun away from his marker to send a left footed shot wide of the post, before Gear saved well from a free kick to tip the ball away for a corner.
 
The numbers were evened out as full time approached, when despite having eyes only for the ball Low became the second player of the match to see red for his high tackle.
 
There was just enough time for Kennoway to launch a final assault in an attempt to rescue a point from the match, first Lumsden took aim with a left footed shot that went harmlessly wide, before there was a real heart in mouth moment for the hosts right at the death, when Ross Lister almost turned a cross into his own net, instead sending it went behind for a corner which Kennoway were unable to convert.
 
Lumsden was almost in again in stoppage time, but Gear got to the ball first as Spurs weathered a terrific end to the match to take the win, along with three valuable points.   
  • Full Time:
  • Spurs Juniors
  • 3-2
  • Kennoway United

Lineups

Spurs Juniors
Kennoway United
1. Dion Gear
2. Ross Barclay
3. Jack MacKenzie
4. Ross Lister
5. Cameron Law
6. Robbie Wilson
7. Scott Smith
8. Ryan Low
9. Craig Dewar
10. Marc Gray
11. Ryan Allan
12. Rhys Marshall
14. Connor Mackie
15. Conner Horsburgh
16. Mark Horsburgh
21. Grant Henderson
2. Aaron Ramsay
3. James Dick
4. Liam Mann
5. Craig Lumsden
6. Stuart Fowler
8. Dennis Dick
9. Brenden Little
11. Ross McQuade
16. Connor Brown
17. Jordan Barclay
18. Daniel Murray
19. Casey Baxter
Star Player
Spurs Juniors
Kennoway United
Full of running and a constant thorn in the side of the visitors, Craig Dewar stayed calm to convert the penalty and was an outlet for his side all match.
An engine in midfield and not one to duck out of a tackle, Jordan Barclay epitimised his sides battling spirit and was unlucky to be on the losing side.
Magic Moment
Spurs Juniors
Kennoway United
The second goal showed a killer instict from the home side, not wanting to sit back on their lead they went straight back on the attack and got their reward.
A fine save from Craig Henderson just after his side had got themselves back into the game at 2-1. It would have been hard for heads not to drop if it had been cancelled out straight away, and might have resulted in a very different score come the end of the match.
Club Views
Spurs Juniors
Kennoway United
Coach Michael Bissett: 'It's a massive, massive win. Every game's a cup final now for us, and three points at home against a very good Kennoway side is very important.

Coach Lee Bryce: We couldn't have asked any more of the boys, they worked their socks off and gave 110% out there. Going down to ten men has possibly had an impact but we certainly couldnt have asked for any more. On reflection we were unlucky not to get something out of the game.

  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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