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AM Soccer tame Lions to lift Toorie Winters Cup

St Johns Lions 0

AM Soccer 3

Burns 55, Gow 63, Appere 84
  • Sunday, 03 May 2015
  • Treaton Park
  • Under 16´s
  • Toorie Winters Cup

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

AM Soccer defeated St Johns Lions on Sunday to lift the Toorie Winters Cup, with goals from Jason Burns, Matthew Gow and Louis Appere doing the damage.

In torrential conditions at Treaton Park in Star, both sides did their best to lift the spirits of the watching crowd as both players and fans endured torrential rain throughout.

Despite the final score suggesting otherwise, this was a well-balanced game, and it was no surprise when Craig Burt in the AM Soccer goal was awarded man of the match following a string of superb saves to keep the Lions at bay.

The game’s first chance fell to AM and Appere, who was played through on goal only to blast his effort over the bar. Kieran Fox then took aim from distance following a good move, but again his shot was too high to trouble Brandon Conner between the sticks for St Johns.

Following a promising start to the game from AM, it was the side from Kirkcaldy who began to pull the strings as the match settled down.  

Rowan Kay was almost through on goal, but a decisive decision to come off his line from Burt meant the danger was snuffed out.

Josh Binnington was then allowed to escape his marker on the left side of the area, but his cut back failed to find Kay who was lurking and ready to tap in had the ball reached him.

Kay did manage to get his head to the resulting corner, but the shot was blocked before a follow-up shot was fired straight at Burt who did well, not for the first time in the match, to hold onto the ball despite the slippery conditions.

Kay was then yet again allowed to wriggle free of his man and looked certain to score this time, but another superb save from Burt kept the sides level.

St Johns were on top for the majority of the first half, and were again only denied an opening goal by the brilliance of Burt when he saved a Binnington free kick.

Binningotn and Kay were showing a good understanding of each other’s game, and some neat interplay between the two sparked panic amongst the AM defence as the ball was hastily scooped behind with the Lions piling on the pressure.

Kay managed to get his head to the ball as it came in from the corner, but was yet again denied by another top save from Burt.

It was not long before Burt was in the thick of the action again, this time denying Mark Mooney who tried his luck with a dipping free kick from well outside the area. Burt stood his ground and was able to tip the ball over with two strong palms to prevent his team from falling behind.

AM Soccer had endured  a fair amount of pressure, and it was a relief for their fans when they finally created an opening as a Kieran Fox free-kick went fizzing for the bottom corner, but Conner was equal to it and held onto the ball for good measure.

St Johns were then denied an opener by the offside flag, as Mooney's free kick was flicked in at the far post, the linesman ruling the player was offside and the scores stayed level.

AM seemed to have found a way to stem the tide of St Johns, but the Lions were dangerous on the counter, and Binnington found himself behind the last man after a smart break, but once more he was denied by a tremendous save from Burt.

There was just enough time left for AM to try and sneak a goal right on the whistle; first Appere cut back for Liam McWatt six yards from goal, but he mishit his shot, and when the ball was clipped back into the box an unmarked Gow was unable to convert.

Despite good chances for both sides, it was a tale of two keepers at the interval as the sides went in level.

  • Half Time:
  • St Johns Lions
  • 0-0
  • AM Soccer

In the second half AM were much improved, and demonstrated their new found energy right from the off with a string of early chances.

Elliot Gourlay found himself with room to shoot on the right side of the penalty area, but his shot was not on target as the ball went well wide of the mark.

Appere then received the ball with his back to goal, but despite holding the play up well he could not find room to get his shot away.

Burns then showed great control to bring a long ball under his spell, but he was well shackled and the ball was squeezed out for a corner.

Binnington then resumed his battle with Burt at the other end, as he cut inside onto his right foot and curled an effort destined for the top corner, but Burt was able to claw it back and ensured the striker continued to endure a frustrating afternoon.

The saves of Burt and the early second half pressure eventually broke the resistance of St Johns, as AM scored twice in quick succession to take firm control of the match.

First, a low free kick into the box was initially cleared, but as the ball was played low into the box again and rebounded off a defender, Burns was on hand to turn and bury the ball into the net.

Then, just moments later it was two when Gow turned home a fine pass to really turn up the heat on St Johns.

Appere was almost able to put the game beyond doubt, but his marauding run was stopped by a magnificent tackle from Ewan Harrower at the back for St Johns.

St Johns deserve credit for their performance at 2-0 down, when they never stopped pushing forward and were soon left cursing Burt again as a quick break had Binnington through, but again Burt rushed out to meet him and with a strong save at the feet of the attacker, cleared the danger.

Mooney was next to try and claw a goal back for the Lions, but after taking a touch he could only shoot wide.

Jordan Murray was now finding some joy down the right wing for St Johns, and his inch-perfect cross found Binnington in the middle, but after needing a touch to steady himself saw his shot deflected and away for a corner.

A deep corner then found David Cuningham at the back post for St Johns, but once again Burt did well to not only save the shot, but hold onto the ball in the treacherous conditions.

The impending man of the match award was almost put in jeopardy however, when a chipped cross that should have been comfortable for Burt instead slipped from his grasp. The keeper recovered well though, and turned it behind for a corner.

The corner came to nothing however, and it was to be AM who had the final say in the game, when an Arron Birrell cross was blocked the ball fell kindly for Appere to slot home and seal the win.

The goal capped a fine second half performance from AM Soccer, but it was hero Burt who stole the show with his man of the match performance to go alongside both his winner’s medal and the Toorie Winters Cup 2015.

Youth Football Scotland: Website Photos &emdash;
  • Full Time:
  • St Johns Lions
  • 0-3
  • AM Soccer

Lineups

St Johns Lions
AM Soccer
1. Brandon Conner
2. Cameron Boyd
3. Liam Smith
4. Ben West
5. Rowan Kay
6. Mark Mooney
7. Kirk Thompson
8. Callum West
9. Josh Binnington
10. David Cunningham
11. Jordan Murray
12. Richie Wood
14. Jack Devereaux
17. Ewan Harrower
1. Craig Burt
2. Arron Birrell
3. Kewis Robertson
4. Liam McWatt
5. Jake MacCabe
6. Matthew Porteus
7. Kieran Fox
8. Matthew Gow
9. Gavin Milne
11. Tyler Tulleth
12. Matthew Brown
14. Jason Burns
15. Connor Foulkes
17. Louis Appere
19. Ross Falconer
20. Elliot Gourlay
Star Player
St Johns Lions
AM Soccer
Josh Binnington - On any other day he might have bagged a goal, but on this occasion he could not find a way past an inspired keeper. Still, good movement and understanding of the game meant he had plenty of chances, and as long as that stays the same then goals will come!
Craig Burt - Perhaps the easiest choice of star player I have had to make all season. He was in inspired form for his side, almost single handedly keeping them in the contest throughout a first half of real pressure from St Johns.
Magic Moment
St Johns Lions
AM Soccer
A brief moment of magic that soon turned sour, when Mark Mooney thought he had supplied the opener from a bending free kick that snuck in at the far post, only to be denied by the offside flag.
I have heaped praise on Craig Burt for his performance, but Matthew Gow also played a solid game. His goal to put his side 2-0 up and firmly in control would have been a big one for the players as well as the fans on the sidelines.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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