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Jeanfield come out on top in battle of Luncarty Park

Jeanfield Swifts FC 2

Peebles, Williams

Letham Tangerines FC 0

Matthew Amery | YFS East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Jeanfield Swifts gave a heroic performance on the pitch at Luncarty, beating a strong Letham Tangerines side 2-0 in honour of one of Perth’s own heroes, Barry Stephen. The Barry Stephen memorial cup has been conducted across Perth & Kinross throughout the last decade to commemorate Lance Corporal Barry Stephen who lost his life in the Iraq conflict in 2003.

Both teams involved did service to the occasion, resulting in entertaining and hard fought performances at each end of the pitch. The game was a very even affair with both teams making chances and having good passages of play. However, it was Jeanfield’s incisive finishing which won them the day and indeed, the cup.

The match-up began with great energy, especially from midfield. Letham were arguably on top for the first few minutes, with some very positive runs being made by number 7, Tyler Green and some impressive hold-up play by Craig McGlashan. Despite this forward-thinking play, the Tangerines couldn’t find a clear way through Jeanfield’s stalwart defence and as a result, were restricted to long distance shots. The Jeanfield midfielders and forwards did their fair share of defensive duties as well, effectively halting much of the good play executed by Letham.

This strong defensive showing eventually resulted in Jeanfield Swifts living up to their title, hitting Letham quickly on the counter. After some interesting midfield play, the ball fell to Jeanfield’s Mark Peebles on the outside of the box. Peebles controlled the ball well, before unleashing a wildly swerving shot, which sailed into the net past Letham Keeper Shaun Ormsby, who had been playing well, but no keeper could have kept out this pacey strike.

The opening goal midway through the first half, caused the game to open up considerably and the initial midfield battle was transformed into a more end-to-end affair. The referee was involved more in this part of the first period of play, with free-kicks being given to both sides. One Letham free kick came straight off the training ground with the ball being cut back and then struck first time in an attempt to find a way past the Jeanfield wall.

Both of the sides played some high intensity, fast-paced football towards the end of an evenly matched first half.

The second half began where the first half had left off. The players looked glad of the rest and began in similar fashion to the period before the break, an end-to-end game with players routinely running the length of the pitch to assist in defence and then break into attack. Cameron Ogg of Jeanfield Swifts had an early attempt on the Letham goal but couldn’t quite hit the target. Likewise, the Tangerines had some set-plays and moves which came dangerously close to drawing the score level.

Letham’s Kieran Campbell made some long-range attempts on the Jeanfield goal, this positivity drew some well-made saves from the Swifts’ Jordan Kinnon and more than a few good challenges from defender Sam Noble.

The second half looked set to be a battle of attrition, where each side was trying their hardest to wear the other down and take advantage of any gap in the opponent's defence. The supporters on the side-lines became ever more animated, with both team’s travelling support trying to make the difference for their side.

After all of the high-intensity running in this first part of the second half, it was a set-piece which provided the means for Jeanfield to extend their lead. A foul on Letham’s left wing in their defensive third gave the Swifts a means to float a cross into the Tangies box. A cross which, despite the best efforts of Letham’s defence, was met by Ross Williams and given a carefully placed tap in finish, just out of the reach of Ormsby. The elation on the faces of players and supporters of the Jeanfield club was clear to see, as the second half had looked like it could very well have gone either way up until this point.

Letham heads did not fall however, their players took this as an opportunity to double their efforts to equalise. The energy of the match was extremely high and indeed, the ball didn't seem to leave the Jeanfield half for quite a while as Letham tried to find a way through. Shots flew at the Swifts’ goal from all angles, narrowly missing that strike which would find the Tangies a way back into the match.

Letham’s hard work seemed to have paid off as they were awarded a penalty kick with time enough to get an equaliser if the spot-kick was converted. It was not to be however, as taker Douglas Thom unfortunately saw his shot saved by Kinnon. A bitter disappointment from what looked to be a very well-taken penalty.

The trailing team then threw everything but the kitchen sink forward at Jeanfield’s defence, desperately trying to find their way back into the dying moments of the game. Shaun Simpson saw his well-taken free kick saved by goalkeeper Kinnon who looked to be unbeatable on the day. Just as the game was coming to a close, Mark Peebles, who would be named man of the match, was subbed off to rapturous applause from the Jeanfield support with his first half wonder strike looking to be the most memorable moment of the day.

The full-time whistle rung around an ever-greyer Luncarty ground and Jeanfield went on to lift the cup, completing an impressive double for the season. Letham can hold their heads high however, as their performance was one to be proud of, with every player giving one-hundred percent to the cause. The game was a battling and fitting tribute to Lance Corporal Stephen, with both teams giving everything they could muster to lift the cup.

The sides must now turn their sights to the league, with Jeanfield chasing a third trophy of the season and Letham doing everything they can to spoil that party. As both coaches stated in their post-match interviews, the teams involved today just need to keep believing and I’m sure their goals will be achieved for the season.

Lineups

Jeanfield Swifts FC
Letham Tangerines FC
1. Jordan Kinnon
2. Sam Noble
3. Jordan Lindsay
4. Brendon Cunningham
5. Ryan Wilson
6. Mark Peebles
7. Miguel De Gouveia
8. Owen Hepburn
10. Cameron Ogg
11. Richard Donovan
12. Rhys Burgess
14. Alim Etri
15. Robbie Young
16. Boyd Ferguson
17. Aymen Etri
18. Ross Williams
1. Shaun Ormsby
2. Dylan Shields
3. Kieran Campbell
4. Douglas Thom
6. Shaun Simpson
7. Tyler Green
8. Joseph Gillespie
9. Craig McGlashan
10. Caleb Jack
11. Jamie Sinclair
15. Andrew Morrison
17. Ryan McDowell
18. Jordan Stevenson
Star Player
Jeanfield Swifts FC
Letham Tangerines FC
Mark Peebles - although the whole team performance was admirable from Jeanfield and Jordan Kinnon made some pivotal saves, it was Peebles' fantastic strike and all-round performance which caused him to stand out in this game.
Tyler Green - the Letham number seven looked incredibly dangerous throughout much of the game and gave his team a few opportunities to score. Again, the Letham team performance was of a high standard but Green's running and passing play was very good at points in the first half.
Magic Moment
Jeanfield Swifts FC
Letham Tangerines FC
When Peebles' goal sailed just out of reach of Shaun Ormsby and caused the crowd to jump in excitement.
The moment that Letham's hard work seemed to have paid off in the form of a penalty kick was a high point for the Tangerines.

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