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Spartans narrowly edge out Glenvale to lift the Scottish Cup

Glenvale AFC 0

Spartans FC 0

  • Glenvale AFC 0-0 Spartans FC (AET, Spartans win 4-2 on penalties)
  • Sunday, 21 May 2017
  • Excelsior Stadium
  • Under 15´s
  • inspiresport SYFA Cup - Final

Spartans FC have been crowned Under 15 Scottish Youth FA Cup champions after narrowly beating Glenvale AFC.

With no goals separating the teams at full time, Lee Ewing’s men came out on top with a 4-2 victory in the penalty shootout.

From the first whistle, you could tell the Excelsior stadium was going to play host to a very tight final and that is how it turned out to be. Glenvale enjoyed some early chances with the first of these coming in the 17th minute as Harry Pittaway narrowly headed wide.

Spartans also created several chances of their own as Joseph Evenden’s shot went just over the bar following good passing movement with Lorca Gray on the left side of goal.

Not long after that Spartans striker Nicholas Reid did well to get a shot on target after manging to get into the box, however Vale keeper Aiden McMahon was there to keep the scores level.

Sean Borland was the Vale’s star player in the first half dominating the midfield and creating his team a host of chances. One of these came just before the half hour mark as Borland played a clever one two with Brian Connor just outside the box, then Borland fizzed a first time shot only to be denied by Spartans goalkeeper Niall McFadden.

Borland was proving to be a handful as moments later his free kick from the left-hand side forced McFadden to punch the ball away from his area. A minute later, the Glenvale midfielder put in another good ball from the same area forcing another punching save from McFadden.

Jack Crombie was the main playmaker for Spartans as he retained the ball well in midfield and pulled off some great passes for his fellow teammates.

With keepers in both ends pulling off some great saves, there was nothing to separate the sides going into half time. 

  • Half Time:
  • Glenvale AFC
  • 0-0
  • Spartans FC

The second half kicked off at a blistering pace with Glenvale coming very close to taking the lead. After a scramble in the box neither Cameron Crooks or Brian Connor could make a connection with the ball.

Two minutes later it was Spartans turn to have a pop at goal and they looked certain to score from two yards out, but Reid was thwarted by a phenomenal McMahon save.

The defence of both teams seemed to be unbreakable with John Cumming and Pittaway for Vale and the combination of Jonathan Jarron and Kieran Moyles for Spartans putting stellar performances.

With this in mind, both managers decided to freshen things up with Andrew McColl replacing Adam Bridges for Vale and Campbell Swanson on for Reece Mason for Spartans.

Both new substitutes almost had instant impacts as Swanson narrowly missed the target with his left footed shot zooming past the right-hand post. McColl then had the chance to put Glenvale in front after a delightful through ball from Conner only to be denied yet again by McFadden in goal.

Just after the 60th minute mark Matthew McMillian who had been heavily involved most of Glenvale’s attacking opportunities, was unfortunately stretchered off receiving around of applause from both sets of fans as Aidan McLauglin took his place.

As the game headed towards the final whistle it could have gone either way with both sides having an array of chances.

None more so than Jospeh Evenden who proved to be a right handful throughout the match, creating several opportunities for Spartans with his blistering pace and good footwork.

With two minutes into extra time, Evenden made a surging run into the box, beating two defenders and the keeper. However, some heroic defending by Vale’s Anton Calderwood kept his side in with chance and also took the game into extra time. 

  • Full Time:
  • Glenvale AFC
  • 0-0
  • Spartans FC
Five minutes into extra time and Vale’s McColl thought he had given his side the lead after shrugging off Thomas Baur and calmly slotting the ball into the back of the net.

However referee Martin Angus deemed McColl to have fouled Baur and awarded a free kick for Spartans.

Jack Crombie was yet again causing Glenvale problems with his mazy runs. As he crossed over the half way line on the 98th minute he was brought down by Fraser Lee who was consequently booked for the tackle.

Into the second half of extra time and McColl had another chance to seal the cup for Vale, however he was unlucky not to be able to make a decent connection with the ball.

With a minute to go you could see how badly both sides wanted the win and the game could have been won by either team in the final few seconds.

Borland played through McColl which had the Glenvale management jumping out of their technical area, however he just missed the target. Despite having several attempts on goal, a combination of bad luck and out of this world goalkeeping from McFadden kept McColl from getting on the score sheet.

Within a flash, the ball was up the other end of the park. Spartans thought they had won it, but Evenden had his close-range shot parried away by Vale keeper McMahon.

The tied scoreline was a testament to both keepers and defences as the game could have easily been four each.

With nothing separating the teams after extra time, the cup would be decided on penalties.

Keir Russell, Johnathan Jarron and Campbell Swanson for Spartans managed to score from the penalty spot with Fraser Lee and Declan Curran doing the same for Glenvale.

However some fantastic goal keeping from Niall Mcfadden kept out two penalties for Spartans which gave Nicholas Reid the chance to win the cup.

Despite being frustrated by McMahon earlier on in the game, he had no trouble this time round as he fired the ball into the back of the net.

Final Result: Glenvale AFC 0-0 Spartans FC (AET, Spartans win 4-2 on penalties)

Lineups

Glenvale AFC
Spartans FC
1. Aiden McMahon
2. John Cumming
3. Andrew McColl
5. Kyle McLaughlin
6. Adam Bridges
7. Aiden McLaughlin
8. Sean Borland
9. Declan Curran
10. Aaron McDonald
12. Harry Pittaway
13. Fraser Lee
14. Luke Christie
15. Anton Calderwood
16. Cameron Crooks
17. Matthew McMillan
18. Brian Connor
1. Niall McFadden
3. Jonathan Jarron
4. Thomas Baur
5. Kieran Moyles
7. Jack Ewing
8. Daniel Troup
9. Reece Mason
10. Jack Crombie
11. Joseph Evenden
12. Lorcan Gray
14. Keir Russell
15. Campbell Swanson
17. Luke Morris
18. Robbie Walker
19. Reuben Walsh
23. Nicholas Reid
Star Player
Glenvale AFC
Spartans FC
There were several contenders for this award as McMahon, Cumming, and McColl all put in stunning performances, However Sean Borland's calm and collected composure on the ball was sublime as he set up several chances for his side to win the match. He was also able to track back well and help out the defence when required.
Again, so many players on the Spartans team could have taken the crown such as Jack Crombie and Joseph Evenden. But if it wasn't for Niall McFadden's vital saves to keep out numerous Glenvale attempts on goal the cup could have easily gone the other way. McFadden's two saves during the penalty shoot-out were also incredible having to dive to his left for one and touching the other shot onto the crossbar.
Magic Moment
Glenvale AFC
Spartans FC
Glenvale were desperately unlucky not to take home the trophy as on another day they would have done so. Particularly in the first half, there was some exhilarating tiki taka football played on the edge of the box that would have put Barcelona to shame. The game was also taken in by a huge crowd of Vale fans who were cheered on their team every step of the way.
With all the pressure on Nicholas Reid to seal the cup, the striker did remarkably well to keep his concentration as like their semi-final against Jimmy Johnstone, Spartans came out on top in the penalty shoot-out. The goal had management and fans alike jumping for joy as they celebrated winning the Scottish Cup.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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