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Grahamston tame Lions in cup tie

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Grahamston BC
St John's Lions
U14's Scottish Cup Rnd 4
17 November 2013
In football you will only ever be judged on performance and commitment in a game scenario. Today Grahamston BC U14s proved when it comes to performance, commitment and a fight to keep a 100% record intact that any team that think they can go to Dawson and stamp their authority on a game will be sent home knowing they have been in one hell of a game.

This game was always going to be an epic battle since the draw was made and for anyone who watched this battle they would have to agree that this was indeed a fight to the death. If I am to be truly honest Saint John’s gave everything they had to try and overcome Grahamston and showed that they are a very, very good side who really came to test them and the best team Grahamston had faced all season. However, as a team Grahamston once again showed when they need to dig deep and show that little bit extra they will always give as good as they get and more and today they proved that without any shadow of doubt.

As the Grahamston players took the field it was more than evident, there was desire in their eyes and a fire in their bellies like never before.

The ref had a superb game and was another great influence on the game controlling the game exceptionally well encouraging both teams at every chance he had whilst letting them know when they had stepped out of line.

As the whistle blew for the start of the game Grahamston started the slower of the 2 teams allowing the oppositions best player nos 7 to take control in the middle of the park. However, as the game developed Grahamston were instructed to sit a little deeper in an attempt to stop anything that St John’s tried to produce with Cameron Meek and Dean Muir breaking up the play, winning the ball and building all of Grahamstons play from the back with good passing to our wide men Blair Hastings and Derrick Hunter. As the ball was brought forward Ross Meikle was holding the ball up really well and spreading it wide and with Robbie Dalziel’s movement off the ball he was creating space for Robbie Fotheringham to push forward into the holes he had created by his movement. The game was being played at a very high tempo by both teams. At times Grahamston found themselves under a fair bit of pressure. However, their back three of Steven Dunseath, Daniel Burrow and Marco Archimio showing the same consistency they have all season with some superb tackling and putting their necks on the line for their team.

As much as this had been a battle Grahamston and Saint John’s had still to create any clear chances but 10 minutes before halftime Grahamston opened the defence of St John’s and as Robbie Dalziel Grahamstons number 9 piled in on goal he was unlucky with his effort. From that scare St John’s pushed and from an innocuous shot the ball came off the Grahamston bar and as it landed Grahasmton were slow to react and lucky to see the ball cleared without any damage on their goal. Grahamston needed a lift as the first goal was always going to be a settler and 3 minutes before halftime it came their way. From a throw in on our right Grahamston  won the ball an shifted it early to their number 5 Robbie Fotheringham, as he gathered it on the half way line he left Saint John’s midfielders in his dust. Grahamston 2 forwards number 9 and  15 were pulling the defence all over the place causing doubt and indecision on whether to close the number 5 or defend them. The movement of our two forwards allowed number 5 to move into the space at the edge of the box and as he did he unleashed an unstoppable shot that had postage stamp written all over it.
Half Time: Grahamston 1-0 St John's Lions

The second half started again the desire and hunger was there to see as Grahamstons two front men immediately closed down the Saint John’s defence every time they had the ball and closely backed up by their midfield gritting their teeth and digging deep.

5 minutes in Grahamston lost their goal keeper Robbie Connolly, as he cleared the ball he caught his toe and jarred his leg. He was immediately replaced by Adam Mowatt and as St Johns played the ball back from the bounce he leathered the ball forward. As the ball landed there was some fine one touch football between the Grahamstons midfielders and with the ball eventually being played out wide from the resulting cross Grahamstons number 5 again picked the ball up just inside the box and as he moved it to his right he unleashed a shot across the goalkeepers body deep in to the far corner 2-0 Grahamston.

St John’s heads didn’t go down and really began to play but again Grahamston back 3 raised their game again in a defiant manner and gave nothing away.

They game had about 12minutes to go and the mental fatigue began to show a little in Grahamstons play. They had really battled hard but in what I would really say was Grahamstons only mistake in the game they gave the ball away cheaply after winning back a throw in on the right hand side and as it fell to Saint John’s forward he scored from the edge of the box.

Grahamston got a massive fright from the Saint John’s goal and from that the Grahamston coaches asked them to find and extra burst and extra dig and by God did the Grahamston boys respond to give everything they had. Grahamston made one further change up front with Conall McCallion replacing Robbie Dalziel. Almost immediately after the change they should have got a third as their sub played a great weighted pass to the centre of the box Ross Meikle number 15 was unlucky as his shot skimmed the top of the cross bar. Again this didn’t stop St John’s who again pushed hard to get an equaliser but this was never going to happen especially when you see your 11 men defending for their lives. 
Full Time: Grahamston 2-1 St John's Lions
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