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McMillan rescues Antonine in comeback

Antonine FC Blacks 3

McMillan 53, 56, 78

Bonnyton Thistle FC 2

McCarrison 23, MacKintosh 49
  • Thursday, 20 November 2014
  • Colquhoun Park
  • Under 19´s
  • TWS Scottish Youth FA Cup - R4

Ryan Rowe | YFS South West Region Journalist & Bonnyton Thistle Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Antonine FC Blacks welcomed Bonnyton Thistle to the serene settings of Colquhoun Park this weekend and put on a splendid second half display to match the scenery in this tie draped in history.
 
Antonine managed to fight their way back from two goals down to advance to the next round of the Trans World Soccer Scottish Youth FA Cup, thanks in no uncertain terms to a standout performance from Daryl McMillan.
 
From the moment the match kicked off we knew we were in for a tight, intense and fiercely competitive game with tackles flying in and 50-50 jostles taking place all over the pitch – not to mention the fervent waves of support from both sidelines.
 
Bonnyton were the first side to create an opening. In the second minute they spread the ball from left to right and Kerr Samson beat his man to the outside and crossed low for Steven McCarrison to finish eight yards from goal but the striker could only latch a toe onto the ball as he watched it scuff wide. If McCarrison’s boot was an inch longer it was a certain goal for the away side.
 
Antonine had their first sight of goal in the fifth minute when Bonnyton keeper Stuart Cowan could only partially clear the danger following a free kick launched in high from the left. The ball fell to Daryl McMillan on the edge of the box who swung the outside of his boot with lethal venom but could only watch as the ball skimmed its way through a raft of players but wide of the target.
 
After the early end-to-end skirmishes the flow of the game settled slightly and began to form the basis of the type of match that would unfold: Bonnyton playing the ball predominantly on the ground, looking to use the trickery of their wingers and Antonine playing a much more counter attack-orientated game with pace, power and cut-throat precision.
 
In the 21st minute Antonine exhibited this approach to perfection after winning the ball just outside their box and breaking forward down to the left at terrific pace with McMillan on the charge. He cut the ball across the box for Andrew Nixon but his strike partner’s half-volley was saved well by Cowan.
 
Only a minute later Bonnyton had taken the second of their chances and put themselves 1-0 up. Soon after Cowan had scooped up Nixon’s effort he sent the ball to left back Andy Hunter. He sent the ball down the line for troublesome winger Brandon McEvoy. He jinked his way to the by-line before crossing to the edge of the six yard box. Antonine’s defender slipped as he tried to stick with McCarrison who lurked in the centre and this allowed the striker to take a touch, control the ball and pivot before picking his spot and dinking the ball past keeper Scott Wright to his left side.
 
Thistle were very close to going 2-0 up just before the half hour mark, this time midfielder Declan Adam the solo architect. Adam manoeuvred his way in and out of the tackles of three defenders inside the box but his finish didn’t match the nifty footwork as the keeper gathered the angled effort from eight yards out with both hands.
 
Antonine then set about shutting up shop, disrupting Bonnyton’s play and pressing for an equaliser before half-time. McMillan was again the challenger who came closest after a mazy run that started just inside his opponent’s half out by the sideline and finished in the centre of the penalty area, thwarted by a dual effort from Fraser Jackson and Cowan in goal.
  • Half Time:
  • Antonine FC Blacks
  • 0-1
  • Bonnyton Thistle FC
The second half started the way the first ended, with Antonine pushing Bonnyton back and keeping them under the cosh. Within minutes they had a shot cleared off the line before McMillan fired a shot over the bar after picking up a loose ball on the edge of the box following a lapse in concentration in the Bonnyton defence. Scott Holms then saw a driven shot saved by Cowan on the 52 minute mark.
 
Antonine were still pressing were Bonnyton grabbed their second goal, against the run of play. There was nothing Wright could do to thwart this effort however as winger Murray MacKintosh hit a speculative volley form near the sideline around 25 yards from goal and saw it dip under the bar and ripple the net. The Thistle players rightly celebrated the wonder goal but perhaps thought this goal would seal the tie. It didn’t.
 
McMillan had been a thorn in Thistle’s side for the whole match and soon his hard work paid off. Almost straight from the kick Antonine attacked and with McMillan involved, a close range finish was all it took to make things more interesting at 2-1 followed.
 
Just before the hour mark, Antonine found themselves ahead. McMillan was the man who grabbed the equaliser thanks to another quick break down the left hand side. A precise cross scythed through the Bonnyton back line from the edge of the box on the left and McMillan, who had escaped his marker, applied a superb chip to beat Cowan. The striker’s portfolio for the day was looking more and more impressive by the minute.
 
Antonine were now, as the game entered its last 20 minutes, the dominant force and growing in confidence. Nixon and Aaron Graham both went close to putting the boys in yellow in the lead and Bonnyton’s Adam had to be on-hand to make a goal-saving block from McMillan. The away side looked deflated and bereft of confidence and their usual free-flowing, precise and confident style had gone as their attacking play looked increasingly desperate.
 
The winning goal looked more and more like it would be scored by Antonine, as the next round of the Scottish Cup – a tournament both these teams have a vested interest and proud history in – edged closer to the Blacks grasp and further from Bonnyton’s.
 
Right on cue, that goal came on 78 minutes and it was that man McMillan once again. A ball down the right hand side caught out the Bonnyton defence. McMillan squared up the keeper in a one-on-one and side-footed past him into the corner with the upmost calm and poise.
 
With that goal sending the Antonine supporters into raptures, they now had to sit through what would seem like the longest 12 minutes of their lives. Thistle pushed the home side back and pressed for a goal to take the tie to a reply but could not find a cutting edge – and were left to face the reality of no Scottish Cup football in the second half of the season for the second year in a row. After three victories on the bounce at this age group in 2011, 2012 and 2013, Thistle will have to be content at having another year of league glory.
 
On the other hand, Antonine can now dream of another successful run to the Scottish Cup Final in addition to pushing for honours elsewhere. No doubt come the end of their run – wherever it should come – they will look at this game and the performance of McMillan in particular, and remember it fondly.
  • Full Time:
  • Antonine FC Blacks
  • 3-2
  • Bonnyton Thistle FC

Lineups

Antonine FC Blacks
Bonnyton Thistle FC
1. Scott Wright
2. Euan Urquhart
3. Calum Campbell
4. Christopher Dooley
5. Ruaridh Clark
6. Aaron Graham
7. Ryan Forrester
9. Andrew Nixon
10. David Seagrave
11. Jay Burns
12. Sean Kennedy
14. Sam Gallacher
15. Bradley Grey
17. Joe Toye
18. Daryl McMillan
1. Stuart Cowan
2. Declan Adam
3. Roy Barr
6. Kris Chisholm
7. Reece Laphmam
8. Jordan Greenlees
9. Taylor Hollywood
10. Andy Hunter
11. Murray MacKintosh
12. Stevie McCarrison
14. Brandon McEvoy
16. Kerr Samson
17. Fraser Jackson
18. Blaine Swift
19. Lee Williamson
Star Player
Antonine FC Blacks
Bonnyton Thistle FC
Daryl McMillan was the star today, no question. Sam Gallacher also preformed well at the back but McMillan led the line and run at Bonnyton from deep. Unstoppable.
A tough day for Bonnyton but most of their joy - and their wonderful second goal - came through winger Murray MacKintosh.
Magic Moment
Antonine FC Blacks
Bonnyton Thistle FC
Daryl McMillan's winning goal sealed the tie but Antonine's equaliser was a thing of beauty - a counter attack of extreme precision.
Murray MacKintosh's audacious but amazing lob from 25 yards at a crazy angle. If Thistle had defended and retained the ball better after the goal the tie could've ended up with a different winner.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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