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National Competitions (589)

Wishaw Wycombe faced Syngenta Juveniles in this eagerly anticipated Scottish Cup semi-final, played at the Falkirk Stadium. 

The Central Region side defeated last years winners Clydebank 6-4 in the quarters to reach this stage, whilst Syngenta were looking to reach their third Scottish Cup final as a team. 

Wanderers kicked the game off playing in yellow and blue, shooting against Syngenta playing in orange. 

The first chance fell to Mark Kyle of Wishy only minutes in to the game, as he flashed a left footed shot across goal but nobody in yellow and blue could get a decisive touch. 

Both sides looked nervous in the opening stages and understandably so, with the winners advancing to the biggest games of the boys careers to date. 

Syngenta had their first chance after 15 minutes, as Flynn Gray had time to turn and shoot in the box but his shot was blocked from close range. 

Both teams were struggling on the ball inside the first half hour, as many passes went astray and very little chances were created. 

Colm Lafferty had a strike from about 25 yards out but his strike went well wide of the Syngenta goal.

Lafferty had another chance only minutes later when his header from a corner landed on the roof off the net as Wishaw started to create a chance or two but it was Syngenta who had more possession.  

Somewhat against the run of play, Robbie McCafferty found himself in acres of space clean through on the Wishaw goal and he slotted calmy past the goalkeeper to put Syngenta in front after 33 minutes. 

The team in orange were looking for more and started to pass the ball better and were forcing Wishy into playing longer balls to their strikers. 

Syngenta were starting to dominate possession and put the Wishaw goal under real pressure, who were just trying to hold out the interval.

On the stroke of halftime Syngenta doubled their lead and it was a wonderful team goal. After good play from Callan Stone at the edge of the box, he played a good ball out wide to McCafferty who put it on a plate for Gray to score and give his team a deserved two goal cushion.

Immediately from the kick off they won the ball back and McCafferty burst through on goal again but after being forced wide he could only cut the ball back and therewas nobody in orange to finish it off, as Wishaw were pleased to go into halftime only two goals down.  

Kilmarnock U20s performed the ultimate smash and grab against a nine-man Motherwell outfit in an action-packed Scottish FA Youth Cup quarter-final at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie.
 
The home side came from behind twice but it wasn’t enough as the Ayrshire men progressed to the semi-finals of the competition in a tie that was unfortunately shrewd in controversy as the Steelmen went down to nine men in dramatic circumstances.
 
The game could’ve been over in the first ten minutes had the Fir Parkers taken their chances earlier on in the game. A ball to the back post had Jasko Keranovic in the Killie goal beat but Jordan Armstrong and James Scott of Motherwell were unable to turn the ball in with Scott smashing a header off the crossbar, a let off for the visitors.
 
Motherwell had the opportunity to get on the scoresheet again when youngster Jake Hastie played an inviting ball across the box to Shea Gordon, but he was unable to get a touch to turn it goal bound.
 
Despite the Motherwell’s early chances it was Kilmarnock who would go ahead, Alexander Samizadeh, who caused the Motherwell defence all sorts of problems throughout the game, broke free from Dylan King before managing to smash his shot in off the post just after fifteen minutes which was followed up by an impressive acrobatic celebration.
 
The game seemed to have calmed down after the Killie goal as both teams looked to create chances but it would be the same scoreline as the teams went into the changing rooms for halftime.

Josh McPake starred as Rangers avenged last weeks 5-2 defeat with a comfortable win over Celtic.

McPake with a hat rick and a superlative free kick from Kai Kennedy eased the Gers to a victory in the Old Firm Derby.

A goal just before half time from Kiaran McGrath gave Celtic a lifeline as they went in 2-1 but Rangers became more comfortable in the second half and took control of the match, before a consolation penalty from Scott Robertson made the scoreline more respectable.

Celtic actually started on the front foot but they were unable to break down the structure of the Rangers defence. Rangers took the lead on the counter after a well weighted ball over the top was taken down well from McPake who took it round Liam Hughes and tapped it into the empty net.

That goal gave Rangers the nous to push on and try to get their second but apart from a couple of half chances they were unable to get many shots off. Their best chance came from Nathan Patterson but his long ranger was always rising. 

The light blues were the able to get their second of the game after McPake was able to capitalise on some poor play from Jack McDowall, and some very good pressing from Adedapo Medude, to finish well into the far corner.

Celtic were given a lifeline and it came with a bit of luck. After some pinball in the penalty area the ball fell to McGrath on the edge of the box who volleyed but it took a wicked deflection and wrong footed Budinauckas to go in at half time 2-1.

A very good first half performance from Cove Boys Club was enough for the Aberdeen side to earn their place in the Under 13s Scottish Cup Final where they will face either Grassroots Development Coaching or Hutchison Vale in the final at the Excelsior Stadium in May. It was a wintry morning, however the weather died down before the storm on the pitch began. An impressive crowd of 450 turned out to witness this one.

Both sides have enjoyed some good wins on their way to the semi-finals with Cove beating Middlefield Wasps, Lasswade Thistle, Kilwinning Rangers, Erskine Youth, Banks O'Dee Albion and Falkirk FCF while Celtic beat Finnart, Preston Athletic, East Kilbride Caley Thistle, Bathgate Thistle Whites and Ferry Athletic.

SFA President Alan MacRae and Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney both wished Cove all the best for this contest and it their best wishes appeared to have bolstered the ADJFA side. Both teams understandably started the game nervy with Celtic being patient in their build up during the opening exchanges of the game, whilst Cove pressed their Glasgow counterparts whenever they could.

Celtic had the first clear cut opportunity of the game through Stefan Grant, whose shot went over the bar after a good build up. Going forward, Celtic were really good however the visitors were having to answer a lot of questions at the back.

A good ball from Josh Robb via a free kick played in Charlie Rothnie whose header went straight at Nathan Caldwell. The hosts were the more dangerous side going forward and are a very attack minded team, something which they used to their full advantage in this game.

The deadlock was broken after 13 minutes. Another great delivery came in from Robb which was met by Charlie Rothnie who got in front of Caldwell and headed home a fine header to give the Aberdeen side the dream start.

Cove kept pressing at Celtic Boys Club and doubled their advantage three minutes later, another superb ball came in from Robb which was met by Kasen Seed who guided home a fine header past Caldwell.

Mark Robb's outfit extended their lead after 23 minutes in what was unfortunate circumstances for Celtic. A ball from Robb found Ramsay Davidson and the midfielder lashed a long range effort goalwards which was fumbled by Caldwell and into the net. Unfortunate for the goalkeeper who despite the error had a good game and tried to remain as positive as he could.

Hibernian hosted Celtic in a rare SPFL Development weekend match, held at the Hibs Training Centre in East Lothian. Despite the recent torrid weather in Edinburgh, the surface was playable and the game went ahead, sandwiched in between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon derby matches for the respective first team sides.

The SPFL Development League is shaping up for an exciting run in. Celtic were many people's favourites to reclaim the crown they lost last year to Ross County. However, with UEFA Youth League and other commitments, they have racked up a number of postponements, building up a bank of games in hand. The Hoops still looked on course to climb towards the table's summit, but recent defeats to Aberdeen and Kilmarnock have set them back.
 
In the mean time, the bright crop of Hibs youngsters had been taking full advantage. An impressive eight wins in their last nine matches saw the Hibees top the table, three points clear of second place Dundee with a game in hand. They now led Celtic by fourteen points, having played five games more.
 
The match started at a high tempo, with two good footballing sides aiming to get the ball on the deck and play it out from the back. With a recent lack of first team action, Oli Shaw was starting for Hibs and it didn't surprise many to see the prolific Development League striker open the scoring. A well taken finish was the difference between the sides at the interval.
 
 

Celtic U17s ran out the victors in the young Old Firm derby after an intense game at Lennoxtown, comfortably dispatching Rangers.

Celtic got off to a flyer with Scott Robertson and Paul Kennedy giving them a 2-0 advantage. Kennedy's superlative free kick in the first 10 minutes was particularly a highlight, but Rangers grew into the game more with Matt Yates giving the Gers a lifeline at half time.

Yates then gave Rangers their equaliser after some great link up play between him and Murray Miller. But then Celtic turned it on more and regained their lead after Robertson's shot was saved but he was their to tap the rebound home.

The game was killed off after some great footwork from Karamoko Dembele was finished off by a wonderful strike from the young star. The icing on the cake came after a great save from Lewis Budinauckas the ball falls to Kennedy who cuts it back to Barry Coffey who taps it in from close range.

The game stated at a high tempo with both teams pressing high and a real intensity about their press but it was Celtic who took the lead after some lacklustre Rangers defending let Robertson through and he was able to tap it round the on rushing Budinauckas.

It wasn't long after that when Celtic doubled their lead and it came from a bit of class after Dembele was fouled. Up stepped Kennedy who was able to curl the free kick over the wall and right into the top corner giving the 'keeper no chance.

After that Rangers grew into the game with Adedapo Mebude causing all sorts of problems down the right hand side and he was so unlucky after he showed his pace and power to get to the by-line to cut it back along the edge of the six yard box, but there was no one there to get the final touch.

Rangers were able to get a way back into the game and it came from a Zac Butterworth cross and Yates was there to tap the ball in from very close range.

 

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 20:43

Curran strike sees Dees edge past Killie

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Jesse Curran's second half strike earned Dundee three points against Kilmarnock in the SPFL Development League. Craig Wighton started alongside Lewis Spence and Kevin Holt in an experienced Dark Blues line-up.

A series of early Dundee corners didn't trouble Killie, but a looping header from Kevin Holt was eventually pushed over the bar by Curtis Lyle after six minutes.

Dundee were bossing the possession but didn't trouble Killie's backline. A pop shot from Jack Lambert was all the Dark Blues had to show for their efforts.

Holt saw a low free kick from 25 yards kept out by Lyle, as the first half ended all square.

A late Stephen Mcfee help to give Pollok Juveniles a much needed win over a very good St Mungo team. This win helps them move above St Mungo into eighth in the league while St Mungo drop down into ninth.

Josh Wynne had given St Mungo the lead with a superlative over head kick but that was cancelled out shortly after when Lewis McTaggart scored a beautiful finessed shot into the far corner.

The game started with both teams trying, but being unable, to get a foothold in the game with a couple of half chances but nothing clear cut, until Daniel Moy, of Pollok, was slipped through by a wonderfully weighted through ball and his subsequent shot was wonderfully saved from Craig McLaren.

St Mungo, on 21 minutes, took the lead and it came from some tricky footwork from Jamie Young, who he stood it up for Wynne on the edge of thye box who incredibly scored an overhead kick into the far side of the net.

It was all Pollok in the first half after that but they weren't really creating clear cut chances as the defensive structure of St Mungo was tight with little gaps.

But Pollok did equalise just nine minutes later when McTaggart controlled on the edge of the box and then finessed it into the far corner giving McLaren no chance of saving it.

Pollok were the team most likely to score again in the first half but they were again unable to create any real goal scoring opportunities from all this pressure.

Their best chance probably was when the ball fell to Ross Fulton in the box from a corner but his shot was sliced over. 

Cove & Falkirk battled it out for a place in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup on a dry, but chilly day. A big crowd came out in force for this one with both teams doing very well to get to this stage.

Cove Rangers' & Falkirk's senior teams clashed in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup last Saturday & Cove Under 13s were ball boys for the day. The game last week was a cracker and this Scottish Cup tie had all the makings to be a cracker as well.

The hosts started the game very well and used home advantage to good account. There was nothing clear cut in terms of chances for either side and it was going to be one of those games where both teams battled it out.

Mark Robb's side opened the scoring after nine minutes. A cross came in from the left hand side which was met by Anton Chauvin who crashed home the opener past Nathan Kuhn to give Cove the best possible start.

Both teams tried to keep playing football afterwards on what was a heavy surface to play on after the recent weather. The game was on a tepid note in the remaining exchanges of the 1st half, however the hosts went 2-0 with Charlie Rothnie through on goal before keeping a cool head to finish past Kuhn with a composed finish.

Kristopher Orr then had a free kick for Falkirk just before the interval which was delivered straight into the box, however Lloyd Sharp dealt with the situation by catching the ball. Cove deserved to be in front as the first half came to a close.

Monday, 12 February 2018 20:45

Scott brace seals Dees derby double

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Cedwyn Scott’s double helped the Dundee to the top of the Development League table, while keeping Dundee United stuck at the foot of the table.

The striker netted twice in the closing stages of the first half, as the Dark Blues recorded a comfortable victory, and welcomed back striker Craig Wighton from injury.

Despite coming into the match as underdogs, it was United that had the first opportunity of the game. Dom McMeekin looked to have opened the scoring after five minutes, but Kyle Gourlay produced a fine one-handed save to deny him. Logan Martin fired the rebound goalward, but Jordan Piggott cleared the ball off the line.

Jack Lambert should have opened the scoring after 11 minutes when he dispossessed Cammy Ballantyne, but Deniz Mehmet smothered his shot. The United keeper kept out a curling effort from Max Anderson as Dundee looked for the opener.

Brandon Mason set up Idris Kadded just after the half hour mark, but his tame effort was straight at Gourlay. This was a chance United would rue missing, as moments later Jordan Piggott released Jesse Curran, and his low cross was swept home by Cedwyn Scott.

Dundee didn’t take long to double their lead as less than a minute later, Luc Bollan floored Scott inside the penalty area. Mehmet dived the right way and kept out Scott’s spot kick, but the striker smashed the loose ball into the net for his third goal in as many games.