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East Region (308)

Jamie McCann’s injury time goal sealed Fairmuir their first piece of silverware in the form of the Queen’s Jubilee Cup as they beat Pitfour.

McCann, who had earlier levelled after Ally Alcorn opened the scoring, converted Mason Anderson’s cross in the third minute of injury time to win the cup for Fairmuir.

This was the second meeting of these sides in seven days, with Pitfour emerging victorious from the previous weekend’s East Region Cup clash.

It was Pitfour’s keeper Archie Kelly-Barton that was first to be called into action as he punched away a corner under pressure before keeping out Mason Anderson’s follow-up effort.

The opening stages were more a war of attrition than a free-flowing affair with Jordan Turnbull’s wayward strike summing up both side’s fortune in front of goal.

Fairmuir were seeing more of the ball but struggled to break through Pitfour’s defence. One occasion where Pitfour were exposed saw Anderson play in Zain Ferguson down the right before Kelly-Barton kept out the winger’s near post effort.

The loose ball fell for Nick Fletcher, but he could only lash the ball high over the bar.

Jay Jay Hutchison’s double helped Dryburgh Athletic overcome a dogged Arbroath Lads and lift the Marshall Cup.

Hutchison’s first half goal and Bobby Shirkey’s close-range effort looked to have put Dryburgh in control until Kyle Fraser and Ryan Paterson fired Arbroath level, but Hutchison ensured it would be Dryburgh’s day with a composed finish late on.

Dryburgh came into the final boasting a 100% record in the J Clenaghan League and when Jay Jay Hutchison converted Bobby Shirkey’s ball it looked like they had made the dream start to the final, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.

Arbroath were defending well in the opening stages and saw an attack of their own end with Kaden Leadbetter keeping out Ethan Johnston’s effort.

Hutchison and Shirkey were causing Arbroath issues in the wide areas, with the latter inches away from converting a Hutchison cross to open the scoring.

Dryburgh were seeing the lion’s share of possession but failing to ask any serious questions of Josh Cargill in the Arbroath goal. A series of crosses into the Arbroath box were easily dealt with by the Angus side’s defence.

With half time approaching, Dryburgh did break the deadlock through Hutchison. Shirkey provided the cross from the right that made its way through to Hutchison eight yards from goal, who composed himself and slotted the ball past the helpless Cargill to give Dryburgh the lead.

Montrose Youth lifted the Chuck McGowan Cup after overcoming ACSC in a mammoth penalty shootout that saw every player take a spot kick. 

Goalkeeper Nicholl Cairnie was the hero for Montrose as he kept out Kaden Houghton’s second penalty of the shootout.

Both these sides have been free scoring throughout the season but strong winds meant both had to change their game plans for the cup final.

Montrose were playing into the wind in the first half and thought they had broken the deadlock when a free kick dropped to Ryan Reid in the box. The midfielder’s effort looked destined for the top corner, but a strong hand from ACSC keeper Declan Hay somehow kept the ball out.

The resulting corner from Michael Forbes nearly went straight in to the ACSC net before Hay was called into action once more to deny Dylan Griggs. The Montrose man led a solo counterattack from the half way line only to see Hay get down to his low effort. 

ACSC came into the game having scored over 80 goals in their 14 league matches, and they nearly grabbed the opener when Alex Davidson nipped onto a slack pass in the Montrose box, but he was denied at point-blank range by Nicholl Cairnie.

The W Mills League leaders weren’t phased by playing into the wind, and only a fine challenge from Haydon Chalmers stopped Jay Tosh getting a shot away after 25 minutes. At the other end, Hay was called into action once more as he kept out Michael Forbes’s half volley.

Tosh saw another strike blocked by Chalmers before the ball deflected into the path of Rui Gordon, who was only denied the opener by a smart save from Cairnie at the near post.

Cameron Murray’s first half double helped Ferry Athletic Blues see off Kirrie Thistle and lift the Peter MacAvoy Cup.

Gale force winds meant that a free-flowing game was unlikely, but despite playing into the wind, it was Kirrie that broke the deadlock after six minutes when Kane Allison swept the ball home from David Cattanach’s cross.

Cameron Murray curled a shot over as Ferry looked for an equaliser, and their efforts were rewarded when Cattanach attempted to guide a long ball back to Kyle Millar, only to see the ball taken by the wind and loop into the net.

Millar was helpless to prevent the equaliser but kept Ferry at bay with a fingertip save to keep out Craig Bruce’s powerful header.

Rohan Brown volleyed wide for Kirrie before Murray latched onto a through ball and drilled a low strike past Millar to put Ferry in front.

With the wind at their backs, Ferry were looking to put the game beyond Kirrie, and went close when Adam Eaton’s whipped a corner against the crossbar.

Ferry did extend their lead when Millar fumbled James Lawrie’s long free kick into Murray, who watched the ball roll over the line for his second of the day.

Murray turned provider for Scott Thaw when he knocked down Eaton’s corner, and Thaw looped the ball over Millar for Ferry’s fourth of the day.

Monday, 25 February 2019 13:16

Fairmuir stay perfect with win over Dryburgh

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Second half goals from Jake Grady and Matthew Nelson saw Fairmuir keep up their 100% record in the Dave Pullar League as they saw of Dryburgh Athletic.

Dryburgh took the bragging rights a fortnight ago when the sides met in the cup and they had the first chance of the match as Jack Buist saw an effort from close range deflected over early on.

At the other end, Jake Grady’s shot from a tight angle brought a save out of Samuel Ross in the Dryburgh goal.

A combination of both sides adopting a direct approach and committing niggling fouls meant the first half saw precious little in terms of goalmouth action.

Ryan Smith fired a free kick into the Fairmuir wall before Kalin Jones hit a speculative long-range effort that didn’t trouble Fairmuir’s Cammy Hendry.

Hendry was called into action to deny Buist from a tight angle shortly before half time with the resulting counterattack resulting in Grady going through one-on-one with Ross, but the Dryburgh keeper came out on top as he denied the Fairmuir striker.

Monday, 25 February 2019 12:48

Dryburgh edge out Blairgowrie in East Region Cup

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Dryburgh Athletic toppled top-flight Blairgowrie as they advance to the second round of the East Region Cup. A first half own goal was enough to see Dryburgh through to Round Two.

After a strong showing in the Scottish Cup earlier in the season, the prospect of playing a side from the division above was not one that phased Dryburgh, but the first chance of the game went Blairgowrie’s way as Robbie Watson powered his way into the box before seeing his effort deflected into the side netting.

The resulting corner saw Harry Watson flick the ball towards goal, but Dryburgh keeper Kaden Leadbetter was equal to the effort.

Dryburgh had a chance to open the scoring when Stewart Page fumbled Bobby Shirkey’s long range free kick but nobody in a maroon shirt could force the ball over the line.

With seven minutes played Dryburgh did break the deadlock as Jay Cochrane’s corner was flicked into the net by a Blairgowrie defender.

Blairgowrie went close from a corner of their own as Caleb Robertson headed over Archie Browning’s delivery before Page denied Shirkey at the other end before the Dryburgh man fired his follow-up shot agonisingly past the post.

Dryburgh’s disciplined defensive performance was restricting Blairgowrie to precious little in terms of clear-cut chances, however the hosts were nearly undone as the ball broke to Reece Forrest six yards out, only for the Blairgowrie man to fire wide of the target.

Leadbetter produced a smart save to keep out a fierce strike from Browning as Blairgowrie pushed for an equaliser before Forrest turned the ball wide from the resulting corner.

Ross Cannon’s injury time strike salvaged a point from Blairgowrie as they fought back to draw with Dundee United SC.

Kyle McMulkin looked to have done enough to seal the points for DUSC with his hattrick completing strike 13 minutes from time, only for Cannon to strike at the death to earn a point for Blairgowrie.

Both sides came into the match unbeaten in the Café Royale League knowing that a win would help both in their push for the title.

It was Blairgowrie that started on the front foot with their leading marksman Robbie Watson driving from the halfway line before seeing his strike tipped round the post by Stuart Woods.

Harry Watson tested Woods with an effort from distance before Kaisey Brown swept a shot over from the edge of the box after meeting a low cross from Ross Cannon.

DUSC had offered little in an attacking sense in the opening stages, but a series of long-range efforts from Kyle McMulkin showed the threat the hosts possessed in the final third. The forward brought a fine diving save out of Stewart Page with a fierce strike from the edge of the box.

McMulkin had made his intentions clear to Blairgowrie, so there was little surprise when he curled in the opener from 25 yards 18 minutes into the first half.

Things got better for DUSC as McMulkin produced another moment of magic seven minutes later to double their lead. Once again, he curled a strike out of the reach of Page from 20 yards into the net.

After a bright start Blairgowrie found themselves behind but pulled a goal back on the half hour mark through Reece Forrest, who managed to turn the ball in at the near post from a corner.

DUSC went straight on the offensive as Lee Lorimer weaved his way down the left wing before cutting the ball back for Charlie Loftus. It looked certain DUSC were about to re-establish their two-goal lead as Loftus sent the ball towards goal from six yards only for Page to keep the ball out at point-blank range.

The Blairgowrie stopper was rewarded for his efforts as his side equalised with the last meaningful touch of the first half.

Harry Watson released brother Robbie, whose shot was kept out by Woods, who then managed to keep out Archie Browning’s follow up. Robbie Watson was then denied by a recovering defender before Harry Watson clipped the ball into the net to draw Blairgowrie level.

Goals from Liam Kearsley, Gregg Clarke and Cameron Dalziel were enough to beat the visiting Rothes Juniors at a windy Pitreavie playing fields, which saw a very even contest with good quality from either side.

The match saw a very stubborn start, with both teams showing glimpses of having enough to beat each other’s strong defences. The attacks seen in the early stages of the game were primarily channelled through Pitreavie’s tricky winger Lewis Johnstone and powerful forward Aaron Cunningham, with Rothes striker Ewan Taylor also showing the potential to make a big impact on the game.

The first real chance of the game didn’t fall till the 18th minute of the match and it resulted in the games first goal. Clarke swung in a dangerous ball from a corner, which was then met by a towering header from defender Kearsley, which ended up in the top left corner, putting the hosts ahead.

As is so common in football, the first goal resulted in a series of chances for either side. Lewis Petrie attempted to double Pitreavie’s lead, but saw his long-ranged effort sail over the bar in the 20th minute. This was closely followed by Rothes first chance of the match, when Taylor managed to get himself in the way of a defensive clearance which cannoned off him and ended up being inches away from the goal in the 22nd minute.

Rhys McGlashan was next to threaten an equaliser for Rothes, but his effort from the edge of the box went just to the wrong side of the post in the 30th minute. The visitors continued to press as the wind started to pick up and suddenly defender Marcus Brookshank broke through and fired a low driven shot at Pitreavie goalkeeper Jay Anstruther, but the keeper comfortably denied the chance in the 35th minute.

The hosts managed to weather the storm and really started to take the game by the scruff of the neck in the few minutes that remained of the first half. Rothes keeper Ryan McIntosh was called upon in the 36th minute when Petrie shrugged off a defender and fired a shot but was expertly rejected by the Rothes number one. McIntosh was brought into action once again when Clarke had his effort saved by the powerful keeper from close range in the 40th minute.

However, with seconds remaining of the first half, the ball was swung in by a Pitreavie midfielder and fell to Clarke who wasn’t going to miss this time as he fired his shot from the back post into the bottom left corner, past McIntosh putting the hosts two ahead going into the break.

Sunday, 13 January 2019 19:00

Forfar Boys in seven heaven after Ferry win

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A devastating performance from Forfar Boys handed them the incentive in the P Gibson League title race as they blew Ferry Athletic away at Dawson Park.

Tyler Urquhart bagged a hat trick for Forfar with Connor Morrison netting twice. Harry Craig and Kieran Fairweather completed the route as Forfar moved to within a point of Ferry at the summit.

Forfar came into the game knowing that a defeat would leave them seven points behind Ferry in the title race and got off to the perfect start as they opened the scoring after two minutes.

Zac Field’s effort was spilled by Fraser Wood and Tyler Urquhart was on hand to turn the ball into the net from close range.

Forfar were dominating the opening stages of the match and doubled their lead on nine minutes as Harry Craig fired in a free kick from 25 yards. It was no more than the visitors deserved for their impressive start to the match.

The lead was quickly extended after some quick passing down the left saw Beinn Millar feed the ball into Urquhart, whose shot took a deflection as it made its way into the net.

Millar was causing Ferry plenty of problems and when he was slipped in one-on-one with Wood it looked like Forfar would score again but the Ferry man was quick off his line to smother the ball and deny the winger.

Ferry were nearly gifted a route back into the match thanks to a mix up in the Forfar defence, but Thomas McIntosh was on hand to clear the danger.

Millar went close to adding a fourth for Forfar when he brought down Urquhart’s cross but saw his volley come crashing back off the crossbar.

Sunday, 13 January 2019 21:21

Clinical Kirkcaldy FC Red put six past Real Fife

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Six separate goal scorers for the visitors aided them in their convincing win over the hosts, Real Fife, in the FFDL Second Division.

Real Fife nearly got off to the perfect start when agile frontman Sebastian Torkovski rounded Kirkcaldy goalkeeper Conner Auchterlonie and fired his shot from a tight angle, which was then heroically cleared off the line by the powerful defender Steven White in the opening minute of the match.

Minutes later, Kirkcaldy winger Mitch Carstairs got on the end of a lofted ball and managed to coolly poke the ball past Real goalkeeper Aaron Buchannan in the fourth minute of the match to put the visitors ahead. Kirkcaldy’s lead was soon doubled when fullback, Tyler Coventry found his attempted cross nestle in the top left corner in the 8th minute of the match. I’m sure he will claim it as a shot, however.

Kirkcaldy continued their dominance in the early stages of the match which resulted in both White and Amadu Buh coming close to adding a third, in the 15th minute of the match. Buchannan pulled off a tremendous save in the 18th minute of the match to deny Carstairs from doubling his tally at close range.

The third was finally found by Kirkcaldy when tricky midfielder Naari Ruzaag danced his way through the Real Fife defence and sent a low powerful shot into the bottom right corner, in off the post in the 20th minute of the match.

Real Fife made a great effort to get back into the game before the interval when Torkovski managed to get a shot away, which was firmly denied by Auchterlonie in the 25th minute of the match. This was then followed by another great save from Auchterlonie, denying Connor Kemp this time from close range in the 30th minute of the match and also being the final chance of the first half.

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