East Region (313)
Jeanfield Swifts gave a heroic performance on the pitch at Luncarty, beating a strong Letham Tangerines side 2-0 in honour of one of Perth’s own heroes, Barry Stephen. The Barry Stephen memorial cup has been conducted across Perth & Kinross throughout the last decade to commemorate Lance Corporal Barry Stephen who lost his life in the Iraq conflict in 2003.
Both teams involved did service to the occasion, resulting in entertaining and hard fought performances at each end of the pitch. The game was a very even affair with both teams making chances and having good passages of play. However, it was Jeanfield’s incisive finishing which won them the day and indeed, the cup.
The match-up began with great energy, especially from midfield. Letham were arguably on top for the first few minutes, with some very positive runs being made by number 7, Tyler Green and some impressive hold-up play by Craig McGlashan. Despite this forward-thinking play, the Tangerines couldn’t find a clear way through Jeanfield’s stalwart defence and as a result, were restricted to long distance shots. The Jeanfield midfielders and forwards did their fair share of defensive duties as well, effectively halting much of the good play executed by Letham.
This strong defensive showing eventually resulted in Jeanfield Swifts living up to their title, hitting Letham quickly on the counter. After some interesting midfield play, the ball fell to Jeanfield’s Mark Peebles on the outside of the box. Peebles controlled the ball well, before unleashing a wildly swerving shot, which sailed into the net past Letham Keeper Shaun Ormsby, who had been playing well, but no keeper could have kept out this pacey strike.
The opening goal midway through the first half, caused the game to open up considerably and the initial midfield battle was transformed into a more end-to-end affair. The referee was involved more in this part of the first period of play, with free-kicks being given to both sides. One Letham free kick came straight off the training ground with the ball being cut back and then struck first time in an attempt to find a way past the Jeanfield wall.
Both of the sides played some high intensity, fast-paced football towards the end of an evenly matched first half.
Kennoway were victorious on the final day of the season as they came from behind to beat Kinross. The hosts had led through goals by Paul McLintoch and Daniel Munro but a terrific Cameron Kirk inspired comeback as well as goals from Paul Sparrow and Robbie McEwar was enough for the visitors to end the season with a victory.
In beautiful weather conditions, both sides began with the aim of winning their final game of the season and Kinross controlled possession in the first few minutes but Kennoway produced the first chances. Sparrow's shot flashed wide before Ryan O’Donnell headed over the bar. Kennoway kept up the pressure on the hosts as Kieran Whipp headed straight at Cameron Banks in the Kinross goal before Banks denied Kirk with a great save after the striker got the better of the Kinross defence.
It took 16 minutes for Kinross to record their first effort. Sean Cowe's corner was headed off the line after sailing over everyone’s head before, four minutes later, Cameron Black's shot was denied brilliantly by the Kennoway keeper after breaking through the defence. Kinross, after firing a couple of warning shots did take the lead. McLintoch received the ball on the right side of the box and jinxed past one before firing it low under the goalkeeper. The lead was doubled 60 seconds later. The Kinross players' player of the season Lewis Caulfield won a high ball from defence and played the ball into Euan Duthie. He played a killer ball into the path of Cameron Donnelly and his pass across the face of goal meant that Munro was able to charge into the box and convert a simple tap-in.
The hosts looked to make it three but were lucky not to get caught out on the break. Kirk beat the offside trap but Banks made the save. The ball rebounded back to Kirk and despite rounding Banks, Cowe was able to slide in and clear the goalbound strike. Kirk got his goal six minutes later as his cross looped over everyone, including the goalkeeper and clipped the far post and in.
Two goals at each end of the match were enough for Kinross to see off Kirkcaldy YM in a feisty Domestic Supplies Cup final at Humbug Park on Sunday.
Aaron Gillon struck early on, before Jack Rennie sealed the win in the dying stages of a game fraught with tension on both sides, and played out in what were sometimes torrential conditions.
It was a blistering start from Kinross, as Gillon found space in a crowded penalty area to slot home and give the game its first goal.
Kinross had opportunities early on to add to their lead, but were unable to find another way through.
Rhys Jeffrey had a pop with a right-footed shot that went wide, before again racing through one-on-one with Ryan Blair in the Kirkcaldy goal, but the keeper stood tall and made a fine save.
Ian Mortimer also had a shot blocked, before Blair spilled the ball under pressure from Jeffrey, but the loose ball was stabbed wide as the score remained one nil.
Kirkcaldy always looked to play out from the back, and that philosophy almost landed them in hot water when Matthew Donaldson won the ball back high up the pitch, but after racing clear through on goal he could only put his shot wide of the mark.
Kirkcaldy were gradually finding a foot hole in the game, and a long ball over the defence this time almost released a striker, but Niall Butler was able to rush off his line and clear the danger for Kinross.
Kailen Yassen then found himself in a good position for Kirkcaldy, but despite his quick feet making room for a shot, he could not find time to pull the trigger as the ball was cleared off his toes.
Greig Jarrett then made good progress down the right wing and delivered a tasty looking cross towards Yassen, but again the Kinross defence held strong to preserve their slender lead.
There was a very even feel to the game now, and despite getting his head to a corner Callum Fraser could only head over for Kinross, before Jarrett finished a driving run from midfield with a low shot from distance that was comfortable for Blair.
Jake Dobbie then went close for Kinross, getting a glancing touch on a cross from the left but as the ball flashed across the face of goal, no teammate was able to convert.
The half finished with one more good chance for each side, Gillon headed wide at the far post from a good delivery into the box, before Reece Brown got himself into a good position on the right but was unable to find a cross.
On the stroke of half time Fraser had one last chance from a free kick, but his effort was well over the bar, meaning Gillon's early strike remained the difference at the interval.
Hillfield Swifts produced a dominant display to overcome St Johns Rovers on Sunday and claim the Summer Cup at Humbug Park in Crossgates.
Goals from Andrew McDonald and Lewis Hunter, as well as braces for Logan Donaldson, Scott Cameron and Jack Moffat completed the win, and condemned St Johns to defeat in the most emphatic fashion.
It was a fast start from Swifts, who wasted no time in opening the scoring. Early pressure paid off almost instantly as Donaldson was played through on the right side of the area to slide the ball coolly under the advancing Craig Jamieson in the Rovers goal.
The same move almost brought a quick second for Hillfield as Donaldson was played in again, but this time he could only volley wide.
There was not long to wait however before the second goal did arrive, and although it was still early days it was clear St Johns now had a real fight on their hands.
A cross into the box was punched clear by Jamieson, but after taking a touch to control Cameron was able to volley the ball back with inch-perfect precision straight into the bottom corner.
Already two goals down and with the match still so young, St Johns had to try and find a way back into the game. Dylan Gilmour went close with a shot across goal that was well saved by Macaulay Jarrett in goal for Swifts, before hitting the side netting not long after with a left-footed shot.
Hillfield then made a mess of a throw in deep inside their own territory allowing Connor Crombie to get a shot away, but with Jarrett flat-footed on his line the ball was steered agonisingly wide.
Gilmour then tried his luck from distance with a dipping free kick which was tipped away well by Jarrett, and from the resulting corner Gilmour again got a shot away, meeting the ball with a firm header that brought another good save from the keeper.
Despite the pressure from St Johns, Hillfield still held a two-goal led and were looking to increase their advantage as half time approached.
Donaldson did well to get to the by-line and deliver a good ball into the box, but the pass was behind everyone in the area and the danger was cleared. A well worked free kick routine then ended with a shot on goal, but the effort was not on target.
Connor Young then had a pop for St Johns, but the shot was wide as Hillfield held on to their two-goal lead.
Despite the best efforts of St Johns, it was a lead that was soon increased thanks to a headed goal from McDonald. A free kick into the box found him unmarked and able to nod home to put his team three goals to the good. It could have been even worse for St Johns moments later, when a quick free kick got Cameron through the offside trap and bearing down on goal, but Jamieson pulled off a fantastic save to deny the attacker.
St Johns continued to press for a goal, and Owen Roy went close with a whipped free kick that beat the wall, but also beat the crossbar. Dylan Hunter then had a chance after being teed up by Young, but the shot was mishit and went horribly wide.
Fairmuir secured their second cup triumph in a week following victory over Montrose in the Diamond Jubilee Cup Final held at North End Park, Dundee. A goal in each half proved the difference between the sides in what was a highly entertaining and open contest.
Montrose began the match strongly with the direct running of Kai Henderson forcing the first corner of the match. Mitchell Smith's delivery was dealt with by the Fairmuir defence preventing any opportunity for the Montrose forwards lurking in the box.
Buoyed by their 5-0 victory over Dryburgh the previous week, Fairmuir began to gain a foothold in the game and saw Josh Hamilton’s effort flash wide of the post. Untroubled by the earlier effort Ross Duncan in the Montrose goal had to look lively to hold Curtis Smyth’s drive from just outside the area. As Fairmuir continued to push for the opener they were halted by the offside flag on two occasions in quick succession.
Fairmuir’s attacking play was almost rewarded when Ethan Samson took the ball past Duncan and was only prevented from opening the scoring by a last ditch clearance from Dylan McDonald. Montrose appeared to gain the initiative soon after and won a corner through Jamie Raffen but Keiran Melvin’s delivery was cleared by the Fairmuir defence. As the Montrose midfield pushed forward Fairmuir hit on the counter with Jay Couper controlling a long ball from the back and using his pace advanced beyond the Montrose back-line. Couper then showed great composure to slot the ball into the empty net after his initial effort had rebounded off Duncan.
Montrose attempted to restore parity immediately and won a free kick in a dangerous area with Henderson’s effort finishing wide of Jamie Lockhart’s goal. Following his goal, Jay Couper became heavily involved in Fairmuir’s attacking play and delivered a good free kick into the box requiring Duncan to palm the ball to safety. Couper was playing with confidence and again called the Montrose keeper into action with a powerful drive which landed at the feet of Jay Kidd who fired wide.
As Fairmuir attempted to utilise the pace of Couper in their search for their second of the afternoon, Duncan had to be alert to collect two through-balls played from midfield. With the half drawing to a close, Montrose fashioned good chances to go into the half on level terms. Kieren Melville’s effort produced an impressive save from Lockhart with Mitchell Smith being unable to keep his effort on target following the rebound. Melville had another attempted shortly after and was prevented from levelling the contest by another sold stop by the Fairmuir number one.
Broughty United have won the Jim Duffy Cup after coming out on top in a close-fought derby match against Ferry Athletic. In the latest final to be held at Dundee’s North End Park it was Broughty’s Ewan Faulkner who grabbed the headlines as he scored the only goal of the game in the 32nd minute.
Ferry Athletic came straight out of the traps in the opening stages of a perfectly poised cup final. The first opportunity arose just four minutes into the match when Louie Porter latched onto a long ball from midfield. The Ferry number six fired a shot at goal, from within the penalty area, but the ball sailed high over the target.
After this early warning for Broughty United they then began to respond to the Ferry threat. In the eighth minute, Brogan Rourke made a fantastic run straight through the middle of the park and into the Ferry Athletic penalty box. He managed to impressively weave his way through every challenge that came his way until he reached the six-yard line. He then looked to get his shot away at goal but in flew Ferry’s Cameron Murray, who blocked his effort with an outstretched leg.
As the game ticked into the 11th minute, Porter came close to opening the scoring for Ferry Athletic once again. He received the ball inside the box following a cross from the left flank. He struck his shot at goal but was denied by a superb diving save from Daniel Edelstone. The Broughty United goalkeeper’s strong left hand was enough to parry the ball away and save his side.
The next golden opportunity at goal fell the way of Rourke 22 minutes into the game. The Broughty number nine managed to successfully beat the offside trap after being played in beyond the Ferry defence. With a clean run at goal he eventually pulled the trigger just yards from the target. Unfortunately for him his shot went just wide of the post.
Ferry Athletic started to reassume control of the half and came agonizingly close to scoring through Murray. The boys in yellow were awarded a free kick a good 40 yards from goal on the 28th minute. Murray stepped up, unperturbed by the distance, and unleashed a bullet of a strike towards the Broughty goal. His spectacular effort so nearly paid off as the ball thundered against the crossbar before being cleared away from danger.
Despite Ferry slightly edging the first-half performance, it was Broughty United that took the lead three minutes from half time. Ewan Faulkner picked up possession of the ball, drove at goal, and managed to keep control despite the numbers of challenges that came his way from the Ferry back line. Through sheer determination he was able to worm his way to the six yard line and slot the ball past the oncoming Ferry keeper Robert Black and into the back of the net.
Going a goal ahead spurred on Broughty as they ended the half with a plethora of chances. Within a minute after scoring Faulkner turned provider as he put Rourke through on goal. Rourke fired a shot towards goal but Robert Black excellently parried it behind for a corner.
From the resulting corner, Rourke had yet another opportunity as he was afforded a free header at goal. However, he could not get it on target and it went wide.
The referee soon concluded the first period of the game. Both teams could be proud of the efforts that they had put in so far but, for Ferry, they had to come up with a way to get back on level terms.
Dryburgh Athletic and Ferry Athletic Yellows went toe-to-toe in the John Clark Motors Cup final on Sunday. In a closely fought encounter it was Dryburgh Athletic who emerged as 3-2 winners. Taylor Carroll and Kyle Anderson scored a first half goal each for Ferry either side of a Ryan Smith goal for Dryburgh. In the second half two goals from Scott Cole turned the score line in Dryburgh’s favour and they survived a late rally to claim the cup.
The first half was controlled by Ferry and it did not take them long to register the first goal of the game. Lewis Finnie delivered a superb ball, from the left wing, into the Dryburgh penalty box that was met by Carroll. Under pressure from the Dryburgh keeper, Carroll managed to turn the ball into the net, with his head, to put his team 1-0 up after just four minutes.
A couple of minutes later Ferry came close to doubling their lead. A corner was delivered into the box and, following a couple of ricochets, the ball fell to the feet of Harry Dow. Unfortunately for him he fired his effort just over the bar.
In the 18th minute Dryburgh were handed a golden opportunity to get back on level terms when Ferry goalkeeper Callum Langdale was adjudged to have handled a back pass. An indirect free kick was awarded and virtually every Ferry player was on the goal line ready to block the effort. The free kick was laid off to Scott Cole to take a shot but the Ferry defence did its job well. Cole’s effort was blocked and it bounced away for a corner.
Dryburgh continued to use this momentum to try and get back in the game. They succeeded as, in the 22nd minute, they grabbed an equaliser. Dryburgh’s Ben Amos made a superb run from the left and fired in a low cross that landed at the feet of captain Ryan Smith. Just six yards from goal, the tall midfielder was able to slot the ball home and level the score.
Dryburgh’s joy was short lived, however, as seven minutes later Ferry regained the lead. Once again Finnie was the provider as he fired a superb cross into the opposition penalty area. The ball found an unmarked Kyle Anderson who finished the move off with a neat volleyed effort.
Ferry continued to press throughout the remainder of the first half in an effort to increase their lead further. They were unable to and were eventually beaten by the referee’s whistle for half time.
Fairmuir are the Brown Cup champions after defeating Dryburgh Athletic 5-0 on Sunday. Two first-half goals from Jay Coupar and one from Keir Murray ensured that Fairmuir went into the break 3-0 up. Coupar completed his hat-trick after half time, and Murray added another himself, as Fairmuir enjoyed an impressive silverware winning display.
Fairmuir began the game at a high tempo with Jay Coupar firing them into a 1-0 lead just seven minutes in. The striker was put through on goal and slotted past the oncoming goalkeeper Arron Cosgrove comfortably.
Four minutes later Coupar threatened once more. He magnificently controlled a long ball delivered to his feet and it set him up for a clear run at goal. His pace took him away from the chasing pack and all that was left to beat was Cosgrove in goal. However, the Dryburgh number one rushed out to meet Coupar and dived down at his feet to grasp the ball. Great goalkeeping that was timed to perfection.
Soon afterwards Coupar did have his second goal of the game. In a similar vain to the opener, he was put through on goal via a beautiful pass from Josh Hamilton. Coupar kept his composure to slot home past Cosgrove who, this time, could not deny the Fairmuir forward.
Dryburgh responded well after the second goal and started to regain some control of the game. While they searched for a goal they just could not work a clear opening for themselves.
In first-half stoppage time Fairmuir extended their lead to three. Logan Bonella delivered a corner kick into the Dryburgh box and Keir Murray was there to head the ball into the back of the net.
Jeanfield Swifts Orange scored four goals without reply as they were crowned Summer Cup champions at Warout Stadium on Sunday.
Two goals from the impressive Jamie Gill, as well as one each for Steven Laurie and Ruari Kaylor completed the rout and condemned a spirited Kelty side to defeat.
It was the Swifts who applied most of the early pressure, as they searched for a way through a compact looking Kelty.
Gill was first to test the water with a free kick from distance, but the ball was too high and went harmlessly over the bar.
Gill then looked to turn provider with a good ball towards John Booth, but Jake Fyfe in the Kelty goal was able to come and collect before he could get to the ball.
Kelty would struggle all afternoon to find their own way through an organised Jeanfield backline, and despite bearing down on goal Jack Makay was stopped in his tracks by some great last man defending from Alastair Woodhead.
Steven Laurie was a real handful all afternoon on the right wing for Jeanfield, and his electric pace allowed him to steam past his man, but his low cross could only find the side netting. Laurie was soon at it again on the right, this time cutting inside to have a shot at goal, but the effort was blocked.
It was not long however until the pressure did deliver the game’s first goal, and it was an absolute peach.
Gill received the ball to feet on the left of the penalty area, and after jinking inside he curled his shot out of the reach of Fyfe and into the bottom corner.
Laurie then delivered a good looking cross from the right to find Gill unmarked in the centre, but despite getting his header on target Fyfe did tremendously to save from point blank range, tipping the ball onto the bar and keeping the score at 1-0.
Gill was everywhere for Jeanfield, and as a Kelty defender looked to run out with the ball at his feet, Gill followed him and won the ball back, before unleashing a swerving right footed shot which brought another fine save from Fyfe.
With Kelty struggling to get out of their own area at times, it was no surprise when the second goal arrived, and it was no surprise it was the tricky Laurie who provided it.
A corner from the left looked not to have beaten the first man, but Laurie arrived late at the near post to flick the ball under Fyfe and into the back of the net to make it two.
Gill looked to have been released clean through on goal soon after, but he took his shot first time and Fyfe was easily able to save and hold onto the ball.
Jeanfield were playing some beautiful football now, and Kelty had no answer. Conor McKinlay and Kevin Campbell played some neat one-touch passing, and when Campbell struck his shot Fyfe was on hand again to keep his side in the game.
Kelty did soon bring Thomas Morrow in the Jeanfield goal into the game, when Makay received the ball following some good build-up play on the left, he managed to turn and get his shot away, but Morrow saved to preserve his clean sheet.
Booth then showed some good skill to find space for a shot, but his right footed effort was saved by Fyfe.
Kelty were beginning to find themselves more in opposition territory, and a long ball into the box was headed away by Hamish McMullan, and when Ewan Ross tried to force his way through, he was stopped again by some good defending from Woodhead.
It was a strong performance from Jeanfield at both ends, and their first half display was capped off perfectly when Gill bagged his second with a curling free kick that cannoned in off the crossbar despite the best efforts of Fyfe, who got a hand to the ball but was powerless to stop his side going 3-0 down before the break.
Burntisland Shipyard overcame Townhill FC in a tight League Cup final at Warout Stadium in Glenrothes. A wonder goal from Mackenzie Roe was not enough for Townhill, as goals from David Doig and Regan Lumsden gave Burntisland victory in what was a very evenly contested match.
It was a nightmare start for Townhill as they fell behind inside the first five minutes. A long throw into the box was only half headed clear, and a lurking Doig caught as sweet a volley as you will ever see to send the ball crashing into the top corner.
Townhill were quick to respond though, and when Aaron Baxter cut inside his man he unleashed a wicked right-footed shot that fizzed narrowly wide of the post.
Burntisland were not sitting back on their lead however, and Luke Thompson had a chance to double the advantage when he rose highest to meet a corner, but his effort was headed onto the bar by the defender on the line.
Some neat play between Baxter and Ben McCann almost found the former through on goal, but his first touch was heavy and the ball ran away from him. McCann then had another chance with a shot from the edge of the area, but he was unable to direct the ball on target.
After a poor start Townhill were now finding some rhythm, and after a Gregor Macdonald corner was cleared, the wide man was able to swing the ball back in to find McCann unmarked in the middle, but this time the header was high and over the bar.
Alex Chingwalu was next to try his luck at levelling the scores, but after showing some good skill to beat his man, his shot was dragged wide as Townhill continued to press.
A rare foray forward for Burntisland almost ended with a chance but Owain Stark in the Townhill goal was able to collect the ball with relative ease after Robbie Hogg's cross.
It was on the counterattack that Burntisland looked most dangerous, and when Cameron Clarke beat the offside trap to race clear he looked certain to score, but after a poor first touch Stark was able to rush off his line and gather the ball.
As Townhill continued to hunt for an equaliser there were two shots at goal in quick succession, first from Joe Dawson who took aim with a right-footed shot that sailed over the crossbar, and then from Chingwalu who aimed his effort straight at Scott Costello in the Burntisland goal.
Macdonald then had a pop after beating two men with some quick feet, but he also saw his shot evade both Costello and the crossbar.
Burntisland then found themselves with a chance to double their advantage from a set piece, but there was no curl on the ball and it went harmlessly wide.
Marc Perin played a good ball to release Baxter through on goal, but despite beating Costello to the ball he could only slide his right-footed shot agonisingly wide of the post.
Both sides continued to trade chances, and Clarke was next to have a pop with a left-footed shot after cutting in from the right wing, but again the goalkeeper was not troubled as the ball whistled past the post.
There was just enough time left in the first half for both sides to have one more opportunity each, with Dawson doing well to control a long free kick into the box for Townhill, but he could not find a finish to match his touch as his shot went over the bar. Then, in the last action of the half Daniel McBay clipped the bottom of the post with a shot from the edge of the area.
Kinross claimed victory after a superb second-half comeback to claim the bragging rights over Colts rivals Glenrothes. Gordon Bonnes had given Glenrothes a first-half lead but Daniel Munro and a double from Liam Murray turned the game on its head for the visitors despite Bonnes getting a second for the home side.
The Perthshire side put on the early pressure but it was the hosts who forced the first save of the match as Ethan Green's strike was tipped round the post by the keeper. The corner resulted in a swift counter attack for Kinross with Murray leading the charge but the end result was not up to scratch. Munro was next to have an attempt at goal but he failed to find the target after great play by Lewis Caulfield and Murray to create the opportunity.
Glenrothes broke the deadlock on 10 minutes as a free kick found its way into the box after sneaking through the defensive line. Bonnes reacted first and blasted the ball past the helpless Lewis Bathgate in the Kinross goal.
Kinross responded as Murray's cross was pushed onto the bar by Connor Stowe in the Glenrothes goal.
Both goalkeepers were busy as Stowe saved from Munro to keep Glenrothes ahead before Bathgate denied Guy Hampson as the hosts pushed for a second. The final chance of the half came for Kinross when Cameron Black had his effort blocked by the keeper after a linkup between Munro and Craig Swift created the chance for Black.
Grove Academy were clinical in the senior Johnston Trophy as they swept away Morgan Academy 7-0. Astonishingly it is the seventh consecutive time Grove have won this competition. Darren Barnett scored two goals as Grove dominated proceedings at Tannadice.
With Grove looking to add further cup success to their repertoire they began the game in perfect fashion. Just two minutes in Barnett met a cross from the left and diverted the ball over the keeper and in.
Grove kept on attacking and came close again in the ninth minute of the game. Calum Faulkner cut in from the right side and fired a long range shot towards goal with his left foot. The ball flew just inches over the crossbar.
Four minutes later Grove did extend their lead via an unfortunate own goal from Kieran Wardlaw. The Morgan centre back, whilst attempting to clear a low cross, inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.
Shortly afterwards Grove were 3-0 up. Right back Steven Howie pinged a great ball to Barnett up top. The Grove striker drove towards goal and evaded the oncoming goalkeeper. The ball then fell to Adam Brown, who had joined in the attack, and he turned it in to the empty net.
As the game entered its 32nd minute Grove were awarded a free kick just outside the Morgan penalty area. Brown was the man to take the kick but his curling shot went just above the target.
Eight minutes later Brown was threatening again as he pinched the ball off of the Morgan defence to give himself a clear run at goal. Out came Morgan keeper Daniel Anderson who slid in with his feet and made a fantastic tackle to stop Brown dead in his tracks.
Just before the half time whistle Grove did manage to score their fourth. Calum Faulkner made a great run down the left wing and moved into the box. Anderson came out to meet him, but the Grove number seven calmly laid the ball off to Barnett. With the whole of the goal to aim at Barnett comfortably converted to give Grove a seemingly unassailable lead going into the break.
AM Soccer defeated St Johns Lions on Sunday to lift the Toorie Winters Cup, with goals from Jason Burns, Matthew Gow and Louis Appere doing the damage.
In torrential conditions at Treaton Park in Star, both sides did their best to lift the spirits of the watching crowd as both players and fans endured torrential rain throughout.
Despite the final score suggesting otherwise, this was a well-balanced game, and it was no surprise when Craig Burt in the AM Soccer goal was awarded man of the match following a string of superb saves to keep the Lions at bay.
The game’s first chance fell to AM and Appere, who was played through on goal only to blast his effort over the bar. Kieran Fox then took aim from distance following a good move, but again his shot was too high to trouble Brandon Conner between the sticks for St Johns.
Following a promising start to the game from AM, it was the side from Kirkcaldy who began to pull the strings as the match settled down.
Rowan Kay was almost through on goal, but a decisive decision to come off his line from Burt meant the danger was snuffed out.
Josh Binnington was then allowed to escape his marker on the left side of the area, but his cut back failed to find Kay who was lurking and ready to tap in had the ball reached him.
Kay did manage to get his head to the resulting corner, but the shot was blocked before a follow-up shot was fired straight at Burt who did well, not for the first time in the match, to hold onto the ball despite the slippery conditions.
Kay was then yet again allowed to wriggle free of his man and looked certain to score this time, but another superb save from Burt kept the sides level.
St Johns were on top for the majority of the first half, and were again only denied an opening goal by the brilliance of Burt when he saved a Binnington free kick.
Binningotn and Kay were showing a good understanding of each other’s game, and some neat interplay between the two sparked panic amongst the AM defence as the ball was hastily scooped behind with the Lions piling on the pressure.
Kay managed to get his head to the ball as it came in from the corner, but was yet again denied by another top save from Burt.
It was not long before Burt was in the thick of the action again, this time denying Mark Mooney who tried his luck with a dipping free kick from well outside the area. Burt stood his ground and was able to tip the ball over with two strong palms to prevent his team from falling behind.
AM Soccer had endured a fair amount of pressure, and it was a relief for their fans when they finally created an opening as a Kieran Fox free-kick went fizzing for the bottom corner, but Conner was equal to it and held onto the ball for good measure.
St Johns were then denied an opener by the offside flag, as Mooney's free kick was flicked in at the far post, the linesman ruling the player was offside and the scores stayed level.
AM seemed to have found a way to stem the tide of St Johns, but the Lions were dangerous on the counter, and Binnington found himself behind the last man after a smart break, but once more he was denied by a tremendous save from Burt.
There was just enough time left for AM to try and sneak a goal right on the whistle; first Appere cut back for Liam McWatt six yards from goal, but he mishit his shot, and when the ball was clipped back into the box an unmarked Gow was unable to convert.
Despite good chances for both sides, it was a tale of two keepers at the interval as the sides went in level.