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It was a case of Déjà vu for some at Dundee’s North End Park as Dundee United Sports Club and Broughty United met in the final of the Peter McAvoy cup. Only four weeks prior the two had met in the Henry Dolan cup final with DUSC coming out on top after a 2-1 victory that day. This time, however, it was Broughty United that triumphed with a 2-0 win to claim the inaugural Peter McAvoy trophy. A first half strike from Darren Forbes, followed by a second half penalty converted by Derryn Kesson, was enough for Broughty to seal the victory in another well-fought and hotly contested affair.
With the teams both hugely familiar with one another it was clear from the offset that the match was going to be close once again. The first chance arose in the fourth minute of the game when Hoskins delivered a superb cross into the box for Charlie Wilson. Wilson’s close range effort was superbly saved thanks to some great athleticism from Dundee United goalkeeper, Aaron Smith.
Broughty United started to assume control of the early stages of the game and had another opportunity on the 12th minute. Gavin Craik managed to worm his way into a shooting position and fired a fearsome strike towards goal. His initial shot was well blocked but he then set himself up for a rebound effort. Unfortunately his second attempt flew well over the target and out of the ground.
Three minutes later Broughty took advantage of their strong play and went 1-0 up. Forbes came in from the left hand side and struck a low, powerful strike at goal. The ball flew past Smith and nestled in the back of the net.
After the goal the match leveled out in terms of performance with neither side willing to let the other gain any extra momentum. It stayed like this for the remainder of the half. As both teams went in for the break DUSC were left to try and come up with a plan to overturn Broughty’s advantage. 
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 13:29

Derby colts serve up action packed thriller

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Kelty came out on top in a feisty affair against local rivals Kinross. A hat-trick from Gregor Stewart and goals from Scott Lavender, Lewis Martin and Keith Annandale cancelled out two early goals for Kinross from Liam Murray and Lewis Caulfield.

An explosive opening saw Kinross come out the blocks better and Cameron Donnelly was unlucky not to put them in front within sixty seconds as he just failed to get a touch at the backpost from Murray's cross.

The breakthrough came a few minutes later when good build up by Craig Swift and Caulfield let Cameron Black play a great through ball into Murray. He rounded the stretching goalkeeper before steering the ball in from an acute angle.

The lead was doubled two minutes later when Sean Cowes corner was nodded in by Caulfield at the back post and the referee judged the ball to have crossed the line despite the best efforts of Sean Holland in the Kelty goal. 

Kelty got back in the game on 12 minutes when a good run from Lavender created space for himself and he rifled it goalwards. Lewis Bathgate in the Kinross goal could only get a hand to the ball but it wasn’t enough. The equaliser arrived minutes later when Stewart headed home after Euan Duthie had cleared off the line for Kinross.

The goals kept raining in as Martin completed the turnaround for Kelty when he volleyed home after the ball was cleared to him. Stewart grabbed his second and Kelty's fourth less than sixty seconds later as he drove the ball in at the front post.

The smash and grab by Kelty left Kinross with a tough task but they were unlucky not to make it 4-3 just before as Alasdair Bennets header was stopped on the line and hacked clear.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 20:41

Kennoway win the Cup! …or do they?

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There was a certain amount of confusion and a healthy dose of doubt on Sunday, as Kelty Marian Colts and Kennoway United competed in the final of the Spring Cup at Denton Park in Kirkcaldy.

Despite winning the game 2-3 thanks to a hat-trick from Paul Sparrow after Sean Cusick and Keith Annandale had levelled things up for Kelty, no trophy was presented and no medals were handed out as claims of an ineligible player were investigated.

Despite the drama at the end, the match itself was a thoroughly entertaining one and a worthy final played out in front of plenty of fans.

It was a match packed with action, and those watching in the Spring sunshine did not have to wait long for the first sight of goal.

A Cameron Kirk free kick was allowed to bounce into the box, and following a stabbed effort at goal Cal Rushford in the Kelty goal produced a fine save to keep the scores level.

Kelty were also looking to profit from a set piece, and a quick corner combination from Callum Clunie and Andrew Brown resulted in a cross being swung into the box, but Taylor Hay in between the sticks for Kennoway was able to collect.

Kieran Whipp was next to try his luck from distance, volleying over after turning his man from a throw in.

Sparrow then got his first sight of the Kelty goal, heading the ball over from a free kick, although it was not long until the forward bagged his first of the afternoon.

It came from another free kick swung into the danger zone, and after trying to guide the ball past Rushford with a glancing touch, Sparrow was on hand to volley in the rebound from close range.

Kelty looked for an instant response with a corner, but Lewis Martin could not find room for a shot in a crowded penalty area.

Whipp then again tried to find the net with a low shot, but again Rushford was equal to it.

Kelty were looking for a way back into the game, and there were two chances for Cusick and Sean Holland to level the scores. First, Cusick threw a dangerous cross into the mixer but Hay was able to collect the ball safely. Then, just moments later Holland managed to lob his marker after controlling a corner, but he was not able to beat Hay with his shot.

Despite the pressure, Kelty found themselves two goals down midway through the first half when Sparrow stepped up to dispatch a sumptuous free kick right into the top corner.

It was unfortunate for Kelty, who continued to push forward despite the setback.

Some great play from Cusick on the left and a good cross found Annandale unmarked in the middle, but he could only head over from close range.

A third goal would have surely killed the game off before half time, and Ryan O’Donnell went charging forward to try and grab it, but Rushford was out quickly to smother the danger.

Morgan was again in the thick of the action for Kelty as he flicked on a quick free kick, the ball just skimming the cross bar on the way back to earth. Then, Morgan was able to rise highest to meet a corner from Andrew Brown, but it missed the target.

Kennoway looked a real danger on the counter attack, and with Sparrow already on a hat-trick Kelty were in no position to gift them an opportunity to attack. But, when possession broke down in midfield the ball found its way out to the right for a cross to be swung in, which Sparrow met with a firm head, only to see it magnificently tipped onto the cross bar by Rushford.

There was just enough time left in the half for Kris Burnett to shoot wide from distance, as Kennoway held onto their lead as well as their clean sheet, to lead 0-2 at the break.

Arbroath CSC are this year’s Mac Brown cup champions after coming out on top against a strong, hard working, Monifieth Athletic side. In a scintillating first half Leon Gibson opened the scoring for Arbroath early on before Owen Stewart equalised for Monifieth shortly afterwards. Arbroath took the lead again, courtesy of a sublime Dylan Ross free kick, but, once again, Monifieth managed to pull themselves level via an unfortunate own goal. Gibson grabbed his second of the game to ensure Arbroath went in at half time 3-2 up. Second half goals, from Aaron Patterson and Jamie Hallam, extended Arbroath’s lead and saw them land the cup in what was a strong and committed performance.
Arbroath CSC began the game at a frighteningly high tempo. Most teams usually feel their way into a cup final but, for Arbroath, confidence was high and it was straight out of the blocks. In the third minute captain, Aaron Patterson, pinged a great through ball to Leon Gibson, setting him up for a run at the target. Gibson duly latched on and bore down on the Monifieth goal. His resulting shot, however, didn’t receive the necessary connection that he wanted and it went into the hands of goalkeeper, Jamie Noble.
Soon afterwards Jamie Hallam, or ‘mini-messi’ as he is known to the Arbroath support, had a great chance to put Arbroath into the lead. The number 11 fired an excellent shot from just outside the box, but Noble was on hand to make a fine diving save and he parried the ball away from danger.
In the 7th minute Gibson came as close as you can to scoring. Coming in from the right he fired a great looping shot at goal from about 19 yards out. His effort thundered against the crossbar before Noble gathered up the loose ball.
Gibson didn’t bemoan his near miss, however, because just one minute later he scored the opening goal of the game. Arbroath were awarded a free kick deep in their own half and it was taken by Dylan Ross. The centre back’s kick was a superb one as it landed in exactly the right spot for Gibson to run onto, and had taken the entire Monifieth back four out of the move. Gibson wasted no time as he slotted his effort into the back of the net. Despite Noble doing well to get his fingertips to the ball there was too much power on the effort to keep it out.
Monifieth responded to going a goal down in the best possible way, by grabbing an equaliser shortly afterwards. As the game ticked into the 11th minute Monifieth broke down the right and the ball was played straight into the box. After a ricochet the ball fell to the feet of Owen Stewart just yards from goal. Stewart blasted his shot straight down the middle of the net to make the score 1-1.
The game continued at this exhilarating pace as, in the 14th minute, the game witnessed a third goal. Arbroath were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position just outside the penalty area. Up stepped the assist maker from Arbroath’s opening goal, Dylan Ross, to take the kick and what a strike he produced. The centre back exquisitely curled the ball over the wall and into the top right hand corner of the net. A superb effort to put Arbroath back in the lead.
In the 24th minute Monifeth came close to getting level for a second time courtesy of a long free kick from Aidan McKindley. The number 15 launched the ball into the box and it landed at the feet of Nicholas Smith via a flick on. Just as Smith was about to pull the trigger in came Fraser Hallam to make a superb interception and save his side.
Six minutes later Monifieth did manage to pull themselves level once more. A corner kick was delivered straight towards the near post but the ball was turned into his own goal by the unfortunate Sam Spence. He had done well to get to the ball in an attempt to clear but it was diverted just inside the far post.
Shortly before half time Arbroath reclaimed the lead for a third time. Once again the impressive Leon Gibson was the goal scorer as he picked up possession of the ball and unleashed a superb long-range shot straight at goal. Once again Noble did well to get fingertips to the ball but, just like Gibson’s previous goal, their was too much power on the shot for it to be kept out. A cracking goal from Arbroath’s number 17 to see them go into the half time break 3-2 up.
Sunday, 26 April 2015 21:42

Second half surge clinches Cup for Spurs

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Spurs Juniors’ produced a barnstorming second half display as goals from Ryan Low, Lee Allan and Scott Smith overturned a first half strike from Kieran Gilruth to clinch the Under 17’s League Cup in front of a packed Denfield Park on Sunday.

It was third versus fourth as Spurs, fresh off the back of a 5-0 win last week, faced the team directly above them in the League in Kelty Marian Colts.

Despite the final score, it was Kelty who made by far the brighter start, creating a whole host of chances in the early stages of the game.

Joseph Kirby was first to try his luck, cutting inside from the right and letting fly with a right footed shot that was well saved by Dion Gear in the Spurs goal.

There were then two quick chances for Cameron Currie and Connor Parkes, Curries’ shot being deflected for a throw in, while Parkes cut the ball back after a good run but was unable to find a teammate.

It was Kelty who continued to apply the early pressure, and a hooked cross from the left caused all sorts of problems for the Spurs defence, with Gear eventually tipping the ball onto a post before it was hoofed to safety.

Parkes was then nearly in again, this time escaping the last man, but his touch was too heavy as he rounded Gear and he was forced wide. When he did manage to pull the ball back it was too high, and the chance was gone.

Connor Horsburgh then took his chances with a driving run from midfield in an attempt to bring Spurs into the game, ending with a left footed strike that fizzed narrowly wide.

The game was extremely physical with big challenges coming in from both sides, and despite their early pressure Kelty had not been able to find a way through. That changed though with a piece of brilliance from Gilruth.

A high cross into the box was headed clear, but only into the path of Gilruth who split two defenders to meet the ball full on the volley and send it soaring into the top of the net from the edge of the area.

The goal was nothing less than Kelty deserved for their opening, but they were soon on the back foot as Spurs instantly set about looking for an equaliser. Ross Daly in the Kelty goal spilled a shot with another Spurs player bearing down on him, but he was able to collect at the second time of asking. Allan then headed a deep ball back across the face of goal, but to no avail as there was no-one in the middle to take advantage.

Craig Dewar was next to try and level the scores, he showed good strength to hold off his marker but his shot was tame and easy for Daly to save and hold on to.  

Kelty had a chance to make it two nil not long after, when Parkes raced clear, but Gear was out well to collect.

There were signs that Spurs were beginning to find a foot hole in the match, and the lively Allan soon found space for a cross, but it was blocked well by the Kelty defence. After the resulting corner was cleared, the ball was swung back in by Ryan Allan and flicked on at the near post, but the effort was not on target.

There was just time left in the first half for Scott Wilkie to try his luck with a speculative volley from outside the area, but the shot was high and of no trouble to Gear.

Saturday, 25 April 2015 19:28

Classy Colts triumph at The Myre

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Kinross Colts recorded a victory over Kirkcaldy YM at home as a double from Cameron Black and goals from Liam Murray and Lewis Caulfield sealed the win. Lewis McLeod scored from the penalty spot for the visitors to get one back.
An even opening with neither team able to profit from early crosses and it was Kirkcaldy that looked the better team as Michael Drysdale cleared from Jamie Spears cross. The visitors were caught on the break a few minutes later when Black played through Craig Swift. As the ball clipped his heels and bounced up it was Black who thundered the ball into the far corner to give the Colts an early lead.
Ross McNeish for Kirkcaldy drove an effort towards goal but Lewis Bathgate in the Kinross goal was equal to it. The visitors kept up their search for an equaliser and would have got one but for tremendous defending from Caulfield to deny George Galloways header and Jay Elders volley. Galloway had another chance for Kirkcaldy a minute later but again saw his shot blocked by Caulfield.
An ambitious strike on 16 minutes from Sean Cowe meant Gregor Kerr in the Kirkcaldy goal had to scramble to turn the ball wide. Cowe took the corner and his delivery was inch perfect for Black who rose highest to nod home his second to double the lead for Kinross. The hosts pressed for a third and Euan Duthie had a shot blocked while Black couldn’t quite direct his header goalwards for a hat-trick after superb work by Murray to set him up.
The visitors were given a lifeline when Caulfield was adjudged to have pushed Spears inside the box and McLeod dispatched the resulting penalty into the bottom right corner. Kirkcaldy, with the wind in their sails went close to an equaliser in the dying minutes of the half when Bathgate had to make a good stop from Elder. He had another chance after a through ball by Galloway but dragged it wide.
Forfar Athletic went into Wednesday evening’s game, against Raith Rovers, knowing that a point, or more, would guarantee them the SPFL Development League East title. What unfolded was a performance that achieved this objective and more. The young ‘Loons’ exceeded what was required of them, and delivered a classy display to beat their visitors 3-0. Craig Smith put the hosts 1-0 up in the first half before Jack Neave scored just after the hour mark. Kerr Hay completed the scoring late on, with a superbly executed move, to round off a superb demonstration of Forfar Athletic’s capabilities. Consistent performances like this are the reason they are the champions.
Forfar began the game strongly, determined to get the job done as soon as possible. In the 5th minute Craig Smith was played through on goal but, as he pulled the trigger, his shot was superbly blocked by Raith Rovers defender Oliver Flemming. Goalkeeper Scott Law was on hand to tidy up the loose ends. 
On the 17th minute Raith Rovers had an opportunity to take the lead. With some neat passing interchanges the ball fell to the feet of Liam McCroary yards from goal. The number 8’s effort was dramatically cleared off of the line by the Forfar defence.
Three minutes later the home side went close to scoring. Cameron Clark made a fine run, cutting in from the right wing. He then looked to curl a shot, from outside the box, into the bottom right hand corner of the net. Unfortunately for him his attempt ended up going past the wrong side of the post.
Shortly afterwards Forfar’s James Dale was brought down by Kieran Campbell just on the edge of the 18-yard line. The referee awarded a free kick to Forfar and Kerr Hay stepped up to take it. The forward struck a low, hard shot towards goal but it went straight into the arms of Law, who held on well.   
Scott Law was needed later on as Forfar continued to press for a goal. In the 27th minute full back, James Yates, delivered a pinpoint cross from the right side aimed at Cameron Clark. Law came scrambling out and managed to successfully get his fingertips to the ball. His actions diverted the ball away from Clark and gave the Raith Rovers’ defence a chance to clear the danger.
In the 31st minute Raith Rovers managed to work a fantastic opportunity for themselves. Callum Robertson was able to break free of the Forfar defence but his shot at goal flew over the crossbar.
Raith Rovers would have regretted missing that chance as, just a minute later, Forfar took the lead. Craig Smith was played through on goal and expertly rounded Scott Law, who had raced out to meet him. With Sean Mackie and Oliver Flemming racing back to their goal line to cover their goalkeeper, Smith superbly kept his composure and slotted the ball past both of them.
Raith responded well to going a goal down and came agonizingly close to leveling the scores in the 37th minute. Robertson managed to get his head onto a cross from the left wing but only managed to direct it towards his teammate, Jonny Court. Standing just a few yards from goal, with no defenders around, Court’s instinctive reaction header went just past the post, much to his dismay. A difficult chance but one he would love to have had again.
Forfar Athletic looked to reassume control of the match soon after through Paul McLellan. The number 7 made a great run down the right wing before firing a low cross into the penalty area. Flemming, however, was on hand to boot the ball out for a corner before it could reach a blue shirt.  
In the 43rd minute McLellan was at it again when he intercepted a long pass from Law. The wide man ran towards goal before unleashing a fierce strike at the target. Law excellently dived to his right to save and hold McLellan’s attempt, making amends for his loose pass.
Shortly before the half time break James Dale executed one of the most perfectly executed tackles you are ever likely to see. After he regained possession of the ball he then passed it towards Clark. The number 11 expertly weaved his way through the Raith Rovers challenges before laying it off to McLellan on the right flank. McLellan returned the ball to Clark who then looked to deliver a low cross into the box. The ball was cleared by the Raith Rovers defence and out for a corner. From the resulting kick McLellan came close as the ball skimmed across his head. It then fell to the feet of Jack Neave at the far post and the centre back wasted no time in firing towards goal. His shot, however, was deflected over the crossbar and, at that moment, the referee concluded the first period of the game.   

Arran Laird’s strike in Extra Time earned victory for Dundee West over Monifieth in the Tommy Clark Cup Final held at North End Park Dundee. Additional time was needed to break the deadlock with both sides scoring in the first half to tie an entertaining contest at 1-1.

The eventual winners of the trophy stated brightly with Derek Johnston delivering a free kick into the Monifieth box which sailed just beyond the forwards lurking in the area.

Monifieth responded to the early pressure and began to gain a foothold in the contest leading to the West defence having to be alert to clear the danger from a corner. As Monifieth continued to press Josh Barr tested Jack Gray from a free kick with the West number 1 doing well to hold the powerful drive. 

At the other end of the park Nathan Burns almost got on the end of a well weighted ball from midfield, but was beaten in the foot race by an alert Caelen Ralston in the Monifieth goal. West had the chance to put further pressure on the keeper moments later after Jaden Murphy’s corner broke for Derek Johnston who fired wide of target.

Monifieth continued to show they were also a threat going forward and almost took the lead with Ryan Scobie’s effort calling Gray into action.

At this stage both teams were creating chances and it was only the linesman’s flag which prevented Dylan Docherty advancing on goal after good link up play with Arran Laird. A foul in midfield provided a further opportunity for Dundee West with Josh Alexander’s free-kick just inside his own half being touched over by Caelen Ralston.

The save was to prove crucial as moments later Monifieth took the lead, good perseverance by Ryan McLaren allowed the ball to be played across goal to Cavin Tosh who slotted the ball past the keeper. 

West attempted to restore parity immediately and unlucky to see Ben Russell’s effort flash wide of the post following impressive link up with Jeden Murphy.

Heavily involved in the first goal Ryan McLaren almost got on the score sheet himself with an effort which hit the side netting of Gray's goal.

Despite almost going two behind West continued to advance forward and were almost rewarded with a header cleared off the line following a good delivery from Murphy’s corner.

Just as it looked as if Monifieth would go into the break with the advantage Dundee West equalized on the stroke of half time through Nathan Burns, the number 19 did well to control a ball from midfield before knocking it past the keeper and slotting home from a tight angle.

Dundee’s North End Park witnessed a hugely exciting, and tense, cup final as Ferry Athletic prevailed against Montrose YFC 1-0. The game’s only goal came in the final minute of extra time, courtesy of an exquisite shot from Stewart Hogan. Though the game wasn’t packed with goals, it really was a fantastically well-contested affair and made for superb viewing. 
Ferry Athletic came straight out of the blocks at the start of the game and created the first clear chance. Luke Queen was able to break free of the Montrose defence early on, rounded the goalkeeper, but was only able to fire his shot over the bar.
Shortly afterwards Queen threatened once again. Ferry’s electric forward attempted a looping shot at goal but, like his previous effort, it went over the crossbar.
In the 10th minute Ferry started to build the pressure once again. Their work culminated in a chance for Findlay McLean but his effort flew over the target.
After weathering the Ferry Athletic storm, Montrose started to find their way back into the game. The impressive Mitchell Smith made a fine driving run through the centre of midfield, in the 29th minute, before laying the ball off to Kai Henderson. Montrose’s number 14 hit a powerful strike, but it kept on rising and soared over the goal.
A minute later Henderson had another attempt on goal as he fired a long range effort towards goal. The shot, however, was comfortably claimed by Ferry goalkeeper, Thomas Egan.
The final chance of the first half came the way of Ferry Athletic. Shortly before the break they were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area. Jackson Dobbie stepped up to take the kick and delightfully curled his effort towards the top right hand corner. It seemed destined for the goal but standing in the way of Ferry taking the lead was Montrose’s captain, and goalkeeper, Ross Duncan. Montrose’s number 1 expertly parried away the ball and out for a corner kick.
Dundonald Bluebell remain on course for a clean sweep of domestic trophies as they overcame a stern test from a talented Aberdour side at Humbug Park.
Goals in each half from Max Coleman and Liam Rolland either side of a Zak Cruikshank equaliser won the game for the league leaders.
The match pitted two of the region’s best sides against each other, and there was plenty of respect shown by both sets of players during a tense opening.
The first real chance was created by Aberdour when Greg Hill cut the ball back across the face of goal, but Terry Ormiston failed to convert and the scores stayed level.
Connor Kirton was then on hand for Aberdour to turn away a dangerous looking ball into the box, before Nathan Feeley almost latched onto a through ball for Dundonald, but Quinn Franklin in the Aberdour goal was out quickly and bravely to smother the danger at the feet of the attacker.
The Dundonald pressure was beginning to mount however, and it was not long before they were rewarded with the game’s opening goal.  Raymond Crichton swung in a good delivery from a corner and, when the ball was only half headed clear, Coleman smashed a volley through the crowded penalty area into the back of the net.
Despite falling behind, the goal signalled a better spell for Aberdour who quickly got to work hunting for an equaliser, but found their opponents in no mood to give it to them.
After a sustained period of pressure the ball fell to Hill in the Dundonald penalty area, but he struggled to find room for a shot, and when he eventually managed to do so the ball went harmlessly wide of the post.
Feeley and Crichton were combining well for Dundonald, and the former had a sight of goal when he cut in from the right to unleash a left footed shot that whistled past the post.
Dundonald goalkeeper Darryl Gear then had to be alert when a Daniel Watt cross looked to be creeping under the bar, and having made the save the Bluebell stopper then dived at the feet of Hill who was following up on the rebound.
Feeley then had a terrific chance to double his side's lead, when he raced clear of the last defender to latch onto a long ball over the Aberdour defence, but having brought the ball under control he slid his left footed shot wide of both Franklin and the post.
Dundonald were stepping up the chase for a second, and a wonderful piece of vision allowed Crichton to pick out Lewis Scarlett with an inch perfect pass, but after controlling the ball his shot was well saved by Franklin.
That chance was soon followed by another, as Feeley and Crichton combined again down the left for Dundonald in a flowing move, but when the latter pulled the ball back Feeley saw his shot blocked by some last ditch defending, meaning Dundonald held the slenderest of leads at the break.