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Thursday, 02 April 2015 22:52

Skelly wonder goal sees Dundee defeat Rangers

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Dundee saw off Rangers in their SPFL development league clash at Forfar Athletic’s Station Park thanks to Josh Skelly. His spectacular second half strike was the difference between the two sides in a very well matched affair.
Both teams used the opening stages of the game to acclimatize and probe the opposition defences. The first chance fell to Dundee’s Lee Cameron nine minutes into the game. Matthew Allan fired a pinpoint long ball over the Rangers back line and Lee Cameron was able to latch onto the ball. The number 11 then looked to curl his effort into the top left hand corner of the net but Robby McCrorie, in goal for Rangers, expertly managed to pat the ball away out for a corner.
Shortly afterwards Rangers needed to reorganize as their centre back, Craig Halkett, was stretchered off after injuring his leg. Everyone hopes the injury is not too severe and he will be back in action soon.
In the 18th minute Rangers had their first opportunity. Fraser Aird delivered a great cross that found Calum Gallagher at the far post. His resulting header though flew just past the post.
Shortly afterwards Gallacher had another chance at goal. He gained possession of the ball in the penalty area and fired a shot towards the net. Dundee’s goalkeeper, Calum Brodie, was alert and put the ball over the bar for a corner. From the resulting kick the ball fell to Darren Ramsay just outside the box. The Rangers number 10 unleashed a fierce shot with his left foot but, unfortunately for him, it flew over the crossbar.
In the 35th minute of the game Dundee went close to going ahead. Calvin Colquhoun picked up the ball just outside the penalty area and fired a shot aimed towards the bottom left hand corner. The ball, however, went the wrong side of the post.
A couple of minutes later Fraser Aird had another opportunity for Rangers. Calum Gallagher made a great run before laying the ball off to Aird about 20 yards from goal. Like his side’s previous efforts, however, Aird’s shot was just a bit too high and flew above the bar. 
As the half time whistle went both teams went in level which, on the balance of play, seemed a fair score line. It was time to try and formulate a plan in the half time team talks to successfully break down the opposition defences. 
Dundee United Sports Club are the winners of the Henry Dolan cup after beating Broughty United 2-1. DUSC bagged their two goals in a strong first half performance with Fraser Anderson and Nathan Tosh finding the net. Broughty fought back in the second period, and pulled a goal back through Darren Forbes, but DUSC were able to hold off the continued pressure to secure the win.
The initial stages of the game were evenly matched with both sides probing the opposing defences. 20 minutes into the game DUSC started to have increased opportunities at goal as their forwards found openings to get a few shots away. Unfortunately for Dundee United, none of them were able to find the target.
Shortly afterwards DUSC took the lead through Fraser Anderson. Their captain leapt to meet a corner kick and headed successfully past the Broughty ‘keeper Rory Milne.
Following a few other DUSC chances they soon found themselves two goals to the good eleven minutes later. Nathan Tosh displayed great persistence to work his way through the Broughty defence successfully seeing off several challenges. He was then able to nudge the ball into the net from close range. It was a great goal that came about thanks to sheer determination. 
Monday, 30 March 2015 20:34

Balgonie turn on the style against Kinross

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Balgonie Scotia breezed past an under-strength Kinross Colts side as goals from Adam Haddow, Logan Speed, Tommy Milne, Kyle Baker, Sam Birrell and a handful from Matthew Harper sealed a comprehensive win. Lewis Caulfield’s goal for Kinross restored some pride for the visitors.
Due to a shortage of players for Kinross, I stepped in for an unexpected appearance in a Colts jersey.
Balgonie took the lead after only 30 seconds when a long ball carved open the Kinross defence like a hot knife through butter. Harper collected the ball and calmly slotted it under the onrushing Lewis Bathgate. Balgonie doubled their lead when a free kick was only cleared out to Haddow on the edge of the box. He controlled the ball well and placed it in the bottom right corner.
Kinross grew into the game after these early setbacks and had chances from a surging run by Euan Duthie and Craig Swift was denied by the Balgonie defence after an excellent through ball by Callum McIntyre. As the wind and driving rain arrived, Balgonie were unlucky not to make it three but the offside put paid to that.
The hosts increased their lead when Speed finished well. Kinross replied as Liam Murray's free kick was cleared by the rock that was the Balgonie defence. Good pressure by Balgonie paid off as they finished the half on a high as a Harper double and Milne capped off a superb Scotia first half display.
Matt McKinnon’s hat trick helped Ferry Athletic advance into the final of the J Duffy Cup U14 with a 6-2 victory over Kirrie in the tie played at Drumgeith.
Kirrie started brightly and were first to make a foray into the opposition half forcing a throw in a promising area. The resulting delivery was cleared allowing Ferry to make inroads on the counter, with Liam Crockett striking the post after his initial effort was well saved by David McFarlane in the Kirrie goal.  
Buoyed by almost breaking the deadlock Ferry continued to press and were rewarded with the opener from the penalty spot, Scott Galloway hitting the set piece into the corner of the net after being fouled by the keeper.
Moments later McFarlane was again called into action and had to be alert to collect a ball played into the box from Cameron Murray’s Free Kick. 
Kirrie responded to the early pressure from Ferry through Andrew Kettles effort which was well held by Keeper Robert Black. 
Ferry Athletic continued to press for their second goal of the afternoon and were almost rewarded through Matt McKinnon’s effort which was deflected away by McFarlane into the path of Crockett who fired wide. 
McKinnon was to benefit from his endeavour moments later and sent a powerful shot into the roof of the net for Ferry’s second of the game. Three minutes later a third was added with a well worked goal involving Chris Mudie and Liam Crockett allowing Jude Hughes to slot the ball past the keeper.  
Mudie continued to have a big impact on the game playing a through ball to Hughes with the third goal scorers advance on goal being halted by an offside decision and having a chipped effort himself which rose over McFarlane’s goal. Untroubled by the chip from Hughes the Kirrie goalkeeper was called into action to stop McKinnon’s effort from extending Ferry’s lead. 
As the pressure continued McKinnon got his second of the game and his sides fourth after knocking past McFarlane. 
Hughes and McKinnon continued to link up well and put pressure on the Kirrie defence leading to McFarlane having to come and collect a well waited ball from midfield.  The fifth goal of the Semi-Final was worthy of the occasion, Mudie collected the ball outside the box and sent a powerful drive into the roof of the net.  
Kirrie responded immediately and pulled a goal back through Robin Greens shot which cannoned of the post and into the net.  
Having got a foothold in the game Kirrie continued to press and Matthew McSheffreys advance on goal was well dealt with by the Ferry defence.  
The final action of the first half involved an effort by Hughes which was saved by McFarlane.
Sunday, 29 March 2015 18:08

Watt a Win for Aberdour in semi final

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Daniel Watt scored an astonishing six goals to help Aberdour into the Final of the League Cup, as they cruised past Dalbeath Colts at Hawkcraig Park.

Goals from Andrew Stark and Liam Robertson were not enough for the side from Cowdenbeath, as Watt’s six and a brace from Greg Hill confirmed a resounding victory for the make shift hosts.

The match was due to be played at the Golf Course Park in Cowdenbeath, but due to an unplayable surface was moved to Aberdour’s home surface at Hawkcraig Park.

The pre match talk was of a close game given that both sides are currently only separated by one point in the league, and despite the change in venue it was Dalbeath who made the quicker start.  

After a confident opening the game’s first chance fell to Ryan Morrison, shooting when the ball was only half cleared, but his volley went harmlessly over the bar.

It was a sign to Aberdour that they heeded with devastating effect. Some neat play from Hill and Watt on the left almost resulted in a chance but the play broke down when Watt was unable to return the pass to his teammate.

There was almost a big slice of luck when Hill sent a cross into the box, the ball rebounding off the far post before Kieran James follow up was well blocked.

Greig Renton looked lively in midfield for Dalbeath, and his incisive cut inside from the right and driving run ended with a left footed shot at goal, but he was unable to find the target.

The first goal wasn’t long in coming though, and it was a defensive error from the Colts that brought it. A misplaced pass across the defence went straight to Hill, who kept his cool to slide the ball past Declan McGregor.

Within minutes the lead was doubled when Watt broke clear to send a right foot finish under McGregor and put Aberdour firmly in control.

Aberdour were piling the pressure on as they hunted for more goals, and Lee Jamieson had a chance to make it three, but was well guarded by the Dalbeath back line and his shot was hit well over the crossbar.

Dalbeath continued to go forward, and Gregg Page showed good skill to beat his marker on the edge of the area but was denied by the woodwork, despite getting his head to the bouncing ball before Aberdour ‘keeper Quinn Franklin.

Page then took aim with a left footed shot, but his effort was comfortable for Franklin who collected with ease.

As Half Time approached Dalbeath were still seeking a foothole in the game after the two earlier goals, but things did not improve as Aberdour pulled away before the break.

First, a fantastic cross from Josh McPhie found Watt unmarked in the penalty area, and with time to control he buried his shot to make it three nil. There was worse still to come for Dalbeath however, as on the stroke of half time Watt broke clear again, and despite being on a hat-trick and one on one with McGregor, he unselfishly squared the ball for the overlapping Hill to finish into an empty net.

Dundee University’s women’s team probably had a great party on Wednesday evening. Their victory against the University of Edinburgh means it is now three successive Scottish Conference Cup wins, but this one did not come easy. Edinburgh initially went 1-0 up, courtesy of a great looping goal from Lily Chubb, before Dundee equalized 11 minutes later through Laura Ulsig. The game finished level and advanced to a penalty shootout. Dundee managed to hold their nerve and won the cup after triumphing 4-3 on penalties.   
With playing conditions perfect, a rarity in Scotland, it was Edinburgh who made the better start. In just the third minute of the game Jodie Owens was able to latch onto a through ball played beyond the Dundee back line. The forward took her shot across goal but it flashed just past the post.
Two minutes later and Owens attempted to execute a similar move by latching onto another through ball delivered from midfield. This time, however, she was foiled by the alert Roberta-Leigh Cochrane. The Dundee University goalkeeper raced from her line and cleared the ball for a throw in.
Shortly after it was Chelsea Van Bousch’s turn to try and take advantage of the through balls, this time delivered by Joanne Russell. Once again Cochrane’s concentration was spot on. She raced out to meet the oncoming threat and claimed the ball at Van Bousch’s feet.
Edinburgh’s pressure then told as, with 14 minutes gone, they found themselves in front. Kirsty Maden managed to pick the ball up on the edge of the penalty area and unleashed an unstoppable looping shot. The ball flew over Cochrane and Edinburgh had the early advantage in the game.
After this setback Dundee began to respond. Lea Kleinsorge made a great run down the right hand side before firing a cross into the box. The Edinburgh University ‘keeper, Charlotte Parker-Smith, was able to claim the ball in the air to snuff out any further danger.    
A minute later Edinburgh went close to doubling their lead. Following a corner a goalmouth scramble ensued with numerous players attempting to divert the ball one way or another. Eventually the ball fell to the feet of Van Bousch, but she could only stab the ball just wide of the post.
As the game ticked into the 25th minute Dundee scored their equalizing goal. Edinburgh conceded a free kick about 35 yards from goal and Dundee’s Lauren Gray stepped up to take it. The centre back went straight for goal but was denied by Parker-Smith, who parried the ball onto the crossbar. Laura Ulsig was the most vigilant player in the penalty area and was the first to meet the loose ball. After superbly keeping her composure she duly dispatched the ball into the roof of the net to level the scores at 1-1. The game was well and truly on.
The next opportunity in the game fell to Ulsig, who very nearly doubled her goal tally. After making a superb run down the right hand side she fired a shot at goal looking for the top corner at the near post. Unfortunately for her she was only able to hit the frame of the goal and the ball went out for a goal kick. 
The final chance before the half time break fell the way of Edinburgh University. Owens took a shot at goal after a coming in from the right wing but was denied by a great save from Cochrane. Joanne Russell was able to meet the rebound first but Cochrane was up once more to deny Edinburgh regaining the lead. 
On a bitter and windy Sunday afternoon at North End Park saw Dundee West lift the cup by a spare goal in a well fought evenly matched encounter. Broughty had much of the initial possession in the opening stages and their pressure on West's defence soon paid off when the opening goal of the match came after 13 minutes.
A high free kick into the box, over the defence, fell at the feet of Ewan Faulkner who gently slotted the ball into the net past the keepers right hand side from 6 yards out.
Broughty continued to attack but West's defence were up to the task inside the penalty area clearing away several dangerous opportunities.
West then began to retaliate and a couple of free kicks were unfortunately squandered. One opportunity going frustratingly out of play down the left and the other going a few yards over the bar. They proceeded in attempting to make an impact in the final third but Broughty were handing the incoming balls comfortably and also counter attacking.
A soft shout for a penalty from a foul on 20 minutes was waved away by the referee when the Broughty midfielder was taken down in the box after good skill in getting there.
Dundee West had a couple of corner kicks and these lead to penalty box scrambles desperate to score the equaliser with Broughty on the other hand frantically defending their one goal lead.
Both central defenders for West were integral in preventing a potential killer second goal. They man marked and played the line of defence superbly all afternoon. 
Throughout the first half both teams defended extremely well, but with Broughty the better side in attacking. 
A few foul throw ins and free kicks slowed the pace of the game down into the last 10 minutes.
Saturday, 21 March 2015 17:21

Brilliant Balgonie secure good victory

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Balgonie Scotia were victorious as goals from Sam Birrell, Logan Speed and a double from Matthew Harper consigned Kinross to a 4-0 defeat at The Myre.
The visitors began well but were almost caught out when an optimistic cross by Allen Saunders almost found Craig Swift at the back post but keeper Morgan McGory smothered the ball. 
Balgonie forced the opening chance when Harper flashed an effort across the face of the home side’s goal. Kinross replied when Euan Duthie almost created a chance with a driving run into the Balgonie Scotia box. 
Both teams continued to create chances and Lewis Bathgate was called upon in the Kinross goal as Liam Rhind and Tommy Milne were both denied by the keeper.
Balgonie took the lead on twelve minutes when Harper was played through and despite there being a hint of offside he calmly fired it past Bathgate into the bottom left corner to give the visitors the lead. 
Balgonie kept up the pressure as Rhinds long range effort was gathered by Bathgate at the second attempt before Kieran McLellan played in Harper who laid it off to Birrell before placing it into the far corner of the net to complete a quick fire double for the visitors.
Kinross responded and Swift was denied superbly at the front post by McGory at full stretch after Cowes cross found its way to him. 
Cowe produced another good cross but McGory again gathered the ball easily. 
Adam Haddow rifled over for the visitors after Kinross failed to clear a corner and this let off almost came back to haunt Balgonie as Duthies shot was spilled and needed clearing before Paul McLintoch could capitalise. 
McLintoch and Cameron Black linked up well but couldn’t create anything but a superb ball through by Duthie was run onto well by Liam Murray and he lifted the ball over McGory but sadly for the hosts over the bar as well. 
The Colts went in two down rather than three as good defending at the back by Michael Drysdale kept Balgonie out.
A double from Danny Handling gave Hibernian a 2-0 victory over Dundee United in the SPFL Development League fixture held at Station Park. Both sides came into the match on good form with Dundee United overcoming Dunfermline and Hibernian continuing their unbeaten run with a 2-2 draw at St Mirren. 
Farid El Alagui continuing his return from injury for the Easter Road side was included in a squad which also contained three players on the bench for the previous weeks SPFL Championship match at Cowdenbeath in Martin Boyle, Sam Stanton and Danny Handling. Dundee United perhaps with one eye on Wednesday's Scottish Cup replay with Celtic did not included any over age players on match day.
Despite there being a lesser amount of first team experience the home side started brightly with Ola Aadeymo’s advance on Kleton Perntreou’s goal being brought to a halt by an offside flag. 
Following the let off Hibernian managed to gain a foothold in the match and some sustained pressure around the United area led to powerful effort from Handling which flew just wide of post. Untroubled by the previous effort from the Hibs number eight, Joe McGovern in the United goal had to be alert to collect a deep cross from Stanton with El Alagui lurking in the box.
It was clear Hibernian were looking to take advantage of the aerial prowess of the former Brentford man and another good delivery by Aaron Dunsmore almost led to the opening goal from El Alagui’s diving header. As the away side pressed for the opener they were almost caught on the counter, good work by Chris McGlaughlin resulted in a driven ball across goal which was just beyond the onrushing Aadeymo.
Following the chance for United the earlier pattern of play resumed with Stanton heavily involved, firstly having an effort on goal which drifted wide and delivering a cross into the box which rose above the heads of Boyle and El Alagui.  
Dundee United continued to soak up the pressure and almost took the lead through Jamie Montgomery’s effort which was parried to safety by Perntreou. Dunsmore continued to look lively and created the best chance of the half by playing a ball across goal which made its way to El Alagui who directed wide following a fresh air swipe by Boyle.
El Alagui had two further efforts to break the deadlock through a header which sailed wide and a low shot well held by McGovern. The United keeper was having a decent afternoon and was again called into action by a Stanton effort from just outside the box. Both sides would go into the half time break on level terms after Stanton’s free kick drifted over the bar.
Riverside CSC claimed victory against St Andrews Colts after netting a devastating 13 goals. Jamie Thomson scored an outstanding five goals while Jack Pollock netted four. Ryan Lonie, who had started of the scoring, grabbed himself a double in the game whilst Scott Crosbie and Michael O’ Rourke scored a goal each for themselves. All in all it was an impressive display from the boys in blue.
St Andrews began the game on the back foot, as they were only able to field ten players. For Riverside, their attacking intentions were clear from the get go as Thomson broke through the St Andrews defence in the first minute of the game. He took a low hard shot but was denied by Callum Reid, in goal, who saved well.
Reid was tested shortly after when Ryan Lonie drove into the box and looked to curl his effort into the far corner. The ‘keeper was once again able to parry the ball out and it was eventually cleared.
In the fifth minute of the game, however, Riverside opened the scoring. After some neat interplay on the edge of the box Lonie was eventually played through beyond the defence. His initial shot was saved well by Reid but Riverside’s number 12 quickly dispatched the rebound to make it 1-0.
Riverside came close to adding a second three minutes afterwards when Andrew Balmer met a corner kick with his head. The resulting header looped up and landed onto the crossbar before bouncing out of play.
Afterwards it was Jack Pollock’s turn to go close. Lonie fired in a great cross from the left wing, which found Pollock just a few yards from goal. The number 10, somehow, managed to fire his shot up and over the crossbar.
As the game ticked into the 17th minute Riverside found themselves 2-0 up. Pollock picked up the ball and fired a shot towards the bottom left hand corner. Despite Reid managing to get a hand to it the ball still managed to find its way into the net.
Ten minutes later St Andrews managed to create an opportunity for themselves. Jack Ovenstone made a fine run down the left hand side before laying the ball off to Kai Gately. The number 8 then fired a cross into the box but, unfortunately, it flew just over the head of the oncoming Josh Ingram and went out of play.
In the 31st minute of the match the third goal was scored. Jamie Thomson fired in a great cross from the right hand side where it was met by Pollock. The number 10 slotted the ball home with a neat first time finish.
Three minutes later Riverside scored their fourth. Thomson latched onto a through ball from Lonie and found himself in a one on one situation. He managed to successfully slot the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper to grab the first of his goals.
Shortly after and Thomson had his second and Riverside’s fifth. Once again Ryan Lonie was the supplier from the left wing as he floated in a cross towards Thomson, who was waiting in the box. The number 11 successfully headed the ball into the back of the net from six yards out.
A minute after the fifth goal came the sixth. After a defensive mix up for St Andrews Pollock was able to latch onto the loose ball and calmly place the ball into an open goal. As the half time whistle came Riverside found themselves in a dominant position.