Boclair Academy earned a hard-fought 3-1 victory over St John’s High School in the Scottish Schools’ Football Association U-16 Shield final on Friday night. Two goals from Boclair midfielder Callum Wilson gave his side the upper hand in a highly competitive affair. St. John’s Nicholas Scott received a red card soon after Wilson’s second goal before Yaser Razouk extended Boclair’s lead, effectively sealing his side’s victory. However, there was still time for St. John’s to score a well-deserved consolation through Taylor Carroll’s header in the closing stages.
The first 10 minutes of the game set the tone for what was to come with both sides battling for supremacy and playing attractive, entertaining football.
The first real chance fell to Boclair’s Aidan Lynch who fired wide at the near post after a good run and cross from Cameron Brisbane.
Minutes later it was St John’s turn to go close. Gavin Ritchie won possession in Boclair’s half with the ball eventually falling to Connor Coupe who blazed his shot narrowly over the bar after a lovely piece of skill to create space for his strike on goal.
St John’s started to take control of the game after the opening stages without creating too many chances, mainly down to Boclair’s resolute and committed defending. However, Boclair looked dangerous whenever they came forward and won themselves a penalty in the first 20 minutes. Boclair’s Ian Stokes came infield from the left channel and slipped a pass to Wilson in the penalty area who was brought down by a flailing leg after skipping past a St John’s defender. It was Wilson himself who stepped up to take responsibility for the spot-kick, confidently firing his strike low into the bottom corner with the ball taking a nick off of the inside of the post on the way in.
Boclair had a chance to double their lead before long. Some good high pressure resulted in Ian Stokes winning possession from a St John’s throw-in before bringing Jack Stansfield into play. The tricky winger’s teasing low cross into the heart of the St John’s area found an unbalanced Lynch who was unable to make clean contact with the delivery and divert it goalward.
Boclair had to endure periods of immense pressure from St. John’s, making blocks and clearances in order to preserve their lead. Despite their opponents’ pressure, it was Boclair who had the last of the chances in the first half. A dangerous inswinging corner from William Fleming found the head of James Stokes who was unable to get over the ball in order to keep his header from flying over the crossbar.
However, there was still time for one more chance before the half-time whistle. Boclair were starting to get joy down the right flank in the closing stages of the first half. James Stokes was at the heart of the action once again, beating several challenges on a long, powerful run down the right. He managed to dig out a dangerous cross from the by-line, but there was no one in the middle getting on the end of it.