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Everything in this cup tie went the way of the team from Aberdeen. There was doubt among many of the parents who accompanied the players on their 3 hour trip to Edinburgh that the pitch was unplayable and I thought they were correct. However, after a lot of consulation between the respective coaches, the game went ahead and the final scoreline did I think make the journey home in the team bus to Aberdeen very enjoyable indeed. Particularly, for goalkeeper, Cameron Jarvie! This nice young person had an incredible game and, if not quite single-handed, still an absolute hero for Albion. His team-mates rushed to hug him at the final whistle and no wonder. Cameron was virtually unbeatable and he used every part of his body to both save and deflect net-bound shots away from his goal. He was aided by a very good defence, I have to add.
On this special day for the Albion club, every one of their players was a hero. And, Hutchison Vale? Well, they must still be wondering how they lost out in their great cup run. Frankly, on any other day, they will score a lot of goals, but not at St Augustine’s on Sunday, December 2, 2012! Cameron Jarvie even saved a penalty in the second half! But, from the opening whistle from excellent match official, George Mathieson, this was a fast-moving cup tie, with spills galore on the slippy surface.
It was not, I suggest, a good surface for passing football, although both sides managed to create good moves, but it was mostly through the ball being moved quickly from back to front. Albion started well and took the game to Vale, with good attacking moves up the right from No 7, Jack Odlin. The home side countered with raids on the away goal, led by Jamie Mackay and Blair Conway. One shot at the Albion goal was fumbled by Cameron Jarvie. But the danger was cleared. Then Vale, who had No 3, Lewis Hall, in goal as replacement for the injured Jamie Mitchell, wentt 1-0 behind. A corner on the left for Albion resulted in a good ball in to the danger area in front of Hall and Oscar Slater (what a great name that is) scored from close in to put Albion 1-0 in front.
If Vale were under pressure before that goal, Albion increased the tempo of their attacks and soon after they scored another goal, a real beauty. A corner on the right to the near post was volleyed behind Hall by No 5, Fraser Gordon, another Albion player who had a superb game in defence. The home fans possibly could not believe their fancied side were 2-0 down, and the scoreline was, maybe, their worst nightmare! Any free-kicks to the Aberdeen side were sent hurtling in to the Vale goalmouth by No 6, Mitchell Cheyne.
Meanwhile, Vale lifted themselves and attacked the Albion goal. It was nothing short of incredible to see Cameron Jarvie survive everything that Vale delivered in to his goalmouth. Jamie Docherty ran at the Albion goal from the right and under challege from a defender, sent a toe poke beyond Jarvie but the ball ran wide of the left-hand post. And so it went on, shots from Mackay and Conway either blocked or saved by the inspired/lucky Albion goalie.
The good ball players on both sides could not get a proper grip with their studs on the hard surface and the game became more and more an example of running football. At both ends, but Vale had chances galore to open their own account, but it was, indeed, just one of these days for the Edinburgh side. Conway set up a good move and delivered a tempting ball across the face of the Albion goal, but Watson was just off the pace of the ball. Frustrating for Vale and their fans, or what? Another move by Conway was cleared by TWO defenders.
Albion’s rearguard was one of the strongest and most effective parts of their team. Docherty went down in a challenge on the right and Vale had the chance to put pressure on the Albion defence from the free-kick. But Jarvie, somehow or other, managed to palm the delivery away and it was cleared, anywhere! Mackay sent in a bouncing effort at Jarvie, but the Albion keeper clutched the ball on the up bounce and it was still 2-0 for Albion at half-time.
Half Time: Hutchison Vale 0-2 Albion BC
At the break, Mackay replaced Hall in the Vale goal and there was no way anyone could criticise Vale for effort as they went all out to get a goal. Murray Young was on target with a shot at the away goal, but the ball was cleared, again, by a defender. Things just were not going Vale’s way! Albion put big No 14, Slater, up front and the Aberdeen side were always dangerous on the break. But it was mostly a case of Vale v Cameron Jarvie and the Albion defence. A cross from the right was missed by Jarvie - and everyone else! Euan came on for Vale and created a lot of problems for Albion but the goal the Edinburgh side needed to get back in to the game just would not come for them.
The home side suffered even more when a cross from the right resulted in another agonising miss - an absolute sitter of a goal! But not for Vale! Finlay Johnston was next to have a go at the Albion goal, but his shot was blocked by a mass of defenders. Another good high cross from the right resulted in the ball dropping tantalisingly over the Albion crossbar.
Jarvie continued to make a name for himself with quite incredible saves and deflections. But Vale did have the ball in the net - only to have it chalked off for offside. However, the Vale fans were cheering when Ewan McGuire did score in a good move on the Albion goal. Jarvie, at last, was beaten. But it was the only time Vale managed to get the better of the Albion hero!
Josh Bolton sent a good header just over the Albion crossbar and the anguish for Vale continued. There was one amazing incident when a shot from Vale could possibly have found the back of the net, but a defender blocked the ball and it bounced into Jarvie's hands. I do not think I have ever seen such an unlucky side as Hutchison Vale were at St Augustine’s. They won a penalty after Johnston was sent tumbling in the box. Alistair McCann took the spot-kick but Jarvie dived to his right to save the spot-kick.
The keeper’s incredible day continued when he saved a shot from Conway on the goal-line! Then another save from Watson and so it went on. I had a strong feeling Albion would score another goal. They always looked capable of doing that in their breaks up the pitch. And they most surely did just that when Tyler Ogston sent in a great shot from well out, slightly to the left of the Vale goal and the ball crashed past Mackay and Albion were truly high and dry, leading 3-1 with only a few minutes left to play.
While Jarvie was the Albion hero, Finlay Johnston had a great game in defence. Others in the Albion squad all contributed to what was an epic win in Edinburgh. Hutchison Vale will just have to put it down to part of the learning process, after all, they are still very young. They took their defeat well and all that was left was for Cameron Jarvie more or less to float off the pitch at the finish. Truly, the goalkeeper had the game of his young life! And, my goodness, it was freezing cold by the time George Mathieson blew for time up.
Full Time: Hutchison Vale 1-3 Albion BC