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It was FDS who got the game underway on a mild day at Westdyke Leisure Centre, taking on lower league opposition. Expectations were on FDS to proceed as they were, on paper, the stronger side. In the opening stages of the game neither team could really get the ball down on the deck to play some easy on the eye passing football. Also, in the opening stages, chances were limited, both teams were eager to make a bright start and not concede any silly goals.
However, as the game wore on it was FDS who began to gain the upper hand and get into their stride, creating a few decent openings but Kemnay defended well and got bodies behind the ball to prevent FDS from creating any clear cut chances. Although it was FDS who were beginning to take the game to their opponents, they still couldn't rule out Kemnay as they proved to be a real aerial threat, but they failed to create any clear openings in the first twenty minutes of the game.
FDS then drew first blood in this entertaining quarter final tie after the best phase of football in the game so far resulted in a fine, composed finish from striker, Simon Watson. The FDS front three consisting of Watson, Ben Hessell and Iain Hay-Higgins linked up well and proved too hot to handle for the Kemnay defence. Initially, Higgins played the ball into the feet of Hessell who then flicked the ball first time into the path of the onrushing Watson who stayed calm to round the keeper and then ultimately find the back of the net to give FDS the lead.
FDS then made two tactical changes in an attempt to hold their winning position or alternatively build on it. Harry Rothnie came on for Higgins in a straight swap and what a change it proved to be! Just two minutes after entering the field of play, Rothnie had already netted his third goal of the season. Bruce Dryburgh played a through-ball straight into Rothnie's stride who then sublimely rounded off what was a great introduction by slotting the ball under the Kemnay goalkeeper. Surely FDS would continue to build on their performance up to now and surely there would be no way back for Kemnay...or would there?
Kemnay responded well to not only just going one goal behind but also two when they could quite easily have given up. Rothnie lost out to the Kemnay defender who then played a long ball in behind the turning FDS back 4 and the forward stayed cool and showed great talent in dinking the ball over the helpless Bruce McCombie in the FDS goal and defender, Daniel Probyn couldn't get back in time to hook the ball clear and in fact almost took the goal down in the process! This Kemnay goal made the FDS players a little more nervous as the game approached the halfway stage and would have been hoping for the half time whistle so they could re-group. Before the break, Craig Mackie had a couple of half chances for the home side and his best one being a powerful volley from 25 yards out that beat the keeper but also only just beat the post.
Half Time: FDS 97 2-1 Kemnay BC
The teams came back onto the pitch to start the second half and it looked like a completely different FDS squad as they appeared to be more relaxed in possession of the football and were beginning to knock the ball around the park with great pleasure and freedom.
FDS began to search for what surely would be a killer 3rd goal and it wasn't long before it came. Great passing football down the FDS right hand side involving substitutes, Stephen Coutts and Jason Davie allowed Davie time on the ball to drive at the Kemnay left back and pick out a pass into the box and he did just that finding the unmarked Rothnie who could only see his goal bound effort cleared off the line. However, this goal line clearance only went as far as the well positioned Dryburgh who struck a first time volley (similar to Mackie's first half effort) into the keeper's bottom left hand corner who was left with no chance of denying FDS regaining their healthy two goal cushion.
FDS continued to build on their recent excellent passing football and were looking more fluent in their game as the Kemnay side began to tire. It was then game, set and match time for FDS as they got their well-deserved fourth goal following good play down the left hand side this time. The ball found its way to the other substitute, Ross Sangster who showed good skill in beating one defender before cutting back onto his stronger right foot and unleashing an intelligent lobbed effort that was brilliantly weighted, going over the Kemnay keeper who was rooted to the spot.
Credit to Kemnay where it's due, they didn't let their heads drop and continued to put up a strong fight against a well drilled FDS side that just proved too good on the day. Kemnay were still on the hunt for another goal that would certainly make the game tense for the FDS side as the game entered its dying embers.
The away side came agonisingly close from a free kick from well over 40 yards out but they could only watch it crash off McCombie's crossbar. However, they were eventually rewarded for their efforts as a corner was only half cleared by the FDS defence and the Kemnay midfielder hooked the ball back into the box and the unmarked centre half had the simplest of tasks to head the ball beyond McCombie into the back of the net. This was only to be a consolation though as their late surge was too little, too late and FDS saw out the game to proceed to the business end of the competition as they look forward to entertaining fellow A League opponents, Deveronvale in the semi-final.
Although Kemnay went crashing out the competition they can keep their heads held high as they have already beaten A League opposition this season in the making of Colony Park and also put up a good fight against Westdyke and gave FDS a good run for their money too. Kemnay are also enjoying a good season in the League as they remain unbeaten and look destined to be promoted into the A League next season.
Full Time: FDS 97 4-2 Kemnay BC