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North Region (268)

Last year’s Denis Law Tournament runners-up, Aberdeen, fell to a 1-0 defeat in their opening fixture this time round.  Sheffield United beat the Dons in controversial circumstances, with the winning goal coming from a player who may have lucky to still be on the pitch.
Aberdeen threatened first when Bruce Anderson played a great ball through to Connor McLennan who hit the target but couldn’t beat the keeper.  The Dons went close again in the 11th minute.  Seyon Kosheodo showed good strength to hold off a defender in the box before finding McLennan who dragged his shot wide.
Kosheodo was involved again on 17 minutes, breaking down the left wing at pace before blasting his shot over the bar.  Three minutes later a Sheffield United free kick sparked chaos in the Aberdeen box.  The ball in found Keegan Burton whose shot was parried by Reece Willison and eventually scrambled clear after a goal-mouth stramash.
The English side had another chance a minute later when Dylan Parkin tried his luck from the edge of the box but Willison made the save.
Aberdeen then had two goals disallowed for offside in the space of three minutes, and United almost took the lead in between the two incidents.  Frank Koroma raced away down the left and skipped over the challenge from the keeper as he rushed out of his goal.  The danger-man though could only hit the side-netting from a tight angle.
Thursday, 17 July 2014 03:11

Dons take points in local Denis Law clash

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Aberdeen took the points in their second game of the 2014 Denis Law tournament beating local team Lewis United who were kicking off their campaign. Bruce Anderson scored two before Jamie Buglass rounded out the scoring for Aberdeen. A late Lewis United surge produced a Josh Milne goal but it was not enough to overcome the advantage Aberdeen had built up.
The first chance of the match went to Aberdeen when Buglass crossed for Connor McLennan who put the ball narrowly wide.
Shortly after, Lewis United’s Dylan Leslie was prevented from crossing the ball by a well-timed Darren Hynes tackle.
The ball was then won well for Lewis United by Richard Binnie who set up Callum Youngson to cross and Leslie connected well on the volley. His shot went just past the post.
The opening exchanges were characterised by lots of possession for Lewis United and Aberdeen getting forward quickly when they had the chance. Both defences dealt well with attacks by their opponents.
Around the mid-point in the half Owen Purdie of Lewis United worked himself into space on the edge of the box and his shot was only slightly high of the target.
Buglass then forced a save from Lewis keeper Morgan Cook, who held onto the ball well from the powerful shot unleashed just inside the box.
Aberdeen then tried the spectacular when MacLennan’s overhead kick drifted wide the cross had come from an Andrew Youngson corner kick and the first half was destined to end goalless.
The story of the half was that two organised defences prevented either side from carving out a clear opportunity to score.
Celtic’s under 17 side won the Denis Law Tournament in 2013 and their under 16 side made a strong start to the 2014 tournament with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Dundee. Celtic’s Aidan Quinn netted the all important opening goal midway through the first half and wide man Rory Currie scored two to wrap up an impressive start to this year’s tournament for Celtic. 
The 3-0 victory sends Celtic to the submit after the other game in the group which was played on the pitch adjacent to this one saw Sheffield United overcome Aberdeen 1-0. Celtic’s under 17 team beat Dundee on the way to winning the tournament last year and this under 16 side will be hoping that is a good omen. 
The Glasgow team started the match in the ascendancy and had Dundee camped in their own half for large parts of the first half. Despite that, they struggled to break down a well organised, stubborn and plucky Dundee side. The dark blues started the match in a 4-5-1 formation with the aim of being hard to beat. To their credit, they tried to pass the ball out from the back but often lacked an outlet upfront to turn defence into attack. 
Celtic were using the width of the pitch in their attempt to breakdown Dundee and right winger Rory Currie was lively throughout. And it was up the right wing where Celtic created the goal their performance had merited. 
Dundee’s Alex Gibb attempt to chaperone the ball out of play was thwarted by Celtic’s Anthony Ralston who nicked the ball off him and squared for Aidan Quinn who had the simple task of knocking the ball into the net from four yards. Gibb protested that the ball had rolled out of play but with the benefit of a replay, it appears the linesman made the correct decision.
Celtic would have been delighted with their opening goal and would have hoped that it would result in more space and gaps to exploit. They doubled their lead five minutes later when Currie cut in from the right, escaped a challenge and fired high into the goal past goalkeeper Robbie Paterson from 14 yards. 
Thursday, 05 June 2014 11:01

Culter boys beat local rivals to land silverware

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Culter Boys beat their local rivals Culter Colts to claim the Consolation Trophy in the final at Balgownie. Both teams had done well to make it to the final Colts beat Cove United while Boys defeated Ellon Meadows. Boys struck first through Keiran Duncan’s first half goal. Colts levelled through Paul Hadfield quickly after the break. However, a quick reply by Stewart Webster and a Connor Low goal gave Boys the victory.
Colts had the first chance of the game when James McMahon collected a good clearance by the Colts defence from a Boys corner. McMahon drove at the Boys defence on the break and forced a good save from Cameron Brebner from a shot just inside the box.
Slightly later Webster darted down the wing for Boys evading two tackles and eventually forcing a corner for Boys. Ross Dallas dealt well with the ball into the box from the corner.
The opening exchanges were dominated by this pattern with both defences dealing well with long balls to strikers and central midfielders and breaks down the wings.
The next chance fell to Colts’ Calum Moir whose shot went narrowly over after being played in by Scott Flint who offered a lot of excitement getting forward from the right back position.
It was Boys who broke the deadlock in the 27th minute when a long throw from Andrew Meldrum was tucked away in the six yard box by Keiran Duncan who showed good awareness to get into position.
Colts almost replied when Hadfield held onto the ball well under pressure to play in Flint whose cross was blocked out for a corner. An under pressure Ewan Smith headed the resulting corner narrowly wide.
The last chance of the half fell to Boys when Meldrum twisted and turned through the Colts defence and won a free kick but the set piece was well handled by Jonny Bain.
The first half was one which consisted largely of good physical defending resulting in few clear cut chances.
Mintlaw Academy is a school that win trophies in the boys game and the girls game. However, it has only been twice that the school has triumphed in the North of Scotland Cup. 1961 was the last success and they took on Inverurie hoping to end the drought.
It was during school time and it was a dreich day which meant there was only a few parents in attendance. However, there was good quality on show however on a fast pacey surface it meant that there was less chances than the spectators might have hoped for.
Inverurie were first  to try their luck in front of goal, a Jamie Hay pass found Sam Robertson who then let fly from 15 yards however a good save from James Smith in the Mintlaw goal.
Mintlaw then started to get some shots away, Kane McCrory had a free kick after 20 minutes which just went over the top of Morgan Cook's goal.
It was Mintlaw who were to open the scoring and the goal shows that you don't have to be tall to do big things, a great ball was swung into the area by Liam Cameron which was met by Dominic Alford whose header found the net, one of the smallest players on the park.
Ellon Meadows have become the first Ellon team since 1989 to win the Frank Waugh Memorial Trophy after a thrilling 4-2 victory against Banchory. 
Banchory twice held the lead thanks to goals from Sean Findlay and substitute Iain Riddell but Ellon pegged them back both times through Harry Stuart and Scott Firth. Firth them scored again late on to make it 3-2 and Jack Craig rounded off the scoring to secure Ellon the trophy. 
Banchory and Ellon were originally due to meet in the semi-final of the competition before Colony Colts and Bervie Caley pulled out. This meant both teams hadn’t played a competitive fixture in two months. Ellon’s last league game was an 8-3 defeat to Banchory on the 22nd of March. While Banchory’s last game was a 3-3 draw with Newmachar United on the 29th of March. 
Despite that, Banchory didn’t start the match like a rusty team. They were much the better team in the opening 10 minutes and were rewarded for that with the opening goal. A perfectly timed run and pass set Sean Findlay free and under pressure he poked the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net from 16 yards. 
Usually a goal galvanises a team but it did the opposite to Banchory who stopped playing after going ahead. Ellon capitalised on this and equalised just minutes later. Scott Firth wouldn’t give up on a lost cause of a ball on the right wing and he did brilliantly to win the ball back and pull it back for Liam Willox who set up Harry Stuart and he curled the ball into the top corner from the left of the penalty area. 
Both sides then missed good chances.
Banchory’s Findlay blasted over from within the 18-yard box and his strike partner Thomas Shand could only shoot straight at the goalkeeper from eight yards. 
And at the other end Banchory goalkeeper Bruce McCombie had to be at his best to deny goal bound half-volleys from outside of the box from both Ross Mitchell and Matthew Taylor. 
Just before half time Banchory had a goal disallowed for offside. Ewan Christie broke the offside trap and squared the ball for striker Shand who rolled the ball into the empty net. The linesman flagged for the goal scorer being offside despite the ball being pulled back for him.
It was a day of firsts and lasts for Albion Boys Club at Sunday’s SR Wood Trophy Final against Dyce Boys Club. The game was the club’s last as Albion Boys Club, as they will be renamed Banks O’Dee Albion from next season. Sunday also marked the first day of the ADJFA transfer window and Albion had their first new signings of the summer in attendance. Calum McKenzie has signed from ALC Athletic and Ben Ross has resigned for Albion after a spell at Culter Colts. 
McKenzie and Ross watched on as their new team produced a dominant display to beat Dyce 7-1 and win the SR Wood Trophy. Two goals from Kyle Smith and one each for Connor Wood, Ross Christie, Logan Johnstone, Fraser Bryce and Jason Ritchie saw Albion cruise to victory. Kieran Simpson scored a consolation goal from the penalty spot for beaten Dyce.
Football is a game of small margins and the whole outset of the game could have been so very different if Dyce had taken the lead, and they had a golden chance to do it. 
Dyce’s Sean McHardy latched onto a short back pass and beat the goalkeeper to the ball but his prodded shot agonisingly trickled just wide of the empty goal. 
From that moment on Albion never looked like losing the match and they took the lead minutes later. Connor Wood picked up the ball 20 yards from goal and side footed the ball into the far corner to make it 1-0.
Albion were then awarded their first penalty of the game when Connor Wood was tripped in the penalty area after 13 minutes. Kyle Smith stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way, slotting the ball into the bottom right-hand corner. 
To their credit, Dyce consolidated after that and it became an even game again. They had a chance to half the deficit from a corner but Joseph Bisset headed the ball just over the crossbar from eight yards.
Monday, 02 June 2014 10:34

Colony go all the way after Formartine victory

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If Colony Locos coaches Derek Wood & Alan Calder were looking for a brillant performance to see out there coaching careers with the club in style then they definitely seen it at Spain Park, controlled play for the majority of the game and on their day they could have scored more.
Don't underestimate Formartine though, this was their biggest game of the season and they put up a fantastic fight, they have exceeded all expectations for this season and they deserve a lot of credit for finishing 4th in a really competitive league.
Locos were quick to get into their stride and had a lot of good attacking opportunities in the opening period of the game which in the end came to no avail, the Formartine defence and goalie Ryan Thomson must deserve praise for a brave display.
Colony took the lead in the 14th minute, a great ball in by Dean Henderson found Dan Crisp whose effort was enough to squeeze under the United defence and in, this was only going to give Alan Calder's side the impetus to go on and make sure their name was on the trophy.
The Inverurie side then doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute, another great ball came in which Formartine couldn't defend and it landed into the pathway of Grant Dawson (who scored a brace last weekend in the Scottish Cup final) who nodded home.
Newmachar United beat Culter Boys 2-1 to win the Frank Waugh Memorial Trophy. In what was an extremely close contest, a bit of individual quality from playmaker Alex Durrand was enough for Newmachar to get their hands on the trophy. The game looked destined for extra time until Durrand intervened with a wonderful 25-yard free kick to win the game. Before that, Newmachar took the lead within the first two minutes through striker Sam Garnham but that was cancelled out just a few minutes later by Culter winger Amir Panahi.
An even game was almost inevitable as both sides finished their league campaign with identical records. Both Culter and Newmachar played 15, won nine and lost six accumulating 27 points. Although before the final, Culter had the edge in the teams’ previous three meetings this season, winning two with Newmachar winning the other. 
Despite that, Newmachar started the match in the ascendancy. Their winger Danny Milnes had already shot wide when they took the lead through Sam Garnham after two minutes. Garnham showed great pace and intelligence to cut across his defender - so he couldn’t touch him – and run from the half way line all the way to the edge of the penalty area before shooting past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner. 
They almost doubled their lead shortly after when Alex Durrand’s in-swinging free kick from the left missed everybody and narrowly whizzed wide of the back post.
But credit to Culter, they altered the flow of the game almost immediately and equalised after five minutes through Amir Panahi. The infectious nature of their manager Sid Merrakech clearly rubbed off on Panahi as he never gave up on a loose ball in the penalty area, despite how astute the angle was, and he managed to squeeze the ball into the net at the near post from almost the by-line.   
The end-to-end nature of the opening minutes understandably subsided after Culter’s equaliser as both teams started to cancel each other out. 
Good combination work on the left wing from Culter’s Jack McGregor and Ben Chapman allowed McGregor to shoot from the edge of the box but his effort was well held by Newmachar goalkeeper Lewis Johnson.
Newmachar then missed a golden opportunity to retake the lead just before half-time. A great team move resulted in Milnes producing a superb cross from the right but Garnham could only knock the ball over the ‘bar from six yards. 
Just before the interval Culter striker Chapman’s Dad shouted to him:
“Ben, you’re standing offside every time.”
And the striker responded:
“I know I am doing it on purpose.”
Chapman stayed on the last man throughout the match, trying to exploit his pace. And standing offside and getting back onside when the ball is played to gain a yard advantage over the defender is a tactic Michael Owen used successfully for years. 
Monday, 19 May 2014 11:03

Albion rampant in cup win over Lewis

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If any spectators turned up and wanted an attacking showpiece, from one team in particular, compared to the Glentanar v Culter Under 17's game then thery arrived at the right time, what a fantastic attacking display from Albion and they didn't have to go into 2nd gear to ensure they got their hands on the Eddie Mannell Trophy.
Earlier in the season, Lewis United were on the wrong side of an 8-0 defeat at the hands of Albion and this cup final probably brought some bad memories back for the Lewis supporters. I watched Albion v Lewis United in the league at Spain Park a few weeks ago in a game which United held their own before Albion went onto win 4-1, you could sense that ex Albion defender James Robson (now a Lewis player) was a big miss as he was cup-tied.
Albion had all guns blazing from the start and could have opened the scoring with the game just 2 minutes old, a long kick from Euan Rose found Kyle Smith whose near post effort hit the side netting.
The Spain Park outfit opened the scoring after 8 minutes, and what a way for defender Gregor Thom to get his 1st goal of the season, a defensive clearence from Lewis came into Thom who volleyed home into the bottom left hand corner.
On 14 minutes it was 2-0, Calum Beattie was in a good position to go for goal from 25 yards and he netted a free kick that anybody would be delighted about as his effort found it's way into the bottom left hand corner.
Albion trebled their advantage on 27 minutes, a great ball came in from Jason Ritchie which was met by Alastair Shrive and the ex Aberdeen player guided the ball home past the United backline.
Lewis did get a lifeline, Gregory Barclay was brought down in the box by Euan Rose and the referee pointed straight to the penalty spot, up stepped fellow forward Aaron Leslie whose shot went straight at Rose before the rebound was swept home.