North Region (274)
Thursday, 29 May 2014 00:00 Written by Scott McPherson
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.
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.
At Ian Mair Park, it was a very sunny day and it was league champions Glentanar up against Raymond Kelly Association Cup Winners Culter BC, both teams have been nip and tuck in the league this season and a very tight game was in store.
If anybody was looking for fast, attacking football then Dyce Juniors wasn't the place to be, it ended up with chances being at a premium and both teams cancelling each other out, a lot of people who would have turned out for the game would have expected goals.
Especially that the two league games this season have finished 3-3 at Skene followed by a 3-1 win for Culter in Glentanar's backyard, it was a good start by Culter with the team who are a specialist in cups on the ascendancy and had a chance through Aiden Combe which just sailed over the bar.
Glentanar then had a couple of sniffs at the Culter goal, first Danny Middler released through Elliott MacDonald whose effort from 15 yards went straight at David Dey before a long range strike from Greg Smart was cleared away by Michael Holland.
In the 25th minute, a throw-in found Lewis Stephen who turned a Culter defender before his effort from a tight angle was denied by a fully stretched Dey.
On the stroke of half time was probably the best chance of the game, a long diagonal ball from Cameron Pashley found it's way into Zack Griffiths whose effort just sailed wide of the left hand post, Zack signed a new deal with Highland League side Keith FC a couple of weeks ago.
With two good teams in action, this potentially had the makings of a great cup final however clear cut chances were at a premium for either team and it saw Banchory netting two goals in the 2nd period of extra time to avoid going into the dreaded lottery of a penalty shoot-out.
Colony Locos confirmed before the game that they had no intention on the Scottish Cup final with Barrhead next Saturday going into this cup final and the Inverurie outfit had a couple of controversial moments went against them during normal time in what could have decided the game and evade the thought of the game getting played for an extra 30 minutes.
Locos had the first attack towards goal in the 6th minute after Kieran Lawrence went on a brilliant run before his effort just went inches wide of the right hand post, it was a midfield tussle for a short period afterwards.
It was Banchory who were then through on goal in the 14th minute, a through ball from Cammy Booth found Danny Lechner whose sharp drive from 18 yards forced a good stop from Jordan Garrow in the Colony Locos goal.
The best chance of the first half came for the Deesiders 12 minutes before the interval, a great ball came in from Sam Smith which was met by Mike Davies with the Locos defence standing still however from 4 yards, the forward's solo effort hit the side netting with parts of the Banchory crowd celebrating thinking the ball had hit the back of the net.
The destination of the league title for this campaign was confirmed 9 days ago with Fraserburgh coming out on top, it meant that a lot of pressure was going to be on the Albion players to deliver the goods and come up with some silverware after so much heartbreak over the previous seasons.
It was a scrappy game however if both teams had more luck in front of goal, the healthy crowd at Sunnybank would have seen a lot more goals than just Matthew Cumming's 32nd minute volley which meant another award was coming into Albion's trophy cabinet, this is the 4th piece of silverware that they've gained this season with the potential of more to follow.
Fraserburgh started well and were keen to get the breakthrough, a short pass by Sean Douglas found it's way into Bailey Simpson whose goal bound effort was tipped away by Cameron Jarvie in the Albion goal.
Kane McCrory was also keen to get the Broch the best possible start, the forward picked up the loose ends of an Albion mistake before his 18 yard effort crashed off the post and cleared by the Albion defence.
Then, soon afterwards in the 15th minute, a throw-in by Douglas found it's way to Jordan Mowat whose header crashed onto the crossbar before the defence came to the rescue once more.
Albion started to come into the game more after that point and registered a chance of their own, a throw-in by Jack Odlin was met by Matthew Cumming whose effort produced a good save out of Nathan Stott in the Broch goal.
Where was the goal going to come from? It came from Albion just before the interval, a wonderful ball came in from Cameron Stephens which was met by Matthew Cumming who volleyed home beyond the reach of the Fraserburgh back line much to the Aberdeen sides enjoyment.
At the start of the season, who would have thought Fraserburgh Link-Up Under 15s would be winning the league, into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup and also in both cup finals? Not me anyway and certainly not for Link-Up coach Colin Simpson.
A 5-2 win and a 2-0 victory against Albion were pivotal in Fraserburgh's search for the league this season, the Broch still have a trip to Westhill next Tuesday inbetween the Belmont Trophy Final against Albion this Saturday followed by an early rise 8 days later when they make the trip to Stonehaven to face the same opposition with an 11am start in the Stonehaven Youth Trophy.
Fraserburgh Link-Up coach Colin Simpson reviewed proceedings by saying "I'm absolutely delighted, it's safe to say that this a big thing not just in the Fraserburgh area but for the whole of Buchan, it's very satisfying, there has been a lot of hard work been done over the years and credit has to go to the players, they are keen, willing to learn and they get on with the work.
"We have one game left to hopefully finish the season undefeated against Westdyke, we're trying to develop players on year by year and some of these guys have been with the Broch since they were 7 years old, we've retained 85% of our players since our first competitive game away to Deveronvale a few years ago, probably the fact that we've retained players has played a big factor for us.
"We've recieved well done messages from not just teams in the ADJFA but also teams throughout Scotland, our record speaks for itself, the only game that we've lost this season is the Scottish Cup semi-final against Westwood Rovers which is good for a small town up north, the team is like a wee family.
"The guys set high standards themselves and they matured together as a squad, we have probably had only one poor game this season where the standards dropped, even when fatigue set in, the boys dug deep.
"The Scottish Cup run was tremendous and it was tremendous to get that far, on the day we just didn't take our chances, we beat Tynecastle on the way which was a great achievement, I think we've scored over 50 goals in the Scottish Cup and conceded just 9, there was a lot of travelling to do and I'm proud of the guys, at the time I was gutted, however in hindsight I felt it was the best thing that could have happened.
Fresh from Albion claiming the Batt Cables trophy after a 4-0 win over Lewis United, it was now Dyce and Westdyke's turn to clash off, a close game was expected from the spectators and the outcome was probably just right.
It was a deserved win by Dyce however Westdyke couldn't have asked for any more and that was pointed out when the players spoke to the coaches to analyze the game, a bright future lies ahead for ADJFA football at this age group and despite Albion romping to the league, it should be a competitive league next season.
Westdyke had the 1st opportunity of the game, a ball by Phillip Wallace found it's way into Nathan Rankine however a good save from Ross Mowatt in the Dyce goal denied the Westhillers an early breakthrough.
Dyce then had a chance at the other end in the 9th minute, a through ball from Rory Brown found it's way into Daryl Robertson whose effort just went inches wide of the right hand post.
The Aberdeen based side got the breakthrough after just 17 minutes, a long kick from Mowatt found it's way beyond the Westdyke defence into the feet of Robertson who then sent in a lovely ball from the right hand channel which found wasn't dealt with properly and Matthew Tough was on hand to clear up the mess and put Dyce in front.
Monday, 12 May 2014 09:49 Written by Scott McPherson
Culter Boys have won the Raymond Kelly Association Trophy after a 4-1 victory over league rivals Westdyke BC.
Two goals from Greg Smith and a goal each for Stuart McNicholas and Zack Griffiths ensured Culter secured the first of what might be two cups this season. They return to Ian Mair Park in a week’s time to face Glentanar CC, the side who piped them to the 17s League A title, in the Noskab Trophy final. Ryan Spink scored a consolation goal for Westdyke in what was their first final as a team.
There were more umbrellas than shots on target at Ian Mair Park on Sunday, but that wasn’t due to a lack of goalmouth action but because of the heavy rain which poured down for the majority of the day. Despite that the pitch was in near perfect condition and as a parent behind me rightfully stated:
“If you can’t play football on this pitch then you just can’t play football”.
It is always important to start well in any cup final and Westdyke manager Gordon Davidson would have been pleased that his team did exactly that. Unfortunately for them their good first 20 minutes turned out to be their best 20 minutes as Culter controlled the game from then on.
Despite Westdyke’s good start it was Culter who took the lead after 17 minutes. Right-footed left back Greg Smith inevitably cut on to his right foot and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
Smith had done the same thing minutes earlier and forced a good save from Westdyke goalkeeper Eden Cooper but Westdyke never acted on that warning.
The destination of the Raymond Kelly Association Trophy was largely decided during a pivotal five minutes near the end of the first half. Firstly, Westdyke created their best chance of the game when Ryan Spink slipped through striker Sean Reid who was brilliantly denied by the feet of Culter goalkeeper David Dey. Then, minutes later, Culter went up the other end of the pitch and winger Cameron Pashley produced a glorious cross from the left which found the on rushing Stuart McNicholas who nodded home from eight yards to make it 2-0 just before the interval.
That goal and the timing of it effectively killed off Westdyke when they could have so easily been level.
Along the A96 at Pittodrie, Aberdeen were playing a crucial match against Motherwell and you could have been forgiven that there was a big cup final taken place however a big crowd descended onto Inverurie and a good attacking display from Albion ensured they claimed the Batt Cables Trophy once more.
Albion got the breakthrough with the game just 4 minutes old, a shot from Matthew Fleming was only parried by Matthew Blackburn and Owen Duff was there to tap the ball home.
Lewis United were keen to get back and had a chance of their own courtesy of Max Reid whose shot went straight at David Zdunczyk with Albion enjoying the majority of the possession however Lewis also having their good spells in the game.
Both sides were definitely keen for goals and Albion was to get another goal in the 16th minute, Andrew Mitchell caught Matthew Buckham out of sight and Mitchell was able to guide the ball into the top right hand corner with a wonderful curling shot.
Albion made sure they went in at half time with 3 goals to the good, Michael Mitchell went on a mazy run before a timid shot at goal looked to be going straight in the hands of the Lewis keeper however unfortunately, it slipped through his hands and in.
The Haughs was the setting for the Under 13 Aberdeenshire Cup final between Fraserburgh and Inverurie, it was two teams with a very good tempo and with a little bit more development for the kids, some of the players have a chance in the game to go onto bigger & better things.
Inverurie had the first opportunity of the game through a free kick which was taken by Hamish Young and aimed straight at goal. However, the effort went straight at Fraser Ross in the Fraserburgh goal.
It was Fraserburgh who were to draw first blood, a shot by Arron Masson was parried by Fraser Scott and the ball went into the pathway of Andrew Hanner who sweetly tucked the ball home.
The Broch were to keep going and got a crucial second on 22 minutes, a great ball was sent in by Scott McLean was met by Ryan Sargent who produced a composed finish past Scott to give Fraserburgh some breathing space.
Fraserburgh were as you might of thought were on the acsendency and their next attacking move towards goal was more than worthy of adding to Fraserburgh's tally, Hanner went on a mazy run going past a couple of Inverurie defenders before aiming for goal however the shot went straight at Scott.
Lewis finally made the breakthrough on 17 minutes thanks to Daniel McKenzie after a great long diagonal ball from Lewis Masson and the ex St Johnstone striker fired home with ease.
This gave United the impetus to go on and got a second goal on 26 minutes, Dylan Leslie's effort cannoned off the post before Callum Youngson was hot on the spot to squeeze the ball in.
Colony then got a penalty on the stroke of half time after a push, Bradley Whtye coolly dispatched away his penalty into the bottom left hand corner.
Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00 Written by David Reid
It was the winners of the North section versus the winners of the East Section at Mosset Park, Forres to determine who would be the best of the rest this season,it was an even contest with both sides very keen to be the king of the Highland League for season 2013-14.
On paper, Keith looked the stronger team however you can't underestimate Clach and without a series of good stops from Aiden MacDonald in the Lilywhites goal, the Maroons could have won this game more than a 3 goal margin. You also have to take into account that all of the Keith players were in action for an ADJFA team on Saturday.
There was 8 players from Culter Boys 17s who slipped up their title bid at the last minute with a 3-3 draw at home to Deveronvale, 5 players for Lewis United Under 16s who recorded a 6-1 win over Huntly as well as Glentanar's Greg Smart who made Culter pay after a 3-0 win at Westdyke and finally Scott Kennington and Fraser Wyness who play for Banchory 16s.
If there was to be any side to grab the 1st goal then it was probably going to be Keith and they had a golden chance to get the breakthrough, a great ball came in from Greig Smith which was met by Aiden Combe however a tame effort from the Culter forward went straight at MacDonald.
Combe was in the thick of action again and had another opportunity to put the Moray side in front after a through ball from Hamish Ritchie found the prolific striker however his effort just went inches wide of the right hand post.
Clach however made them pay and with 7 minutes until the interval, they made the breakthrough, a great ball went sailing 40 yards into the box by James Hogan which was met by Callum Ednie who beautifully guided the ball past David Dey in the Keith goal, the effort finding it's way into the top left hand corner.
Midway through the Easter Holidays and the majority of these kids are probably worried about the prospect of exams coming up, however when the ADJFA fixtures came out last Sunday and they noticed it was the top of the league clash between Glentanar and Culter, it was something for both the teams to take their minds off.
A couple of spectators I spoke to before the game insisted that this game should have been the season finale due to the fact that going into the game, Culter were 1 point clear of Glentanar with the latter still got a game in hand, a 3-1 win for the visitors means that Culter are now 4 points clear and wins over Deveronvale and Westdyke in their 2 remaining games means they'll be crowned league champions for the first time.
After a slow start to the game, Culter livened things up in the 40th minute, a throw in found Cameron Pashley who then did the best by perfectly guiding the ball past Grant Yeats in the Glentanar goal.
The visitors then doubled their advantage just before the interval after a free kick from former Aberdeen player Hamish Ritchie evaded everyone and found it's way into the top right hand corner from at least 50 yards out.
Monday, 07 April 2014 14:45 Written by David Reid
Colony Locos boss Alan Calder was today delighted with the lads after his side reached the Scottish Cup final beating FC Bonnybridge 2-1 who will play Barrhead at the Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie on the 25th May.
Calder spoke about his delight when he said "It was a horrible game to watch with us playing with 10 men with 75 minutes still to play, I thought we defended absolutely tremendously, Daniel Crisp came back from going forward and was immense in his central defence role, I thought he was absolutely superb.
"More than anything, i'm just feeling relieved, these games have started to affect us in league games when your overthinking everything and i'm just delighted to get the right result.
"People think we play better on a 3G surface because we play on that type of pitch, we came out and started well and played, it was our best bit of football all day and it got us our rewards.
"Phillip Woodgreaves had 2 tackles that I've seen players getting booked for, the problem is that I feel sorry for Phil because he started very well, it was more credit to the boys that they were able to react after that.
"To come out again 2nd half and for us to get the penalty and then Duguid to stick it away, he's missed a few so I was unsure from the bench if he would stick it away however Alex is a cool, calm character, at the end of the day, once the ball was in the net, it was up to FC Bonnybridge to get themselves back into the game.
"I was probably the most nervous in the ground when Bonnybridge got their goal to create an interesting ending to the game, I hate to think how many miles Mikey Watson covered in the middle there, him and Grant Dawson were very good and Grant was up & down all game, it could have been a different game if it wasn't for these two in the middle.
"I'm delighted that Inverurie Locos have let us come down here and let us use their facilities and give these guys a platform so that they can show they can play, unfortunately it wasn't most of their footballing ability that was on show today because after going down to 10 men, it is though to go and play.
"It's great for me that a local team up in this area is in a national final and justly so, at least we know that we know that the Scottish Cup will always be there and it's in the bank but we can't take our mind off the league as we have done in the last couple of weeks, it's a great boost for the guys getting the game out of the way."
The man who helped Locos get to Airdrie was Alex Duguid whose double was enough for Colony to come out on top. Duguid gave his thoughts on the game when he said "I'm pleased with my two goals however it was all down to my team-mates, some teams would just bottle it after a player was sent off however we all done well, the lads would be disappointed if they didn't win the league however the Scottish Cup at the end of the day is the big one.
"I was surprised to be given so much space for the first goal and it settled the nerves down."
Tomorrow, we bring you a special interview with a man who has been with the majority of the lads involved yesterday since day one, in Mr Ian Abel, and is now enjoying watching his son Euan Abel play for this team every Saturday.