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Impressive Tynecastle see off battling Spartans

Spartans FC 2

McMahon, 35 Cormack 60

Tynecastle FC 4

Smith 1, 15 Young, 52 Green, 73
  • Sunday, 25 January 2015
  • Arboretum
  • Under 14´s
  • Jewel Miners Trophy
An entertaining affair saw Tynecastle progress at the expense of Spartans in the second round of the John Miners Cup. A battling performance from the home side could not prevent the superior Tynecastle outfit progressing in calm but cold conditions at the Arboretum.
Tynecastle couldn't have dreamed of a better start taking to the task with alacrity before opening the scoring almost instantly.  The tricky Liam McCue was found advancing in space down the left flank and his accurate square ball found Tynecastle hitman Paul Smith who  produced a clinical side footed finish into the bottom right hand corner. 
The early goal certainly appeared to dent the confidence of the home side, as Tynecastle continued in the same vein looking extend their one goal advantage.
Another well worked move down the left wing resulted in a firm effort from full back Blair Ross and his effort stung the palms of Ben Ritchie in the Spartans goal. 
Tynecastle were controlling possession with Spartans struggling to break into the visitors half. Tynecastles imperious number ten Charlie Green, and the impressive Ross Young in the centre of midfield were the fulcrum to Tynecastles vice like grip on the tie. Both players were always available to receive the ball showing great spatial awareness finding pockets of space before releasing a forward thinking pass. 
It was the former who was next to threaten after finding space on the edge of the area Green dug out a right footed effort which was held well by Ritchie. 
McCue who provided the assist for the opener was involved again shortly after finding Daniel Lock in the inside right channel. The winger struck his effort well but Ritchie was equal to it, palming the ball into the air before collecting. 
Tynecastles relentless pressure finally paid off as they deservedly doubled their advantage. Christopher Finnie had room on the right hand side to whip in a delicious ball causing havoc in the home defence. The vigilant Smith was on hand to double his and his teams tally, slotting the ball home from close range. 
Spartans were still struggling to gain a foot hold in the game, but a rare foray forward instigated by the talented John Balde resulted in an effort at goal. Balde showed skill and tenacity harassing the visitors defence before the ball fell to midfielder Matteo Crolla who tried his luck from distance but Aiden Black in the Tynecastle goal held comfortably. 
Tynecastle were back on the front foot shortly afterwards, Green executed exemplary control on his chest with his back to goal. He then fed the ball out the left channel where Craig Turnbull delivered a precise cross where Smith looking for a hatrick timed his run well however his glanced header flew narrowly over.
McCue who had previously been provider went for glory himself in Tynecastles next attack. After a dazzling run from the diminutive winger, showing quick feet inside the box he unleashed a shot towards the near post but Ritchie was on hand to tip it over the bar denying the attacker a goal to remember.
The home side began to impose themselves on the game shortly afterwards with substitutions from both sides perhaps being the instigating factor. Green had to leave the field for Tynecastle to receive treatment and was replaced. Meanwhile for Spartans Luke McMahon replaced Luke Cormack who had put in a tireless shift in attack.
And it was the Spartans substitute who would haul his team back into the game. The home side had began to enjoy more possession in final third and when the ball broke to Cormack  on the edge of the area the frontman displayed excellent technique caressing a curling left footed effort over the goal keeper and into the back of the net. 
Spartans were galvanised after reducing the arrears as the game became a more balanced affair. The home side nearly undone there good work moments before halftime however, the hungry Smith showed great awareness to latch on to an intended back pass but somewhat surprisingly the inform striker lashed his right foot effort wide of the target. 
The half time whistle sounded with Tynecastle holding a deserved lead however the home side could take courage from the fact they had reduced the deficit in the tie to one. The game was nicely poised in anticipation of the second half. 
  • Half Time:
  • Spartans FC
  • 1-2
  • Tynecastle FC
The early stages of the second half was more evenly contested than the opening forty five, as the game became a more turgid affair with Tynecastle struggling to replicate there scintillating start to the match. 
There wasn't any noteworthy action until Tynecastle restored their two goal advantage. The visitors  stole possession in a dangerous area, where the aforementioned Young took advantage. The dictating central midfielder was calmness personified coolly slotting past the on rushing keeper. 
This goal was a blow for the home side who could sense an equaliser prior to the increase in arrears. However the home side once again exhibited great character and resilience as for the second time in the game they halved the deficit.
Spartans won a freekick in a central position around twenty five yards from goal. Luke Cormack who had returned the the fray stepped up  and struck a wonderful right footed effort over the wall before dipping in the nick of time under Aiden Blacks crossbar. Certainly a goal to remember for Spartans number nine.
Spartans once again re energised after clawing they're way back into the game, were desperate to grab the equaliser. Balde had dropped into the centre of midfield allowing substitute Kris Graff to spearhead the attack. It was proving to be an auspicious move, with Balde providing bite and energy in the midfield winning back possesion quickly and attempting to feed the attackers in behind with a sense of urgency. Goalscorer McMahon was closest to profiting from the switch but the onrushing Black in the Tynecastle goal was out in the nick of time to thwart his attempts. 
Tynecastle were still ominously dangerous in attack. Green had returned to action and he nearly buried the tie with a ferocious effort from the edge of the box however his right footed piledriver whistled wide of the right hand post. 
Green did finish the tie shortly afterwards however. Cameron Russell surged forwards with purpose from the midfield before finding Turnbull in space on the left. His effort was saved and the home side failed to clear there lines. Green seized the opportunity slotting home from the edge of the box - a goal his all round performance certainly merited. 
Tynecastle regained there swagger after the fourth as they saw out the remainder of the game comfortably and progressed to the next round. An entertaining encounter where Spartans must be praised for their resilient character and battling qualitys, however on the day Tynecastle deservedly progressed having played some expansive passing football which at times was a joy to watch. 
  • Full Time:
  • Spartans FC
  • 2-4
  • Tynecastle FC


Spartans FC
Tynecastle FC
1. Ben Ritchie
2. Blair Short
3. Archie Jackson
4. Thomas Graham
5. Joe Tait
6. Archie Morris
7. John Balde
8. Kris Graff
9 . Luke Cormack
10. Matteo Crolla
11. William Tweedle
12. Ross McGrail
14. Scott Donald
16. Hector Gray
17. Rory Campbell
22. Luke McMahon 
1. Aiden Black
2. Alex Adam
3. Blair Ross
4. Christopher Finnie
5. Sean Macdonnell
6. Ross Young
7. Rhys Campbell
8. Cameron Russel
9. Paul Smith
10. Charlie Green
11. Craig Turnbull
12. Liam McCue
13. Harvey Lyne
15. Matthew Dillon
16. Daniel Lock
Star Player
Spartans FC
Tynecastle FC
John Balde - The attacker showed real moments of quality. He has quick feet a burst of pace which is complimented by his terrific work rate. When Spartans were under immense pressure in the first half, Balde done all he could to provide an attacking outlet. In the second half he dropped into midfield were he added much needed tenacity. A key player for Spartans going by this showing.
An extremely difficult decision as when Tynecastle were on top all of there attacking players contributed. However I'm going to go for Tynecastle number 6 Ross Young. He was constantly available to receive the ball and at times was dictating the entire match, Spartans midfield couldn't get near him. Special mentions must also go to Green who was equally integral in the midfield, and also to two goal striker Smith.
Magic Moment
Spartans FC
Tynecastle FC
Both the home sides goals were special, but in my opinion Luke McMahon's first half effort just edges it. Spartans desperately needed a goal to lift their spirits and the substitute provided that moment of quality to drag his side back into the game. His effort from the edge of the box was beautifully controlled with his left foot sailing elegantly into the back of the net.
The home sides goal inside the opening 60 seconds typified Tynecastles performance. They won possesion straight from the kick off and after a well worked move out to the left the ball was squared resulting in Smiths assured finish. Exemplified all the positive aspects of Tynecastles game - closing down, crisp and accurate passing, great off the ball movement, and a clinical finish.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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