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Edinburgh City stun AC Oxgangs to progress to League Cup Semi

AC Oxgangs Blues 2

Menzies 52, Collins 59

Edinburgh City 4

Kneebone 31,77,78 Shearsby 75
  • Saturday, 11 April 2015
  • Collinton Mains Park
  • Under 19´s
  • Division 2 League Cup
Harvey Nafpliotis

Charalambos (Harvey) Nafpliotis | YFS South East Region Journalist

AC OxGangs faced Edinburgh city in the Division 2 league cup on an afternoon of all weathers at Colinton Mains. The game had a scrappy beginning with both sides struggling to settle somewhat. An early corner by City’s David McKenzie whipped in at an angle forced a good tip from Dale Pryde in the ACO goal. Edinburgh City seemed to settle in to their natural game quicker than the hosts and demonstrated nice midfield passing early on, Darren Clifford the standout in midfield in the opening exchanges for City. The midfielder looked tidy on the ball and won his fair share of aerial challenges.
 
The first clear cut chance of the game came in the 12th minute when Ross Kneebone played a clever diagonal ball in to the path of strike partner Shearsby, only an expertly timed tackle from Andrew Lilley stopping the forward from having a strike at goal.  AC Oxgangs would respond with some pleasing on the eye football of their own. Birthday boy Jack Lumsdon showed no signs of being distracted by thoughts of what would no doubt be a memorable night ahead. Lumsdon was involved shirking of a challenge in midfield before threading a nice ball through to Danny Cairra who’s resulting shot shaved the post of Adam Munro in the City goal before going out.
 
City would continue the theme of their early dominance and were indeed unlucky not to open the scoring with 20 minutes on the clock. After a good old fashioned stramash in the ACO box the ball fell to Clifford who’s looping effort from a rebound outside of the box dipped just too quickly and kissed the bar before going out.  Despite the early dominance of the visitors it was to be an AC Oxgangs who would stand out in the encounter.
 
Conal Henderson is reportedly a good rugby player. As the game progressed however he would show that his football skills are at least as good as his rugby skills. He showed fantastic close control  to spin away from 2 challenges and ping a ball towards Jack Lumsdon, Cleeton was there to make a good clearance for the visitors before the forward could fashion  a chance however keeping the score level.
 
Henderson would not be deterred however. He responded with another maizy run through the midfield, showing fantastic pace to burn past his opponents before lifting a clever pass in to the path of Cairra, unfortuantley for the forward the ball was moving just too fast for him and he was unable to capitalise.
 
Despite the undoubted impressiveness of Henderson it continued to be Edinburgh City who would dominate the possession. Reece Sheersby was next to try his luck on the skill front, the Edinburgh City striker showed quick feet to elude Calum Scott of ACO bursting in to the box, only a perfectly timed sliding challenge from Andrew Lilley stopping the striker from pulling the trigger. City’s dominance would pay dividends just past the half hour mark however, when Ryan Slater’s long free kick would be riffled home by Kneebone to open the scoring.
 
Moments later Edinburgh City could have doubled their advantage David McKenzie with a good 30 yards between himself and goal showed fantastic control and indeed confidence, fastening on to a James Campsie pass before setting himself up for a powerful long range effort which zipped just over Pryde’s goal.
 
With 42 minutes on the clock it was Jack Lumsdon who would be attempting to make his birthday that little bit sweeter as he stood over a free kick on the edge of the box. His shot cannoned off the bar before it was collected by Adam Munro however, keeping the score at half time 0-1.
  • Half Time:
  • AC Oxgangs Blues
  • 0-1
  • Edinburgh City
Edinburgh’s forward players must have been sick of the sight of Andrew Lilley coming in to the second half. The ACO defender continued a fantastic first half defensive display with just 48 minutes played, cutting out a pass from Scott Rae who was looking for Kyle Fergreive who looked to be in a dangerous position.
 
When substitute Zack Menzies stood over a 25 yard free kick on 52 minutes his thoughts surely would have been on crossing in a ball for one of his teammates. Instead his looping effort floated over everyone and dropped in to the Edinburgh City net levelling the game.
 
City responded to the shock of conceding well, Kneebone dinking a ball for Sheersby which turned in to a lovely one two between the pair as kneebone drew a smart save from Pryde.  However it would be Zack Menzies who would make it two fantastic free kicks in a row on 59 minutes, this time his effort connected with the head of Michael Collins who beat Adam Munro in the city goal with a powerful header to give his team the lead.
 
With the score 2-1 and half an hour to play City looked to take things up a gear and they nearly equalised just 2 minutes later.  It was to be the dynamic duo of Kneebone and Sheersby who would combine again for City this time as Kneebone hooked on to a ball from Scott Rae, showing good awareness to keep hold of the ball and wait for his strike partner’s run. The through ball was brilliant but Sheersby could only crash a shot off the bar as the ACO keeper raced towards him, the ball going out.
 
What followed in the closing exchanges was what could be considered fortunate or unfortunate depending on the persuasion of the fan watching. With half an hour played City’s David McKenzie shot powerfully from a free kick centrally around 20 yards from goal, Dale Pryde ,obviously struggling with the power behind the shot, could only turn it in to the path of Sheersby who finished calmly through a ruck of players to tie the game at 2-2.
 
With the clock showing just 2 minutes since the first strike City would take a lead. Rae found Steven Nicholson on the left hand side and he pinged in a perfect low cross for Kneebone to give his team the lead. No one could argue that on balance perhaps City deserved to take a lead. However City were not finished and Kneebone would claim a hattrick just moments later. Once again a long ball found Nicholson with acres of space and he would place it for Kneebone to finish past a clearly despairing Dale pryde, 78 minutes played the score 2-4 to the visitors.
 
There was to be no adding to the scoreline for either side. ACO looked visibly shaken given the timing of the goals and the visitors looked to keep the ball in order to preserve the lead. Kneebone perhaps had the best chance in the remaining minutes as he burst past tiring ACO legs cutting in to the box, however with Fairgreive waiting, the striker looked determined to add to his tally and tried an audacious effort from a tight angle rather than squaring the ball.
 
A final chance would fall for ACO as Henderson, who looked to have depleted most of his energy reserves given his tireless first half performance, held up the ball finding assist maestro Menzies who angled a cross towards Cairra but he could not get up high enough to connect with the cross and the ball went harmlessly out. 
 
In truth a score which even the most ardent of Edinburgh City fans would surely accept flattered the visitors. Deserved victors without doubt, but a whirlwind few moments costing ACO a chance to more evenly contest the cup tie. Congratulations to Edinburgh City who progress to the semi-final, commiserations to AC Oxgangs who must take some heart from some very good displays within the team.
  • Full Time:
  • AC Oxgangs Blues
  • 2-4
  • Edinburgh City

Lineups

AC Oxgangs Blues
Edinburgh City
1. Dale Pryde
5. Matthew Henderson
6. Micheal Cameron
8. Jack Lumsdon
9. Danny Caira
10. Jamie Cameron
12. Ross Gordon
14. Hamish Lindsay
15. Rory Anderson
16. Charlie Barry
17. Andrew Lilley
18. Conal Henderson
19. Calum Scott
21. Zack Menzies
1. Adam Munro
2. Daniel Horsburgh
3. David McKenzie
4. Liam Cleeton
5. Ryan Slater
6. Darren Clifford
7. James Campsie
8. Scott Rae
9. Reece Shearsby
10. Ross Kneebone
11. Kyle Fairgrieve
12. Luke Mancini
14. Connor Weston
16. Steven Nicolson
17. James Gillespie
Star Player
AC Oxgangs Blues
Edinburgh City
Andrew Lilley, while other players were perhaps more pleasing on the eye in an attacking sense the defender had a fantastic game making a number of key challenges. A top notch defensive display.
Undoubtedly the star player was Ross Kneebone a storming display saw him walk away with a hattrick.
Magic Moment
AC Oxgangs Blues
Edinburgh City
The trickery exhibited by Conal Henderson was fantastic throughout. A moment of brilliance as he spun past two defenders in the first half stands out in what was a magnificent exhibition of close control from the midfielder.
Ross Kneebone may well have had 3 brilliant goals but he received two pinpoint crosses from Steven Nicolson, each worthy of the award. Fantastic technique from the wide player.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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