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Craigroyston secure Cup final win over Merchi

North Merchiston 0

Craigroyston FC 2

McEwan 3, Hunter 28
  • Friday, 24 April 2015
  • Saughton Enclosure
  • Under 13´s
  • Polar Foods Cup Final
Chris Grieve

Chris Grieve | YFS South East Region Journalist

With the floodlights on and the light fading the rain began to fall but the mood in the crowd was not to be dampened ahead of the South East Region Youth Football Association Polar Foods Cup final. The two teams were going through their respective warm-ups, eager to start the game on the front foot, and although the pitch was quite bumpy passing drills were a signal of intent from both sides.

Straight from the kick off, it was Craigroyston who started the quickest and they applied the early pressure. They forced a series of corners and it was through one of these that they took the lead. The ball was swung into the box and escaped everyone except Jamie McEwan who controlled it and powered a shot at the near post which nestled in the corner of the net. It was a dream start for Craigroyston and one their coaches would be delighted with!

Craigroyston had their tails up and looked to press home their advantage but North Merchiston were standing tall in defence.  They broke play up efficiently and were not afraid to get the ball down and play when they got the chance.

On the 10 minute mark, North Merchiston fashioned a good chance to get back into the game. Fergus Steel was brought down inside the box and the referee duly pointed at the spot. Steel brushed himself down and stepped up to take the penalty however Craigroyston keeper Darren Owen was equal to it and saved the shot.

The penalty scare prompted a response from Craigroyston and they pushed forward again looking to double their lead. They came very close to doing just that when Tyler McKinlay whipped in a free kick which was cleared through a glancing header at the expense of a corner. The resultant corner found the head of Max MacGillivray who saw his goalbound effort palmed onto the bar by Finn McNicol in the North Merchiston goal before being cleared by the defence.

Craigroyston continued on the front foot and stretched their lead before half time. Some more good work down the left by Chelsea Diamond forced the corner and when the ball was driven into the box Steven Pouton flicked a header goalward. The ball was cleared off the line but only as far as Ben Hunter who looped a header over the defender into the far corner. 

  • Half Time:
  • North Merchiston
  • 0-2
  • Craigroyston FC

Into the second half, North Merchiston turned the tables and began to press forward at every opportunity. Craigroyston were strong in defence though and limited Merchiston to few chances.

Merchiston forced a free kick and after it was squared to Andrew Forsyth he rasped a shot through a number of bodies. Owen saw it all the way though and saved it well before it bounced on the wet surface.

Craigroyston were still searching for a third goal however, and they showed a lot of endeavour to that end. They did well breaking up the Merchiston attacks and looked to hit on the counter with some nice football but the Merchiston defence was well organised.

The game was heading into its final stages and Merchiston were still looking to get back into the match. As a result Craigroyston were able to move the ball quickly in the spaces that were opening up. They very nearly grabbed the third goal they were looking for after a good run down the left from Pouton. When he cut the ball back there was a heart-in-the-mouth moment for Merchiston as the ball was deflected beyond the keeper but fortunately for them Jamie Richmond was alert and slid in to clear the danger.

North Merchiston were playing some good football but they just could not find the breakthrough they were after. They kept going all the way to the end but Craigroyston marshalled them well at the back. It was a very closely contested final but the two goals in the first half sealed it for Craigroyston and it is them who lift the trophy!

  • Full Time:
  • North Merchiston
  • 0-2
  • Craigroyston FC

Lineups

North Merchiston
Craigroyston FC
1. Finn McNicol
3. Fergus Steel
4. Alsadeg Bilal
5. Zac Vyse
6. Mark Gibson
7. Jai Thomas Aitken
8. Andrew Forsyth
9. Berachiah Ajala
10. Fraser McLellan
11. Jamie Richmond
12. Sam Skakel
14. Michael Mooney
15. Connor Webb
16. Andrew Stark
17. Oscar Bond
1. Darren Owen
2. Daniel Crooks
3. Lewis Hunter
4. Chelsea Diamond
5. Liam Moorhead
6. Ryan Adamson
7. Steven Pouton
8. Alan Selkirk
9. Max MacGillivray
10. Christopher Bell
11. Ben Hunter
12. Callum McMillan
14. Gary Lee
15. Tyler McKinlay
16. MacKenzie Dott
17. Jamie McEwan
18. Brandon Ndloru
Star Player
North Merchiston
Craigroyston FC
Finn McNicol - He made several decent saves at crucial times in the match to keep his side within striking distance, most notably the save onto the bar in the first half. He was unlucky with the goals but had an excellent game overall.
Tyler McKinlay - He had an excellent game at right fullback. Every time he got the ball he beat his man and created something for his side but over and above that he carried out his defensive duties with simple efficiency. A complete performance!
Magic Moment
North Merchiston
Craigroyston FC
The opening period of the second half was the best spell for the home side and although they did not get the goal they were looking for they played some excellent football.
The opening ten minutes were an ideal start for Craigroyston and they managed to capitalise on their sustained pressure with the first goal. A really well executed finish from inside the box put them in control of the final.
Club Views
North Merchiston
Craigroyston FC
Paul Orme, coach of North Merchiston, said: "We made it to the final and although we didn't win it I'm very proud of the boys and they way they played. They did really well. Credit to them for that."
"This is the second part of a treble for us. We won another cup final the other week and we're a point away from winning the league so we have a chance for that. Even if we don't get it it's still been a great season!"
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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