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AC Oxgangs outgunned as Longniddry Villa progress to Ian Mackay Cup final

AC Oxgangs 1

Evans 15

Longniddry Villa 4

Laidlaw 7, Grieve 17, Williamson 50,55
  • Sunday, 03 May 2015
  • Saughton Sports Complex
  • Under 14´s
  • Ian Mackay Cup Semi Final
Harvey Nafpliotis

Charalambos (Harvey) Nafpliotis | YFS South East Region Journalist

Weather more suited to late November rather than early May was what awaited the two teams ready to go head-to-head for a chance to play in the Ian Mackay cup final. AC Oxgangs and Longniddry Villa under 14s braved the elements on a bleak Sunday morning at Saughton Sports Complex.

The opening exchanges were scrappy with both teams looking to gain control of the ball and settle in to their natural game. It would be Villa who would have the first real chance of the game as a cross from deep by Ellis Grieve shaved the outside of ACO goalkeeper Arran Paterson’s post. Just minutes later, Longniddry would take the lead when a rocket left the boot of Cameron Laidlaw from distance out on the right side and found the bottom left corner of the net. Despite a valiant attempted save from Paterson, who saw the shot late and dived the right way, the score with just seven minutes played was 0-1.

The setback seemed to spur on AC Oxgangs and they responded in kind when Alistair McWhirter cut through the Villa defence with a perfectly timed through ball which found Ewan Evans advancing on the keeper. The forward made no mistake and coolly slotted past the advancing goalkeeper to level the game, 1-1 with just under 15 minutes played.

An early couple of goals can sometimes wrongfully convince the spectator that they are in for a cracker. This was not to be the case at Saughton as another goal was to follow just minutes after the equaliser. A well worked throw in routine saw space open up for Villa’s Alistair Maclachlan who dutifully dinked the ball in to the path of Grieve on the edge of the ACO box. Grieve made no mistake picking his spot for a calm finish, 17 minutes played the score 1-2.

AC would once again rally after conceding, and indeed they played some very nice football in spells. With around 20 minutes on the clock Reece Ferrier’s neat pass was played in to the feet of Gavin Wells who provided a chipped ball which was met by the head of McWhirter to play in Evans for a shot at goal. The resulting effort may have failed to unsettle the Villa goalkeeper but it was a moment of footballing skill and togetherness which really caught the eye.

Despite AC Oxgangs best efforts however the score would remain 2-1 to Villa in to the closing stages of the first half, and indeed it might be said that Villa were unlucky not to be going in at the break with just the one goal advantage. A long ball from the midfield on 25 minutes saw great control from Alex Williamson as he took the ball under control, only a brave tackle from ACO’s Christopher Sankey stopping the forward from pulling the trigger. Williamson looked a real threat for his team and indeed he would have the final chance of the first half as he got on the end of a fantastic crossfield ball from Jack Branley to power in to the box. Only a fantastic reflex save from Paterson kept the score 1-2 going in to half time. 

  • Half Time:
  • AC Oxgangs
  • 1-2
  • Longniddry Villa

During the half time interval it was clear what the game plan was for both sets of players. Despite the dominance of Villa AC Oxgangs new that a goal was a game changer, while at the other end Villa knew that if they could extend their advantage to 3-1 the tie would likely be over. What followed was unsurprisingly a very nervy half of U14s football!

Despite exhibiting it on numerous occasions in the first half both sides were inclined to abandon the passing game in favour of a long ball approach at times. Perhaps the adverse weather conditions making it difficult for players to control the ball on an increasingly wet surface.

The first real chance of the second half came on 44 minutes. Luke Sayers was the hero for AC Oxgangs as he cut out another wonderful long range pass from Branley which looked set to find its target in Villa forward Williamson. A great interception keeping the score unchanged.  The next big chance fell for AC Oxgangs as Ewan Miller found substitute Kieran Richmond with space on the right side. The forward did fantastically well to cut inside and shape for a shot but was unable to generate enough power behind it and the ball was well cleared before it reached its intended target.

With 49 minutes played, it was Longniddry who would begin to grab a hold of the game and turn possession in to dangerous chances. While AC Oxangs were tirelessly looking to chase, frustrate and force their opponents in to a mistake which could give them a way back in to the game, Villa by contrast seemed happy to sit back and look for the pass that would unlock the opposition defence and put the game beyond doubt.

Maclachlan pipped Sankey to the ball down the right flank on 50 minutes and produced an inviting cross for goal hungry Williamson, on this occasion the striker was unable to connect with a header and the ball went out. Williamson would not be denied a goal in this contest however and on 52 minutes he made no mistake when Branley picked him out with another through ball. Evading two challenges on his route to goal down the left side, Williamson let fly from just outside the box and found the net to make it 3-1 Villa. It was a sublime finish and the young striker looked rightfully over the moon to have pulled of such a controlled finish.

The best was yet to come from Williamson however. Five minutes later he stood over the ball at a free kick, on the left side 25 yards from goal, and noone who was watching had any doubt as to what his intensions were. A powerful effort ripping in to the goal at breakneck speed made the score 1-4 and all but ensured Longniddry’s progression.

In the closing exchanges noone would be able to accuse AC Oxgangs of downing tools and conceding defeat. Their effort was there for all to see, and indeed they had a chance to get back into the game with five minutes remaining. Sankey feeding the ball to the feet of McWhirter who produced a lovely angled ball to put Miller in one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Miller was unable to get the ball out from under his legs however and he was beaten to the shot by a dive at his feet from the Villa goalkeeper.

In all a good contest where both sides played some pleasing football at times, despite the weather, and  tried to take their place in the final. There could only be one winner however and on the day there could be little argument that Longniddry Villa were the deserved victors.

  • Full Time:
  • AC Oxgangs
  • 1-4
  • Longniddry Villa

Lineups

AC Oxgangs
Longniddry Villa
1. Arran Paterson
2. Zac Noel Malone
3. Christopher Sankey
4. Luke Sayers
5. Gavin Wells
6. Kyle Campbell
7. Ewan Miller
8. Filip Grabsturnowicz
9. Alistair McWhirter
10. Kieran Richmond
11. Jack O'Connor
12. Matthew Tait
14. Reece Ferrier
15. Thomas Fuller
16. Hugh Gilchrist Dawson
17. Ewan Evans
4. Mathew Scott
5. Joshua Fitzpatrick
6. Kieran Douglas
7. Elis Grieve
8. Alistair Maclachlan
9. Alex Williamson
10. Ajay Kilpatrick
11. Sam Taylor
12. James Henry
14. Cameron Laidlaw
16. Jack Branley
17. Cameron Smith
19. Kieran Stevenson
20. Robbie Demarco
21. Marc Forsyth
99. Cameron Sandilands
Star Player
AC Oxgangs
Longniddry Villa
Ewan Evans - Showed great composure for his strike to level the game. Alert and always looking for space, he was a real handful in the first half.
Alex Williamson - Involved in almost all of his team's attacking moves and seemed desperate to get on the scoresheet.
Magic Moment
AC Oxgangs
Longniddry Villa
The sublime through ball from Alistair McWhirter for AC Oxgangs' leveller is a definite standout. A lovely bit of skill which put the goal-scoring opportunity on a plate for Evans.
Williamson's free kick was a thing of beauty. A ferocious effort from range, great execution and it proved to be the goal that sealed Villa's progress to the final.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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