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Hutchie lift South East Region Cup with victory over Shotts

Shotts YMCA 0

Hutchison Vale 1

Fox 15
  • Tuesday, 04 February 2014
  • Hallhill, Dunbar
  • Under 17´s
  • South East Region Cup
Louis Moorehead

Louis Moorehead | YFS South East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

After a thrilling cup final, Hutchison Vale walked away victorious after deafeating Shotts YMCA. It was a wonderful advert for youth football, with each team showcasing a great set of skills that kept that crowd entertained from the first minute to the last.

The opening 10 minutes of the game was understandably edgy, with neither team giving away too much, so it descended into an entertaining midfield tussle with a few long shots that did not work either keeper. Gradually though, Shotts grew into the game and began to dominate. First Gary McGeough controlled a free ­kick and played the ball smartly along the ground to Greg Murray, whose first-time shot flew narrowly by the post.

However, this pressure lead to some opportunities for Hutchison to counter, and the first warning came when Kieran Young won the ball back firmly on the halfway line. The Shotts players protested that a free kick should have been given, but with no whistle Young drove forward quickly and shot just wide from the edge of the box.

Minutes later, after that scare, Hutchison Vale scored. A goal kick from Shotts was headed back downfield by Young, and the bouncing ball caused chaos among the Shotts defence. Ryan Fox was first onto the ball, sneaking in behind the centre back and controlling the ball, before chipping the keeper from close range. It was a swiftly taken goal, met with great celebrations from the fans on the touchline.

From here on in though Shotts set the pattern of play, closing down well at every opportunity and really making the most of any space on the flanks. As always though, Vale's Arran Currie was a great outball, looking to latch onto any long clearance from the defence.

Shotts began to apply serious pressure in the last 15 minutes of the first half, pushing up high and forcing Hutchison Vale to commit a series of fouls, some in very dangerous positions.

A high ball downfield was partially controlled by McGeough, who was subsequently fouled just on the edge of the box. Up stepped Kerr Fraser, who set his sights on goal and was only denied a spectacular free ­kick by the outstretched fingers Byron Gibb, who tipped the ball onto the bar and saved a certain goal. A fantastic save from the young keeper, managing to keep his team in the game.

Hutchison Vale did not learn their lesson though, and gave away another foul after some lovely interplay from McGeouch and Fraser, forcing Vale players to dive in. The free­kick, again taken by Fraser, was considerably lower this time and deflected just wide from the wall.

Hutchison Vale had a chance to counter though, only for Luke Brown to make a great slide tackle and win the ball back on the halfway line. He controlled the loose ball and played it long downfield, sensing the run from McGeough. The ball bounced dangerously, leaving the forward one-­on-­one with the keeper but he stood firm and just managed to get a touch to the ball before a collision between the pair.

With the first half drawing to a close, Hutchison Vale still could not escape their half. Another foul was conceded just before the whistle, after Shaun O'Donnell was brought down after a one­-two with McGeough put him into space. The free ­kick from Fraser this time was a teasing one, played in from the right side and across the face of goal. With players from both teams stretching for the ball it just needed a touch to find the equaliser; but unfortunately for Shotts it rolled out of play.

  • Half Time:
  • Shotts YMCA
  • 0-1
  • Hutchison Vale

The story of the second half was completely different though, and whatever was said to the Hutchison Vale squad by their manager seemed to work wonders.

It did not start off quite this way though, with Shotts finding an opportunity within the first minute after McGeough controlled a long ball and layed it off to Fraser just outside the box, whose first-time shot looked destined for the back of the net only to be denied again by Gibb.

From here though Hutchison Vale began to control the game, this time winning fouls in the opposition half and testing Shotts defence. Reyce Kay played in Stewart Johnston down the right, and he cleverly turned his opposite man, leaving him for dead and winning a free ­kick in the process. Up stepped Lewis Swanney and his left foot, and he curled a cross into the box which found a free player at the back post, but his header was straight at the Shotts keeper James Davidson.

Minutes later, a corner had the same result for Hutchison. After some great hold-up play from Currie and his quick feet, the corner was played in from the right side and went straight through to Cameron Milne at the back post; but his header was just wide.

From here on in Hutchison Vale dominated without finding the net. They began to push their wingbacks on further up the pitch, which caused chaos for Shotts, who could not seem to find any rhythm. In the 60th minute, Currie took hold of the ball and back-heeled it into the path of Ryan Fox. He surged past a defender only for his shot to be saved by the keeper.

Kiearan Young, who was awarded the man of the match award by the games sponsors, started to control the game more and more, spraying passes into the channels and stretching the Shotts defence.

Shotts best chance to score in the second half looked to come from either a counter or a set piece, and in the 75th minute they came close. A corner swung in into the box was headed onto the roof of the net by Patrick Duffy, inches away from finding an equaliser. Spurred on by this, Shotts started to commit more men forward.

Elliot Taylor's introduction from the bench proved a thorn in the side for Shotts, as his pace on the break caused increasing problems for them. A long ball downfield set him off in acres of space, only for the on­rushing keeper to snap up the ball.

A corner in the 80th minute was taken short, played into the path of Johnston. His low left foot cross fizzed across the face of goal from the right hand side, just out of reach for any of the Hutchison Vale attackers.

Shotts started to get desperate in the last 10 minutes, and began commiting more and more men forward in an effort to finally get on the scoresheet. In the 84th minute, after some smooth one-touch play from the Shotts forwards, Fraser again found himself in a shooting opportunity, only for it to arrow narrowly wide.

Moving into injury time, it was Hutchison Vale who had the best opportunities to score. Again it was Taylor's pace that caused the problem, finding himself set free of the opposition defence and one-­on-­one with the keeper, only for a defender to track back and just muscle him off the ball.

And so the referee blew his whistle, and Hutchison Vale claimed the trophy. A hugely entertaining game for everyone involved, Shotts were incredibly unlucky to find themselves behind after the first half. However, it was Hutchison Vales second half perfomance that sealed their victory and allowed them to lift the trophy after the game.

Youth Football Scotland: Website Photos &emdash;
  • Full Time:
  • Shotts YMCA
  • 0-1
  • Hutchison Vale

Lineups

Shotts YMCA
Hutchison Vale
1. James Davidson
2. Greg Murray
3. Shaun O'Donnell
4. Jamie White
5. Ryan Welsh
6. Patrick Duffy
7. Dylan Noonan
8. Andew Patterson
9. Sandy Robertson
10. Luke Brown
11. Kerr Fraser
12. Gary McGeouch
14. Paul Hughes
15. Robbie McLean
16. Dylan King
18. Declan Moore
19. Kieran McColgan
20. Adam Berry
1. Byron Gibb
2. Cameron Milne
3. Sam Birch
4. Stewart Johnston
5. Cameron Begbie
6. Thomas Prior
7. Arran Currie
12. Jack Cowan
9. Ryan Fox
8. Kieran Young
11. Elliot Taylor
15. Jordan Mungell
18. Lewis Swaney
19. Reyce Kay
20. Adrian Shala
21. Tommy Simpson
Star Player
Shotts YMCA
Hutchison Vale
Gary McGeough - Was vital to their best moments of the game, showcasing some excellent link up play and was always a threat in the air.
Byron Gibb - Although he did not have many saves to make, the ones he did were to deny certain goals. A great performance, he kept his team in the game throughout.
Magic Moment
Shotts YMCA
Hutchison Vale
The series of free­ kicks in the first half were fantastic, but Fraser's strike in the 31st minute was the best of them all. A brilliant strike that could only be topped by a brilliant save.
The build up to Ryan Fox's chance in the 50th minute was astounding, with some fantastic one touch passing all over the pitch, not to mention a clever back heel pass that left the defenders for dead.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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