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Leith Athletic overcome Blackburn United to lift the William Bauld Cup

Leith Athletic 4

Froude 58' 90+2' Hay 63' Hamilton 75'

Blackburn United 0

  • Sunday, 07 June 2015
  • Penicuik Athletic Juniors Ground
  • Under 21´s
  • William Bauld Cup Final
Louis Moorehead

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

Leith Athletic kept their nerve to claim a 4-0 win over Blackburn United, although they were made to work hard for it for long periods of the game. Eventually though, Leith's greater squad depth proved the deciding factor as they pulled apart in the second half and held on well to lift the trophy.

The opening twenty minutes of the William Bauld Cup final was an understandably nervy affair as each team eased themselves into the game. It was filled with loose passes, long clearances and little work for either goalkeeper.

Each team created a few chances though early on, with Blackburn United’s Calum McDowall finding some space in front of the opposition defence and running well with the ball. First he set up Steven McClay with a looping cross from the right wing which he narrowly volleyed wide for a corner, and then from the resulting corner the ball found its way to Jack McGurk on the edge of the box, and his thunderous left-footed drive was bravely met square on the face by Leith Athletic defender Alan Murray. A great piece of defending, it left a fair number of onlookers wincing and after some treatment Murray was fit to continue.

Burnie started the game with an aggressively high defensive line, and in the eighth minute Leith’s Sean MacPherson smartly poked the ball beyond the offside trap and into the path of Steven Froude, whose first chance of the game in a one-on-one situation resulted in the ball being shot narrowly wide. An early warning for the Burnie defenders, but one they got away with.

From here though the game settled down slightly, and Leith began to pass the ball around in a more confident manner. Slowing the game down, they began to find a lot of joy down each flank, with left winger Callum Mein causing havoc every time he got on the ball. In the 21st minute, he cut the ball back across the face of goal from the left flank and into the path of Euan Morrice, but his shot was well blocked.

Starved of the ball, Burnie's play became erratic. Bodies diving into tackles, long balls downfield, they looked a team bereft of confidence. However after some encouragement from their coach, they began to pass the ball along the ground with a lot more confidence and looked to play it out from the back, rather than to simply hoof the ball clear. With Leith advancing more and more, McGurk began to showcase his defensive talent at left back, tackling well and advancing with the ball in an intelligent way. With five minutes left in the first half though, the back four began to get seriously tested.

First, Mein played a series of passes with John Robertson and was released into space on the left flank, only for his teasing low cross to be cut out. Minutes later, Mein had a chance to turn from provider to finisher, as Daniel Simpson bombed forward for Leith and hammered a cross into the box from the right, which a fully outstretched Mein could only knock over the bar from close range. Finally, taking the game into his own hands, Mein found himself clean through in the closing minutes, left one-on-one with the onrushing keeper in a more central position. This time though, Burnie keeper Darren Mitchell foiled him with a great low save to keep the score 0-0 going into half time.

Leith created the better chances during the first half, but Burnie defended admirably, with big centre back Fraser Clarkson proving to be a magnet for the ball and blocking every shot that came his way on the six-yard box. 

  • Half Time:
  • Leith Athletic
  • 0-0
  • Blackburn United

Burnie, who could only provide 11 players for the game, knew that they would be up against it in the second half, but they started very well. Ross Mitchell, playing up front, proved to be a great target man and managed to hold up the ball increasingly well as the game went on.

Finally though, in the 58th minute the deadlock was broken. Leith's Kevin Hamilton, brought on as a sub onto the right wing, cut inside with the ball and fizzed a long diagonal path through the defence and into the path of Froude. He took a touch and calmly dispatched the ball beyond the keeper in a swift fashion. A good finish, but an even better assist from Hamilton, whose introduction into the game proved to be pivotal.

Five minutes later, Froude turned into the provider. He picked up the ball just beyond the half way line and quickly turned, volleying the ball long and into the path of Stefan Hay who took a touch and chipped it beyond the onrushing keeper from just inside the box.

From here on in it was all Leith, and they began to create more and more chances.

Hay almost added his second of the day in the 73rd minute, this time Mein playing him in. He rounded the keeper, only to take a slightly too heavy touch and run out of pitch before he could pass the ball into the open net.

Hamilton found a reward for all his work down the right in the 75th minute, as he netted a great team goal. A long ball from the back was controlled by Hay in the box, where he held up the ball before laying it off to the onrushing Hamilton, and his trusty left foot placed the ball beyond the diving keeper to make it 3-0.

In the 80th minute, Burnie had a chance to get on the scoresheet. They had built up a head of steam after some good midfield player, and McDowall managed to get a shot away from the edge of the box which deflected off a defender and into the path of McClay, and his first time shot from close range was held by the Leith keeper Reece Smail.

Into injury time, and with the Burnie defenders out of energy, Leith managed to find a fourth goal. A hopeful ball down the right channel made its way to Froude, who controlled in the box. After some nice skills, he hit a fake shot to throw the keeper then drilled low from the right side into the bottom left corner.

With that, the referee blew his whistle and the final belonged to Leith Athletic. A resounding victory over a Blackburn side that played admirably throughout the game, but who just could not find the cutting edge when it counted. 

Youth Football Scotland: Website Photos &emdash;
  • Full Time:
  • Leith Athletic
  • 4-0
  • Blackburn United

Lineups

Leith Athletic
Blackburn United
1. Reece Smail
2. Craig Robertson
3. Connor Pont
4. Alan Murray
5. Darren Linton
6. Euan Morrice
7. Callum Mein
8. Sean MacPherson
9. Steven Froude
10. Ross Davies
12. Kerr Mathieson
14. Todd Smith
17. Kevin Hamilton
18. Daniel Simpson
19. Stefan Hay
20. Lewis Smith
21. John Robertson
1. Darren Mitchell
2. Jason McGown
3. Jack McGurk
5. Graeme Thomson
6. Kris Bridges
7. Calum McDowall
11. Steven McClay
13. Ross Mitchell
15. Fraser Clarkson
17. Sean Dugan
19. Conner Robb
Star Player
Leith Athletic
Blackburn United
Kevin Hamilton - There were a number of fantastic individual performances on the day, but the introduction of Hamilton really changed the dynamic of the game. Cutting inside from the right, he was a constant thorn in the side of the opposition, and finished the day with a goal and an assist.
Jack McGurk - All the defenders played admirably, but McGurk stood out the most. Confident going forward and passed the ball well. His defensive work was excellent all game.
Magic Moment
Leith Athletic
Blackburn United
The goal that broke the deadlock was an excellent moment. The assist from Hamilton was incredibly precise and the finish from Froude was even better, despite the pressure.
The defensive performance was admirable, despite the 4-0 scoreline.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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