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Spartans progress at City's expense

Spartans FC Youth 4

Campbell 41', Blair 46', Balde 76' 79'

Edinburgh City Whites 1

Denholm 32'
  • Monday, 08 February 2016
  • Ainslie Park
  • Under 15´s
  • Division One League Cup
Rafie Thompson

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

Spartans Youth progressed to the next round of the U15s Division One League Cup after coming from behind to defeat Edinburgh City Whites at a windy Ainslie Park.

A goal from Kielan Denholm was not enough for City as Spartans replied with goals from Rhys Campbell, Brandon Blair and a late brace from John Balde to progress to the second round.

Spartans started strongly despite playing against the wind and began to take hold of the game.

The first chance however came to Edinburgh City after ten minutes with Archie Morris firing wide of the right post following a misplaced back-pass.

Callum Simpson was next to have a go at goal for the away side as they began to work their way into the game with the likes of Zion Dixon marshalling Balde well at the City end. Simpson's half-volley from 18 yards was wide to the right of the post.

Some quick passing movements down the left flank opened up space for the first shot on target for the home side with Matteo Crolla's effort caught comfortably by the opposition 'keeper on the 15 minute mark.

Spartans, playing in red, began to put real pressure on the opposition defence with Kris Gaff slaloming down the right flank into the box where his resulting shot with his weaker foot was tipped away by the City 'keeper from 10 yards.

It was end-to-end and with the wind on their side, Edinburgh showed their counter-attacking ability and could have scored through Morris, who caused home 'keeper Ben Ritchie to make a point-blank save from 5 yards after a low cross from the left.

At the other end, Blair rose highest following a Wallace cross from the left and his looping header was just over the bar with a quarter of the game gone.

Edinburgh City eventually carved open the strong Spartans defence to score the first goal of the game with half an hour gone. A route-one ball from 'keeper Luca Scarpa was missed by everyone except Denholm who latched onto the wind-affected clearance to finish calmly past the 'keeper into the far right corner.

  • Half Time:
  • Spartans FC Youth
  • 0-1
  • Edinburgh City Whites

The half-time team talk from the Spartan's coaches must have had great effect as it took just a minute for the home-side to level the scoring. A deceiving cross from Campbell looked like it was going to be met by striker Balde but it missed everyone leaving the City shot stopper stranded as the ball slowly bounced into the back of his net.

Blair's left foot was causing problems for the Whites and after having a 20 yard shot saved, he doubled the scoring five minutes after the home team's first to put Spartans ahead. Wallace's direct run at the defence caused the opposition centre-halves to commit and he laid it off to Blair who cut inside towards the open space and smashed the ball into the bottom right corner from 15 yards.

The goalscorer almost had his second a minute later and City 'keeper Scarpa was forced into an excellent finger-tip save to stop Blair's effort from ten yards following Balde's cross.

Both sides began to chase the next goal and used the full width of the Ainslie pitch to create chances. It was not until the 65th minute that a chance did come along and it was Wallace who fired a free-kick from 25 yards past the near post for Spartans.

As both sides began to struggle against the weather it was John Balde who stepped up for the home-side to finish the game off with five minutes to play. Balde switched on when the City defence had lapsed in concentration and his mazy run from the right saw him finish into the far-corner from ten yards after leaving two City defenders standing.

The inspired striker was not finished however and he managed to bag his brace with a minute to play. After his acrobatic back-heel effort bounced off the post he reacted quickest to put his own rebound into the net, sealing the victory for Spartans.

They will meet Gala Fairydean Rovers in the second round and will be pleased with the come-back while Edinburgh City Whites will look to bounce back and focus on the league.

  • Full Time:
  • Spartans FC Youth
  • 4-1
  • Edinburgh City Whites

Lineups

Spartans FC Youth
Edinburgh City Whites
1. Ben Ritchie
2. Joe Tait
4. Thomas Graham
5. Owen Craig Barnes
6. Matthew Scott
8. Rory Campbell
9. Brandon Blair
10. John Balde
11. Rhys Campbell
12. Daniel Lock
14. Kris Gaff
15. Dennis Wallace
16. Matteo Crolla
17. Luke Cormack
1. Luca Scarpa
2. Ewan Swanson
3. Ory Heggie
4. Owen Gardner
5. Daniel Spence
6. Kielan Denholm
7. Elana Santoyo-Brown
8. Callum Simpson
9. Afolabi Osibanjo
10. Struan Maclean
11. Callum Smith
12. Archie Morris
16. Sam Alexander
18. Danny Hendry
19. Zion Dixon
20. James Williamson
Star Player
Spartans FC Youth
Edinburgh City Whites
John Balde - While he was quiet in the first half, John showed real athletic ability to become a real thorn in the opposition's side when they began to tire. His quick feet and vision showed that he has real potential.
Luca Scarpa - The Edinburgh City 'keeper kept his side in the game on multiple occasions and showed great reflexes as he denied two shots from close range. Was unfortunate to concede four goals considering his excellent performance.
Magic Moment
Spartans FC Youth
Edinburgh City Whites
Balde's first goal - John did really well to switch on when the game began to slow down and his mazy run from the right was finished off with a tight effort into the far corner, a great solo effort.
Denholm's goal - It took half an hour for the deadlock to be broken between the sides and it was joyous for Kielan when he kept calm to put his side on the front foot.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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