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Tynecastle truimphant in the cup

Tynecastle FC 2

Alapiki 11', Hunter 40'

Spartans FC 0

  • Friday, 06 May 2016
  • Saughton Enclosure
  • Under 14´s
  • John Crawford Memorial Trophy
Jack Whitlam

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

Tynecastle FC met Spartans FC for the fifth time this season, this time in the John Crawford Cup Final. Previous ties have seen Tynecastle win two and Spartans win two, so it was obvious that this match was going to be a closely fought battle.
Both teams have games coming thick and fast as we edge closer to the end of the season. This match was Tynecastle’s first of three in five days. However, focus was entirely on this game with this season’s first piece of silverware available for whoever came out victorious.
The first ten minutes were tame with neither side managing to wrestle a hold of the match early on. Despite their best efforts, both teams lacked the cutting edge to complete a string of passes or get a significant shot away to test the goalkeepers.
It was on 11 minutes that the game came alive however. Tynecastle won a freekick on the left wing, five yards from the edge of the box. James Scobie was the man to take it and he whipped in an out-swinging cross. The players had concentrated themselves around the penalty spot and it looked difficult for anyone to jump high enough to get a header away amongst the melee. Ivan Alapiki could not be held back though, he leapt into the air and headed the ball past the keeper to the back post and into the net.
The goal seemed to wake both teams up. Tynecastle sensed blood, but they didn’t do anything about it. Instead, Spartans patiently counter-attacked and the front three began causing problems.
On 15 minutes, the crowd became animated when Reece Mason began bamboozling the Tynecastle defence with silky skills inside the box. He took on three players before producing a cross, but Tynecastle keeper Aaron Heap collected.
On 19 minutes, Reuben Walsh pinched the ball from Tynecastle’s Scobie who was caught in possession. Walsh raced towards goal only to be brought down just short of the penalty area. Nicholas Reid stepped up to take the freekick which thundered off the bar. Mason followed up the shot off the bar with a header but this time the ball sailed over.
The following ten minutes were quiet before the game came alive once again on the half hour mark. Spartans won a freekick on the left wing, next to by-line, 25 yards from goal. Keir Russell took the freekick. The ball sailed into the box and hit a Tynecastle player on the chest. Everyone watched in anxious anticipation as the ball bounced towards goal. Fortunately for the Tynecastle player, the ball hit the post and went out for a corner. Multiple corners followed with Tynecastle unable to clear.
In the final five minutes of the half, Tynecastle struggled to clear their lines. The ball kept finding its way back into the Tynecastle box due to needless fouls in their own half which was heaping on the pressure. Tynecastle held on until half time though and the teams went in with the score 1-0.
Spartans may have felt they had done enough to have drawn level in the first half, but they weren’t clinical enough in front of goal. The game was stretched and this was hardly helped by the large pitch. Both teams were too disjointed in the first half and needed to work harder to connect their midfield with attack. Ivan Alapiki, the Tynecastle target man, was causing problems but lacked support from his midfielders. Similarly, the Spartans front three of Reid, Mason and Robbie Walker worked hard and combined well, but needed more support.
  • Half Time:
  • Tynecastle FC
  • 1-0
  • Spartans FC
The next goal was crucial - Spartans score it and they draw level; Tynecastle get it and they give themselves some breathing space. Five minutes into the second half, the net bulged once more, it was Tynecastle with their second. 
Tynecastle won a throw on the left wing. Captain, Kieran Ngwenya, took the throw, passing it to Robbie Neave, who played a return pass down the line. Ngwenya latched onto the ball and produced an inch perfect cross. On the end of the cross was Scott Hunter who headed the ball back across goal and into the net.
A multitude of substitutions followed which killed any tempo the game had. Despite their best efforts, Spartans were unable to string any meaningful passes together which would have enabled them to penetrate the Tynecastle back four.
The best chance of the half came from Tynecastle’s Scobie with a speculative effort from the left wing, 40 yards from goal. Seeing the keeper off his line, Scobie swung his foot through the ball producing a looping shot. Confident keeper, Harry Stone, backpedalled and calmly plucked the ball out of the air but he was the only confident player on the pitch as the shot looked destined for the goal.
Tynecastle’s Alapiki defended well from his position up front, harrying Spartan defenders and midfielders. The Tynecastle defence also stood firm ensuring they could see out the game and collect the John Crawford Memorial Cup.
The game ended 2-0 with Tynecastle victorious. The goal just after half time was crucial, killing any hope Spartans had of getting into the game. After that Tynecastle professionally held on and in truth, did not look like conceding.
Spartans did not disgrace themselves, however. Had they got a goal that they arguably deserved in the first half, we may have seen a different game. Substitutions disrupted their rhythm and the pitch looked much bigger than they were used to.
In summary, the match was a fine example of two of the league’s best teams, albeit not at their best, but who certainly showed glimpses, cancelling each other out. Tynecastle were more clinical and therefore deserve their victory. With Tynecastle now one up on them, Spartans will be keen for revenge when they meet in the Jewel Miners Trophy on Sunday 15th May.
  • Full Time:
  • Tynecastle FC
  • 2-0
  • Spartans FC


Tynecastle FC
Spartans FC
1. Aaron Heap
2. Scott Jardine
3. Luke Wilkie
4. Josh Winnik
5. Kieran Ngwenya
6. Jacques Crane
7. Scott Hunter
8. Evan Scott
9. Sami El Yamani
11. Ross Watson
12. Chris McCallum
14. Brandon Russell
15. Robbie Neave
16. Ivan Alapiki
17. James Scobie
18. Samuel Gormley
19. Aaron Matheson
20. Jamie Henderson
1. Harry Stone
4. Thomas Baur
5. Kieran Moyles
6. Christopher Pearson
7. Jack Ewing
8. Daniel Troup
9. Reece Mason
10. Jack Crombie
11. Oskar Zieniewicz
12. Kyle Dempster
13. Kornel Durda
14. Keir Russell
15. Campbell Swanson
16. Jordi Yewdale
17. Luke Morris
18. Robbie Walker
19. Reuben Walsh
23. Nicholas Reid
Star Player
Tynecastle FC
Spartans FC
Ivan Alapiki. Not only did he make a nuisance of himself in the first half and get the all-important first goal, he also worked hard defensively in the second half. Skipper, Kieran Ngwenya and James Scobie also had good games.
Nicholas Reid. Substituted in the second half but provided a constant threat in the first half. He showed good composure and combined well with fellow forwards, whilst showing good intelligence to cover other players.
Magic Moment
Tynecastle FC
Spartans FC
Magic moment for Tynecastle was their second goal. Superbly efficient attacking play. Good combination between Ngwenya and Neave before an excellent cross by Ngwenya and calmly finished by Hunter.
Magic moment for Spartans was Reece Mason’s fancy footwork in the first half. He manged to bamboozle the defenders whilst remaining in control of the ball at all times. Unfortunate that no one managed to get on the end of Mason’s cross to finish an excellent move.
Club Views
Tynecastle FC
Spartans FC
Speaking to Jacques Crane after the game, he paid tribute to his fellow teammates who he felt worked hard to get the result. He concurred with his coach, who I spoke to after the game as well, that they weren't good enough in the first half but they wanted it more in the second half and came away with the victory. Crane is looking forward to getting another win against Spartans next week.
Spartans assistant coach praised his players for their good attitude in the game despite finding it difficult on a large, bumpy pitch. He is hoping to learn from tonight and get the victory next week.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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