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Currie double as Spartans sizzle to pip Leith to Scottish Cup

Leith Athletic 'A' Team 1

Ward

Spartans FC Red 2

Currie (2)
  • Sunday, 22 May 2016
  • Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
  • Under 13´s
  • inspiresport SYFA Challenge Cup - Final
 
Spartans FC Reds picked up the third Scottish Youth FA Cup in the club’s history over league rivals Leith Athletic, in an engrossing match between two high-scoring teams. The class of 2003 joined the recent successes at 1995 and 1999, becoming the youngest side from the North Edinburgh club to ever lift the top honour.
 
It’s not often you score 43 goals over seven games to reach a final and still end up being the less prolific of the two teams, but that was the case for Leith. From the day the beat Broxburn Athletic Colts 8-1 (which was also the only goal they conceded in the competition until the semi final), Leith looked like a team capable of going all the way. 
 
The glory was Spartans’ though and three double-digit wins in the first three rounds laid down the gauntlet to all comers. A five-star performance from Josh Currie on a trip to Dyce in the fifth round was one of the highlights, after which coach Kevin Wilson said: “We want to stay in the competitions as long as we can,” and he seems to have got his wish – and more, as two 4-2 wins (over Drumsagard and Barrhead YFC) catapulted this clinical outfit into the final. 
 
The match got off to a frantic start and inside the first minute Spartans had a chance to take the lead. Lawson McConnell’s delivery was met by Kyle Roberston, but he couldn’t keep his header down.
 
Leith were next to come close as the match raged from end to end. Cameron Kerr showed good movement and pace to latch onto a through ball, but he couldn’t find a way past Spartans goalkeeper Lewis Fox. Another chance came their way shortly afterwards, with Fox saving again, this time from a powerful Owen Gray effort.
 
Both sides know each other well and perhaps it helped them settle. The confidence on the big stage by both sets of players was admirable, with both teams getting the ball down at every opportunity and spraying passes along the deck. Possession was even and at this stage it was anyone’s game.
 
Spartans were next to come close and they must have thought they had taken the lead when Glen Lorimer’s strike crashed off the bar. However, they didn’t have long to wait. A measured pass into Josh Currie’s path was placed into the bottom left hand corner by the advancing striker.
 
Any thoughts of Leith heads going down quickly vanished as the boys in black and white bounced back immediately. Kerr combined well with Ethan Wynne and both had efforts stopped by Spartans keeper Fox. 
 
Like before, pressure was rewarded and this meant Leith equalising before the interval. Ben Murray picked out John Ward in the box and he made no mistake to level up the scores.
  • Half Time:
  • Leith Athletic 'A' Team
  • 1-1
  • Spartans FC Red
The second half kicked off with the match in the balance. Both sides knew just one moment of magic could see them 35 minutes away from what would become their finest hour on a football pitch. It was reflected in the play of both sides, as a little more caution was shown – keen to ensure they didn’t give the opposition anything on a plate.
 
The first chance after the break fell to Spartans. For the second time in the match they hit the woodwork, this time Chad Barclay striking the ball off the post.
 
Déjà vu wasn’t far away as, like in the first half, Spartans followed up a near miss by going one better. It was that man Currie again, sprinting past his marker before coolly finding the bottom corner. The placement of the shot was precision, leaving goalkeeper Jamie Smith with no chance.
 
Another setback and another response required from Leith Athletic. The club had always been known for its grit and determination (not to detract from bundles of quality) across the age groups and they were in no mood to give up. 
 
As the minutes ticked by possession and territory began to swing in Leith’s favour, but they found themselves up against a well organised and equally determined Spartans rearguard action. Time began to run out.
 
The final five minutes saw the pressure intensify with Wynne, Murray, Ward and Kerr all looking dangerous. However, it wasn’t to be for the talented young side from Leith Links. The referee’s whistle blew one final time and the players in red dropped to their knees in a combination of disbelief and joy.
 
Spartans will celebrate a day they will never forget, whereas for Leith Athletic it wasn’t to be. However, both sides deserve a huge amount of credit for an excellent show of football and sportsmanship, worthy of the occasion. 
  • Full Time:
  • Leith Athletic 'A' Team
  • 1-2
  • Spartans FC Red

Lineups

Leith Athletic 'A' Team
Spartans FC Red
1. Jamie Smith
2. Cameron Kerr
3. Daniel Turner
4. Cameron Stewart
5. Euan Howie
6. Adam Zajac
7. Ethan Wynne
8. Lewis Owens
9. Ben Murray
10. John Ward
12. Strathy Mackay
14. Sam Lewis
15. Thomas Ramage
16. Cal Stenhouse
17. Owen Gray
1. Lewis Fox
21. Mikolaj Komocki
2. Reece Cairns
3. Jack Tait
4. Dean Wilson
6. Alistair Adams
8. Aiden Savage
9. Kyle Robertson
10. Joseph Nicholson
11. Chad Barclay
12. Glen Lorimer
14. Lawson McConnell
17. Lewis Bright
18. Pablo Martina
19. Josh Currie
20. Charlie Peet
Star Player
Leith Athletic 'A' Team
Spartans FC Red
Cameron Kerr; the right midfielder caused a constant threat all day to Spartans with pace and determination in the final third of the field.
Josh Currie; the striker took his chances in front of goal when it mattered, to ultimately give his side the silverware on offer.
Magic Moment
Leith Athletic 'A' Team
Spartans FC Red
Ward's strike came at the perfect time for Leith, getting them right back into the game before the break.
Currie's double were exceptionally well taken but it's hard to look past the final whistle for the most magic of moments. The jubilation of players and supporters, at winning the Scottish Cup at the very first time of asking, was a sight to behold.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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