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Arniston Rangers stave off Redhall comeback to advance on penalties

Arniston Rangers 2

Durnion 10, 34

Redhall Star YFC 2

Haines 42, Morton 53
  • (Arniston Rangers won 5-4 on pens)
  • Sunday, 05 November 2017
  • Birkenside Park
  • Under 13´s
  • Edinburgh Cup
It came down to the pot luck of a penalty shootout to split two evenly matched sides, as Arniston Rangers emerged as victors in a thrilling cup tie at Birkenside Park over divisional rivals Redhall Star who had battled back from two goals down.
It wasn’t quite a game of two halves, although Arniston Rangers led 2-0 at the interval. Redhall came out in the second half having switched to a back three and moments after the change, the game began to swing in their favour.
The visitors deservedly pegged it back to two each and despite an extremely open final 15 minutes, neither side could find the winner with penalties looming large.
The first ten minutes gave an indication of how the game was going to go, back and forth with neither team able to grab a hold of the tie, without a great deal of chances being created.
However, it was the home who struck first, a corner sent into the box that wasn’t dealt with on the bounce. The ball sat up nicely for Ross Durnion who lashed the ball into the top corner from close range. 
Redhall pushed forwards in search of a swift reply, with Ryan Munro and Robbie Haines both coming close in the opening 15 minutes.
The visitors continued to created chances, a neat exchange between Aayan Khalid Sharif and Sam Higgins sent the latter in behind the back three, but the angle was tight and led to a comfortable save for Logan Black.
Another chance fell the way of the visitors after 24 minutes when Munro picked off a kick out by Black. The winger watched in agony as his clipped effort bounced across the face of goal with the goalkeeper well beaten.
Haines then forced Black into a reflex save high to the keeper’s right. From the resulting corner Arniston Rangers would spring a sweeping counter attack, which was drilled into the far corner by Durnion once again. Jamie Jones, who’d had limited action until this point, found himself picking the ball out of the net for a second time as the half time whistle went, 2-0 at the break.
  • Half Time:
  • Arniston Rangers
  • 2-0
  • Redhall Star YFC
The opening five or so minutes of the second period were fairly tame, with no chances falling to either side. Redhall realised something had to be done and so the change was made to go three at the back, pushing another player forward.
This decision almost instantly paid dividends as Haines intercepted a loose ball from the keeper. The striker wouldn’t miss this time as he rushed in on goal and guided the ball high and out of the reach of Black to cut the deficit in two.
The away side pressed in search of an equaliser, Haines chased down a loose ball and was almost rewarded, but the ball had other ideas as it rolled out of his path. 
Victor Kokoszka must have thought he’d scored as the ball fell at his feet inside the box. The substitute hit his effort low and firm, only to be denied by a magnificent reaction save from Black, who was going down the wrong way but somehow managed to get enough on it to keep his side ahead.
Redhall continued to knock on the door as Logan Wilson-Need fired over the crossbar from a seven or eight yards out. The goal was coming.
On 53 minutes the equaliser finally arose. Scorer turned provider as Haines rolled the ball across the goalmouth. Kokaszka couldn’t reach the ball but it wouldn’t matter as there was Tom Morton lunging in at the back post, who met the ball and firmly guided it home to level the scoring.
Morton so nearly turned the tie on its head. He was clear on the right side of the box just minutes later, but as the angle narrowed the ball bobbled up off the turf and led to the substitute stroking wide from close range.
Despite having given up their two goal cushion and being second best in the second half, Arniston Rangers weren’t finished. Finlay Robertson turned his man inside out but his cross was only headed as far as the advancing Jay Meldrum. The skipper fired a half volley from 30 yards out but Jones held on at the second attempt to prevent the ball squirming underneath him.
Robertson then had a chance of his own, fizzing a first time effort just wide at the near post. A moment later and Munro nearly caught out Black with an audacious first time volley, although luckily for the keeper the bounce took the venom out of the strike.
Redhall were back on the front foot and hit the post twice in the space of a few seconds. Haines had two bites at it, the first being kept out by Black although the ball rebounded into the striker’s path, who hit the post and as it then ricocheted off of a defender, the post was once agin the saviour for Arniston Rangers.
The game opened up in the last ten minutes as both sides pushed for that elusive winner. In the end neither could muster enough up and the cup tie was to be decided by a shootout.
  • Full Time:
  • Arniston Rangers
  • 2-2
  • Redhall Star YFC
Both sides converted their first three penalties each: Fletcher Patterson, Dylan Morrison and Munro for Redhall; Ewan Miller, Durnion and Meldrum all netting for the home team. Kokoszka stepped up for Redhall, only to watch his penalty rebound off the frame of the goal. Arniston Rangers would convert their next spot kick, pouring the pressure onto Haines. Haines cooly tucked his spot kick away, but in the end it wasn’t enough as Evan Bonar put it to bed and brought a thrilling cup tie to a close. A harsh way for Redhall Star to be eliminated considering how well they performed, and a sweet way to win it for Arniston Rangers.

Final Result: (Arniston Rangers won 5-4 on pens)


Arniston Rangers
Redhall Star YFC
1. Logan Black
2. Craig Betram
3. Euan Graham
5. Rhys Williams
6. Ross Mclean
7. Darren Wagley
8. Aiden Bryson
9. Sam Mclean
10. Ewan Miller
11. Ross Durnion
12. Christopher Banks
14. Evan Bonar
17. Jake Nelson
18. Jay Meldrum
20. Finlay Robertson
1. Jamie Jones
2. Karim Hydara
3. Dylan Morrison
5. Fletcher Patterson
6. Peter McGinley
7. Sam Higgins
8. Ayaan Khalid Sharif
9. Robbie Haines
10. Logan Wilson-Need
11. Ryan Munro
14. Victor Kokoszka
15. Aadi Rajesh
16. Tom Morton
18. Ben Tucker
Star Player
Arniston Rangers
Redhall Star YFC
Jay Meldrum was a standout for Arniston Rangers. The skipper played in the heart of a back three and lead by example throughout. He made multiple good challenges near the end as well as stepping forward on occasion to help out the attack. He rounded off an excellent performance with a goal in the shoot out too, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Robbie Haines stood out for the visitors. The striker caused all kinds of problems for Arniston Rangers and took his goal well. He also played a key role in laying on the equaliser as well as converting in the penalty shoot out.
Magic Moment
Arniston Rangers
Redhall Star YFC
Logan Black’s fantastic save to prevent Victor Kokoszka from scoring the equaliser. The ball came along the ground from Haines and as Kokoszka lined up the shot, Black, who had already committed to going down to his left, manages to go against his momentum and deny the substitute down to his right from very close range.
Tom Morton’s goal to level the score - not the classiest of goals but a crucial one. The ball came in from Haines and having missed Kokoszka the chance looked as if it may have gone. Morton was to have his say on that as he slid in to tap home at the far post and finally breach the Arniston Rangers defence for the second time.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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