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Vale close gap at top after defeating Cavalry Park

Cavalry Park 1

Mackenzie 87

Hutchison Vale 4

James Gordon 10, Mackay 22, 49, Temple 73
  • Saturday, 27 April 2019
  • Portobello High School
  • Under 17´s
  • Division 1

Hutchison Vale produced a fine win in the spring sunshine, seeing off Cavalry Park 4-1, to maintain the pressure at the top of League 1. Two goals in either half saw them ease clear of today’s rivals on the park and in the table, where they now sit only a point off the summit.

Vale set to their business early with efforts from various distances, the best of which came from Finlay Mackay who, upon out-muscling a centre-back, hit an angled effort that required parrying over by Ryan Kidd. Whilst the match was not exclusively one direction - a dangerous cross from Park’s James Stewart saw Vale centre-back Josh Winnik clear just past his own post - the visitors appeared more likely to strike first.

This they did, in the 10th minute. A loose ball 25 yards from their own goal left Park exposed and undermanned, and the recipient Jamie Whitehead showed great vision to clip a reverse pass to over-lapping support James Gordon ploughing in on his right. Gordon had only Kidd to beat, which he achieved with conviction by driving the ball inside the near post.

Within sixty seconds Cavalry’s Daniel Maposa had a long strike pushed wide by Finn McNichol. However that was a good as it got for the hosts in the next twelve minutes. Two sharp passes took Vale from halfway to the edge of the six yard box, but Whitehead’s turn-and-shot met a very smart save. Brodie McNab then managed to shoot over the fences when running freely on to a lay-off. But resistance finally fell, in the 22nd minute, when James Gordon won the ball 25 yards out, ran direct, and hit hard. Kidd’s parry looped nicely to Mackay, who headed in to a gaping goal from six yards.

Again Cavalry almost immediately responded as Mackenzie’s cross was headed wide by a wide open Robbie Walker. Yet that miss was timid compared to two more to see out the half. After goalscorer Mackay had punished the crossbar from the edge of the area, Whitehead sent the politely bouncing rebound into the heavens from 6 yards. Maposa then broke Vale’s defensive line but thumped his one-on-one straight at the keeper, and the rebound over.

  • Half Time:
  • Cavalry Park
  • 0-2
  • Hutchison Vale

The chances kept coming as the second half opened, as Mackay headed a presentable opportunity wide inside the first fifteen seconds. It did not take long to make amends: in the 49th minute he found himself the most advanced player, staring at the goal 30 yards out. A mighty hit with the right foot flew into the left of the goal for 3-0.

Although chances were aplenty, with Whitehead and Brodie both passing up a fourth, credit must go to Vale for some rousing defending against a break just past the hour mark. Like a scrambling rugby rearguard, players worked and closed and harried, wonderfully not only denying a shot but forcing Cavalry to eventually retreat to halfway. Dividends were reaped at the other end when Gordon fed right to Mackay, who beat his man and stabbed the ball past Kidd. The ball was off target, but left back Christian Temple arrived to tap home number four from less than a metre.  

The amalgamation of running and sunshine may explain the breakdown of structure with the game extinguished. Mackay could have had his hat-trick if, having rounded the keeper, he shot with his left instead of prodding tentatively with the outside of his right, before Gordon smacked his own one-on-one - created after a fine one-two - into the busy Kidd.

As the clock wound down there was time for Vale to have two goals ruled out, one for the ball being out and the second for offside, either side of Cavalry getting their goal when many had stopped expecting a whistle. The ball was instead played into Mackenzie, standing outrageously alone 18 yards out, who simply passed the ball into the net. It gave Cavalry Park something positive on Hutchison Vale’s day.

  • Full Time:
  • Cavalry Park
  • 1-4
  • Hutchison Vale

Lineups

Cavalry Park
Hutchison Vale
1. Ryan Kidd
2. James Stewart
4. Sam Gormley (c)
5. Kyle Cooledge
6. Daniel Maposa
9. Michael Cornelius
11. Andrew Mackenzie
14. Ronan Gallagher
15. Harris Mackintosh
17. Robert Cole
18. Andrew Bulloch
19. Robbie Walker
1. Finn McNichol
2. Christian Temple
4. Jonny Gordon
5. Jamie Crawford
9. Finlay Mackay
10. Jack Neilson
11. James Gordon
12. Conan Murie
14. Szymon Merwa
15. Jamie Whitehead
16. Faustus Juddeikis
17. Brodie McNab
18. Jack Sharples (c)
20. Josh Winnik
Trialist: Owen Nolan
Star Player
Cavalry Park
Hutchison Vale
Robert Cole: It was apparent in the first half that Cole has some neat midfield touches, able to pass short and move, and turn on receiving. The problem was getting him into the game, an issue remedied in the second half when he moved ten yards further forward. His cultured and thoughtful use of the ball kept Cavalry attacks ticking, and epitomised the type of football coaches encourage.
James Gordon: Jonny and James Gordon give Hutchison Vale a dangerous right side, and in this game it was the direct running of the athletic James that became a nightmare for the opposition. The game was littered with opportunities created by his beelines towards Cavalry Park’s box, from scoring the first goal, being influential in the second and fourth, to setting up a plethora of further chances. He looked like he was tiring at the midpoint of the second half; it was only a pause before he began again.
Magic Moment
Cavalry Park
Hutchison Vale
Cavalry Park did show moments of flair within the game, and got their goal towards the end. Yet credit needs to go to the man in nets for stopping several chances, and Ryan Kidd’s save from Whitehead in the 18th minute was excellent. This was backed up by denying several one-on-ones in the second in a game in which the keeper repeated those quick reactions.
Mackay’s second goal was a beautiful strike, and the creation of the chance excellently denied by Kidd was the best move of the game - Gordon curling a ball from halfway into the channel for Mackay, who cut back to Whitehead. Yet for sheer work rate and tenacity, the covering and defending against Cavalry Park’s break in the 65th minute was superb. That there was no goal, and not even a shot, illustrated how intangibles can make a difference.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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