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Sunday, 11 November 2012 21:13

AC beat Inch in game of two halves

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AC Oxgangs
Inch Colts
Craig Gowans Memorial Cup
Colinton Mains
Click here for photo gallery by Donald Campbell.

AC Oxgangs v Inch Colts (U17s)ACO started the match well and soon brought the Colts’ goalie, James McGregor, into action as he cleared an inswinging corner and a deep cross into his 6-yard box. The pressure from ACO was unrelenting and, on 8 minutes, a corner from Mat Cannon saw a net-bound shot from Craig Sinclair being cleared off the line. The ball was kicked towards the edge of the penalty box where it was met by the left foot of the onrushing Grant McEwan. Even though fireworks night was over for another year, Grant’s blistering shot could only be described as a rocket as it took off and exploded into the Colts’ net.

With a Semi-Final place up for grabs, Colts refused to buckle despite this early setback and soon began to push forward. Clever play by the Colts’ wingers saw a couple of dangerous balls being fired across the ACO area. The home side were happy to see the crosses drift away to safety. The match settled down into a keen contest with ACO failing to push home their early advantage. Encouraged by their forwards’ play, Colts grew in confidence and began to spend a lot of time camped in the ACO half.

On 38 minutes, one of Colts’ flowing passing movements was only broken up by ACO conceding a free-kick on the left side of the pitch, about three yards outside the box. As the ACO wall lined up, Ryan Watson and Lee Gilhooley of Colts stood in front of the ball while Jake Brunton shaped to take it. Just before Jake made contact with the ball, Ryan and Lee jumped out the way and the watched with delight as Jake’s shot soared high over the ACO wall and into the top corner of the net, despite a despairing leap by ACO goalie Andy Dunnett. A tremendous display of how to take a well rehearsed free-kick – great skill.

Colts’ expertise on set pieces was demonstrated again just before half-time when a corner on their left wing was taken short, played back to the corner-taker and then hit longer to the edge of the box where another good shot was well saved by Andy Dunnett. The half-time whistle blew with the score at 1-1, no less than Colts deserved after their spirited fightback.

Half Time: AC Oxgangs 1-1 Inch Colts

AC Oxgangs v Inch Colts (U17s)The second half began in the same fashion as the first with ACO quickly out of the traps, clearly anxious to regain the tempo which they had lost after their early goal. Switching to three at the back to allow three strikers to take the field signalled ACO’s intention to push for more goals, and the home crowd didn’t have long to wait to see their side regain the lead.

On 53 minutes a long ball out of the Colts defence was picked up on the centre spot by ACO’s Craig Sinclair. He slipped the ball right to Neil Middleton who then hit a cross-field ball to Grant McEwan on the left wing. Grant stepped forward and hit a low cross in towards the penalty spot. With the Colts defenders positioned along the edge of the penalty area, Gavin Reid reacted first and took one touch to fire the ball beyond the reach of James McGregor. Colts now changed their formation by pushing another player up front to search for their second equaliser.

ACO, however, were in no mood to let their lead slip again. A devastating four goals in 12 minutes finally swung the match decisively in ACO’s favour. The surge was sparked off by an opportunistic strike from 30 yards by Dylan Thomson on 71 minutes. A clearance bounced kindly in front of Dylan and, seeing the goalie slightly off his line, he hit a viciously-dipping shot which crept just under the bar. Two minutes later goal-scorer Gavin Reid turned goal-maker as he chased the ball into the left corner. Looking up, he spotted Matt Gray in the penalty box and played the ball into him. Matt cleverly let the ball run across his body before unleashing an unstoppable shot high past James McGregor.

On 77 minutes ACO attacked again on the left as Dylan Thomson’s darting run saw him hit the bye-line and pull the ball back into the box, right into the path of the sprinting Gary Watson who met the ball first time and hammered it into the net. The final goal of this spell was also made by Dylan as he found Gavin Reid in the box and he had the composure to execute a clinical finish by lobbing the ball into the net.

Lesser teams might have thrown in the towel at this stage but Colts showed great character to continue pressing forward and, on 83 minutes, they got their reward as they got enough players into the opposition box to cause chaos amongst the ACO defence. Andy Dunnett managed to push the ball out twice but could do nothing as a defender’s attempted clearance ended up in the back of the ACO net.
Stung by this late goal, ACO set up camp in the Colts’ half and in the final minute Dylan brought an end to the scoring by finishing off a nice cross from Michael Addison.

A classic game of two halves. After the first 10 minutes, a casual passer-by would have been forgiven for thinking that this was a match between two teams from the same division. Colts gave as good as they got and scored a brilliant free kick to deservedly go in level at half-time. ACO’s change of formation ensured that the second half was played almost exclusively in the Colts’ half and their lethal finishing during that 12-minute spell made sure that Colts would not be able to rescue the match again. Congratulations to all players for an entertaining game that was played in a good spirit throughout..
Full Time: AC Oxgangs 7-2 Inch Colts
Last modified on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 15:40
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