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Classy Spartans overcome tough Edinburgh South defence

Spartans FC Reds 4

Sutherland 30, Healey 32, Allan 70, Yildirim 76

Edinburgh South 0

  • Sunday, 22 September 2013
  • Spartans Academy
  • Under 15´s
  • John McConnell Memorial Cup
Sascha Bolder

Sascha Bolder | YFS South East Region Journalist

With an impressive 4-0 win at home against division two team Edinburgh South FC, Spartans FC Reds sealed their spot in the second round of John McConnell Memorial Cup last Sunday. Although the away side defended very well and did not allow the first division team many scoring chances, Spartans were worthy winners in the end for they controlled the match from start to finish.
After six minutes, Spartans tapped home when left-back Ross Thomson caught Edinburgh South’s defence napping with a long cross delivered from within Spartans' own half. Matt Brady lifted the ball over goalkeeper Jordan Thomson and maybe it would have bounced into the empty goal anyway. However, a second Spartans’ forward who was standing in an offside position deemed it necessary to slam home into an empty goal himself which did not leave the referee any other option but to disallow the goal.
In the following minutes, Spartans dominated the match, won most of the challenges and outnumbered Edinburgh South in midfield as every Spartans player made himself available again immediately after having passed the ball to a team mate. Edinburgh South had a tough time trying to find out Spartans’ intentions as the home side constantly switched from playing short passes to swinging in cross balls. Also, Spartans players changed positions among each other frequently which made it hard for Edinburgh South to defend properly. Nevertheless, the away side did an extraordinarily good job in keeping Spartans away from their goal. Although Spartans were clearly dominating the match throughout the first half, they were not able to create really good chances.
But 10 minutes before half time, Spartans eventually opened the scoring. Daniel Sutherland got hold of the ball in midfield and passed to Brady who entered the box and released a drive into the bottom left corner of the net.
Only two minutes after that, Daniel Healey added a second after Ogulcan Yildirim had delivered a low cross from the left wing which did not only outsmart Edinburgh South’s defence but also caught Thomson on the wrong foot. The ball had actually been intended for Brady who was standing only three yards from the goal line but the Spartans forward missed the ball. Luckily, Healey was standing just behind him and had no trouble knocking the ball into the empty goal from close range.
  • Half Time:
  • Spartans FC Reds
  • 2-0
  • Edinburgh South
Only one minute after the game had been restarted, Spartans had their first chance of the second half. Again, Yildirim’s cross found Brady who headed from seven yards but Edinburgh South’s brilliant goalkeeper Thomson kept it out with a stunning save.
Four minutes later, Edinburgh had their best chance of the game and could have reduced their deficit to one goal when Dean Cameron found himself clean through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat after a fine pass from midfield. However, Jamie Mitchell was able to deflect the ball with an amazing reflex save.
Also in the second half, Spartans were controlling the game and could combine throughout the length and width of the pitch. Especially Kieran Pirie showed a very good performance in central midfield, distributed the ball to his team mates really well and was always ready to receive the ball.
However, Spartans’ dominance did not necessarily result in a lot of top class scoring opportunities as Edinburgh South held the division one team away from their box. Whenever Spartans were able to create a good chance, however, either Thomson held his team in the match with stunning saves or one of his teammates helped the beaten goalie out and threw himself in front of the ball with a courageous sliding tackle before it crossed the line.
In the 60th minute, Edinburgh South had another good chance to score. After a long ball thrown into the path of Greg Park by Thomson, Max Mantle positioned himself between two Spartans defenders and received a fine through ball. However, being put under pressure from behind, Mantle was not able to beat the goalkeeper but missed the goal.
It was not until ten minutes before the end of the match, that Michael Allan finally settled the game for the home side. After Sutherland had taken a shot from 22 yards, Edinburgh South’s goalkeeper was able to deflect the ball to the cross bar from where it bounced back and found Allan who headed home from close range to make it 3-0.
But the most exciting moment of the match was yet to come (click here to watch). In the 76th minute, Spartans upped the tempo once again as they went for their fourth goal. Within only twenty seconds, Spartans fired four or five shots on goal but Edinburgh South did all they could not to concede yet another goal. Spartans’ players were nearly about to despair when the ball just would not cross the line because either the goalkeeper saved brilliantly, the ball hit the post or a defender cleared it standing only one yard away from the goal line. When Edinburgh South seemed to be out of danger already, the ball somehow came to Yildirim who was standing 30 yards away from goal and released a tremendous drive to score one of the most beautiful goals of the season.
The 4-0 victory earns Spartans FC Reds a ticket to the second round of John McConnell Memorial Cup where they will play against Edinburgh City.
  • Full Time:
  • Spartans FC Reds
  • 4-0
  • Edinburgh South


Spartans FC Reds
Edinburgh South

1. Jamie Mitchell
2. Daniel Healey
3. Oran Hosey
4. James Pringle
5. Josh Williamson
6. Damien Mullen
7. Matt Brady
8. Kieran Pirie
9. Lewis Hall
10. Lewis Glasgow
11. Michael Allan
12. Daniel Sutherland
14. Ross Thomson
17. Ogulcan Yildirim

1. Robbie Urquhart
2. Cameron Mitchell
3. Kieran Weighand
5. Scott Hay
7. Marcus Cairns
8. John MacPherson
10. Greg Park
11. Dean Cameron
12. Liam Devine
13. Jordan Thomson
15. Kieran Merrilees
16. Max Mantle
17. David Weddell
18. Nicholas Dolan
20. William Aitken

Star Player
Spartans FC Reds
Edinburgh South
Ogulcan Yildirim played incredibly good football and did something fantastic every time he had the ball. He was able to break through on the wings very often, delivered fine crosses into the box and had a couple of scoring chances himself. In the end, he scored an amazing goal with a clever shot from more than 30 yards.
Jordan Thomson held his side in the game for a long time with a couple of excellent saves.
Magic Moment
Spartans FC Reds
Edinburgh South
Yildirim's goal from more than 30 yards was an absolute cracker and the magic moment of the match, no doubt about that.
Twice in the second half, Edinburgh South FC found a hole in Spartans' defence and was clear through on goal with only Jamie Mitchell to beat. Having scored could have brought them back into the game but, unluckily, they missed.
Club Views
Spartans FC Reds
Edinburgh South
Stephen O'Neill, coach of Spartans Reds, said: "We played some good stuff today and we are happy we have won. But also, I want to point out that Edinburgh South played very well."
Mark Cairns, coach of Edinburgh South, said: "Spartans deserved the win, no doubt about that. They really kept hold of the ball and could have scored more than the four they had in the end. But to be fair, we had two big chances one-on-one with the goalie and if we had been more lucky we could have gone back to 2-2."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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