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One goal for Firrhill makes difference in derby

Boroughmuir HS 0

Firrhill HS 1

McDonald 26
  • Friday, 22 November 2013
  • Meggetland 3G
  • Under 18´s
  • Lothian Senior West Division
Sascha Bolder

Sascha Bolder | YFS South East Region Journalist

Days before “the real Edinburgh derby” between Boroughmuir and Firrhill, supporters on both sides had spent hours and hours on preparing flags and banners. After a bit of banter on the two teams’ respective Twitter pages that preceded the top of the table clash of Lothian Senior West Division, more than 400 fans flocked to Meggetland last Friday to support their teams and create an atmosphere hardly any football match at school level has ever seen. In a hard fought but fair match, scoring opportunities were rare and Jake McDonald scored the winner for the Firrhill side with his goal in the 26th minute.

At the beginning of the match, it was obvious that this amazing support had positive as well as negative effects on the players on the pitch. Being encouraged by the crowd’s cheers on the one hand, they fought for every single yard and tackled their opponents with passion. On the other hand, however, players on both sides seemed to be a bit nervous and were hectic in their actions. Especially in the first couple of minutes, the ball was given away too easily and both sides did not seem to have much of a plan how to outsmart the respective opponent’s defence.

It was Firrhill that, after 12 minutes, got a hold on the game first and created the first scoring opportunity. After a pass from midfield, Nick Mortimer found himself standing 14 yards away from the target from where he released a drive that could be parried by Andy Dunnett.

Three minutes later, Boroughmuir had their first big chance of the match, too, when Lewis Murray entered the box on the left wing and took a shot from a difficult angle that narrowly drifted the wrong side of the post.

In the 26th minute, the 227 supporters of Firrhill (according to their own figures) brimmed over with enthusiasm when McDonald scored the opening goal which also proved to be the winner in the end. Standing 12 yards away from goal, Firrhill’s number 7 received the ball from the right wing but found himself marked by two defenders who blocked the target. However, he was able to sidestep both of them with a quick step to the left and slammed home with a very accurate shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

It took a while until Boroughmuir had recovered from this shock but two minutes before half time, Matthew Gray could have scored the equaliser for his side. Being marked and standing at the 18 yard line with his back towards the goal, he received a pass from midfield and outsmarted his opponent by letting the ball run between his own legs. However, Firrhill’s goalkeeper Cammy Tulloch was alert enough to throw himself into the ball before Gray could take a shot from short range.

  • Half Time:
  • Boroughmuir HS
  • 0-1
  • Firrhill HS

In the second half, too, scoring opportunities were scarce as both teams played rather hectically and were wasteful in possession at times. That is why the match drew its attraction and excitement more from the abundance of tackles and the fighting spirit of both teams.

In the 56th minute, Firrhill had a good opportunity to score but McDonald's attempt from 25 yards to score his second goal of the evening failed.

Boroughmuir had a tough time putting Firrhill under pressure without risking too much to concede another goal. But in the 62nd and 66th minute, Boroughmuir had two big chances. The first one resulted from one of Murray's superb cross balls delivered from the left wing. The ball sailed into the 6-yard box but Tulloch was alert and confident enough to catch it just before Boroughmuir's strikers could knock in. Only 4 minutes after that, Gavin Reid entered the box on the right hand side but again, Tulloch was there to throw himself in front of the ball before Reid could release a shot.

In the last couple of minutes, Boroughmuir gave up their defence completely and operated with high and long balls as all players in green and blue were deep in Firrhill's half. However, Firrhill's defence picked off most aerial balls with ease and could have decided their match themselves if they had converted their two or three chances that resulted from counter attacks.

However, they did not have much time to worry about their lack of serenity as shortly after that, the referee blew the final whistle which resulted in an outbreak of joy and jubilation among Firrhill players and supporters.

  • Full Time:
  • Boroughmuir HS
  • 0-1
  • Firrhill HS

Lineups

Boroughmuir HS
Firrhill HS

1. Andy Dunnett
2. Tom Embleton
3. R. Barlow
4. Michael Lafferty
5. Gavin Reid
6. Anthony Harrison
8. James Williamson
9. Callum Windram
10. Lewis Temple
11. Harry Rigg
12. Guy Wardrop
14. Jamie Dorward
15. Neil Middleton
16. Matthew Gray
20. Robert Dougall
22. Lewis Murray

1. Cammy Tulloch
2. Scott Hannah
3. Callum McGowan
4.
Nick Mortimer
5.
Sam Leslie
6.
Gavin Birrell
7.
Jake McDonald
8.
Danny Brooks
9.
Joe Turner-Law
10.
Greg Benson
11.
William Kerr
14. Lewis Ross
15. Alan Peticrew
16. Angus Luff

Star Player
Boroughmuir HS
Firrhill HS
Lewis Murray made some promising runs on the left wing, his pace and technique took him deep into Firrhill territory. Had a couple of chances himself and delivered some promising passes and crosses.
Cammy Tulloch made superb confidence-boosting saves and due to his excellent positioning, alertness and jumping skills he was able to catch nearly all cross balls that were fired into the box before they reached a Boroughmuir striker.
Magic Moment
Boroughmuir HS
Firrhill HS
In the last minutes of the match, Boroughmuir invested all they had and tried everything possible to score the equaliser but were not successful in the end.
Jake McDonald's goal was not only beautiful but also the scene that eventually decided the match.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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