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Villa victorious over Swifts in thrilling final

Hillfield Swifts 3

McGuire (2), Murray

Longniddry Villa 3

Fitzpatrick (2), Williamson
  • Final Result: Hillfield Swifts 3-3 Longniddry Villa (Longniddry Villa win 3-2 on penalties)
  • Sunday, 27 April 2014
  • New Dundas Park, Bonnyrigg
  • Under 13´s
  • Belmont Vauxhall Cup - Final
Michael O'Brien

Michael O'Brien | YFS South East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Longniddry Villa lifted the Belmont Vauxhall Cup on Sunday after defeating Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts in a dramatic match at New Dundas Park. Penalty kicks were needed to separate the sides after an inspired Swifts comeback and late Villa leveller ensured the game was tied after ninety minutes. With neither team managing to grab a goal in extra-time, Villa sealed the win with a 3-2 victory in the shootout.
Longniddry Villa started the brighter of the two teams and looked to press high up the pitch in the early stages of the match. Hillfield’s Ali Bouhaddou did well to win the ball from Alistair MacLachlan who had worked himself into a dangerous position on the edge of the box. Swifts captain Robbie Hamilton also put in a couple of strong challenges early on as his side looked to stop Villa from bearing down on goal. Longniddry managed to break through however and their first real opportunity came when Kieron Douglas drilled a ball into the box, which managed to evade Hillfield’s defence. No Villa player came to meet the ball either however and the chance ultimately came to nothing.
Longniddry continued to press though and looked ever likely to open the scoring. They did so just short of ten minutes in when Joshua Fitzpatrick managed to capitalise on a defensive error. Villa swung in a corner which the keeper came to collect. The ball slipped out of his hands however and Fitzpatrick was in the right place to finish from yards out, giving his team the lead in the final.
Shortly after, Hillfield created perhaps their first real attacking threat through great link up play between Callum Murray and Robbie Hamilton on the left wing. Hamilton swung the ball into the six-yard box but much similar to the chance that Villa had created early on, no one was there to finish. Hillfield did continue to push for an equaliser but as the second half progressed it always looked more likely that the next goal would come at the other end of the field. Longniddry were getting the ball forward a lot more than their opposition and managing to retain possession better. They doubled their lead after twenty minutes when Douglas’ ball over the top of the Swifts defence fell at the feet of Alexander Williamson who finished in style. Letting the ball take a bounce, Williamson struck the ball past the Hillfield keeper and watched as it landed in the top left corner of the net.
Despite going two goals down, Hillfield showed great strength of character in the way that they looked to get themselves back in the game. Joseph Ciaraldi looked likely to score when he struck a volley on the outside of the box but Villa keeper Fraser Machray did well to keep a hold of the ball. A Hamilton corner met the head of Brogan Proudfoot who came agonisingly close to grabbing a goal back for his side but he saw his effort hit the side netting. It was second time lucky for Swifts though as, moments before half-time, they won a corner kick from the opposite side. This time Ciaraldi swung the ball in and Marc McGuire rose above the villa defence to power a header into the top corner, giving his side hope and a chance to get back in the tie.
Swifts looked a lot more confident thereafter and could have grabbed an equaliser if not for a fantastic last-ditch challenge from James Henry on Proudfoot. The last chance of the first half came from a close-range Fitzpatrick header but Swifts stopper Ronan Fox-Begley did well to keep the ball out. It was Villa who went into the break with the lead but Hillfield would have taken a lot of confidence from the manner in which they had battled their way back into the game.
  • Half Time:
  • Hillfield Swifts
  • 1-2
  • Longniddry Villa
Hillfield started the second half very brightly and looked almost a different side than that of the opening stages of the match. They pressed straight from kick off and it was clear that they wanted to level the scores as quickly as possible. It did not take long for them to do exactly that as they got their second goal two minutes after the restart. Again, the opportunity arose from a corner kick. As the ball was cleared from the box by Longniddry, the chance fell to Murray on the edge of the box who reacted well and hammered the ball into the goal.
Villa, perhaps a little shocked at the manner in which they had gone from being two goals up to level with Swifts, began to sit back slightly. The momentum was all in favour of the Inverkeithing side and they began to up the tempo of the game as they searched for the goal that would round off a magnificent comeback. The way in which they got this goal however came as a surprise to most. McGuire struck a free-kick from almost the half-way line in hope of delivering the ball into the box. Remarkably the ball that he played ended up bouncing through the Villa defence and creeping inside the post. It was a strike of luck but no more than Swifts had deserved.
Hillfield hearts were broken however with just two minutes remaining however as a wonder strike from Fitzpatrick drew the sides level at the death. Winning a free-kick in what seemed like a nothing area of the pitch, Fitzpatrick set down and stood over the ball giving the impression that he only had one thought in his mind, to test the keeper. The risk paid off as his effort struck the underside of the bar and nestled in the back of the net. Villa’s equaliser proved to be the last action of what had been a sensational match.
  • Full Time:
  • Hillfield Swifts
  • 3-3
  • Longniddry Villa

Two periods of extra-time passed with chances few and far between for both Villa and Swifts. Nerves would have played a big part in neither side wanting to commit men forward often and instead focussing on keeping things tight and secure at the back. Villa did seem to come alive especially in the first half of extra-time, buoyed by their late goal, but their attacking chances tailed off in the second period. Credit must be given in extra-time to Hillfield keeper Fox-Begley who pulled off a couple of fine stops to deny Longniddry.

The time came for the players to step up and deliver spot-kicks, a cruel way to end any game let alone one as important as a cup final, but undoubtedly a very exciting way to do so also, especially for the spectators who had turned out in good numbers to watch their sides compete for the Belmont Vauxhall Cup in Bonnyrigg.

Villa got off to the perfect stat in the shootout as Machray saved Hillfield’s first effort. When Swifts second penalty hit the post, the advantage was well with Longniddry. Despite Fox-Begley making a save for Swifts, the damage was already done and when his side hit the woodwork for a second time it was game over. Wild celebrations followed for Villa, somewhat delayed as they worked out the mathematics of the situation, but as the referee blew his whistle the players ran from the half-way line in delight in contrast to the Hillfield players who fell to the floor in despair. They had battled hard to come from two goals down and had come within minutes of lifting the trophy themselves. Swifts deserve credit for their spirited performance but Longniddry Villa were ultimately a class act and should be praised both for the way in which they played until the final whistle and their confidence in the shootout.

Final Result: Final Result: Hillfield Swifts 3-3 Longniddry Villa (Longniddry Villa win 3-2 on penalties)


Hillfield Swifts
Longniddry Villa
1. Ronan Fox-Begley
3. Joseph Ciaraldi
4. Ali Bouhaddou
6. Marc McGuire
7. Robbie Hamilton
8. Cameron Allan
9. Brogan Proudfoot
10. Callum Murray
11. Takudiwa Seva
12. Daniel Adam
14. Lewis Young
15. Calum McClusky
16. David Hume
17. Dylan Hall
19. Stewart Rogers
1. Fraser Machray
2. Max Blair
5. Joshua Fitzpatrick
6. Kieron Douglas
7. Ellis Grieve
8. Alistair MacLachlan
9. Alexander Williamson
10. Jack McAlpine
11. Sam Taylor
12. James Henry
14. Jamie Hudson
15. John Arbuckle
17. Cameron Smith
20. Robbie Demarco
21. Marc Forsyth
99. Cameron Sandilands
Star Player
Hillfield Swifts
Longniddry Villa
Marc McGuire grabbed two goals for Hillfield and was solid in his defensive duties.
Fitzpatrick scored the opener and spectacular equaliser for his side and led his team well throughout the match.
Magic Moment
Hillfield Swifts
Longniddry Villa
McGuire's second and his team's third rounded off a spectacular comeback for his side.
Fitzpatrick's long range free-kick to send the game to extra-time was arguably the highlight of the match.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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