National Competitions (590)
The South East region was victorious against the South West region in the Under 16 Inter Regional final at Toryglen in Glasgow. It was a game of fine margins with both sides having plenty of opportunities to score goals, but in the end it was a single goal that was the difference.
The game burst into life in the fifth minute with an early goal for the South East region. Aaron Currie made a piercing run behind the South West defence to chase a looping pass popped over the top of the backline. Currie struck it first time with his right foot and the ball shot like a bullet into the top left hand corner of the net, leaving the goalkeeper utterly helpless. It was a superb finish from a tight angle to make it 1-0.
Aside from the early goal, South East started the game the stronger with lots of pace up front and in the channels. South West had some early dead ball opportunities to send high crosses into the South East penalty area but these were dealt with well by a confident defence. As the game settled, South East’s goal scorer Currie was again causing problems with his blistering pace when he outran Paul McCluskie to shoot at goal, but on this occasion he dragged his right footed effort wide of the mark. Then a lovely ball by Aaron Nugent found an imaginative diagonal run of Jamie Chapman but his shot was well saved by South West’s keeper, despite being left exposed again.
Sonny Swanson, Ethan Hamilton and the Currie were pivotal for the South East region as they linked very well with each other, and each of them proved an excellent out-ball for the South East rearguard. Chasing the game, South West’s Jamie Dunlop looked up for the battle, fighting in midfield as was Chris Wilson who never shirked a challenge. The front two for South West had precious little to work with due to solid defending by Mark Mathieson, Aaron Nugent and Cameron Begbie.
South East nearly added a second goal when a Swanson cross swerved towards goal and landed on top of the crossbar, with the goalkeeper well beaten. Then minutes later Currie chased down the ball into the corner flag, won it and cut back for Hamilton. The striker slid in to meet it but wasn’t able to get connect with his toe to prod the ball into the gaping South West goal.
South West had their best opportunity of the first half through a Mark McGuire header. Paul McCluskie sailed a free kick into the box to find the excellent run by McGuire who blasted a header just over the bar. It was a great chance to equalize but the defender was unlucky to see his effort miss the target. With the last kick of the first half, South West came close again to levelling the score. McCluskie’s free kick clipped the wall and was smothered by the goalkeeper low at his right post.