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National Competitions (590)

An exciting tie was in prospect at Lawsondale as Milton Reds made the journey up from Bannockburn to Westill, based in Aberdeenshire. The last time the Reds were in Aberdeenshire they were on the wrong side of a 5-3 defeat at Banchory, which is not far from Westhill.
It was a light wind to start the game, a wind that was to become colder as the game wore on, Westdyke started the game well and took the lead with their 1st real opportunity of the game after a great move came to Craig Mackie who beautifully found the bottom right hand corner from 20 yards with a sweet shot which gave Liam Stirling in the Milton goal no chance.
Westdyke then added futher pressure onto the Milton defence and had a glorious chance to add to their tally after Hayden Burgoyne sent in a delightful ball from the right hand flank which was just misconnected by forward Mackie as the hosts went in the hunt for more goals.
Milton started to get into the game from the 15th minute mark and a great ball came in by Jake Hurry which was met by Callum Brown who saw his header blocked away by Scott McDonald. Soon enough Milton were to get their break in the game.
They had to survive a fright from Westdyke before their break came as Mackie had a great chance to double the hosts lead after his wind assisted 20 yard curling shot bounced right off the crossbar before being cleared by the visitors defence.
The Forth Valley outfit were to make them pay just two minutes before the interval after a great ball came in from the right hand side by Hurry which was met by Declan Valentine one of the smallest men on the park who guided the ball home to make sure it was all to play for in the 2nd half.

Falkirk were left wondering quite how they managed to get themselves knocked out the SFA Youth Cup after outplaying Raith Rovers for the bulk of this tie. However, the visitors from Kirkcaldy marched on to the fourth round with a 3-1 victory.

It was Falkirk who had the first real chance of the match when Thomas Grant floated in a delightful free kick from wide on the left which was just out of reach for Lewis Small with the goal at his mercy.

It was Raith however who broke the deadlock when just 3 minutes into the match when Lewis Vaughan released Liam McCroary inside Falkirk full back Liam Rowan and he laid the ball perfectly to Callum Robertson who poked home from a yard out to put the Fifers in the lead.

This prompted Falkirk back into life and they proceeded to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and look for an equaliser. Kris Faulds skimmed the bar and also had a shot fly just over Raith goalkeeper Jordan Roberts' crossbar in quick succession. Falkirk were by this point looing the more composed of the two teams with both full backs being used to great success in attempting to penetrate the Raith defence.

As the first half settled down a little, Craig Sibbald really began to show why he is so highly thought of as a player . His fantastic through bal to Grant left the Falkirk number 10 clean through on Roberts but he only managed to fire his shot straight at the keeper.

Falkirk continued to press Raith and it looked only a matter of time before they drew the game level but they were once again hit by the sucker punch. Lewis Vaughan's free kick couldn't be kept out by Gregor Amos, with the ball bouncing off his chest and into the back of the net.

Less than two minutes later Vaughan lined up a free kick on the opposite side of the Falkirk penalty area. Vaughan curled the ball towards the near post and the attempted punch by Amos could only divert the ball into his own net.

As the first half started to run away from Falkirk, Craig Sibbald saw a wonderful long range effort tipped over the bar after doing really well to lose his marker.

Cove Rangers’ participation in this year’s u20 Scottish Youth Cup has ended in the third round after a 3-1 defeat to Cowdenbeath. Cowdenbeath dominated the first half and deservedly went into the break 2-0 up thanks to goals from Craig Johnston and Declan Byrie. This game matched the description of ‘game of two halves’ as Cove Rangers rallied in the second period and pulled a goal back through Michael Gunn. But, as so often happens, as Cove committed men forward searching for an equaliser they were caught on the counter and Cowdenbeath’s Ben Anthony confirmed their passage into the fourth round with a 90th minute goal.
Cove Rangers beat Keith 6-1 in the previous round to set up the tie with last season’s quarter finalists Cowdenbeath.
The hosts started brightly and they were first to register a shot but Michael Gunn’s low effort from 12 yards was well held by Cowdenbeath’s  goalkeeper Callum Speddie.
Cove’s sharp start was quickly taken over by Cowdenbeath dominance and they came close after 11 minutes. Liam Callaghan’s in swinging free kick from the right was directed towards goal off the back of a defender but Craig Reid in goal for Cove was alert to tip the ball over the ‘bar.
The visitors came even closer after 18 minutes thanks to another Callaghan delivery. His corner found striker Ben Anthony unmarked at the back post but his volley struck the crossbar.
Four minutes later Cowdenbeath took the lead after good, high pressing which saw them win back possession high in the Cove Rangers half. Winger Jamie Bouhaddou’s drilled pass allowed Anthony to immediately lay off for strike partner Craig Johnston who scored from 15 yards with the help of a deflection which wrong-footed the ‘keeper. 
Cowdenbeath nearly doubled their lead seconds after the restart when Anthony found himself wide open in the middle of the penalty area but he was brilliantly denied by Reid.
Anthony was then denied by Cove defender Lewis Smith who cleared his half volley off the line.
Just before the interval it was 2-0. Declan Byrie’s low free kick from 20 yards struck a Cove defender who had slid to block the shot and the ball looped up and over the helpless Reid.
After a slight delay, the third round of the Scottish Youth Cup between Montrose and Motherwell was ready to kick off. Both teams have played well so far in the cup, and Motherwell were in excellent form having beaten Aberdeen and Rangers in recent games so it looked like it could be a great game. 
Motherwell had the first chance of the match, Paul McCafferty collected a loose ball at the edge of the box but his low shot was blocked. Motherwell started the game off by playing a few dangerous long balls, but the Montrose defence handled it well. 
Montrose came close after a nice passing move led to Ryan Cameron playing a great pass to Sturrock who powered a shot towards goal but it was blocked by a Motherwell player and then cleared. Not long after in the 18th minute Dom Thomas was through on goal, but he took a heavy touch inside the Montrose box letting Johnson collect the ball. 
Motherwell took the lead in the 21st minute. Dom Thomas and David Ferguson combined on the left flank and then played it into the centre of the box to Steven Higgins. The striker controlled the ball well then smashed it low past the keeper making it 1-0.
Motherwell almost made it two when McCafferty from the right side of the pitch cut the ball back to Moore who took a shot but it was deflected over the bar. From the corner, Murray headed the ball at the back post but it went narrowly wide.
Montrose almost equalised in the 33rd minute. Sam Simpson struck a long shot volley from roughly thirty yards out, it took a bounce in the box and then brushed past the post. Montrose came close again when Cameron’s shot was tipped over the bar. The proceeding corner was also saved after Sturrock managed to head it towards goal.
Motherwell scored a second goal in the 40th minute. Craig Moore grabbed his 10th goal of the under 20’s season. Moore cut out a short back pass to the keeper and then skilfully chipped the ball over the keeper and then into the net, bringing the score to 2-0 as half time was closing in.
Motherwell increased the lead once again right before half time. Jack Leitch sent a lovely ball into the box from a corner then Euan Murray leaped into the air and headed the ball into the back of the net making it 3-0. The half time whistle blew shortly after and the Montrose left the field down by three goals. Motherwell were in command of the game, creating plenty of chances with some brilliant passing moves. Montrose had a couple of close opportunities but needed to get into the game.
The 17’s Scottish Woman’s Football Scottish Youth Cup semi final between Hibernian and Forfar's Real Farmington was played in arctic temperatures at Ravenscraig Sports Centre in Motherwell. A tight affair that seen Hibs go through to the final 3-2 was a game to remember, and it was brought to life very early on with Hibs taking the lead through Lindsay Ferry with a looping volley. Forfar got themselves back into the game with an Amy Gallacher strike, but Hibs restored their advantage to lead 2-1. Forfar did equalise just before half time through Kayleigh Noble and the Angus side were much stronger in the second half, but Hibs scored late on through Chelsea Cornet to take them into the final of the competition at Toryglen in November.
With the game only a few minutes old, Hibs took the lead. A throw in down by the corner flag on the right hand side saw Lindsay Ferry losing her marker inside the box, receiving the ball from the throw in, and her looping volley cracked off the face of the post but onto the back of the helpless diving goalkeeper and into the back of the net. Not the start Farmington would have wanted in this semi final.
Forfar however did have the ball in the back of the net on 10 minutes. Laura Parsley putting the ball through to Amy Gallacher but she was flagged offside. From my angle, a very tight call, but in these semi-finals, that is the reason we have linesmen.
The game was a very evenly matched affair with neither team having any spells of domination. A fairly open game with not many clear cut chances. Despite this, Forfar did equalise. A long ball from a free kick inside their own half, one bounce, and Gallacher chipped the ball over the onrushing Hibs goalkeeper. Kelsey Boyle raced back to trip and clear, but unfortunately her sliced clearance ending up in the top corner of the net.
Just after Forfar had equalised, they found themselves behind once again. A diagonal pass from Bianca Murphy into the path of Caitlin Russell was inch perfect. With the Forfar players waiting for a flag, Hibs carried on and Smith made a darting run into the middle - away from her marker - to slot home from 12 yards out. No chance for the Forfar keeper Helen Dryden. Hibs taking the lead for the second time in the match.
Hibs came ever so close to extending their lead a minute after scoring their second. A corner on the left hand side swung in, wind assisted by Murphy, met the head of Caitlin Russell, but her header was cleared off the line by Forfar’s Dana McFarlane.
18 minutes into the match, Forfar had a glorious chance to get back on level terms. Gallacher took the ball down well on the edge of the Hibs box, and Parsley on the corner of the 6 yard box had only the keeper to beat, but blazed her shot over the bar.
Caitlin Russell then came close to extending Hibs’ advantage. Doing all the work herself, driving from the halfway line and beating three Forfar players on her way, and firing a fierce effort at the Forfar goal but well held by Dryden in the Forfar goal.
The next Forfar attack, resulted in the equaliser. Parsley received the ball on the right hand side, and from then on, one touch football was the instigator into causing Hibs to concede. Chasing shadows they were as Forfar broke through, and Noble finished off a great move as Forfar equalised for the second time. The game was turning out to be a cracker. 
Monday, 14 October 2013 19:03

Forfar score five in derby day triumph

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It looked to be a great match up between rivals Forfar Athletic and Montrose F.C and it was hard to tell who would come out on top. 
The game started off well, with both teams pushing to grab an early goal. Montrose won a free kick, Zak Wilson swung the ball into the box and then Ryan Cameron headed the ball towards goal but it went narrowly wide. Forfar had their own chance soon after when Cameron Clark was played through into the Montrose box. Clark dribbled into the box but his shot was blocked well by the Montrose defence. 
Forfar were starting to settle into the game, and began passing the ball about well. Kerr Hay was played through into the Montrose box in the 16th minute, Hay was about to take a shot at goal but it was blocked by Ross McLeary. Forfar came close with another chance when Callum McOnnell crossed a low ball into the centre of the box from the left side. Liam Keiller connected with the ball well and hit it towards goal but Dean Easton made a brilliant reaction save.
Forfar took the lead after winning a penalty in the 33rd minute. Kerr Hay stepped up to the spot, and placed the ball right into the bottom left corner making it 1-0.
Montrose did put their heads down though, and continued to push for an equaliser. Montrose made a quick passing move through the midfield, and then played Adam McWilliam through on goal but his shot went wide.
Montrose came close to getting a goal back in the 37th minute. Ryan Cameron managed to dribble past two Forfar players, but was then tackled. The ball spilled out to Ryan Winter who smacked the ball towards goal but it narrowly missed the post.
Montrose continued to attack but the first half whistle blew and Forfar were still 1-0 up. Forfar were playing well, creating some good chances from quick passing moves. Montrose were putting in a strong performance but were not creating enough opportunities to score.
Monday, 14 October 2013 10:17

Glasgow City book their ticket to Toryglen

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Ravenscraig was the venue for this season's Scottish Cup semi-finals with and in the outdoor tie Falkirk were yet again hoping to reach the national showpiece event and standing in their way were Glasgow City. Falkirk Coach Ian Dibden had coped well with the loss of a couple of key players this year and had continued his teams recent run of success with his current crop whilst in the opposite dugout Amy McDonald was hoping her young side could reach a similar level as they had spent this year going from strength to strength.
Under an unforgiving sky we kicked off and immediately Glasgow were on the attack and Brogan Hay was the first to terrorise the dark blue defence after sending in a dangerous early cross she then had he first shot of the match from a narrow angle but failed to trouble the goalkeeper as it flew into the side netting. Next to try their luck for the girls in orange was Carla Boyce with a half volley sent narrowly over from outside the box her next effort was blocked at the last as her side begun to make their mark on this game.
Captain Aimee McGourlick was proving to be a real creative force for the Glasgow side and her possession and control were a large part of why her team saw so much of the ball in the early going as she tried hard to create the killer opening before Lyndsay McCall then tried her luck but her effort sped just past the post and Katie Rice had her attempt bravely blocked by Jessica Murphy in the Falkirk backline as they turned away yet another threat to their goal mouth.
The opening goal wouldn't be far away though and a superb corner in proved to finally be the undoing of the girls in blue as it was met by McGourlick and sent goal wards before ever alert Gilfoyle nodded the ball home from a few yards out to give her side the lead after 20 minutes which was the least they deserved having been on the front foot for the entire game so far and soon after another corner for Glasgow was spilled by the beleaguered keeper under pressure but the turn and shot by Hay was cleared off the line as they looked to turn the screw now that they had the advantage but despite their pressure would go unrewarded and the score would remain 1-0 at half time.
In a game of two completely contrasting halves of football, Hearts came out on top of a thrilling encounter in the Scottish Womans Football Scottish Youth Cup Semi final at Ravenscraig Sports Centre in Motherwell. Jennifer Margaret Dodds and a Naomi Welch double gave Hearts a 3-0 half time advantage. However, a spiriting second half showing from Celtic and goals from Jacqueline McLure and Lauren Davidson made it a nervy finish for Hearts, but they did just enough to get themselves a date with Falkirk at Toryglen in the final. Hearts beat Forfar Farmington Eagles 5 goals to nil to get themselves into this semi final, whilst Celtic recorded a 5-1 victory over Hibs. 
The game never really got to life until around 10 minutes in, when Jennifer Margaret Dodds put Hearts 1-0 up. Naomi Welch powerfully ran down the right hand side all the way to the corner flag, and she pulled the ball back to Dodds who was in a very good position to finish across Jade Bailey in the Celtic goal. Welch providing a great cut back to Dodds, and this combination would prove to cause Celtic many problems. 
Even in the early stages, Hearts' number 4 Naomi Welch was proving to be the main danger for Celtic, and her latest effort on goal was a spectacular one. The bouncing ball evading all but Welch, and she managed to chip the ball just over the head of Lauren Davidson, and then to bring the ball down with an expert touch, and the half volley looked destined for the top corner, but for Bailey in the Celtic goal it would've been. Terrific save and well held at the second attempt from her. Hearts almost doubling their lead. 
It wasn't long however until Hearts did double their lead, and it couldn't of been any other than Welch. Her powerful running providing too many problems for the Celtic defenders, and she was brought down inside the box, and a penalty was given by the referee. No complaints from Celtic. Welch took the penalty herself and she rifled it into the top corner with conviction, giving Bailey not a hope, despite going the right way. 2-0 to Hearts, and at this rate it could be quite a few more. 
Celtic, to their credit did not allow their heads to go down at any point and Aimee Boyle did provide Celtic with their first effort on target. From a wide and very tight angle, she managed to loop the ball towards the back post, and it looked as if Helena Todd in the Hearts goal was beaten, but amazingly she preserved her clean sheet with a brilliant touch over the bar. Celtic almost managing to get themselves back into the game.
After almost getting themselves back into the game, Celtic were dealt with a real blow as Hearts added to their lead with a third goal, through the best player on the park in the first half, Naomi Welch. A long goal kick from Hearts keeper Todd evaded everybody, and Welch found herself 1 on 1 with Bailey, and there was only ever going to be one outcome as she slotted home into the bottom left hand corner for a 3-0 half time lead for the capital side. Celtic had some serious work to do if they were to get back into the game. 
Saturday, 12 October 2013 22:46

Hibs triumph over Gers to reach national final

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Hibernian Girls 15’s booked their place in the finals of SWF Girls Scottish Cup finals after a 3-1 win over defending champions Rangers. Goals from Kirsty Morrison, Ellie Fairgrieve and Megan Kerr were enough to give the Edinburgh side victory against a tough opponent in Rangers. 
Having already secured the League Cup in June courtesy of an Ellie Fairgrieve strike, the Hibees entered the game in buoyant spirit. Despite starting the brighter of the two sides, Hibs almost conceded within the first five minutes. Hibs’ Scotland U17s goalkeeper Kirsty Jefferies had to be alert to block an effort from Rachel Ross. A well floated in corner found its way to Ross who flicked the ball goal ward but watched as Jefferies denied her superbly. 
The first ten minutes were a scrappy affair with very little passing play or composure from either side. However, Hibs took the lead with just 12 minutes on the clock. It all came from a free kick deep in the Rangers half. The ball was launched towards the box and landed at the feet of Kirsty Morrison who followed the ball home to open the scoring for Hibs and net her 20th goal of the season. 
Rangers were determined to get back into the game and defend their crown and could have been level just minutes later following some fancy footwork from midfielder Claire Farquhar. She evaded the challenge of several Hibs players before making her way into the box but the shot went wide of the right hand post. 
The holders continued to keep up the pressure in search of an equaliser and were denied only by a wonderful save from Jeffries. Rangers’ Lauren-Anna Doran Barr smashed in an effort which looked like it was goal bound but Jeffries leapt up to push the ball away from goal before gathering it. 
It wasn’t long though until Hibs had doubled their lead with Fairgrieve, like Morrison, notching her 20th goal of the season. It was a stunning effort from the striker as she got on to a flick on from another free kick and lashed the ball high into the net as Hibs placed one foot into the final. As half time approached, Hibs almost wrapped the game up but Morgan Turner’s effort smashed off the post before going wide. 
Reigning champions Falkirk FC romped into the final for the second year running, with an 8-1 victoy over Celtic Girls Tayside at Ravenscraig.
Falkirk FC will play Hearts in the final at Toryglen next month.
Hat tricks from Leah Eddie and Chelsea McEarchran lit up the show for Falkirk, with Eddie taking her season’s goal tally up to 70.
Megan Robb pulled a goal back for Celtic Tayside in the last minute.
Falkirk have won just about every competition they entered and they went ahead in the seventh minute. Eddie shot across goal, into the bottom left corner to open proceedings.
A few minutes later, Eddie added her second and Falkirk were rampant in the early stages of the match.
Jasmine Gray was Celtic Tayside’s most creative outlet in the first half. She threatened the goal a few times but the Falkirk defence limited her opportunities well.
Megan Gallagher added a third for Falkirk after 24 minutes. She lobbed Celtic Tayside goalkeeper Tyler Maich from 10 yards and the defender has now scored an astonishing 45 goals this season.
Gallagher was at it again four minutes later. Her shot looked to be heading towards the top corner but floated narrowly wide of the right post.
Erin Harrison’s shot was well saved by Maich before half time.