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Wednesday, 31 January 2018 09:35

City defeat Drumsagard to reach semi-final

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Edinburgh City overcame a stubborn Drumsagard 3-1 to progress to the semi-finals of the SYFA Cup on an extremely windy Sunday afternoon in Newton.

Jonathan Sedstrem’s double along with a goal sandwiched between the two from Dean Burgesss ealed the win for City, although Ballie Hunter pulled one back for Drumsagard.

Edinburgh kicked off in blustery conditions and had the ball in the back of the Drumsagard net within two minutes. A long free kick from the halfway line found captain Joseph Healey on the edge of the box; the central midfielder couldn’t get a shot away but the ball fell kindly to Sedstrem, who lashed in a powerful shot from 25 yards.

Both sides clearly wanted to set the pace of the game and flew into a number of increasingly rash challenges. The two sets of players flew into tackles and play rarely lasted more than 15 seconds before the referee blew his whistle again.

Clear-cut opportunities were hard to come by for either side as they struggled to break each other down, although Drumsagard looked slightly vulnerable to City’s counter-attacking threat.

Edinburgh thought they had their second when Samuel Newton poked the ball in at the back post but the linesman raised his flag for offside.

City wouldn’t have to wait long for a second though – moments later, Burgess made it 2-0 to the visitors. Newton hit a low, powerful cross into the box that reached Burgess. The attacker got his first-time shot away and the ball took a couple of deflections on its way to goal before reaching Paul Everett, whose reaction stop wasn’t enough to stop the ball bouncing over the line.

Edinburgh dropped the pace a little after the second, pressing with slightly less intensity than they had previously. Left-winger Newton looked increasingly dangerous on the left, using his pace and agility to outwit the Drumsagard defence.

Around this point Aaron Lonie had to be substituted off – already on a yellow, he could have picked up a second on no less than three separate occasions. Realising this, the Drumsagard coaching staff replaced him with Gary Clark in central midfield.

Drumsagard came within inches of pulling one back after some impressive wide play from Ian Last. The winger broke down the left a fired a low cross to the edge of the box where Hunter was waiting. The attacker struck a powerful effort but the ball rebounded off the bar.

Edinburgh then came close to a third in fortuitous circumstances. Blair Short hit a free kick from the halfway line and the wind caught the ball, forcing Everett to palm the ball over the bar. The keeper showed an excellent reading of the ball in testing conditions.

With half an hour played, Drumsagard then pulled one back, making it 2-1. Jay Nelson drove with the ball from deep before sliding it to Hunter, who held possession for a couple of seconds before playing it back to Nelson. Nelson drove towards goal and coolly slotted past the onrushing Thomas McLean.

Edinburgh had one last chance before the break to make it three when striker Liam Edmonston got on the end of a ball in behind the Drumsagard defence. The forward used his strength to hold off the defender but had his shot blocked by Everett, who palmed the ball behind for a corner.

The referee blew his whistle not long afterwards to bring a hard-fought first half to a close.

Hibernian cruised into the semi-finals of the SFA Youth Cup after a 3-1 win over visitors, Greenock Morton. Jamie Gullangot the scoring underway at Easter Road, scoring from the spot after Adam Watson was taken down inside the area by the Morton keeper.

Defender and captain, Ryan Porteous doubled the lead soon after with a leaping header after the ball was sent in from the corner flag by Fraser Murray. Innes Murray set up Watson for a third as he made a composed finish into the bottom of the right-hand corner. 

It was a slower second half in the Scottish capital. However, Morton grew into the game more in the final moments, with Mitchell Duffy bagging his side a consolation effort after good link up play with his team mates.

The visitors coped well early on with Hibernian’s pressure play, as Morton backline dealt with continues attacking moves from the hosts. However, after goalkeeper, Daniel Farrell failed to clear his lines after a pass back in the 24th minute, Adam Watson dispossessed the Morton number one and was taken down in the box.

The referee had no choice to call for the foul and award the penalty kick. Jamie Gullan stepped up to the mark and fired the ball high into the right-hand side of the net, his third goal in the competition. Farrell had dived in the right direction but the ball was out of the keeper’s reach as Hibs led in the 25th minute.

Hibs had momentum on their side as they continued to pressurise the Inverclyde club and were able to double their lead moments after their first strike. Fraser Murray sent in a ball from the corner flag, with the ball arriving from the left, Ryan Porteous leaped from the centre of the box to meet the effort with a great header. The ball travelled across goal and into the top corner as the captain got his side the second goal of the game in the 28th minute, and his second goal in this competition. 

The hosts at Easter Road went from strength to strength as they cruised to a three-goal lead in the 33rd minute. After Innes Murray controlled an aerial ball up the field, he played in Watson along the left side of goal. With the defenders unable to meet the pace of Watson, the Hibs forward produced a composed finish into the opposite side of the net.

Hillwood are through to the semi final of the Scottish Cup after a had fought, close encounter vs Mill United.

United actually took the lead after Mitchel Foley tapped in after Andrew Arthurs' shot was well saved.

Hillwood fought back well and equalised shortly after half time when Tashen Rajakanruma headed in from close range after a Stewart Perry throw in. And they took the lead not long after as Gary Cook taped the ball home after pinball in the penalty area.

United thought they had equalised in the last minute when Alexander Gault tapped home after Foley hit the post. But it was ruled offside.

The game had scrappy start with few chances and both teams struggled to get a foothold in the game with neither of them being able to string passes together.

The first real chance of the game fell to Hillwood Ryan McGovern had  shot tipped over the bar from about 35 yards out.

Mill united had the best chance of the game so far when Dean Reilly slips and lets Foley in but James Burns saves smartly.

But United took the lead after Arthurs was slipped in behind the defence and his shot was saved well but Foley was there to just tp home and give them a deserved lead.

 

DGYFDA side Heston Rovers had a seven hour round trip to contend with as they visited Spain Park to battle the ADJFA’s Banks O’Dee Albion in the SYFA U13’s Challenge Cup fifth round.

The surface at Spain Park was perfect for football. A small rain shower before the game aided passing on the ground and the temperature was surprisingly mild for a January in Aberdeen.

Both sides knew a tie with Cove YFC awaited the winner in the next round, with both teams starting well.

Heston’s Lewis Howat looked a bright spark from the offset. The Dumfries outfits number ten created two chances in as many minutes, first from open play and then a free kick wide right of Albion’s goal that none of his teammates managed to connect with.

It was Albion’s number ten however that made the breakthrough, ironically enough just after the ten minute mark. Damon Collins pouncing after Alfie Knox skinned the Heston full back, his cross resulting in Corey Stevenson getting a shot off, which was blocked and deflected into the path of Collins, who made no mistake with his finish, a half volley into the bottom right.

Heston responded well to conceding, continuing to push for a goal of their own. Albion had however also taken confidence from Collin’s goal and both sides cancelled each other out somewhat for the next period of the game. Both teams creating more half chances rather than full chances, with plenty crosses flashing across goal not being met by any takers.

The next big chance did fall to Heston. Jake McNally watching his shot from outside the area agonisingly trickle wide. For a brief second it had appeared Albion goalkeeper Calum Davie had misjudged the shot and Heston knew they were close to an equaliser.

Heston struggled to maintain a period of dominance for an extended period of time and as expected with the back and forth nature of the game, the next opportunity fell to Albion. Scott Milne put pressure on the visitors defence as he chased a lofted through ball. Heston’s clearance fell as far as Stevenson arriving on the edge of the area. Albion’s man of the match last week, Stevenson struck a sweet half volley that seemed destined for the net, but unfortunately struck the post and bounced out of danger.

The final action of the half saw Albion’s Stevie Livingstone race past two Heston players, only to be outnumbered on the edge of the penalty box. This was to be a warning for the visitors regarding the wingers’ ability to go past opponents.

A tightly contested first half drew to a close with Albion deserving their lead, having created the best chances; however both teams were still very much alive in this tie. 

Monday, 29 January 2018 10:28

Cove seal derby date with Erskine win

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Cove Boys Club sealed a local derby against Banks O’Dee Albion in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup after a 2-0 victory at home to Erskine Youth. Goals from Liam Duthie and McKenzie Gove were enough to put the Aberdeen side through.

Erskine might be mid table in the Paisley and Johnstone District League however they showed enough in this game that they are in a false position in their respective league. Cove has a strong home record and this result maintained that.

The hosts got a breakthrough with just a minute and a half on the clock after a ball from Josh Robb was found by Liam Duthie unmarked who volleyed home a fine finish to give Cove the best possible start.

Erskine then tried to put level just a couple of minutes later through Andrew Wilson after he got past the Cove defence before giving himself a clear cut opening however his effort was saved by Lloyd Sharp in the hosts goal.

Ramsay Davidson then tried to double Coves advantage with a smashing free kick in the 22nd minute however unfortunately for himself and Cove his forceful free kick smacked off the bar and the visitors cleared to safety.

Cove were very dangerous going forward and another chance gone begging for the hosts with a ball from Robb finding Charlie Rothnie who was clean through on goal however his effort just went wide. 

Jerviston and Mossend met in this eagerly anticipated quarter final of the Scottish Cup, played at Ravenscraig Sports Centre.

Mossend were involved in a thrilling 3-2 victory against St Peters in the previous round, whilst Jerviston came through a similarly tight match as they defeated Dumbarton by the same scoreline in round five.

Both sides struggled to get a foothold in the game early on, with conditions not helping the cause as it was a typically wet and windy afternoon.

The first real chance fell to Mossend after eight minutes, as John O'Hagan had a shot from just outside the box, but it was saved well by the Jerviston goalkeeper Ben McDougall. 

From the resulting corner Mossend really should have taken the lead. Adam Liddell found himself free at the front post but could only put his header wide.

The home side were struggling to get forward and create chances, as their players began to get frustrated with their lack of good play. 

Mossend created another good chance on 25 minutes as Connor McQueen's shot was nearly turned in by Martin Lockhart at the back post. 

Jerviston took the lead against the run of play only a couple of minutes later when Adam Brown made a mistake in the Mossend goal, as he could only parry a Jerviston free kick into the path of Jordan Moore and he had the simply task of heading into an empty net to give the home team the lead.

Nathan McConnell nearly doubled Jerviston's lead with a fantastic strike that went inches wide of the box. 

It didn't take long for Mossend to grab a deserved equaliser, but it came from a defensive mix up at the back for Jerviston. A hacked clearance fell at the feet of Roan Finn who smashed the ball into the back of the net after 35 minutes.

In what ended up being a crazy end to the first half, Jerviston took the lead again only two minutes later as Moore scored his second of the game but this one was far more impressive. After some good skill to beat his marker, he unleashed a brilliant left footed strike from just outside the box that gave the goalkeeper no chance. 

Finn scored his second of the game to make it 2-2 just before halftime, and it came from a wonderful pass from O'Hagan between defender and goalkeeper. Although the goalkeeper pressed Finn, he managed to squeeze the ball past McDougall to make it all square at halftime.

Westdyke beat rivals Banks O’Dee Albion 6-3 to seal their place in the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup, coming back from 2-0 down in the early stages of the game to come out victorious. It was a windy afternoon however that didn’t stop the big crowd which was in display at Lawsondale Playing Fields.

The hosts beat Albion 6-3 at the start of the season and both teams deserve enormous credit for playing some good football in what can only be described as horrible underfoot conditions for the players.

The first goal went in after eight minutes. It was a great goal to start off the goal rout after Andrew Mitchell picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and smashed a well driven effort past Jamie Butler in the Westdyke goal. The second the ball hit Mitchell’s foot you could tell the ball was going into the back of the net.

Albion doubled their advantage after 14 minutes. A stramash in the penalty area wasn’t cleared by the Westdyke defence and Morgan Bruce was on hand to fire home into the bottom left hand corner. Albion was clearly the team with the upper hand in the game and Westdyke took a while to get going.

Westdyke came forward in the 23rd minute and pressed the visiting defence and Albion conceded a free kick on the edge of the box. Up stepped striker Max McGinlay who fired home a stunning effort into the top left hand corner past Lucas Muller. Great strike!

The hosts levelled five minutes later. Westdyke got a free kick again after a foul and McGinlay took the free kick which was only parried by Muller and Nathan Rankine was there to guide the ball home. These quick fire goals from the hosts were the ingredients required to make this a thrilling Scottish Cup tie. Everything in this cup tie was a battle from this point onwards.

Westdyke went ahead in the 32nd minute. McGinlay received the ball and fired home past Muller from 14 yards. It was a great ball into the striker and McGinlay was clinical as always.

Just as the hosts were ahead, Albion had other ideas three minutes later when they levelled with a free kick from Owen Duff finding its way into the back of the net after a long range effort. Not even 40 minutes played and we had already seen 6 goals.

Westdyke got a decisive fourth heading into half time after a corner kick came into the danger zone and up stepped Rory Brown to power home. What a cup tie this turned out to be!

Sunday, 14 January 2018 14:56

Hibs into quarter finals with Caley victory

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Inverness Caledonian Thistle & Hibernian met at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium to fight it out for a place in the quarter finals of the SFA Youth Cup. The wind was fierce however nothing to worry about with regards to putting the game off. It was certainly blowy though. Considering Inverness were in Scottish Championship action against Queen Of The South the day before, the pitch was in immaculate condition for this game.

A home tie against Morton is up for grabs in the next round which will be the quarter final stage. Hibs had the first real opportunity of the game after 5 miunutes. A great ball was driven in from the left hand side from Adam Watson which just missed a required connection from Ruari Paton.

Excluding that early chance, both sides had tepid starts to the game. Aidan Wilson was nearly through on goal for the hosts after a long ball however the idea was dealt with by Martin Debrowski in the Hibernian goal.

The crossbar denied Hibs going in front on 28 minutes after a 25 yard effort from Adam Watson had Daniel Hoban in the hosts goal beaten however the effort crashed off the woodwork before being cleared to safety by the Caley backline.

Hibs broke the deadlock after 34 minutes. A swinging ball came in from Fraser Murray which was met by Josh Campbell who fired home a fine header. Inverness tried to capitalise at the other end straight from kick off after a through ball found Kieran Chalmers however efforts to get an equaliser came to a halt after his effort went over the bar.

Callum Donaldson then sent in a wind assisted cross towards the Caley goal in order to try & extend Hibs’s advantage however Daniel Hoban was able to tip it onto the post & clear it to safety. Hibs were looking really comfortable after the goal with the chance through Chalmers being Caley’s only dangerous situation towards Hibs as the game approached half time.

Jamie Fullan was then through on goal for Hibernian however a goal saving challenge from Ryan McRitchie denied the winger. Hibs kept on the attack and a Murray corner was met by Watson however the effort was knocked wide after an armyload of pressure from Inverness.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 21:26

Dees hold Hoops to halt their winning run

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Dundee ended Celtic's winning run in the Development League, holding them to a 0-0 draw at Links Park. Both sides had their chances, but goalkeepers Calum Ferrie and Ross Doohan both produced the goods to earn their sides a share of the spoils.

The visitors threatened first when PJ Crossan jinked to the by-line, but he could only hit the side netting with his shot.

James Vincent nearly opened the scoring after six minutes, but saw his shot come back off the post after good work from Jack Lambert.

Both sides were evenly matched and trying to work the ball out from the back at every opportunity. Randy Wolters saw a stinging strike palmed over by Ross Doohan on the half hour mark.

Monday, 11 December 2017 11:02

Vale into last 16 with extra time winner

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An extra time winner from Jake Watt was enough to separate Aberdeenshire outfit Deveronvale & Glasgow side Palace Park BC.

The real winners of the day though were the volunteers who were out in force to make sure the game got the go ahead and it wasn't a wasted trip for the visitors. They had been hard at work on Saturday before further snow fell on the 4G surface at Myrus, meaning an early start on Sunday morning.  Deveronvale also got a plough to clear the snow off the pitch which made a massive difference and the surface was clear again come kick off.

It was a cold game for many with both sides deserving acknowledgement for playing good football in what were difficult conditions. The temperatures throughout the whole match were never above freezing, meaning a bitter afternoon for the spectators.

Palace Park had the firstt real opportunity of the game after five minutes. A Robbie Hay effort was parried by Curtis West in the Vale goal before McKenzie Graham knocked the ball wide of the left hand post.

Vale attacked at the other end and a ball from Brodi Smith found Logan Macauley Mill however his effort went straight at Adam Stewart in the opposition goal. Macauley Mill then had another effort on goal in the 22nd minute however this was yet again denied by Stewart.

Palace Park took the lead in the 29th minute. A great ball found Corey McCoag who headed home from close range. Palace Park had the bulk of the possession in the first half and their patience paid off.

The Glasgow & District Youth League outfit then doubled their lead a minute before the interval when a good move found McKenzie Graham who rounded West before finishing off. Palace Park deserved their lead going into half time, however a 2-0 lead is never a comfortable position to be in.