South East Region (483)
Today seen the visit of Lauriston Thistle to little old Longniddry and after a difficult few weeks in which we had been in control for long periods of games creating so many chances to win comfortably only to somehow lose. What would today bring? Joy? Tears? Or just total disbelief?
As always with this team nothing is ever simple. No game goes by without some sort of situation. No subs, kicking off with 10 men and even playing a whole game with 10 once, but today even had the referee puzzled. Due to circumstances beyond my control we had to play today’s game without a Goalkeeper. Yes you read correctly, no keeper! Never have I felt so downhearted looking at our guys having to break the news. 12 sets of eyes just looked at me puzzled (yes 12 more on that later). "What are we going to do?" was the collective reply. What could we do but sit in dressing room 20 minutes before kick off and ask one of my players to step up? And so they did. First of all Hamish agreed, and then Martin both said they would take a half each. inside I was both proud and scared we might be on the end of a heavy defeat, but I wasn't about to let the boys know that.
The first half was an even and honest contest played in good spirit, with both sides getting the ball down to play some superb football which was a joy to watch. Some light rain earlier in the day meant that the pitch was fast and ideal for passing beyond and behind the defence and into space. Both teams were hitting what looked to be good passes but due to the pitch, they were skidding away from the strikers and causing a real lack of chances being created in the first half. But I was happy and impressed with the first half performance under the circumstances.
Half time: Longniddry Villa Blues 0-0 Lauriston Thistle
The second half began,(remember I said 12 sets of eyes) and yes I finally got to make a substitution. The change seen Sam come off and Murray take to the field as lone striker. Hamish vacated his goalkeeping gloves and Martin took his place in the sticks for the second half. I had a sensing feeling we could get in-behind the Lauriston defence I was hoping Murray could break their backline.
Some neat passing in midfield played in Murray early in the second half, and he was on his way to goal. A great first time got him away from the chasing pack of defenders, then some good close control gave him the shooting opportunity and he fired the ball into the corner to break the deadlock.
Our joy was short lived as a corner from Lauriston forced Martin into a top save but the ball broke kindly to the Lauriston player inside the box as we failed to clear our lines and they managed to squeeze the ball into the net. A lovely finish from the lad as he somehow managed to find a way past so many players in a crowded penalty area.
This didn't seem to affect the Longniddry boys as previously the heads would go down and we would of lost this game. It was time to roll the sleeves up and get stuck in. There was a couple of nervy moments for the home side as Lauriston grew into the game but Martin more than once showed good safe hands to prevent the visitors from taking the lead.
Another good move from Longniddry played in Murray, and this time he rounded the onrushing keeper but the ball was skidding across the wet surface and looked to be heading out. Ah well, unlucky Murray. To my disbelief however, he got on the end of the ball and somehow managed to score from the most acute angle i've ever seen. What a goal son! Pure genius, and to the disbelief of everyone at the game, including himself.
We where now starting to boss the midfield more and goal number 3 soon followed. Murray once again escaping his marker then unselfishly squaring the ball for Ross to knock the ball home to give us some breathing space.
The lads seemed very relaxed now and with only 5 minutes to go an unfortunate mistake between their keeper and defender allowed Murray to pick up the loose ball and lash home for a very nice 4-1 victory.
Full Time: Longniddry Villa Blues 4-1
I was delighted with the boys today despite everything these lads have had to put up with over the last few weeks. Last minute call offs, no subs, extra time cup exit heartache and now losing our keeper, they have once again shown that they have the will, desire, ability and passion when faced with unbelievable hurdles. They all pulled together as a team their spirit will not be broken.
Credit must go to Lauriston Thistle though as the football they played was sublime and a very good match that was played in the best of spirits by both sets of players.
Massive well done to everyone of my little lions today it’s been a tough few weeks but our defence was solid, captain for the day Gregor was great pushing the team forward and barking instructions, the midfield battled and chased every ball, Young Sam ran his heart out in the 1st half being asked to play the lone striker role is never easy & Murray may have grabbed the goals but it was a team effort today.. And a massive thank you to Hamish and Martin for stepping up and filling the void in goal.
“Attitude wins games”, these are the words that Mark Rodgers and his Fauldhouse United side live by. It is a mind-set that has seen them start their first ever SERFYA campaign unbeaten so far and places them at the top of the league table.
Rodgers spoke exclusively to Youth Football Scotland to discuss his side’s impressive beginning to life in the SERFYA, and was pull of praise about the team’s characteristics. “A big factor and contribution to this run of form is having quality players who are prepared to work hard. The boys have taken on board the importance of looking after themselves with good habits, such as diet, fitness and rest.” he said.
“The most important factor for the boys was to enjoy their training and football, listen to coaches and be prepared to work hard for the team and believe in yourself. As well as creating a winning mentality, even when not playing well.”
A key component to any successful season is well structured preparation, and Rodgers made it clear that Fauldhouse are no strangers to that: “Pre-season was extremely tough for the boys with punishing schedules working alongside Fauldhouse United Juniors. The sessions included running up Arthur’s seat and boxing training, where the boys’ fitness levels were challenged to reach their potential.”
“The boys enjoyed their pre-season and this has given Fauldhouse a mental confidence and toughness for the challenges ahead.”
Ever since an 8-1 opening day victory against Edina Hibs, Rodgers’ outfit have oozed confidence in front of goal, which was on display in an impressive 2-0 victory away to Hutchinson Vale earlier this season. One game however, stands out for the United coach: “The most important moment so far this season was at Leith Athletic, where we found ourselves 3-0 down at half-time to miraculously recover with an amazing display of determination, sheer will-power and belief to overcome Leith, scoring 5 goals in the final 20 minutes” he said.
“It was a game that our character and desire shone through in, winning a match that looked impossible at half-time.”
Rodgers was quick to acknowledge the efforts of all his players, in particular, the man between the sticks: “The whole team have contributed to our fantastic start, especially our defence and goalkeeper Mathew Craig who has been outstanding. A goalkeeper who can give confidence to his defenders is worth his weight in gold. The midfield have worked extremely hard, and forwards have given teams big problems.”
The incredible start for United has been a collective effort, as Rodgers was keen to point out. “The support and help of Fauldhouse United Juniors has been amazing, where we have the luxury of playing at Park View. Fauldhouse play on a surface that contributes to a passing game, it is a wonderful footballing surface” he said.
“Many thanks go to our loyal ground staff and support from the local community, who have taken us to their heart. This has benefited us immensely and it is very much appreciated.”
Well done to Fauldhouse United on their wonderful league start and best of luck for the rest of the season!
Dunbar faced West Lothian opposition for the second week running. Having visited Armadale last Saturday in the Scottish Cup, it was Dunbar’s turn to host with Blackburn Utd the visitors in the regions second biggest cup competition.
The game kicked off at noon to allow the travelling support time to shake off any Saturday night effects.
It didn’t take long for the home side to kick into life, and from a couple of Cooper runs up the right, Dunbar won a corner. Unfortunately, Cooper seemed to tweak a hamstring and he could not continue. A reshuffle seen Renton switch from left to right and Kinghorn take his spot down the left.
With only 5 minutes played, a corner swung in from the left by Renton seen Smillie rattle a volley home from about 8 yards out. It was a very composed finish and the players enjoyed celebrating and acknowledging his first goal of the season.
A minute later and it was 2-0. It came from what is now becoming a trademark Ben Knox run into the box, where he collected the ball and fired a low shot into the bottom corner for his 8th goal of the campaign. He looks sure to beat his 11 goals from last season and is in a rich vein of form at present.
Dunbar laboured slightly from here, and their attacking threat came from the right hand side with Twist pushing high up the park, linking with Foggo and Renton and saturating the Blackburn left. This did expose the Dunbar defence on a few occasions but Brunton, Hall and Hood looked relaxed and able to deal with anything thrown their way.
The third goal was not long in coming and it came from goal machine Renton. He received a ball out on the right and spied the keeper off his line. The execution in chipping the ball over the Blackburn No. 1 and into the roof of the net was perfect.
Blackburn then lost their busy number 10 Ben Jamieson to a serious looking injury. It looked like a fairly innocuous challenge between Jamieson and Knox, with the Blackburn player landing awkwardly. There was concern from both sets of supporters as the young lad appeared unconscious for a few minutes and on coming to, was clearly confused and dizzy. An ambulance was called and play was stopped for approx. 20 minutes. Dunbar Utd Colts wish the player all the best with his recovery.
When play resumed, it was Blackburn who looked like they had adapted better to the stoppage. From a long ball, Purves came off his line. The striker nicked the ball past Purves but Twist was alert to the danger and sped back to make a goal-saving tackle.
However, Dunbar were outdone with a very similar move moments later when a long ball evaded Brunton and Hall. The Blackburn player was again quickly through and he rounded the Dunbar keeper and knocked the ball into the empty net.
With half time closing, Dunbar came back into the game and scored their 4th of the match through Dixon. Renton was the creator as he surged down the right – his ball in saw Dixon hit it first time. The goal keeper saved brilliantly but Dixon was calm and he curled it over the despairing keeper with his left foot.
Half Time: Dunbar United Colts 4-1 Blackburn United.
The second half showed how much strength in depth is on offer in the current Dunbar squad with Mclean, Kielty, Pickles and Sutherland all able to come on. The game looked won but the match was disjointed with regular niggly fouls and stoppages breaking up any periods of play.
Knox was pushed further up the park in recognition of his goal scoring form, but he seemed to change his shooting boots for two left feet at the break.
He was sent through 1 on 1 on goal – he looked certain to score, opened his body and pushed his effort well wide of the target. Kielty fell victim to the niggly passage of play when he was booked for speaking out of turn.
Knox recovered from his misfortune in front of goal and sent Renton through who showed him how it was done. His clinical finish making it 5-1 to the home side. It looked like 6 was right behind it when again Knox was in on goal – this time he saw the keeper make a great stop.
Goal number 6 did arrive soon after. Kielty’s persistence down the right and clever play on the touchline saw him charge into the box – his cutback was slotted home by Dixon who met the cutback just as Mclean was lining up his shot. This takes Dixon into double figures for the season and still a long way short of his 51 from last.
The Blackburn number 11 Stewart was the next player to be booked – again, for use of his tongue when the energy would have been put to better use playing football.
The second half continued in a fairly disjointed manner – Blackburn did threaten with the same long ball but on each occasion the added pace of Pickles in the home defence ensured Purves had little to do.
Knox had one more effort at goal but for some reason he seemed destined not to add to his tally. He again pulled his effort wide when he looked like scoring.
Kinghorn did score and he seems to regularly find himself in the right place at the right time – this time a Sutherland ball saw Mclean flick it on to Kinghorn, and he showed great composure to fire in his 9th of the season.
Dunbar rounded things off with a hat-trick for Renton – his pace took him clear, and when his effort was saved, he was clever enough to respond to the rebound and lift the ball over the keeper for his 30th goal of the campaign.
Full Time: Dunbar United Colts 8-1 Blackburn United
Musselburgh Windsor U13s Girls created club history in winning the Hayley Lauder League Championship. The first Girls team at the club to win any major honour.
After a shaky start to the campaign with just 2 points from their first 3 games they went on an 11 game winning run to clinch the League Title by 7 points. The season had its ups and downs with their Captain Ceri Thomas suffering a serious knee injury in a freak accident in a friendly midway through the season putting her out of action for the remainder but the girls didn’t let that affect their performances on the pitch. With a strong squad of determined Girls who all but one player were playing their first year at U13s and four players who could still have been playing U11s, they continued to surprise both coaches and parent each week as they went from strength to strength and grew in confidence with every game they played .
The turning point in the season was when they came up against a strong Hutchie Vale side who had been leading the League for a few weeks in the last game before the summer break. A win for Windsor would put them 2 point ahead of Hutchie and top of the league at the break. Windsor sensed the chance was there for them and grabbed it with both hands with a convincing win and after that never looked back. Ironically they clinched the League in a midweek fixture that they weren’t playing in when Leith Athletic won against Broxburn who were the only team that could catch Windsor.
The Windsor U13s Girls have achieved the title by applying themselves and a great deal of hard work and the support from their parents and very proud coaches Robert Taylor and Michael Windram
Congratulations again Musselburgh Windsor U13s Girls
League winning squad: Jade Sinclair, Brooke Robertson, Ceri Thomas, Hannah Jack , Jennifer Gallagher , Sarah Knox , Cleo Paris , Sasha Hewett-Marshall , Freyja Bjarnason , Megan Wood , Amy Forbes , Mia Brotherston & Rosie Livingston.
Dunbar Utd Colts were in blistering form as they saw off Armadale Falcons 9-0 in Round 2 of the Scottish Cup.
It was a journey to pastures new for Dunbar Utd Colts U14s as they continued their adventure in the Scottish Cup. Having overcome an away tie at Fernieside FC in Round 1, Dunbar were again asked to travel for Round 2; this time to West Lothian where they would experience Saturday football for the first time in 11-a-sides and against unknown opposition.
With the game played on a Saturday, Dunbar left Readman, Pickles and Sutherland to the school rugby team, with the sports mad and hugely enthusiastic Pickles willing to make the transformation from oval to round ball and arrive in time for the second half. A late call-off from Kielty with a recurring back pain meant that the Seasiders started with only two players on the bench.
The Dunbar team arrived for their warm-up with the pitch slightly uneven but conditions absolutely perfect. Dunbar are traditionally slow starters but they were quicker into their stride today. Smillie was in the holding midfield role he adopted for the second half of last week’s game and he was instrumental in everything good about Dunbar’s play in the early stages.
He took only 5 minutes to find his passing range and with the home team defending very high up the park, his ball over the top sent Renton on his way. Renton showed good acceleration, stretched away from the defender and netted with a fine finish.
Seconds later, the pace of Dixon exploited the home defence – this time, the home keeper produced a great stop to deny the striker. The second goal did quickly follow with only ten minutes played and although it didn’t quite match Manchester United’s 45 pass move before netting against Southampton, it was a fantastic team goal, and their best of the season so far.
From the right hand side, Mclean took a throw to Smillie, who returned it for Mclean to feed in Twist. Twist then played Dixon in down the right who took one touch before playing in an inch perfect ball to the edge of the six-yard box where a grateful Renton was running – his first time hit was clinically dispatched past the keeper leaving the Dunbar coaches purring in delight at a flowing team passing goal.
The home side adjusted their formation to cope with the striking pace of Kinghorn, Renton and Dixon and came into the game more. Knox likes a midfield battle and he was certainly involved in a physical duel with the imposing home side number five.
At the back, Purves in the visiting goal was calmness personified with Mclean, Hall, Brunton and Hood up for a battle and holding steady. Hall donned the captain’s armband for the first time in recognition of his performances the last two games.
The third goal did not look too far away, with Knox bursting into the box and smashing an effort against the bar. With only 17 minutes played, Dunbar went three up. The goal came from an unlikely source in the shape of one of the smallest men on the pitch. Renton delivered an inswinging corner and Twist evaded his marker and headed past the keeper for his first of the season.
Dunbar continued to work hard in the half without threatening too much, although their passing and possession play was as good as at any time this season.
Just before half time, there was some excitement with the home side hotly disputing a refereeing decision. The young lad was yellow carded for using foul and abusive language.
Half Time: Armadale Falcons 0-3 Dunbar Utd Colts
The interval saw Pickles arrive sans rugby gear but transformed instantly into the Dunbar Utd Colts home kit. He brought sad news regarding Dunbar Grammar Schools rugby match scoreline, but was delighted to see the Seasiders three goals to the good.
Pickles, Foggo and Cooper were all introduced to the team for the second half. Dunbar kicked off and had to weather a storm of attacking football from the home side. The Falcons team certainly came out fighting and were determined to score early.
The Dunbar defence were solid with Smillie, Hall, Brunton and Hood all in top form. They were ably protected by Pickles, Knox and Foggo with Dunbar’s front three feeding off scraps as the home side looked motivated by a half time team talk. Dunbar were outstanding in defence throughout this opening period and even managed a couple of breakaway chances with Knox denied a goal, as well as Renton.
With ten minutes of the second period played, Dunbar scored the decisive goal that killed the contest. Cooper was influencing the game now, and he was denied a goal after a run into the box. He was then fouled as he took the ball past one player and towards the byline. Renton took the free kick with Hood rising highest and crashing home a header for his fourth goal in his last three games.
This setback effectively knocked the stuffing out of the home side and Dunbar began to boss the game once more and dominate possession. They duly added to the Falcons’ misery with Foggo, Hood and Cooper combining in a well-worked move before Foggo sent Renton through to net his third of the game.
The sixth was similar and was again from a move down the left hand side. Great work from Hood in the left back position saw him feed Renton who was out on the left – he turned provider and his cross was superbly finished off by Dixon, who is so lethal inside the 18-yard box.
Dunbar were now playing their best football of the season with the home defence tiring. Foggo won the ball in midfield and his through-ball saw Renton reach the ball before the keeper, skip round the unlucky number one and fire home.
The good football on display was halted briefly when Hall tracked the home side number five across the pitch, timed a sliding tackle to perfection, which the Falcons player took exception to. Hall shrugged the player aside as they both rose from the ground and the referee booked the Seasiders’ centre half for being overly aggressive.
This appeared to motivate the visitor’s for the final period of play, with Renton netting his fifth of the game before unselfishly turning provider for Knox to smash into the roof of the net from 12 yards for Dunbar’s ninth goal and the midfielder’s sixth of the campaign.
There was still time for Kinghorn to spurn a golden opportunity while Purves, Brunton and Pickles did well to clear a goal-line stramash and keep a clean sheet.
The referee blew for full time with the Falcons kindly providing a well-earned buffet lunch for the travelling Dunbar side.
Full Time: Armadale Falcons 0-9 Dunbar Utd Colts
Dunbar progress to Round 3 of the Scottish Cup which sees the draw go from regional to national. Cup action continues for Dunbar when they host another West Lothian side, Blackburn Utd, in the second round of the SE Region cup on Sunday, 4 October.