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Sunday 11th March marks the beginning of the SYFA Cup semi-finals and with just one match separating all teams involved from a memorable cup final, it is vital that teams go into this match in the best form possible. That can definitely be said of both the sides looking to battle it out for a place in the final of the under 17's Scottish Youth FA Cup.
 
Harmony Row have lost just one match in the Paisley and Johnstone District Youth Football League all season and sit third in the table, 11 points off of top spot with three games in hand are still competing in the rest of their domestic cup competitions. 
 
Their opponents Spartans Youth FC sit in second place in the SERYFA Division 1 table, just three points adrift of leaders Cavalry Park, but with two games in hand and they remain in all but one of their domestic cup competitions this season.
 
This looks set to be a very tight match, so let's look at each teams route to the final.
 
 
Harmony Row
 
Harmony Row started their journey away from home, travelling to face Renfrew Victoria YFC. An 8-0 win marked and emphatic start from Harmony Row and built confidence on their way to the second round of the cup.
 
The second round saw Harmony Row given a home draw, their first of the cup. Linwood Rangers Youth Club were the opponents and it proved to be another convincing win for Harmony as they moved through to round three with a 6-1 win.
 
It was another home tie in the third round as Harmony welcomed Aberdeen based side Lewis United Youth. This proved to be their toughest tie to date as they battled to a 4-2 victory, with Lewis United putting in a very commendable performance.
 
It was a difficult tie in round four as Harmony Row hosted Hutchison Vale, putting in arguably their best performance of the season to knock out a very established Hutchison Vale side 2-1 to advance to the round of 16.
 
Their reward was another home tie, this time hosting Blantyre Soccer Academy Black, which proved to be a less tense match for the PJDYFL team, who eased into the quarter-finals with a 5-1 win.
 
The quarter final saw Harmony Row travel to Greenock to take on St. Andrews BC for a chance to play in the Falkirk Stadium for a spot in this year's final. A 2-0 win was enough to secure that spot.
 
 
Spartans Youth FC
 
Spartans Youth's first round match had a very local feel to it, being drawn against Spartans FC Youth Colts. The two Spartans sides put on a very entertaining match, with the Youth's beating the Colts 2-1 to advance to round two.
 
Round two saw Spartans take on Pumpherston United at home and this proved to be a far more comfortable victory than in the previous round. A 10-0 win to move on to round three.
 
The third round produced yet another familiar tie for Spartans Youth as they were given a 'away' tie against Spartans Youth FC Reds. The away side took the spoils from this clash, overcoming their namesakes bin a 5-2 win.
 
Another away trip to another Edinburgh-based side was next for Spartans as they made the trip to face Leith Athletic. Spartans showed their superiority and attacking prowess in this fixture, easing through thanks to an exhilarating 8-3 victory.
 
A spot in the final 16 was theirs and a place in the quarter finals was on offer, but they had to make it through Erskine YFC Athletic in order to get there. But get there they did, emphatically so with a stunning 8-0 win. This was the third time in the competition that Spartans had scored eight or more goals in a match.
 
They faced a tougher challenge if they were to make it to the clash at Falkirk. In the quarter-finals they were paired with Airdrieonians FCBC. It proved to be a very tense match with both sides more than up for the challenge, but it was Spartans who narrowly made it through with a 2-1 victory to book their place at Falkirk. 
The SYFA Cup semi-finals are now upon us and with just one match separating all teams involved from a memorable cup final. Both teams go into the match on good form but only one can go through between Jerviston FC and Hurlford BC.
 
Jerviston go into this match having played just four league matches this season. This has been due to their incredible success in their cup competitions, something that will undoubtedly create a great deal of confidence for the Central region side as they meet Hurlford.
 
Hurlford have been flying high in the league this season. They sit seven points clear at the top of the Under 17's table with three games in hand over second placed Prestwick CFC and have yet to lose a league match this season.
 
Let's have a look at both sides journey to the semi-finals.
 
 
Jerviston FC 
 
Jerviston began their Scottish Cup journey in the second round, where they welcomed a very impressive Syngenta Juveniles who took them to their limits. It was a tie in which they had to dig deep against their worthy opponents, but they came through, winning 5-3 after extra time after a 3-3 draw in normal time.
 
Their third round match was a very challenging one for Jerviston, who faced long journey north to face Fraserburgh Link-Up. The travel did not seem to effect the players however and they advanced to round four with an impressive 3-1 win. A more comfortable win but just as satisfying.
 
The fourth round draw was well recieved by Jerviston as they managed to get the home draw, facing off this time against Blackburn United Community Youth FC. A place in the round of 16 awaited the winner and Jerviston were certainly eager to advance, securing safe passage with a convincing 7-1 victory.
 
That meant a round of 16 tie. Standing betweeen Jerviston and the quarter-finals was an away trip to motivated Dumbarton United. At this stage of the competition you have to be at your very best to advance and it's fair to say that that is exactly what Jerviston were when they made the trip to Dumbarton, scraping through with 3-2 win.
 
That set up a quarter-final match with Mossend Football Club. Jerviston had already faced Mossend in the quarter finals of the Central Region Cup, beating them 1-0. Mossend really brought the game to Jerviston in this one, pushing Jerviston all the way. Jerviston fought off the onslaught, finally coming through 4-3 winners, setting up the semi-final clash agaisnt Hurlford BC.
 
 
Hurlford BC
 
Hurlford started their journey right at the beginning in round one. First up was a home tie against KSC Kilwinning Rangers. A comfortable win in the end for the home side, securing a 4-0 win to advance into the second round.
 
Another home tie awaited Hurlford BC. Caledonian Youth club was the next in line and it proved to be a more tougher challenge than they had in the previous round, scraping through with a 1-0 win, as they secured their place as one of the last 64 in the tournament.
 
Next up was an away tie, their only one of their cup run, as they travelled to East Kilbride to play East Kilbride Burgh United. The prospect of playing away didn't seem to put off the future semi-finalists, who steamrolled into the next round with a resounding 9-0 victory.
 
Into round 4 and Hurlford BC welcomed Cantera FC. A close match ensued between the two sides but Hurlford came through with another impressive win, this time going through 3-1 winners.
 
That set up a home tie in the round of 16 against Kirkfield United. This proved to be a very entertaining match for those of a neutral persuasion, and a very difficult one for Hurlford, but they emerged 4-2 winners to advance to the quarter-finals.
 
Next up was a match against West Dyke, which proved to be their most challenging match to date. At the end of 90 minutes the score was level at two goals each, but Hurlford found the energy needed to secure thew win in extra time. The match ended 4-2 and Hurlford were on their way to the semi-finals.
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 10:53

SPFL Development League Round Up - 19-20/02/18

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The SPFL Development League round up is back and what a week it has been for the future stars of the SPFL. Results these past couple of days have had a tremendous impact at both ends of the table, so let's have a look at the action
 
 
Celtic 1-4 Aberdeen
 
The week started off in spectacular fashion as Celtic succumbed to a shock 1-4 defeat at the hands of a superb Aberdeen side at Cappielow
 
The young Dons got off to the best possible start, taking the lead after just four minutes. After an impressive flowing move, Ethan Ross played a great ball into the path of his namesake Seb Ross placed the ball past Ryan Mullen in the Celtic goal.
 
Celtic were level 10 minutes before half-time when a deflected Paul Kennedy strike fell into the path of Regan Hendrey, who hit a delightful left-footed shot into the top right hand corner of Dons 'keeper Archie Mair's net.
 
Aberdeen retook the lead just three minutes into the second half. Connor McLennan played in Bruce Anderson, who had the time and space to take a touch and fire a shot past Mullen.
 
Just after the hour mark it was 3-1 through Ethan Ross, who can probably count himself fortunate not to be called offside, and the game was sealed through Ethan Ross, despite a late sending off as Bruce Anderson saw red. A great win for Aberdeen who keep up the pace on the league leaders
 
 
Partick Thistle 1-1 Falkirk
 
Both of these sides were separated by just five points at the beginning of the day and that's how it remained as Partick Thistle and Falkirk played out a 1-1 draw at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdire
 
It took till the 25th minute for the Partick to open the scoring, but it was well worth the wait as Ross Fleming sent an absolute rocket into the top corner from 22 yards out.
 
However Falkirk levelled the scoring just three minutes before half-time as a Bairns corner was headed down by Peter Grant into the path of Kevin O'Hara who spun around and fired a shot past Ryan Scully to level the scores
 
Both sides really pushed in the final few minutes for that all important winning goal, but ultimately the game finished all square, with both sides sharing the points.
 
 
St Johnstone 1-4 Hibernian
 
Hibernian have been in fine form in the SPFL Development League this season and again shpwed why they sit at the summit after an impressive 4-1 away win against St Johnstone at New Central Park
 
However it was the Saints who opened the scoring through Cameron Thomson, who capitalised on a mistake by Hibees 'keeper Maciej Dabrowski to slot into the net. Hibs were level 15 minutes later through the typically dangerous Oli Shaw.
 
St Johnstone were battling well against the league leaders before the Edinburgh side turned on the style, scoring three goals in five minutes to seal the game. The first came through Lewis Allan, who reacted quickest from a long throw into the box to prod the ball home on 67 minutes.
 
Then came a quickfire double from Innes Murray. The first was a fine individual effort as the youngster rode two challenges from the Saints defence before slamming the ball home. The second came just 120 seconds later when the ball fell to him on the edge of the box from a corner. His shot took a wicked deflection for his second nd Hibs' fourth of the match
 
 
Hearts 2-1 Dundee United
 
There was late drama in this top vs bottom style encounter as Hearts secured a late winner to secure a 2-1 victory at home to bottom side Dundee Untied at Oriam
 
The Jambs fielded a trialist today and he will not done his chnces of securing a contract any harm as he opened the scoring on the 25 minute mark. A superb pass from Malaury Martin found the trialist, who then fired his strike into the roof of the net from ten yards.
 
United were level 10 minutes from time when Louis Appere latched onto a long ball into the box to fire his shot past Jack Hamilton and level the score.
 
It seemed as though United were on course to leave with a valuable point, however it would be Hearts that would take all three as Aidan Keena drove into the United half and fired a sublime shot past 'keeper Denixz Mehmet to give the Jambos the win.
 
 
 
 
Hamilton Accies 4-1 St. Mirren
 
Hamilton Accies continued their impressive run of form in the league with a 4-1 win over a St Mirren side eager to move as far away from the bottom of the table as possible at the Superseal Stadium.
 
The match marked a great day for Marc Kelly who secured a first half hat-trick. His first came in the opening minute through a stunning curling strike. The second came 20 minutes later and the third after just 28 minutes to give his side a commanding lead.
 
St Mirren had one back 10 minutes into the second half as he reacted quickly to fire his own rebounded shot into the back of the net to give the Paisley Saints some hope going into the last half hour.
 
That hope was squashed on the 64th minute mark however when on loan Manchester United midfielder Charlie Scott fired home on the half volley from a corner to give end St Mirren's resistance and secure the three points for the Accies. 
Monday, 05 February 2018 14:16

Cove win derby/Ellon beaten by Johnstone

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Ellon Meadows v Johnstone Burgh

It was a fast start from Johnstone who were fast, aggressive with good movement. They were causing problems down both channels and from one flowing move, the Paisley outfit deservedly went 1-0 up. Ellon were perhaps a little overawed from the occasion and from what was a vocal Paisley support. That said the boys dug in and from one if the few passing moves Aedan Gray had a one on one with the keeper who made an excellent save but Callum Kelly was on hand to net the rebound despite desperate attempts from Burgh to keep the ball out. The first half continued with Johnstone having more possession but ended 1-1 at half time.

The second half got underway again with Johnstone having more possession and managed to score 10 mins into the half and despite offside appeals, the goal stood. Ellon made some tactical changes to try and get back into the game and from a good move down the right, with minutes left, the ball came to Harry Copeman who struck a good shot that the keeper got fingertips to with the ball agonisingly hitting the inside of the post but not crossing the line and Johnstone cleared. Pressure in the last few minutes didn't amount to anything and Johnstone deservedly won the game 2-1.

Banks O’Dee Albion v Cove Youth FC

The game started very competitive with nothing between the teams however on 10 mins Cove got a corner on the right, Josh Robb delivered a great left footed ball to the back post area where Liam Duthie headed home for the opener. Banks O’Dee Albion then equalised on 14 mins after Damon Collins beat Dylan Robb to the ball and finished well from outside the box past the advancing keeper Sharp. Half time 1-1.

Again the second half continued like the first in what was a very good advert for youth football. Josh Robb continued to be a problem to Albion down the left and on the 47th minute drove down the left hand side and produced a great ball into the box where McKenzie Gove headed home. The next 10-15 mins Cove were the more dominant team but Albion kept working hard to stay in the game. The last 5 mins Albion pushed and pushed for the equaliser but Cove defended well to take the win.

Cove Youth FC Coach Mark Robb said after the game, “The boys are delighted, it was a good game Albion are a really good side & it showed how good & strong the ADJFA is.”

 
The Scottish Youth FA Cup Under 21 semi final draw was made on Wednesday at Hampden Park. The draw sees a Glasgow derby as Harmony Row are set to host their city rivals Tower Hearts FC for a place in the final of the Scottish Cup.
 
 
Semi Final
 
Arthurlie Juniors vs Gartcairn Football Academy
Harmony Row vs Tower Hearts FC
 
 
 
The draw for the Under 19's Scottish Youth FA Cup semi final was made on Wednesday at Hampden Park. Champions Clydebank will hve to navigate their way through a motivated Wishaw Wycombe Wanderers in order to reach the semi final stage, where they will host Syngenta Juveniles.
 
 
Semi Final
 
St Cadocs YC United vs Airdrie United
Wishaw Wycombe Wanderers/Clydebank vs Syngenta Juveniles
 
 
The draw for the Under 17 Scottish Youth FA Cup semi final was made at Hampden Park on Wednesday. Edinburgh City Whites were denied an Edinburgh derby in the semis as Eask Kilbride FC Blue earned an impressive 3-0 win away to Hutchison Vale to set up their trip to the capital. The full draw is as follows:
 
 
Semi Final
 
Edinburgh City Whites vs EKFC Blue
Jerviston FC vs Hurlford BC

 
The draw for the Under 16 Scottish Youth FA Cup semi final was made at Hampden Park on Wednesday. The draw only sees one confirmed tie as Glenvale AFC host Hillwood Boys Club. Spartans FC Youth have a trip to Glasgow to look forward to as they face an away tie to Harmony Row. The full draw is as follows
 
 
Semi Final
 
Glenvale AFC vs Hillwood BC
Harmony Row vs Spartans FC Youth
 
 
The Scottish Youth FA Cup Under 15 semi final took place on Wednesday at Hampden Park. Tynecastle FC's reward for beating Broxburn Athletic Colts Diamonds is a home tie against Longniddry Villa, who came through a tough tie against The Celtic BC. Johnstone Burgh are also certain of a semi final place and also have a home tie to look forward to against Falkirk FCF Blue. The full draw is as follows
 
Tynecastle FC vs Longniddry Villa
Johnstone Burgh vs Falkirk FCF Blue
 
 
The draw for the Under 14 Scottish Youth FA Cup quarter final and semi final was made at Hampden Park on Wednesday. The draw is somewhat incomplete as some teams still have fixtures to play that were cut short by the weather over the winter period. One team waiting for a confirmed fixture is Bellshill BC as they await to see if they travel to Greenock or Edinburgh with a trip to either St Andrews BC or Spartans FC Whites.
 
 
Quarter Final
 
Spartans FC Youth vs Cumbernauld Colts
Westdyke Community Club vs Musselburgh Windsor
St Andrews BC/Spartans FC Whites vs Bellshill BC
Drumchapel Amateurs vs Giffnock North United/Drumsagard FAC
 
 
Semi Final
 
St Andrews BC/Spartans FC Whites - Bellshill BC vs Drumchapel Amateurs/Giffnock North United
Spartans FC Youth/Cumbernauld Colts vs Westdyke Community Club/Musselburgh Windsor