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Tuesday, 14 November 2017 07:02

SWF Scottish Youth Cup Finals 2017 - Match Centre

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On 12th November 2017 six teams from six clubs descended on Oriam National Performance Centre in Edinburgh. The very first time the SWF Scottish Youth Cup finals had been played at the state of the art new facility, following a number of years at Toryglen. Each match had its own different subplot... The 13's saw Motherwell and Glasgow Girls aim to win the trophy for the first ever time; the 15's needed very little introduction with Hibs taking on Hearts - the first time these two clubs had met in this showpiece match; and the final match saw two of the heavyweights of the women's game collide aiming to add to their already impressive trophy hauls - Celtic v Glasgow City. 
 
YFS covered the matches with live streaming, photography, match reports and analysis. You can find links to all of the coverage below.
 
Match DVDs & photo souvenirs
 
- Buying a photo print, digital image or other photo souvenir from the game? Make your order by Thursday 16th November and receive 15% off by using discount code 'swffinals'. Scroll down to find the links to the match photo galleries.
 
- Want to recapture the match in full? Our DVD includes kick off until final whistle, post match presentations & celebrations and interviews. Get yours now at the link below. The first batch of orders will be sent out on Friday (17th November), so order by then to get your DVD for the start of next week. 
 
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Match Selection
Which team are you with


Glasgow Girls v Motherwell FC Claret 13's
Hibernian Ladies v Hearts Girls 15's
 
 
Celtic FC Girls Academy v Glasgow City 17's

Match Report | Photo Gallery | Match Analysis | Players of the Match | Video Clip of the Game
Celtic Player of the Match: Kathleen McGovern
 
Kathleen McGovern stood out for Celtic in their win over Glasgow City in the SWF Youth Cup final on Sunday afternoon. McGovern, who started the game up front, bagged the only goal of the game as the hoops went on to win 1-0 in a close fought affair. Her goal came from an inch perfect through ball from tricky winger Aisha Maughan and McGovern made no mistake as she slotted the ball past City keeper Sophie Allison.
 
McGovern continued to cause bother for the city defence holding the ball up very well and getting into dangerous positions. As the game went on McGovern changed position to play in the middle of the park, this didn’t seem to affect her game as she won her fair share of tackles and loose balls and was a crucial player for Celtic as they looked to see the game out.
 
The energy and persistence of McGovern in the middle seemed to frustrate the Glasgow City midfield as they struggled to get a grip of the game. She was constantly in the faces of the City players, closing them down and winning possession back for her team.
 
The whole Celtic team can be proud of the way they played in their final victory. Aisha Maughan looked like she could cause the City defence problems every time Celtic went forward, with her skills, pace and range of passing which paid off with an assist.
 
Jade Menzies was also solid in midfield, barely losing possession and winning aerial battles. However, McGovern is worthy of her player of the match award for a real solid performance playing both as a striker and as a centre midfielder, and of course a fine finish for the goal that proved to be the winner as Celtic became Scottish Cup champions.
 
 
Glasgow City Player of the Match: Laura McCartney
 
 Although their Under 17’s Scottish Women’s Youth Cup Final with Celtic didn’t go the way Glasgow City would have hoped, in midfielder Laura McCartney they had a player who can hold her head up high and be particularly proud of the way she performed.
 
From first whistle to last she was involved in almost everything Glasgow City did; she tracked back and helped break up any Celtic attacks, whilst going forward her first thought was always to drive at opposition defenders and look to take them on.
 
Her efforts were a key reason that Glasgow City were the better team for long periods in the first half and even after Celtic took the lead and began to take control of the game, she still looked like City’s best bet of producing a moment of quality that could’ve seen them back into the game.
 
She wasn’t the only City player to play well though. Half time substitute Danielle Mullen went straight upfront and began causing the Celtic backline problems. She was particularly good at holding the ball up when it was cleared from deep inside her own half, waiting for the City players to get up the pitch and bringing them into play. 
 
Hannah Scott was another Glasgow City player to make a big impact in the middle of the park. Similarly to McCartney she was full of energy and effective both in possession and out of possession, whilst fellow midfielder Taylor Hamill was good going forward and showed a touch of skill on more than one occasion before she was replaced late on.
 
But it was McCartney who stood out the most, it was just unfortunate – from a Glasgow City perspective – that her team were unable to find that elusive goal.
 
Instead, it was Celtic who edged a tight game to be crowned SWF Youth Cup Champions.
 
A second half goal from striker Eilidh Adams was enough for Hibs to see off Edinburgh rivals Hearts and win the Scottish Women’s Youth Cup in a tight final.
 
From the first whistle Hibs looked to take advantage of the large Oriam pitch by playing their wide players in behind the Hearts full-backs.
 
In central midfielder Amy Hay, Hibs had a player with more than enough quality to pick out the right pass, and she was at the heart of all Hibs good play in the midfield.
 
Hibs were dealt an early blow when left-winger Tegan Bowie was forced off injured after coming close to opening the scoring from a Hay pass, but her replacement Phoebe Friend was a more than capable deputy.
 
Hearts looked to break up Hibs play and counter quickly; midfielders Caitlyn Wilson and Holly Aitchison stopped numerous Hibs attacks dead, just as they looked like they might lead to goal scoring opportunities.
 
But unfortunately for Hearts, lone striker Caitlin Black was left isolated on a number of occasions, and was left to feed on scraps as Hibs centreback partnership of Charlotte McDougall and Robyn McCafferty dealt with anything played their way.
 
It was a game of few chances. Neither midfield managed to get on top of the other for a sustained period of time, and in the rare instances where a chance looked like it might present itself both teams were guilty of spurning their opportunities. 
 
Hearts goalkeeper Alicia Yates always took up a great starting position, and was quick off her line on numerous occasions to stop Friend, goal scorer Adams or right winger Eve McFadden from latching on to a ball in behind.
 
In the second half, Hearts replaced Black with midfielder Heather Munro, moving defender Emma McFadyen up front as they began to go more direct in search of that elusive goal.
 
However, it was Hibs who continued to look the most dangerous. As legs began to get tired more and more space opened up in the channels, which Friend and McFadden came close to exploiting on several occasions.
 
When the breakthrough did finally come, the ball fell to Adams after some pinball in the box - far from the best goal you’ll ever see but that didn’t bother the Hibs players or their fans.
 
Hearts brought on Emily Murray for Maisy Hathaway as they hunted a late equaliser but the Hibs backline was rock solid and they comfortably saw out the final minutes to edge a tense affair. 

Celtic opted to start the match in an attacking manner, opting for a 4-2-3-1 formation which would sometimes change to a double strike force of Lucy Sinclair and Kathleen McGovern.

Glasgow opted to put their attacking options higher up the pitch, putting out a 3-4-3 formation with Emma McLure playing as the leading striker. She lead the line well early on, proving to be a focal point for the attacking side of their game, consistently finding the ball inside clever areas within in the Celtic half.

In the early affairs of the match Celtic seemed to be struggling to play their passing game, and found many passes either going stray or being intercepted by a City body. As a result, their opponents had much of the possession in the opening ten minutes, pressing Celtic inside their own half and not giving them a chance to build attacks from the back. The hoops were not allowed to enjoy a split-second of possession whilst the back three of Glasgow City remained largely untested.

Celtic made an early substitution on the 27 minute mark as Gabrielle Higgins entered the pitch tin the place of Georgia Crooks, though it was unsure whether the change was enforced or a tactical decision to get a foothold in the match. City were having more efforts on goal within the first half hour, although many of them came from long-distance. One of those long-distance efforts however did strike cause trouble midway through the first half, as Lucy Ronald’s lobbed effort from a cleared corner struck the crossbar and bounced away,

Celtic may have been frustrated with their lack of first half possession, but it was they who found the net first in the 35th minute, as Kathleen McGovern was slid through from a lovely pass from Aisha Maughan. The finished that followed was full of composure, and came somewhat against the run of play. She had threatened before on a few occasions when her angled runs threatened to get beyond the City defence.

The goal seemed to give Celtic a new lease of life, as it was them who began to find chances falling their way before half-time, hitting the side netting and seeing an effort sails narrowly over the bar, and they began to match City in terms of attempts at goal.

After the restart, City opted to make a change and bring Danielle Mullen into the equation, moving into the striker’s position. The change seemed to aid their search for an equaliser, as chances began to fall their way as they did early in the second half.

Celtic seemed to be trying to replicate the McGovern goal on several occasions, slotting either long balls or through-balls into her path, although Sophie Allison was out quick to deny her on a few occasions. They seemed intent to find a second goal, having four attackers right at the top of the pitch at times.

Glasgow could sense their opponents sniffing for a second goal, and so opted to make a switch of bringing Hannah Stewart into the equation to replace Karsey McGlichey, who slotted into the midfield in an attempt to gain control of the centre of the pitch.

Celtic made a substitution of their own when Mahri Crooks entered the field in place of Gabrielle Higgins, and she moved into the striking position as the Celts looked to wrap the game up. Claire McFarlane also came on for the Hoops, replacing Aisha Maughan and taking her spot on the right-wing.

Glasgow were doing all they could to grab that elusive equaliser, but Celtic were strong, organised and proving to be a tough nut to crack, and they introduced Kacey Black to replace Lucy Sinclair in an attempt to shore up the midfield.

City placed Mullen upfront to partner Taylor Hamill in a final roll of the dice to equalise, but it was to no avail as Celtic held out to clinch the SWF Youth Cup.

Hibernian Player of the Match: Eilidh Adams
 
Winning the game for Hibs in the Scottish Youth Cup Finals, Eilidh Adams stood out on the day.  
 
Although it was good teamwork overall, Adams exhibited great energy and skill in the game and this culminated in the sole goal in the second half that secured Hibs the game and ultimately the title.
 
While Adams and her teammates can be proud of her scoring the winning goal, Caley Gibb and Amy Hay also demonstrated solid efforts on the day but were unlucky in their attempts to score.  
 
There was brilliant teamwork from the girls, with Adams often passing to Gibbs and Hay who marked players well and showed keen efforts throughout the match.
 
Yet, it was Adams that more often than not had possession of the ball and executed a clear goal, dodging around Hearts’ defence and swiftly shooting straight past the unwitting goalkeeper.
 
Racing around the pitch with lightning speed and always keeping a clear eye on the ball, Adams was a consistent contender in the match and this energy resulted in the brilliant goal in the second half.  With rapid, deft movements, Adams was able to whiz the ball past Hearts’ strong defence.
 
After the goal from Adams, Hibs were buzzing with energy, invigorated by the amazing goal, they tried to score again and Adams and Gibbs often came close but time was against them.
 
After the winning goal, the pace of the game picked up and both teams were keen to score a goal but one goal it was to be and that was from the skilled young Eilidh Adams.
 
Even Hearts’ renewed efforts could not deter Adams and her team that persistently tried to score again, with Adams setting up the goal but to no avail as Hearts’ goalkeeper put up a strong defence.
 
Adams and her teammates can bask in the glory of victory and feel proud to win the Youth Cup Final for the under 15’s on an unrelentingly chilly November afternoon.
 
Hearts Girls Player of the Match: Eve Mooney
 
Hearts were unlucky in this 15s Scottish Cup final against Hibernian. As much as Hibs deserved to win the game, Hearts had some very positive moments in the game & some very good individual performances. 
 
It was a hard selection for Hearts Girls player of the match however my selection is Eve Mooney based on her defensive qualities and putting in a good shift against Phoebe Friend, who I thought was very good for Hibs.
 
The left back was very positive on the ball for the Jambos and got things rolling for them. Hibernian were quite decent and quick going forward which meant that Hearts had to be very much on their toes.
 
Eve has still got a lot of learning to do however based on her respective showing in this cup final, she is a player to watch out for the future. Under 15s football is a very good level to perform on a national stage and a good performance in a Scottish Cup final will do her confidence the world of good.  Under 15s football is also crucial for a players development leading up to adult football & she needs to learn from this and come back stronger. 
 
Mooney just needs to take the positives from her own individual performance and also aspects of the performance from Hearts & she will be going on the right tracks moving forward in the future. Another positive note from Eve Mooney this afternoon was her willingness to drive up the park & help her team mates. It was a game in which Hearts were able to get up the park & be positive however Hibernian were a lot more alert with dealing with any threat from Hearts. Mooney showed good recovery when needed to help her team mates when Hibs came forward.
 
There were also good performances from Caitlyn Wilson who I thought had a good first half and was good at breaking up play plus also getting forward. She is another one who needs to look at the positives going forward. Emma McFadyen had a slow start to the game  however she moved into a strikers role later in the game and looked a real threat for the Jambos when they were looking for a goal.
 
It wasn’t a game in which Hibernian really threatened the Hearts backline although it must be noted that Hibs had a few half chances which Alicia Yates dealt with well. She also had a few good saves in both halves.



Motherwell Player of the Match: Amy Boyle


Amy Boyle stood out for Motherwell Clarets 12s in their SWF Youth Cup final win against Glasgow Girls on Sunday. The hard-working youngster bagged a deserved brace for the endeavour she showed throughout the end-to-end match. Her first goal was the culmination of a lovely one-two with Woods. She then drove an effort across goal that was spilled by the Glasgow goalkeeper and into the net.

The second goal was symbolic of how Boyle played the game. A loose ball was up for grabs 10 yards from goal, and Boyle darted onto it like a girl possessed. She then let loose with a stinging drive that found the bottom right-hand corner to haul Motherwell level for a second time.

Overall, Boyle showed a terrific engine as she consistently dragged her team forward as she bombed forward when in space, and opened up Glasgow with her sheer hard work. The game swung from end-to-end, with momentum continuously going Motherwell’s away after Glasgow looked like grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck. It’s fair to say that Boyle twice hauled her side back into the game with her two equalisers, and consistently seemed to create space with her driving runs that were close to being profited upon by her team-mates.

What made the performance even more impressive was the fact that Boyle was down with a mysterious knock in the first half. It looked as though she was a little dazed midway through the first half, but she deserves tremendous character for dusting herself down and turning the game in Motherwell’s favour.

There were many notable performers for Motherwell in their final success. Woods struck a terrific winner in the final 10 minutes, whilst they showed bravery in several big blocks that saw Glasgow come close. However, Boyle fully deserves her player of the match title for a sensational individual performance – typifying the hard-work, energy, and determination that was required to turn this cup final around.

Glasgow Girls Player of the Match: Olivia King

In a match that could have gone either way, Olivia King stood out for the beaten finalists.
 
Whilst all of her teammates can be proud of how they performed, King was a constant threat cutting in from Glasgow’s left hand side, and on another day might’ve had more than just the one goal.
 
But what a goal it was. Almost straight from kick-off she picked the ball up, drove at the Motherwell defence and fired low across the keeper to put Glasgow a goal ahead inside 30 seconds.
 
As Motherwell began to grow into the game, King put a shift in, playing from one box to the other. There were several occasions in the first half where she found herself last player back, only to bomb forward and get involved as Glasgow counter-attacked.
 
In the second half she came close on a few occasions to scoring from range. It was only a combination of bad luck and good goalkeeping that stopped her from doubling her personal tally for the day and, maybe, securing the Scottish Cup for Glasgow City. 
 
All of her teammates played well and can consider themselves unfortunate not to be heading home with the trophy. In particular, Millie-Jo Ward took her goal very well, and was a constant threat; whilst Abbie Cusack was rock solid and her set-piece deliveries caused havoc in the Motherwell defence.
 
But it was King who was always looking to get the ball down and take players on. At times she seemed to skip past players at will, and it was no surprise she was involved in almost all of Glasgow Girls best moments of a classic cup final.
 
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 08:45

SFA Youth Cup 2017/18 - Round Four Draw

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The draw has been made for the next round of the Scottish FA Youth Cup. There's a Renfrewshire derby between St Mirren and Morton. Stranraer, Stirling Albion and Raith Rovers aim to put out top tier opposition. And there are three all top flight ties.
 
Below is the draw. Ties are to be played on or before Sunday 26th November.
 
Celtic FC v Raith Rovers
Greenock Morton v St Mirren FC
Hamilton Accies v Aberdeen FC
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Hibernian FC
Kilmarnock v Heart of Midlothian
St Johnstone v Rangers or Partick Thistle
Stirling Albion v Ross County
Stranraer FC v Motherwell FC
 
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 15:42

Scottish FA Youth Cup 2017/18 - Round 3 roundup

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The third round of the Scottish FA Youth Cup is in the process of taking place. Below you can find a roundup of the latest results, match reports and photo galleries.
 
Edusport Academy 0-6 Aberdeen | Photo Gallery
Hamilton Accies 4-2 Falkirk | Match Report | Photo Gallery
Heart of Midlothian 5-1 Ayr United 
Hibernian 2-1 East Kilbride | Match Report | Match Analysis
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-0 University of Stirling 
Inverurie Loco Works 1-3 Raith Rovers | Match Report | Photo Gallery
Motherwell 9-0 Burntisland Shipyard | Match Report
Ross County 2-0 Fraserburgh
Spartans 0-3 Kilmarnock | Match Report
St Johnstone 2-1 Dundee United 
Stirling Albion 4-2 Cumbernauld Colts
 
The following Third Round ties have still to be played:
03/11/17: Queen of the South v Stranraer
05/11/17: Greenock Morton v Turriff United
05/11/17: Alloa Athletic v Celtic
20/11/17: Rangers v Partick Thistle 

A brace from Jamie Gullan saw Hibernian progress against East Kilbride at Easter Road, to seal their spot into the 4th round of the Scottish Cup.

Hibernian looked to take the attacking initiative in the match, opting with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Adam Watson, Jamie Gullan and Yrik Gallantes operating in behind Ruari Paton who lead the line. Their opponents looked to stifle the Hibees attacking presence by packing the midfield with a 4-1-4-1 formation, making themselves a challenge to break down.

The away side’s tactic seemed to be going according to plan in the early stages, as Hibernian dominated possession and worked the ball well around the pitch, but failed to get in behind a very deep East Kilbride defence.  Most of Hibernian’s play came through Innes Murray, who seemed to popped up all over the pitch in the first-half to offer a pass, but the final pass was becoming the problem.

Jamie Gullan had already been having a fine game in the first-half, and with the Hibees using their winger frequently as a focal point throughout the first-half, he seemed more likely than anybody to make a difference. A goal from open play looked unlikely, so it was his stunning free-kick half an hour in which broke the deadlock. The goal appeared to open up the game somewhat, as the away side went in search of an equaliser.

Jay McInally was handed a tough task in leading the line for the visitors, but with his constant pressing of the Hibs’ defence, he managed to find himself in promising positions a number of times in the first half, although most of his efforts failed to trouble Dabrowski. The same could be said for the rest of his team, who were failing to create many clear-cut opportunities, and resorted to speculative efforts more often than not.

Their high pressing game paid off just before half-time as East Kilbride snatched an equaliser. Once again, McInally was there to prevent Hibs from playing out from the back, and after a defensive mix-up was left with a simple finish to level the scoreline.

For the start of the second-half, their goal seemed to give the away side confidence, pushing forward in greater numbers than in the first-half and enjoying more possession inside the Hibernian half. At the same time, the hosts were having their chances restricted due to East Kilbride’s organisation.

Hibs noticed that their opponents were edging into the match, and opted to switch Gullan over to the left-hand side and Gallantes to the right. The results worked wonders, as Hibernian began to find their attacking impetus again and stretched East Kilbride around the pitch. Gullan found as much success on the right as he did the left, grabbing the second goal and resorting Hibs’ lead with an opportunistic finish from inside the box.

Hibernian introduced Ryan Shanley into the equation, bringing off Gallantes after their second goal, with Gullan returning back over to the left wing. Their opponents opted to bring on Nathan Kanna as a replacement for Conor Bell, increasing their attacking options as they went in search of an equaliser. Despite the change, the game continued to follow the same pattern as the first-half, with Hibs dominating possession and their opponents having to soak up pressure. Gregor Woods in the centre of Hibernian’s midfield was quietly having an effective game, recycling possession well and not allowing Kilbride to build any momentum.

The visitors finished the match with four attackers on the pitch at times as they tried desperately to claw their way back in, but despite a flurry of late set pieces, were unable to find the elusive second goal. Hibs managed the final minutes well, keeping the ball near the corner flag and running down the clock, eventually confirming their place into the next round. A deserved win for the Hibees but a spirited and organised display from the visitors.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 08:47

Scottish FA Youth Cup 2017/18 - Round 3 draw

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The draw has been made for the third round of the Scottish FA Youth Cup - presenting a number of intriguing ties.
 
Holders Celtic visit Alloa. Three non league sides have been matched with top tier opposition - Edusport Academy take on Aberdeen, Burntisland Shipyard visit Motherwell and Fraserburgh head to Ross County. The remaining Highland and Lowland League sides all take on SPFL Development League East and West sides, meaning there is no guaranteed non-league representation in round four, but eight opportunities for upsets. In their first season not participating in the SPFL Development League, Rangers will be up against local rivals Partick Thistle.
 
Ties will be played by October 29th. The full draw is as follows:
 
Alloa Athletic v Celtic FC
Dunfermline Athletic v St Mirren
Edusport Academy v Aberdeen FC
Greenock Morton v Turriff United
Hamilton Accies v Falkirk FC
Heart of Midlothian v Ayr United
Hibernian FC v East Kilbride FC
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Stirling University
Inverurie Loco Works v Raith Rovers
Motherwell FC v Burntisland Shipyard
Queen of the South v Stranraer FC
Rangers FC v Partick Thistle
Ross County v Fraserburgh FC
Spartans FC v Kilmarnock FC
Stirling Albion v Cumbernauld Colts
St Johnstone v Dundee United