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Late Free Kick Show Seals The Points For AC Irvine

AC Irvine BC 4

Marshall 46', McSwiggan 52', Carruthers 62', Craig 69'

Galston YFC 2002 2

Gray 18', Anderson 53'
  • Saturday, 27 February 2016
  • Loudoun Academy Sports Centre
  • Under 14´s
  • CAYFA Under 14 League

Mark Gillespie | YFS North Ayrshire Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author [email protected]

This was an enthralling spectacle for the neutral in the Ayrshire sunshine as these two table toppers fought it out on Loudoun Academy. In the end it took two late free kicks to settle matters, as AC Irvine stole a march on Galston to stay just a point behind Largs Colts at the top.

Two such well-matched sides can often cancel one another out in these league stalemates but instead we were treated to a match played like a cup tie, with both attacks on top and going all out for the win. In the corresponding fixture earlier in the season Irvine had run out easy winners but Galston have progressed as a team this season and look a much more confident, fluid outfit.

The visitors in fact led at the break, and seemed to have frustrated an Irvine attack which had had the bulk of the chances. Blair Craig and Owen Densham spearheaded a dangerous front line but couldn’t make crucial early breakthrough. Instead Galston grabbed the initiative and it was only in the second period that Irvine asserted themselves, with the assistance of Adam Carruthers’ late free kick heroics.

With Irvine quickest out of the traps the stage was set for high tempo end to end football. Craig and Densham linked up well in the opening 10 minutes as the latter got the first of goal. Home keeper Cameron Sloan was equal to it to just palm to safety before clearing his lines. Moments later Kieran Allan was almost in on the end of Charlie Padden’s delivery into the box with Sloan again alert to the danger to punch clear.

Galston kept pushing up in response, refusing to be pegged back in their own half. A couple of surging runs in midfield by Jai Ewing gave them their first sight of the Irvine goal as David McGill shot straight at Kieran Devenny on 12 minutes. McGill was showing plenty of trickery down the right channel, as the home side tried to exploit space in behind the Irvine back line.

And the end to end tempo continued as Galston went on to break the deadlock on 18 minutes. McGill again found space down the right to this time centre an inch perfect ball for Stephen Gray in space to head home at the far post.

Irvine looked for an immediate response with Craig and Padden firing wide just minutes later. A goal behind and frustrated at not finishing off chances, it seemed to knock the stuffing out of the hosts, as Galston went on to have a better spell in the run up to half time. The visitors could even have doubled their lead right on the break as Gray went just wide from Daniel Wamuziri’s cross ball delivery.

  • Half Time:
  • AC Irvine BC
  • 0-1
  • Galston YFC 2002

Half time gave Irvine a timely chance to regroup, having been frustrated in the opening period. It took them a bit of the second half to finally find their feet as Galston continued to press up field with confidence.

2 minutes in and Nathan Cox cracked the Irvine bar with a fine effort from just inside the box, then Dale Anderson slipped a fine ball through for Wamuziri in the box but he could only shoot over. Galston would soon live to regret these missed opportunities.

The Irvine equaliser came from a fine piece of individual skill on 46 minutes. Taking the ball down the right Ben Marshall’s low cross was beaten straight back at him by Sloan. This time, from a very tight angle he returned fire with a precise low shot into the net.

And it gave a noticeable boost to this Irvine side who now pushed up with renewed vigour and pace. Craig was almost in behind after Marshall’s through ball but Sloan rushed out to save the shot. The pressure was mounting though, and Irvine got themselves ahead on 52 minutes.

This time the danger came down the left, and from another shot rebound. Matthew McSwiggan’s shot was too hot to gather at the first attempt with the midfielder quick to bury his shot at the second time of asking. The home side had battled back to lead the game, but then this engrossing contest took one more twist.

Galston went up the park to equalise in style. Wamuziri hung a high ball into the sun inside the box, and the ball broke to Dale Anderson 6 yards out. The midfielder’s instinctive volley gave Devenny no chance from close range. Level pegging in this breathless match with 20 minutes left.

Arguably neither side deserved to lose this one but Irvine weren’t for having a share of the spoils. It all came from the deadly boot of Adam Carruthers in the final 10 minutes of the match. Firstly, he teed up a free kick from 30 yards, and with almost everyone expecting a short delivery, blasted a long range howitzer high past Sloan on 62 minutes.

His second arrived in almost similar fashion, with Sloan this time just able to palm the shot out, only for Craig to tap home the rebound to make sure this was to be Irvine's day.

On this form both sides look good for a top table position in this competitive under 14 division, as the league enters its decisive phase. Irvine have a game in hand on the leaders as they hope to continue their challenge with a visit to KSC Kilwinning Thistle next week. Galston meanwhile seek a return to winning ways at home to Prestwick.

  • Full Time:
  • AC Irvine BC
  • 4-2
  • Galston YFC 2002

Lineups

AC Irvine BC
Galston YFC 2002
1. Kieran Devenny
2. Adam Carruthers
3. Charlie Padden
4. Reece Cunningham
6. Blair Devlin
7. Ben Marshall
8. Kieran Allan
10. Blair Craig
11. Brandon Coyle
12. Owen Densham
14. Lewis McDowall
15. Lewis Lennon
16. Matthew McSwiggan
1. Cameron Sloan
2. Ben Hamilton
4. Shay Cassidy
5. Jai Ewing
6. Taylor McNeillie
8. Ryan Hannah
9. Stephen Gray
10. Dale Anderson
11. Andrew Dickson
15. Nathan Cox
17. Gavin Howe
18. Daniel Wamuziri
20. David McGill
21. Andrew Rodger
Star Player
AC Irvine BC
Galston YFC 2002
Adam Carruthers - His two decisive free kicks sealed the game for the hosts.
David McGill - He kept the Irvine defence on the back foot with his runs down the flank.
Magic Moment
AC Irvine BC
Galston YFC 2002
Irvine didn't look back after Carruthers' wonder strike on 62 minutes.
Anderson's perfect volley to equalise restored parity for Galston.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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