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St Peters lift cup after extraordinary comeback against Syngenta

Syngenta Juveniles 4

Stewart 17, Malcolm 36, 45, 52

St Peters FC 6

Fadian 37, Rafferty 54, 71, McGregor 60, Devine 68, 85
  • Syngenta Juveniles 4-6 St Peters FC (AET)
  • Sunday, 21 May 2017
  • Excelsior Stadium
  • Under 13´s
  • inspiresport SYFA Cup - Final

St Peters lifted the Scottish Youth FA Cup despite being three goals down with just 15 minutes of normal time left to play. The remarkable comeback saw the Saints defeat a bitterly-disappointed Syngenta Juveniles, who cannot help but wonder at what could have been.

Syngenta kicked off but it was St Peters who would dominate the opening 15 minutes. The first chance of the match fell to Saints’ Darren Rafferty following a short corner. Rafferty turned his defender and fired a shot straight at opposition keeper Ryan Dick.

Rafferty then came close from another corner, this time taken long. Lewis McGregor floated the ball into the box where Rafferty headed narrowly over from eight yards.

Immediately after Rafferty then showcased his impressive athleticism with a powerful run from the left-back position, driving through the Syngenta midfield before firing a tame effort from 30 yards.

The next chance fell once again to Rafferty after he sprinted down the left wing, cut inside at the edge of the box before fizzing a right-footed shot wide of the far post.

Syngenta’s first chance manifested when centre-forward Finlay Malcolm charged from midfield into the St Peters box, sliding in Jamie Stewart who tamely prodded the ball towards Jacob Pazikas.

Syngenta then took the lead when Malcolm sprinted through for a one-on-one with Pazikas who parried Malcolm’s effort wide, when Stewart tapped the ball into an empty net from a tight angle. Until this point, St Peters had conceded a solitary goal in their entire cup run.

Jamie Lapsley came close to doubling Syngenta’s lead after a high corner from William Seagust fell at his feet but the ball struck his standing leg and rolled out harmlessly for a goal kick.

The Saints then came close to equalising shortly before half-time. McGregor got on the end of a long ball down the left wing and passed infield to central midfielder Robbie Scullion, who then slipped an inviting ball across the face of the Syngenta goal but the defence managed to clear the ball to safety.

  • Half Time:
  • Syngenta Juveniles
  • 1-0
  • St Peters FC

St Peters got the second half underway but it was Syngenta who scored just minutes after kick off. Malcolm got on the end of a through ball into the box when he rolled the ball past the onrushing Pazikas into the bottom right corner.

The Syngenta celebrations would prove to be short-lived however, as just two minutes later St Peters pulled a goal back. Left winger Blair Devine chipped the ball into the box from the left and Saints striker Taylor Fadian demonstrated great composure as he rounded the goalkeeper and prodded the ball into the empty net.

Malcolm then restored Syngenta’s two-goal cushion following a one-on-one with Pazikas. Lapsley weighted a lovely through ball when Malcolm received it and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner with the outside of his left foot.

The young striker then sealed a perfect hat-trick following Seagust’s corner. Malcolm used his superior height to head the ball into an unguarded goal after Pazikas missed the ball.

With just 15 minutes left, St Peters fans could be forgiven for thinking the match was over. In what proved to be the game-winning decision, Saints manager John Dalziel moved Rafferty from left-back to centre-forward.

Rafferty used his superior height and strength excellently and tormented the Syngenta defence throughout the match, and was rewarded with a goal after showing impressive composure. The forward got on the end of a chipped ball into the box when he lightly lifted the ball over the keeper and tapped into an empty net.

A set piece ten minutes from time reduced the Syngenta lead to a single goal as St Peters were roared on by their fans. McGregor played a corner short to Rafferty, who the returned it to McGregor at the corner of the box. The winger took one glance at goal before firing a high curling shot that hit the inside of the post, rolled agonizingly across the line then going in off the other post.

The extraordinary comeback was completed with just two minutes left on the clock after St Peters were awarded a free kick on the right side of the pitch 25 yards from goal. Left-footer Devine curled a high cross into the box that beat everyone and sailed into the Syngenta goal.

Saints players and fans were overjoyed and two players were booked for over-celebrating in the aftermath of the goal that sparked pandemonium in the stand.

 

Syngenta then came close to winning the cup following a messy stramash in the box. The ball eventually fell to Malcolm, who cut inside but fired his shot over the bar.

  • Full Time:
  • Syngenta Juveniles
  • 4-4
  • St Peters FC
The momentum was with St Peters following their late equaliser and they took the lead two minutes into extra time. Rafferty grabbed the goal that gave Saints the lead after a great run down the right wing by McGregor.

The winger fired a low cross into the box where the defender scuffed his clearance high into the air. The ball fell to Rafferty on the edge of the box where he struck a weak shot that the keeper got a touch to, but could not prevent from rolling into the bottom left corner.

Immediately after the goal Syngenta fans were furious when their team was denied a penalty by the referee. Malcom broke free of the St Peters defence and hit the ground following an attempt to win the ball against the onrushing Dick, but no action was taken.

Malcolm’s match was over soon afterwards when he was injured following a collision with another player. The striker received warm applause from both sets of supporters following a commanding display that ended prematurely.

St Peters then gave themselves a two-goal cushion on the stroke of half time. Syngenta gave away a free kick ideally situated slightly to the right of the centre of the pitch, 20 yards from goal. Devine stepped up once again and gave the keeper no chance as he fired his shot over the wall and into the top left corner.

Syngenta kicked off the second half and despite a new sense of urgency, were unable to create any more significant opportunities. The St Peters defence stood firm in the face of increasing pressure and the Saints managed to see out the game.

The Saints players were ecstatic when referee Liam Redpath blew the final whistle while their counterparts dropped to the floor in pain and disbelief. The most incredible comeback was completed in dramatic fashion and few who attended the match are likely to forget it soon. Despite the disappointment of losing the final, Syngenta can be proud of their performance and take heart from the fact that this is only their first season in competitive football.

Final Result: Syngenta Juveniles 4-6 St Peters FC (AET)

Lineups

Syngenta Juveniles
St Peters FC
1. Ryan Dick
2. Kai Muir
3. Layth Blackley
4. Billy Gardiner
5. Callum Liddell
6. Jamie Stewart
7. Jamie Lapsley
8. Aidan Bonner
9. Finlay Malcolm
10. Lewis Mcfarlane
11. Sean Lockie
12. Sam Davies
14. Cole Johnston
15. William Seagust
16. Lewis Paton
17. Alistair Croall
1. Jacob Pazikas
2. Connor Cameron
3. Mathew Larkin
4. Kyle Dalziel
5. Riaghan McCarthy
6. Ross Dockray
7. Lewis McGregor
8. Robbie Scullion
9. Taylor Fadian
10. Cameron Robertso
11. Blair Devine
12. Liam Strain
14. Noah Young
15. Darren Rafferty
16. Euan MacLean
17. Lewis Hunter
21. Robbie McPhedran
Star Player
Syngenta Juveniles
St Peters FC
Finlay Malcolm - His team's standout performer and scored the goals that so nearly brought Syngenta the cup. Looked fast and strong and caused the St Peters defence all sorts of problems while he was on the pitch.
Darren Rafferty - Started the match in defence and looked dangerous when driving forward with the ball. His move up front proved to be the catalyst for the thrilling victory for his team by bullying the Syngenta defence. Honorary mention for captain Scullion- the central midfielder impressed with his great composure on the ball, good technique and played with a real maturity throughout the match.
Magic Moment
Syngenta Juveniles
St Peters FC
Malcolm's header to seal his hat-trick and open up a seemingly insurmountable three-goal cushion, but it was not to be.
Devine's late equaliser provided great drama but his free kick in extra time was simply sublime. Wonderful technique from the winger.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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