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TASS Thistle seal double with cup final success over Glenvale AFC

Glenvale AFC 0

TASS Thistle 1

Ewing 44
  • Sunday, 28 May 2017
  • Parklea Community Stadium
  • Under 19´s
  • Paisley and Johnstone District U-19 League Cup

In a well-fought cup final that could've gone either way at times, a piece of class from Jack Ewing sealed the League Cup final for TASS Thistle 1999's over Glenvale AFC.

The League Cup now adds to the Division 2 title won by the club earlier on this season. However, credit must go to such a spirited showing by Glenvale, who created a host of openings in the second half that were met by committed blocks from an organised and well-drilled TASS defence.

The game started in a very scrappy manner, with both sides getting stuck in but struggling to create. Blair Gray was extremely impressive in the opening 20 minutes with some bombing runs down the right for TASS, but too often the final ball went astray and missed Jack Ewing in the centre.

Yet it was Glenvale who had the first opening, as Cammy Armstrong found a pocket of space to fire in a shot from outside the box, but it went straight into the arms of the composed Dylan Jackson.

TASS replied with some neat passing football through the midfield, and they started to look the more sharper as the half went on. Declan Smith found some room, but his shot went well over as both sides still struggled to work the opposition goalkeepers.

Chances really were at a premium in the first 20 minutes, with only small openings for either side. Sam Esplin nearly caught out Jackson as he tried to creep it into the near post, but the strike didn't have enough power on it as it trundled wide of the left-hand post.

There was some lovely link-up play at times between Jack Caulfield and James Grant down the left, but the TASS defence were so well organised and never allowed Glenvale to play through them in the opening 45 minutes.

It looked as though Glenvale were just starting to get stronger and more into TASS' faces as the half was coming to a close, with another opening occurring as the ball fell to Jay Ward, but going by the pattern of the half he blazed off target.

And out of nowhere, a moment of brilliance from TASS' number nine gave them the lead. Ewing had moments earlier tried to lob Cammy Craig but only found the side-netting, however his sensational looping header from a pinpoint Joseph Gallagher cross found the back of the net as Craig was left helpless. The goal sent TASS into the lead at the break.

  • Half Time:
  • Glenvale AFC
  • 0-1
  • TASS Thistle

At the break TASS switched their goalkeeper, with Jackson being replaced by Jordan McNaught.

Initially the goal really spurred TASS on at the beginning of the second half. An early free-kick in the attacking third smashed off the Glenvale wall, and was then blazed over, before Ewing latched onto a long ball in behind the Glenvale defence that Craig made himself look big to block.

However, the introduction of the impressive Hamish McKinlay for Glenvale really tipped the scales in their favour in the midfield. He was always wanting the ball, and he combined with the energetic Armstrong really drove Glenvale forward to create chances as the second half wore on.

Armstrong picked up a poor clearance from the TASS back-line, but his effort was fired straight into a willing pack of bodies as the TASS defence threw themselves in front of everything.

Minutes later, a corner was crossed and sent straight back to Esplin, whose second delivery went all the way to the back post for Ward to head over despite being unmarked. However, the flag went up for offside regardless.

Glenvale were really showing some bite in the midfield and winning it often in the central area of the field. 

They cranked up the pressure as McKinlay drove forward, cut inside his man and curled a terrific effort just wide of the right-hand post. This came after another opening for Ward, but his low shot was easily held by the safe hands of McNaught.

McKinlay really added some flair to the game that wasn't present in the first half for Glenvale.

TASS had McNaught to thank on two occasions as Glenvale continued to put the pressure on, as he blocked Ross McKay's low effort when one-on-one, before parrying a powerful strike from Esplin.

TASS defended heroically afterwards however, with several terrific blocks thwarting Armstrong and McKinlay, with the pair combining on a particularly clever move that just saw McKinlay hang on to the ball too long - allowing the TASS defence to get in the way.

Glenvale were really giving it their all, but it seemed as though TASS had weathered the storm as they went into the final 10 minutes still 1-0 in front and started to look a real threat in the final third again.

TASS looked to hit on the counter at the death as they cleared everything that came into their box. Glenvale really threw the ball into the box at every opportunity, but the defence stood tall and found their men on the counter.

There were some big chances for TASS towards the end but they were denied by some smart saving from Craig. But the game ended on a sour note as Scott McKinlay was sent off for a bad challenge at the death.

Credit must go to TASS for how organised they were at the back as they got their bodies in front of everything and really defended the lead with their lives at times. On the other hand, it was an unfortunate day for Glenvale. They were terrific in the second half and really gave it their all, with the impressive McKinlay and Armstrong really showing the passion and drive to get back into it. However, they were ultimately done by a moment of magic from Ewing.

  • Full Time:
  • Glenvale AFC
  • 0-1
  • TASS Thistle


Glenvale AFC
TASS Thistle
Cammy Craig
Jack McDougall
Jack Caulfield
Elliott Gemmell
Kieran Brady
Scott McKinlay
Cammy Armstrong
Jay Ward
Ross McKay
Sam Esplin
James Grant
Aaron Christie
Hamish McKinlay
Sam Williamson
Dylan Jackson
Blair Gray
Joseph Gallagher
Connor Cunningham
Logan Craig
Dean Picken
Reese Cunningham
Jack McWilliams
Charlie Clark
Jack Ewing
Declan Smith
Jordan McNaught
Adam Ogilvie
Jamie Taggart
Lee Farrely
Darren Spence
Scott Jennings
Star Player
Glenvale AFC
TASS Thistle
Hamish McKinlay - There were some very good attacking outlets for Glenvale as the game wore on, but the best of the bunch was McKinlay. He was terrific in how he drove the team forward and changed the way the game was going in the second half. His runs forward created a bunch of chances for Glenvale. Perhaps harsh on Armstrong, who was also terrific with his surging runs forward, but McKinlay gave Glenvale some initiative in the second half.
Jack Ewing - Struggled for service in the opening moments of the game, but he really grew into it as it went on. He was always shouting for the ball and making himself available for passes. He also made the most of the service he got and created a bunch of chances for himself. Came up with a moment of real quality to settle the game.
Magic Moment
Glenvale AFC
TASS Thistle
A tremendous solo effort from Hamish McKinlay was the best moment of play from Glenvale. He drove forward with intent, cut inside and weaved past a couple of challenges. He then let fly with a terrific curling strike that looked goal-bound into the far corner, but it went just wide.
The goal was just quality. It came from a terrific cross into the area that Ewing met superbly with a textbook header that looped over Craig and into the net. The way Ewing rose was top class, and the header was placed perfectly into an area that really gave the goalkeeper no chance. A fitting winner in the cup final.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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