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Saturday, 09 March 2013 21:12

Stewarton see off Juve to progress in cup

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Stewarton Annick
Giffnock SC Juventus
Renfrewshire Cup - R2
Loundon, Galston
The tension was in the air as these 2 teams met for the second time in cup competitions where previously Stewarton dispatched of their lofty opponents via a dramatic penalty shoot out in the West of Scotland Cup so Giffnock were out for revenge on this dry but cold Ayrshire saturday.

Having went 10 games in the league without dropping a point Stewarton were up for the challenge in what was a welcome distraction from there title push. The close game the last time ensured that the Stewarton players would be on their toes because this was going to be a different challenge altogether. However, it was Stewarton that picked up the baton early on charging up field from kick off where Campbell flashed a ball across the goal only to find no one there. Mason was letting his marker know early on that he was up for a hard time as he continually won the challenges in the air and used his upper body strength to hold off his marker. It was from this scenario that Stewarton scored their first in 8 minutes. Mason controlled the ball and holding off his marker he managed to lay the ball of to Stewartons Captain Hamill who sold the first defender a dummy before crashing a 22 yard shot into the top corner of the net.

Giffnock tried to get back into the game and Stewarton counted themselves lucky and extremely grateful to 'la goalie' as Mitchell back tracking had to leap and touch a goalbound shot on to the crossbar before McGhee cleared the danger from the rebound. Hamill quickly sprung into action releasing wide man Campbell who drove at the Giffnock defence and into the box before seeing his shot diverted for a corner.

Giffnock were in the mood to try and capitalise on their apparent physical advantage but Stewarton have a new found edge to their game this year and they were not to be bullied. Carruth collected the ball from a Mitchell bye kick wide right skipped by 2 defenders and drove into the box, slipping the ball to Hamill the midfielder tried to emulate his previous strike but was off target. Hunter is the edge in midfield that Stewarton had been missing and his overall display was disciplined and precise constantly driving his team mates on with lung bursting runs and defence splitting passes. The next chance of the game fell to a Giffnock striker who bore down on Mitchell but the inspired keeper saved superbly at his feet.

A wide ball right ob the 39th minute and Campbell controlled superbly before being flattened by his Giffnock counterpart. Hamill stood over the free kick and whizzed one of his trademark free kicks deep into the Giffnock box, the pace of the cross caught the Giffnock keeper out and the ball amazingly nestled in the back of the net. The game restarted just in time to hear the half time whistle.

Half Time: Stewarton Annick 2-0 Giffnock SC Juventus 

The game restarted with Giffnock piling on the pressure early on as they sought that previously elusive breakthrough that they probably thought they deserved. But Stewarton's defensive play this season has been immense from the front to the back. Centre halve Barrie was having a cracking game and although the defence were mismatched against a much taller Giffnock strike force Giffnock could not capitalise as Williamson, Barrie, Juylan & McMaster thwarted their every attempt and when they did find themselves
through the lack of composure or Mitchell defied them.

Hamill was all over the park playing his captains role to perfection one minute winning a tackle on the edge of his box the next setting up chances for his team mates. Fraser who had came on at half time for Stewarton replacing the injured McGhee added a bit more physical presence to the Stewarton midfield. After what could be fairly described as a dominant first 15 minutes for Giffnock, Stewarton took hold of the game again. Hamill was crudely brought down after a phenomenal run. This time Campbell set the ball up and was unlucky as the Giffnock keeper pulled off a great save.

Mason got in on the scoring act on the 63 minute after breaking free from his marker he received a lovely pass from Fraser and slipped the ball past the onrushing Giffnock keeper to make it 3-0 and basically put an end to Giffnocks hope of getting anything out of this game. However Giffnock started to push again and after putting an extra striker on they were finding space in behind the Stewarton defence. On one of these occasions it took a fantastic challenge from Milne on for Julyan to prevent a certain goal.

Fraser was to come close shortly after when he created his own space in the Giffnock box before unleashing a fantastic shot that went narrowly wide. Hunter came close after Mason slipped the ball to him but he found his neatly placed shot saved by the keeper. As Giffnock pressed space began to open and Stewarton were making good use of the room. Chances to Fraser and Mason came but unfortunately their was to be no more goals as the game ended.

Giffnock may feel they at least deserved a better score line but i think Stewartons overall play and spirit entitled them to run out worthy winners and proceed into the quarter finals where they meet Glennifer Thistle from the 1st Division. Before that however Stewarton face Parkmoor next week and the outcome of that match will have a huge impact and say on where the league title is headed this year.

Full Time: Stewarton Annick 3-0 Giffnock SC Juventus

Stewarton Annick: Mitchell, Williamson, Julyan (Milne), Barrie, McGhee (Fraser) Campbell (Ronald), Hamill (Cpt), Hunter, McMaster, Mason, Carruth (Scott).
Last modified on Thursday, 08 August 2013 01:11
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