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Outstanding Grange comeback floors stunned Loudoun

Loudon Academy 2

Elliot' 8[pen], Balls 10'

Grange Academy 3

McNair 20', Leith 52', Stewart 70'
  • Thursday, 10 October 2013
  • Loudoun Academy Astroturf
  • Under 18´s
  • Ayrshire Cup

Kyle Brown | YFS South East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Grange Academy produced a stunning come back from 2-0 down to grab a late late late 3-2 win away at Loudoun Academy. Luckily, I was on hand to witness this thriller first hand...
The Grange - my current school - and Loudoun - the school I would have enrolled in had my parents not divorced many moons ago - already had a personal feel to the game. Moreover, most of the Loudoun squad are friends and ex-teammates of mine from Boys Club football; Truly, this was set up for a game that could not be missed. With considerable knowledge of both sides, I have to admit I thought the Grange had a stronger side with a fuller squad, but you can never underestimate a Loudoun Academy side. 
Of course, it was Loudoun who raced into an early lead. Elliot Kenny converted from the spot after the referee dubiously awarded a handball against Rory Jamieson. Kenny did well to score, as was up against Shaun Newman, Ayr United U-19s goalkeeper, who has a good track record of saving penalties. 
It was 2-0 less than one hundred seconds later! Mattie Balls chased down Newman and his hardwork played off, as Balls got the rub of the ball as it ricocheted off of him and into the goal! Mattie was one of my ex teammates, and I think Shaun - one of my good friends - perhaps underestimated how quick he is! 
It took Grange a while to get going. They were constantly pinned back, and the Loudoun captain Adam Houston (another ex teammate, who won my player of the week award between Bellfield and Southside) again was excellent. 
It took the Grange twenty minutes to create anything, but with their first shot on goal they pulled one back! Jamie McNair darted on to a flick on from Grant Forbes before bearing down on goal and nutmegging goalkeeper John Hamilton. John is a great keeper (he's another ex-teammate) and I think Jamie can be proud to have finished well past him. 
Bizarrely, that's really all there is for first half action. For school matches you play shorter halves anyway, and neither keeper was forced into action after McNair's goal. It became a midfield battle, with Loudoun constantly on top, with Connor Kirk and Steven Lindsay in particular impressing. Again, the latter is a former team mate, and he is an outstanding player who was given too much room to play in the first period of the game. 
Half Time Loudoun Academy 2-1 Grange Academy
  • Half Time:
  • Loudon Academy
  • 2-1
  • Grange Academy
Boldly, stand in Grange manager - Mr Thomas Alldridge, deputising for the much loved Mr Charlie Adams - went for a bold second half time change. He swapped Scott Cowie for Bellfield teammate Michael Boyd and played the right back in a holding midfield role, playing beside his other team mate Stuart Leitch. Moreover, he made a straight swap at right-back; Craig McKenzie being replaced by Cammy Elliott. And the move paid off. The Grange were level within six minutes of the restart! Michael Stewart - another Bellfield club player - fired a wicked shot at goal, which was very well saved by John Hamilton: however it only fell as far as Leitch who dispatched powerfully into the corner - he had lived up to his self-proclaimed nickname - 'Goalsy!'  Kirk must have thought he could have put his side back out in front though - but Newman was very quick off of his line and managed to cover about 30 yards really quickly and dribbled beyond the midfielder and continued on till the half way line before kicking it long! They say goalies are mad, and it seems strange how far Newman had went up - and yet he had done tremendously well!  That started a Grange counter attack which won a corner. McNair's ball in was dangerous, and Kyle Shankland rose to meet it, but Hamilton punched it wide.  Six minutes later, Kirk used his extreme pace to go one on one with Newman. His shot was parried by the keeper but he smothered it just before the onrushing Lyle Musuraca could pounce. Musuraca was in a better position, and had Kirk passed it would have been a certain goal.
John Morris was also starting to creep into the game, showing some 'unbelievable tekkers' down the left hand side: doing a roulette skill move and then later beutifully nutmegging Craig Gemmell. No one got up to support the winger's valiant attempts though. With fifteen minutes left, I witnessed one of the most bizarre things to date. McNair chased down a loose ball and clearly clattered Hamilton to the floor, but the referee played on. Adam Wales followed up and the goalkeeper hauled him down clearly inside the box. The referee awarded the Grange a free kick on the edge of the D and seemed to have upset everyone. Loudoun wanted a free kick for the foul on the keeper, but the Grange wanted a penalty and a red card. It's not easy being the man in the middle that's for sure! That sparked aggression from both sides, as the tackles started flying in. McNair was quickly booked, and then substituted for Scott Rowan.  
With the game at deadlock it was still winnable by anyone. Forbes was then bemused as to how a free kick was given against him - with Jordan Keohone's excellent delivery just evading everyone. The ball in was worthy of the winning goal, but the free kick was never a foul. Alan Tipping then entered the field of play up front for the Grange, replacing Wales. The fresh legs up top helped the Grange get their winner though. With less than a minute on the clock left, Forbes gave away a foul right on the edge of the box. The ball was whipped in and Craig Black rose up brilliantly to head the ball, but Newman's positioning was excellent. He kicked the ball long, and Rowan controlled before sending a bouncing ball through. Stewart got their before Hamilton and he lobbed the goalkeeper beautifully from thirty yards into the open goal to win the match in sensational fashion!
So, a frantic and climatic end to a real nitty gritty encounter. Loudoun will be feeling down that they lost the match, but they were the side that had a lot more pride about them. You could see that perhaps the Grange were technically better, but the home side were the only side that were properly in the game. I think 2-2 would have been a fair result. However, it was a great comeback from the away side, and they will be delighted to get their Ayrshire Cup campaign off to a winning start. A few players gave me some quotes after the game, to help me sum the match up: Jamie McNair, Grange Academy player said: "We started slow but after we got into a rhythm we really started to dominate the game, minus a few counter attacks. I feel we did deserve the win in the end, and Mikey[Michael Stewart]'s finish was a cracker to win it. It was three really well worked goals after conceding two very soft ones."
Jordan Templeton, Loudoun Academy player, said: "I was injured for todays game and we clearly missed me - Grange would have been delighted I wasn't available! Seriously though, Loudoun did not deserve to lose after going 2-0 up but you cannot allow a quality side like the Grange back into a game like we did." I think the boys have summed it up as well as I could have there. Stubbornly, I will stick by it that a 2-2 draw would have been a fair result. I think the return fixture of this match will be a cracking game, with a lot of pride to play for. In the meantime though, we at YFS wish both teams all the best of luck for the future.
  • Full Time:
  • Loudon Academy
  • 1-2
  • Grange Academy


Loudon Academy
Grange Academy

1.  John Hamilton.
2. Jordan Keohone.
3. Alistair Harveson.
4. Adam Houtson. (c)
6. Elliot Kenny.
7. Connor Kirk.
8. Steven Lindsay.
9. Lyle Musuraca.
10. Mattie Balls.
11. Christopher Barrie.
12. Bryce Barrie.
14. John Morris.
15. Craig Black.
16. Jack Cotton.
99. Craig Wilson.

1. Shaun Newman.
2. Craig Gemmell. (c)
3. Kyle Shankland.
4. Rory Jamieson.
5. Craig McKenzie.
6. Michael Boyd.

7. Grant Forbes.
8. Adam Wales.
9. Scott Cowie.
10. Alan Tipping.
11. Jamie McNair.
12. Cammy Elliot. 
16. Scott Rowan.
18. Michael Stewart.
19. Stuart Leitch.

Star Player
Loudon Academy
Grange Academy
Craig Black wins my Loudoun Man of the Match award today. He is only in S4 and not only did he hold his own against bigger boys, he put in a very good eye-catching performance.
It's a tight one to call but I am going to give this one to Rory Jamieson. The centre half was so composed throughout the match, and he often was left to bail out the side when the rest of the defence became overzealous in attack.
Magic Moment
Loudon Academy
Grange Academy
John Morris' nutmeg. Take any cheesy line from Saturday morning show 'Soccer AM' and you will start to find ways to describe how good it as.
For the second time in four days, Michael Stewart wins this award for a last minute goal. His lob was class, but he also showed real desire to get to the ball in the first place. A goal worthy of winning any game.
Club Views
Loudon Academy
Grange Academy
Mr Lennox, Loudoun Manager, said: "I am very proud of my boys today. It was such a spirited performance. Their third goal was a cracker, but I am so disappointed it went in, we did not deserve to lose!"
Michael Boyd, Grange Player, said: "Well we were losing 2-0 at half time - I then came on and ,shock, we won!' Stuart Leitch, Grange Player, said: "I always believe in comebacks and stuff like that, and so I was delighted to have got the equaliser which helped us get the win."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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