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Determined Westwood overcome Kilsyth and conditions to make last four

Westwood Rovers 1

Cochrane 9

Kilsyth Athletic 0

  • Sunday, 02 February 2014
  • Ballerup, East Kilbride
  • Under 15´s
  • Scottish Cup Quarter Final

Alan Christie | YFS Central Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Westwood Rovers edged a very tight game against Kilsyth Athletic to claim their place in the semi final of the Scottish Cup.  In a game of very few chances an exceptional early free kick from Rovers left sided midfielder Josh Cochrane sealed the victory with Rovers managing to hold their nerve to come through the tie despite the determined efforts of their opponents.
A large crowd had gathered at Ballerup in East Kilbride for this eagerly awaited contest between two sides in decent form in their respective leagues.  The crowd had to brave freezing conditions and the swirling wind for which East Kilbride is well known.  The referee kept them and the players waiting for even longer than anticipated by expressing his concerns over both the pressure of the ball and the appearance of one of the nets.  Eventually though the game got underway and there was a real sense of both anticipation and nervousness flowing through the chilly air. 
It was clear right from the start that the wind was going to restrict the ability of both sides to get the ball down and play on the 3G surface.  Despite the rain having eased off the sheer unpredictability of the wind meant each team would be reluctant to take too many risks.  Westwood had most of the early pressure without creating a clear chance.  Kilsyth too forced an early corner that was expertly flighted in by Mickey Downs but lacking the crucial connection to direct the ball towards goal.  Kilsyth’s Andrew McNaulty was trying to get his foot on the ball in the centre of midfield as was his Westwood counterpart Mark Dornan.  It was Dornan that won the free kick in the ninth minute which saw Rovers open the scoring and unbeknown to them at the time conclude it too.  And what a goal it was from Cochrane.  From twenty five yards out in the centre of the goal he curled a beautiful free kick into the net with his left foot.  He had taken his time to size up the opportunity and used that time well, sparking much joy amongst anybody of a Westwood persuasion.  A great start for the team in yellow and one they would hope to build on.
Just a couple of minutes later Cochrane had another effort at goal from a free kick, this time in a much wider position, which forced Ryan Anderson into a terrific tip over the bar.  Cochrane then took the corner but nothing came of it.  Jonathan Aitken then made his presence felt for the first time in the match for Kilsyth and gave Westwood a stark example of his pace that could threaten them at any point.  Aitken burst through and saw his shot saved by Jamie Picken in the Westwood goal.  This was followed by what Arthur Montford used to refer to as a “stramash” with the ball somehow staying out and Kilsyth denied an equaliser.  Athletic were clearly demonstrating at this point that there was a long way to go before this tie was over.
Given the tightness of the game Westwood were well aware that a second goal might well put the game out of their opponents reach.  Kilsyth were defending diligently though, led well by Jason Weir at the back.  Westwood’s Greg Kelly had a wind assisted cross come shot go just over before Aitken again threatened and his teammate Jamie McLaughlin was unlucky with a clever over the shoulder effort which went just wide.  That brought about the half time whistle and in a game of very few chances it was Cochrane’s goal that seperated the sides at the break.
  • Half Time:
  • Westwood Rovers
  • 1-0
  • Kilsyth Athletic
The half time team talks were very brief as neither team had any interest in standing around getting cold.  Dornan was straight out of the traps for Westwood, bursting through from kick off only to be brought down by Weir who was yellow carded.  Cochrane again took over free kick responsilibiltiies but fired this effort over the bar.  Almost immediately Aitken again forced his way through to bring out a save from Picken resulting in Westwood scrambling the ball clear for a corner. This spell of pressure eventually ended with McNaulty firing well over the bar when the ball broke to him outside the box.
The wind had died down slightly but two very evenly matched teams were essentially cancelling each other out.  Westwood were maintaining full concentration, Oisin Owens leading superbly from the back and limiting any chances for Aitken to break.  
Each side forced a couple of corners which came to nothing.  Westwood’s Lewis Macmillan was getting into the game more and more, particularly as Athletic pushed players on looking for the equaliser.  He hit a shot straight at Anderson after some determined play by Kelly gave him the opportunity.  But again it was no more than a half chance as was a further effort he hit from long range. 
Kilsyth battled intensely right until the final whistle but unfortunately for them were unable to create a clear cut chance to give them the opportunity to force extra time.  Westwood held on and were in the semi final thanks to Cochrane’s early goal which was a worthy strike to get them there.  An absorbing encounter between two very well matched sides was over sparking jubilant scenes on the sidelines.  
Both teams deserve enormous credit for their efforts in very difficult conditions and for creating an absorbing contest throughout.  It is Westwood Rovers though that take their place in the semi finals of the Scottish Cup.
  • Full Time:
  • Westwood Rovers
  • 1-0
  • Kilsyth Athletic


Westwood Rovers
Kilsyth Athletic

1. Jamie Picken
3. Oisin Owens
6. Jordan Hutchison
7. Matthew Cole
8. Mark Dornan
9. William Whitecross
10. Charlie Stenskie
11. Kieran Douglas
12. Paul Kerr
16. Rhys McNicol
17.Josh Cochrane
18.Lewis Macmillan
23. Greg Kelly
24. Fraser Turner
27. Liam Lawson

1. Ryan Anderson
2. Jason Weir
3. Jonathan Aitken
4. Lee Ballantyne
5. Mitchell Taylor
6. Thomas McLaughlin
7. Jamie McLaughlin
8. Shaun Carroll
9. Kris Frobisher
10. Matthew McConnville
11. Mickey Downs
13. Peter Gribbon
14. Kieron O'Neill
16. Andrew McNaulty
17. Mark Hardie
18. Conner Doyle

Star Player
Westwood Rovers
Kilsyth Athletic
Oisin Owens – the centre half defended excellently throughout and was central to his side keeping the clean sheet that saw them through. Maintained his concentration and was always there to win tackles or headers as required.
Jonathan Aitken – a constant threat to Westwood with his pace, he was unfortunate not to score on a couple of occasions. The Westwood defence handled him well but were constantly aware of his threat, right up until the final whistle.
Magic Moment
Westwood Rovers
Kilsyth Athletic
Josh Cochrane's free kick was an obviously magic moment, fit to grace any cup tie.
Jonathan Aitken threatened a magic moment throughout, his pace and strength on the ball giving his team hope right until the end of the match.
Club Views
Westwood Rovers
Kilsyth Athletic
Westwood Rovers Coach Scott Macmillan – “We are delighted to be through to the semi finals. We can play better than that, normally trying to play more football but I’m very proud of the players and happy with the result”
Kilsyth Athletic coach Stevie Anderson – “It was a very even game with two good teams. It took a free kick to win it and they've taken their chance when it arrived.”
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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