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Dazzling Rangers see off brave Row to make final

Harmony Row 1


Rangers SABC 3

Brown (2), J. Gordon
  • Final Result: Harmony Row 1-3 Rangers SABC (AET)
  • Sunday, 09 February 2014
  • McKenna Park, Glasgow
  • Under 13´s
  • TWS Scottish Youth FA Cup - Semi Final
Harmony Row hosted Rangers SABC in the very first of the 2013/14 Trans World Soccer Scottish Youth FA Cup semi finals. The stage was McKenna Park, home to junior outfit St Anthony's and a large crowd assembled for the first of two derby matches to determine the Under 13 national finalists - the other being the all Edinburgh affair of Edina Hibs vs Hutchison Vale. 
A pulsating match saw Rangers go ahead through Dylan Brown and miss a series of chances, before Harmony Row equalised through a sublime Alistair Goodnight free kick. The sides couldn't be separated in normal time, but Brown scored his second during extra time before Josh Gordon sealed the Gers' victory and their place at the prestigious cup final at Airdrieonian's Excelsior Stadium.
The Under 13 'Scottish Cup' is special for many teams, as it is their first taste of playing in a national cup competition, played over the course of several months. It's safe to say the two sides who took to the field in this semi final tie had enjoyed contrasting journeys. Rangers had been simply devastating. Linwood Rangers, Renfrew FC, Formartine United, Kilsyth Athletic, Largs Spartans and Jerviston FC had all fell to the light blues. 35 goals had been scored and a grand total of zero conceded. At an age group where high scores are the norm, for a team to go so long without conceding a goal was quite remarkable. Whilst most of Rangers ties were close to home, they had also negotiated away trips to Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire, so they hadn't had it all their own way.
On the other hand, Harmony Row had endured a much tougher run to get to the semi final stage. After an initial comprehensive win over Giffnock Soccer Centre, they were matched against league rivals East End United, a match which eventually saw Row progress following a SYFA committee decision. Row then produced consecutive 3-2 wins against Lanarkshire outfit Drumsagard and Albion BC of Aberdeen, before enjoying a more comfortable Round 5 victory against Carbrain BC. The final leg of their journey saw a nail-biting affair at home to Newcraighall Leith Vics of Edinburgh, which eventually saw Row hold their nerve to win a penalty shoot out.
If the Scottish Cup form indicated Rangers going into the tie as favourites, the league form only vindicated that further. The wee Gers boast a 100% record in the Glasgow and District YFL, winning all 14 of their ties to date. Row ply their trade in the neighbouring Paisley & District YFL's top flight and have also been enjoying a good season, although their cup campaign has seen them rack up several games in hand on runaway leaders East End United - leaving them with a tough task to pull themselves back into the title race.
The match kicked off on a mild Glasgow afternoon, with Harmony Row getting proceedings underway, playing from right to left. An early period of cautiousness soon subsided, as Rangers started to stamp their authority on both possession and territory.
As the Rangers pressure grew, the first moment of excitement for the crowd unsurprisingly took place inside the Harmony Row penalty box. A lofted ball from the Rangers right, courtesy of John Gilmour, had Harmony goalkeeper Ross Kane scrambling to adjust his feet. At the Under 13 age group, it isn't uncommon to see goalkeepers helpless as a high crossed ball sneaks underneath the crossbar. However, on this occasion the ball went over the bar, before making contact with Kane from the other side of the net, and going backward. From certain angles it looked like the Row goalkeeper might have tipped the ball into his own net, however after a consultation with his assistant, the referee came to the correct decision.
However, it wasn't long before Rangers did take the lead. Andrew Paulley's superb outswinging cross saw Gilmour connect brilliantly, only for his effort to cannon off the crossbar. Quickest to react was Dylan Brown, who produced a scissor volley to smash the ball high into the net and give his side the lead.
Paulley's deliveries were causing no end of chaos for Harmony Row and it was from another of those set pieces that Rangers nearly doubled their lead. Gilmour produced a delightful lay-off and John Wilson's shot was well saved by Kane, before a crucial intervention from Cameron Clark saw the ball to safety.
The final chance of the half saw more good build up play from Brown, who surged through midfield before dinking the ball into the path of Gilmour. His effort was once again superly saved by Kane, before more heroic defending allowed Row to clear their lines.
  • Half Time:
  • Harmony Row
  • 0-1
  • Rangers SABC
The second half saw a much more confident Harmony Row side take to the field. They enjoyed a better portion of possession and played more of the game in the Rangers half.
However, the boys in red still found it an impossible task to break down the Rangers defence - perhaps a demonstration of why they had reached this stage without being breached on a single occasion.
The first chance of the half fell to the light blues and came after a jinking run from the impressive Wilson. His nimble footwork earned him half a yard on the edge of the box, but the shot lacked any kind of power to trouble Kane.
The magic of the cup is that anything can happen and anyone can beat anyone on their day. Harmony Row had defended valiantly for long periods, with Clark and Jay Mack leading an inspired defensive showing. Whilst they had struggled to make inroads at the other end, they had remained within touching distance of their opposition, in the hope that a chance or moment of magic would come their way. And it was the latter.
A free kick on the left hand side looked more likely to be crossed into the box. However, skipper Alistair Goodnight had other ideas. He stepped up and exquisitely curled the ball into the top right hand corner, leaving Walker rooted the spot as the Row players and supporters celebrated.
The question on the lips of the supporters was, did that goal signal a momentum swing and good night to Rangers' Scottish Cup hopes?
Both teams continued to push for a winner but there was no separating the sides after the regulation 70 minutes and stoppage time, meaning a further 20 minutes of extra time were required - before the prospect of the dreaded penalty kicks.
  • Full Time:
  • Harmony Row
  • 1-1
  • Rangers SABC
Having been the favourites going into the tie and never being behind, Rangers had been in the driving seat so far. However, Harmony Row's experience of victory on penalty kicks in the quarter finals gave them something to cling onto after first period of extra time kicked off.

This didn't deter Rangers though and it was them who struck first. A clever quick throw in on the right hand side by Luke McNiven gave Paulley the chance to swing in one of his trademark crosses. Brown made his presence felt inside the area, forcing the ball to bounce as Row tried to head it clear. Wilson was first to react, nodding the ball into the path of Brown, who gleefully smashed the ball into the top right hand corner.

It was a bitter blow for Harmony, but no more than Rangers deserved. As with any game when a team goes behind in the latter stages, they push bodies forward and are susceptible to losing another goal. The was Row's fate, as Josh Gordon produced a smart finish to seal his team's place in the most prestigious game of the Under 13 Scottish youth football calendar.

The spirited Row players kept battling to the final whistle, but it was to no avail as Rangers held on and celebrated a fine victory, which takes them to within a game of becoming champions of Scotland. They now brace themselves for an East vs West final, which has all the makings of a classic.

Final Result: Final Result: Harmony Row 1-3 Rangers SABC (AET)


Harmony Row
Rangers SABC
1. Ross Kane
2. Paul Welsh
3. Jay Mack
4. Cameron Clark
5. Kian Shannon
6. Connor Elliott
7. Josh Husband
8. Aidan Lyons
9. Matthew McDowell
10. Jamie Boyle
11. Alistair Goodnight
12. Kai Cook
13. Jamie Moon
14. Cameron Stuart
15. Ben Slater
1. Robbie Walker
2. Joshua Gordon
3. Andrew Paulley
4. Zach Brown
5. Lee Gemmel
6. Louis Gordon
7. Dylan Brown
8. John Wilson
9. John Gilmour
10. John Basielle
11. Luke McNiven
12. Alec Smith
14. Brogan Watson
15. Euan Andrews
18. Marc Dickson
Star Player
Harmony Row
Rangers SABC
Harmony Row defended superbly for long periods and Jack Mack was the pick of a fantastic defensive unit.
Rangers had a whole team of star players, but Brown's superb double sets him apart from the rest.
Magic Moment
Harmony Row
Rangers SABC
Goodnight's goal was worthy of any stage and brought the semi final back to life.
Brown's second goal put Rangers back in front to the jubilation of their players and supporters, and eased the worries of a nervy penalty shoot out.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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