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South West Region (167)

Monday, 19 February 2018 13:27

Stranraer FC leave Club Academy Scotland

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Stranraer FC have officially announced that they will no longer be a part of the Club Academy Scotland setup.
 
The Scottish League One club took the decision to leave the academy setup in favour of joining community boys club football in the Dumfries and Galloway Youth Football League.
 
Youth Football Scotland managed to catch up with Stranraer FC's Head of Youth Development Allan Jenkins to ask him about the club's reasons for this move, with the location of the club being a key issue.
 
"At Stranraer a big issue was our geographic location and the amount of travelling we were having to do to participate in club academy, as it was no longer regionalised we were having to travel 3-4 hours to Dundee, Montrose and other places.
 
"Also the agreement in place that games vs Elgin, Inverness and Ross County would be played halfway at Stirling Uni meant more travelling for "home" games.
 
"Around 75% of funding received for being in club academy was being spent on travel costs of bus and pitch hire. At Stranraer we select our u15 and u17 sides from Stranraer Academy pupils with a few others joining from a small town called Newton Stewart which is 25 miles away.
 
"Our location means it's difficult to attract players to travel for training and games so although the club is in the professional leagues at first team level, at Youth team level we are very much a local Community club so we made a decision to try and rejoin the local D&G community league this year at 15-17 levels."
 
Jenkins also cited the SFA's new youth football initiative Project Brave, and the uncertainty of what football would be available to clubs outwith the project's structure.
 
"We had been told that under 15's football would only be viable til December 2017, then it would be a case of organising friendly matches until the new playing structure came into play."
 
He also made a point of the gulf in class between Stranraer and some of the other clubs in Scottish academy football.
 
"As other clubs have bigger catchment areas and a larger number of potential players to attract we often found ourselves on the wrong end of some heavy defeats in club academy, which was having a negative effect on players.
 
"Now as a Development coach I fully accept that the result isn't the main thing but I also have a duty to players to make sure they are enjoying the game and getting a chance to develop in a fair environment, which wasn't always the case when players aren't seeing much of the ball and travelling long days with little or no success/enjoyment.
 
"I felt the level wasn't a fair reflection on the boys ability and the results were having a demotivating effect on their mindset."
 
This has led to the move away from academy football to boys club football and Jenkins believes that his club has made the right decision to make the move.
 
"The main difference now for me is that the players are now competing on a more realistic level and therefore getting many more touches of the ball to display their skill and be put in that match situation where the decision making part of the game is so vital in developing and gaining experience.
 
"Also something simple as scoring more goals and playing the game with a smile on their face which as a coach is great to see and having that wee bit of competitive edge in the league and cup environment is great to get the bit between their teeth.
 
"This has also led to some national development squad recognition and other senior teams asking some players to train with them. I'm not sure this would've been the case if we would have stayed in club academy.
 
"I feel the regional league has given our boys the correct level of platform to go and showcase their talents."
 
Jenkins was also enthusiastic to encourage other clubs in a similar position to Stranraer to also make the move to community football.
 
"As a Development tool it's great for the boys to see success on the pitch what they practice in training. Being back in the regional league also means a lot less traveling which allows parents to travel and watch games, which in my opinion is great as if any of them go on to make a career they will need that continued support from parents and coaches along the way.
 
"It has been a case of so far so good for Stranraer moving back to boys club football and without question has been right for our club.
 
"I know some other clubs who were in club academy have completely folded their Youth set up but if any are in a similar situation to our then I would have no hesitation in recommending the move to boys club football."
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 12:36

A perfect season for FC Kilmarnock White

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It’s been a remarkable season for FC Kilmarnock Whites as they emerged as Champions of the U13s Erin Cuthbert League.
 
It was an invincibles season as well for the Whites as they managed to secure a perfect seven wins from seven matches, along with a run to the semi-final of the League Cup.
 
The season began perfectly for Killie, as they got off the mark with an impressive 6-3 away victory to second-placed Kilwinning, and followed that result up with a convincing 9-0 win against East Kilbride Blue. A local derby came up next against Ayr United, which Killie came away with a hard-fought 2-1 victory away from home.
 
To the credit of their nearest rivals, Kilwinning took the League to the final game of the season, but FC Kilmarnock held their nerve, clinching the title with a resounding 10-1 win against Dean Thistle.
 
Youth Football Scotland caught up with FC Kilmarnock White Coach Allan Jones for his thoughts on a very successful season for his side.
 
“It's a great feeling to be crowned league champions. The girls have worked really hard all season long and turned in some absolutely brilliant performances throughout the season.
 
“The girls managed to play a really good style of football this season. They got the ball down and passes it with pace and excellent movement. They were confident in possession of the ball and this is testament to their hard work to get to where they are now.”
 
“It's great to see the girls enjoying their football and it’s there for all to see just how much they love the sport. It's been an absolute pleasure to coach them this season, I couldn't have asked any more of them.
 
“The toughest moment of the season was when we lost to our sister team, the Blues, in the semi-final of the League Cup. However, the girls had done extremely well to get there and we were all really proud of their efforts.
 
When asked about his side’s aims for next season, he replied, “The aim for next season is to keep developing both individually and as a team. The most important thing is that the girls are learning whilst playing with a smile on their face and enjoying their football.”
 
Congratulations to FC Kilmarnock White and good luck for next season.
 
Crosshouse BC Athletic Under 16s sat atop their respective table at the end of the 2016-17 season with 81 points, that’s six points clear ahead of fellow rivals KSC Rovers (second), and 22 points clear ahead of Hurlford Boys Club (third). This stands as quite the victory for The Hoose, however, it also highlights the high standard of the league when you look at that narrow margin of points, and so what does it take to get to the top of the CAYFA table?
 
Back in 2014/15 and 2013/14 they finished seventh in the league (in both cases), and with their 2001 boys having placed second last season in the Under 15s league, it would seem as though The Hoose obviously had something up their red and black sleeves as they built up steam going into the 2016/17 season with their 2001s moving up into the Under 16s league; was it a change in mentality, determination, courage or leadership? Managerial tactics and strategy? Hard labour or luck? Jim Moffat, the team’s head coach, explained what geared them towards success.
 
“Last year was just a great group of boys”, he said, “and good leadership from our captain who was Jamie Montgomery at the time. Being able to get the ball through to my strikers from midfield and always being aware of, obviously, we’ll lose our defenders.” Integrally, he put emphasis on “beat the keeper”, in order to succeed in risking having a poor defence.
 
He added: “Our top goalscorer last season was a boy called Chaz, Chaz scored 42 goals. I think Aaron McKinnon will take over this season, he was our second striker, he scored 35 goals last year. Aaron will be a name to watch out for, if he has his chances and takes them.”
 
Usually an integral part of the youth development leagues is to develop players, and then some of those players will leave to go play pro youth. But at the club things seem to have flipped - pro youth seems to come to Crosshouse.
 
“Well”, he goes on to say, “I’ve not actually lost boys to pro youth, I gained boys from pro youth, they get fed up with pro youth and then they come to us. But this season, I’ve lost my captain, Jamie Montgomery who’s going on to play junior football.”
 
It’s a testament to the sustainability of the club that they are able to switch in and out players at high succession and still keep and meet the bar high for achievement. 
 
“From when we started 11 asides at ages of 12 or 13 it will have been four seasons now. And this is us just going into our fifth season. Out of the four seasons we’ve won three league titles, one runner up, two league cups, two supplementary cups and two football festivals from Cumbernauld Football Festival and Clyde Bank Football Festival”, said Moffat.
 
“It’s been tough. It’s been quite competitive”, he went on. “Yeah, the last season there we went through with only losing one goal in one game, we were close to walking through the season undefeated”, reflected Moffat.
 
Next season they will be up against “more or less” the same clubs and players.
 
“The teams that are going to be there this year, the Under 17s, they’re more or less the same teams we’ve been playing against. Same size of boys. Same competitive boys. I don't see it being any different, myself, going from 16s to 17s. The boys will be a bit bigger and a bit stronger, you know, but at the end of the day it’s a natural progression. They will be playing against players with a similar fitness level”, said Moffat. 
 
Towards the end of the interview, I asked simply on how he felt going into the 2017/18 season.
 
“I feel a wee bit this year that it will be a lot tougher. A lot of other clubs have picked up boys, and obviously, I’ve lost three or four boys this year. I’ve lost my striker, Chaz, who was my top 
goalscorer last year. I’ve lost my centre back which was Jamie Monty, who was my captain as well, I lost him to junior football, as I said. I lost a really good right mid, Mark Williams, a really fast boy that used to play down the wings. Losing these integral players means it’s going to be even more challenging, this season. Strongest competitors this season, I would say, we need to look out for Largs this year, they’ve picked up two or three boys and they’ve always been a team over the last 
two seasons where they’ve maybe been one or two boys short of being a really good competitive team. They won the league cup last season”, said Moffat.
 
The Hoose will try to hold onto their bragging rights this season when the 2017-18 CAYFA league commences again in August.
 

Youth Football Scotland: Website Photos 16/17 &emdash;

(Bonnyton Thistle 2002s, who recently won the Central Ayrshire Youth FA David McNaught Cup)

 

Bonnyton Thistle FC from Kilmarnock will have a senior team on the field next season, after the club’s application to join the South of Scotland Football League was approved.

The move will also see the Ayrshire club set up an Under 20s team, which will play in the Scottish Lowland League Under 20s Development League, which kicks off in late July.

The club, which has been a regular fixture in Scottish Youth FA Cup finals in recent years, are now officially part of the SFA pyramid system for Scottish football, with the South of Scotland League making up the sixth tier. Promotion from there leads to the Lowland League, which in turn provides the possibility of football in SPFL League Two.

The senior side will be managed by former Kilmarnock player Alan Robertson, who also took the Under 20s side at the club and was in charge of its academy. His assistant will be ex-Killie striker and youth coach Paul Wright.

Current Bonnyton coaches Ian Higgins and Neil Wilson will head up the Under20s side along with Graeme Neil, who joins the club after stints with Annbank Juniors and Ayr United. Higgins and Wilson have not only been involved in the club’s recent cup successes but were pivotal in securing a new 3G facility for the club, in the Townholm area of Kilmarnock, which allows them to fill the league’s contractual obligations for the season ahead.

Teams that have followed a similar path from youth to senior football include Cumbernauld Colts and East Kilbride FC, the latter of whom played Celtic in the Scottish Cup in February this year.

 

 

Sunday, 09 April 2017 18:26

TASS ready for Irish adventure

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Story courtesy of Dundalk Sport.
 
The children of TASS Thistle FC from North Ayrshire in Scotland will travel to Dundalk for a sporting visit over the Easter weekend.
 
First up for the Scots is a visit to the ‘Home of Football’ on Good Friday when Dundalk FC entertain Bray Wanderers in an SSE Airtricity League Premier Division fixture at Oriel Park.
 
On Easter Saturday, the astroturf pitch in Muirhevnamor will play host to a seven-a-side five-team blitz for kids born in 2008. TASS Thistle (Coerver® Partner Club) will compete against local clubs Muirhevnamor, Glenmuir (Celtic international Partner club) Quay Celtic and Rock Celtic (Coerver® Partner Club).
 
The trip, which is the first of what will hopefully become an annual festival of football between the clubs, has been organised by Mark Bellew, a native of Dundalk who is now living in Scotland.
 
Mark has strong links with the local football community in Dundalk. A son of Seamus Bellew, known to many in the town as ‘Mr Muirhevnamor’, he played with Muirhevnamor, Redeemer United, Shamrock Celtic and Bellurgan United before moving to Scotland in 2007.
 
Speaking to Dundalk Sport, Mark said he was looking forward to the trip home with his son Sonny, and his teammates and coaches from TASS 2008.
 
“It will be nice to start building a lasting legacy with my father’s name attached,” said Mark. “He loves the Dundalk Schoolboys League and Dundalk FC. It’s just a pity he’s not well enough to attend the event.”
 
“The aim of the tournament is to build friendship between the two countries and to cross religious divides that may still exist between the respective footballing communities,” he added.
 
“Each year, as the kids grow older, we hope their friendships grow too.”
 
Fixtures will be played throughout the day with TASS set to face Quay Celtic and Rock Celtic in the morning matches before meeting Muirhevnamor and Glenmuir in the afternoon.
 
 
The DAGYL (Dumfries and Galloway Youth League) has been taken by storm by Lochar Thistle 2002’s. They remain at the top of the table with an astonishing fifteen wins and 0 loss record. We caught up with the coach, Jordan Hammond, to find out the secrets to their success.
 
He feels like the reason for his team’s success is the motivation and determination to come back stronger than last season. “We finished runners up in the league and a cup tournament in the previous season and managed to win a different cup tournament. I think the boys are determined to deliver on all three fronts this year after narrowly missing out last season.” The team are hoping to make their mark on the league by dominating in cup tournaments and the league.
 
Although they haven’t lost yet it doesn’t mean they haven’t had their fair share of close calls. Jordan said “Our most intense game to date would have to be cup quarter finals against Annan. This was a close game which we won 4-3 but it was very back and forth and a hard-fought victory.” Annan Athletic are closely following Lochar in the league so this game was bound to be competitive.
 
An unbeaten record throughout the whole season would be an astonishing feat. However, Lochar remain confident and this is a goal they believe they can reach. “It has been a goal in which the coaches and the players set upon themselves at the start of the season to try and remain undefeated. I know if the boys are highly determined to do this and with hard work I feel we can get there” The coaches have obviously had a large impact on these players to keep them motivated. “I know all the other teams will be looking to knock us off so we’ll need to be at our best week in, week out.” Jordan realises that Lochar is the biggest competition in the DAGYL and other teams will be looking to hand them their first loss.
 
Teamwork is a huge factor in Lochar and Jordan has emphasised this by saying “No player has been better than another, I see football as a team sport and the boys have really bought into the system that we have put in place for them to play in” This system translates well from paper and training into the real game. “My favourite moment to date would be our away game to Galloway Thistle in which the boys played their best football to date. It was great to witness all the things we have been practicing being put to use in the game” This game against Galloway Thistle ended 9-2 to Lochar. The training and coaching for Lochar Thistle is being used to their full extent and this is show in their results.
 
Lochar are looking to reach the finals of both cup tournaments this season as well as the remaining league run. Jordan said “I am looking forward to our two semi-finals and hoping we can reach both finals for consecutive years but they will be very tough games. I am also looking forward to the league run as we are looking to clinch the title that eluded us the previous season”
 
The confidence shown here by coaches and players is a big reason why Lochar Thistle 2002 are at the top of their league and haven't been beaten yet. 
 



It takes a lot of qualities and characteristics to get through the entire league season without losing a single match; determination, consistency, team spirit and a never-say-die attitude, and those traits are something AC Irvine Under 14s have displayed in abundance throughout the 2015/16 season.

Seeing off their nearest challengers Vaspar FC by 11 points and Larg Colts by 14 points, Irvine stormed their way to the Central Ayrshire League title, scoring 161 goals along the way, with 25 of those strikes coming from main man Blair Craig.

However, halfway through the season and cruising, Irvine faced a huge dilemma. When Kilmarnock FC offered Craig the chance to go pro youth it was an opportunity he was never going to turn down. Losing their top scorer could have proved to be such a large bow in their title hopes. However, they had Jonny Irvine to step in and fill his boots.

Half a season and 30 goals later, Irvine finished as the team’s top scorer after missing the opening few matches of the season.

One characteristic which defines an unbeaten team is the willingness to fight to the end and refusal to accept defeat. This is perhaps the reason behind Irvine’s successes, with late goals coming against both Largs and Rosebank to keep the run going being particular highlights.

One moment in the season which defined this team of warriors was in late February, 2-0 down against Galston YFC, many teams would have given up and accepted that it wasn’t to be their day. Irvine are not one of those teams. They fought back, and hit Galston with four goals to run out 4-2 winners, preserving their unbeaten record from an unlikely position. This result highlighted the ability that Irvine possess, with other high points such as their convincing wins against Galston and Glenburn, displaying the ruthlessness and goals within the side. Ultimately, their tendency to find the back of the net with almost ease was the key component in their fantastic invincible season.

One of the main reasons that Irvine have been so successful is their results against fellow title challengers, picking up all 12 points available against Vaspar and Larg Colts, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Despite the points gap, manager Chris Carruthers told Youth Football Scotland that the title race was a lot tougher than people may have thought. He said: “The league was a lot closer than it looked in my opinion as our boys were starting to feel the pressure of clinging on to our unbeaten record. With that in mind, we knew our last two games were against Valspar, who finished 2nd and Largs Colts, who finished 3rd.”

He added: “I said earlier in the season that it looked like everyone in CAYFA league could take points off one another and it certainly proved to be the case.”

Congratulations to AC Irvine Under 14s, unbeaten Central Ayrshire league champions for 2015/16!

Thursday, 26 May 2016 13:48

TASS Thistle seal PJYFL Division 2 title

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Fixture: TASS Thistle 1999s v Antonine 1999s
Competition: PJYFL Division 2
Venue: Ardeer Rec Stevenston
Date: Saturday, 21st May 2016
 
With a hint of doubt whether this league decider would go ahead today, due to the previous days downpour, this was definitely a match the home side wanted done and dusted.
 
Honours had been shared between the two sides in their only ever two matches against each other, the first an Antonine 4-2 win in the league followed by a TASS 5-2 win in the Scottish cup.
 
Today's match would see the home side compete for the last three points of their domestic season and each one of those points counted as they were needed to overtake the season’s table toppers Stewarton Annick 99's.
 
With Stewarton eagerly awaiting this result it was down to TASS to have the final say on who took the season’s honours, and boy did they!
 
As expected there was to be a healthy and vocal home support for TASS and they certainly were not let down by the display put on by the lads.
 
Tass started the game fairly well, however it was the visitors who tested TASS number one Dylan Jackson in goal early on. As he had done for much of the season Jackson showed great reflexes to deny Antonine's number nine.
 
With maybe some nerves in the home sides ranks, they soon begun to impose themselves higher up the pitch as the match reached the halfway point of the first half. First up, was a well delivered ball in from the right, by new recruit Jack Frew, finding the head of Jared Sargent who glanced his header far enough away from the Antonine keeper giving him no chance. It was a well-worked set piece but the Antonine rearguard only had themselves to blame for not picking the runner up, giving him a free header. 1-0 TASS.
 
However, Antonine, despite the match meaning nothing in terms of league standings, were clearly not here to make up the numbers. Again they passed up two guilt-edged chances and they will curse themselves at failing to miss the open target.
 
As with any match, missed chances, more likely than not, go against you and that's what happened. TASS number nine, Ryan Strain, picked up the ball 20 yards from goal after a short pass back by Antonine's number six. Strain was onto it, in a flash, and unleashed a thunderbolt of a strike off the underside of the bar and into the net, making it 2-0. The sideline were lapping it up in the now glorious sunshine.
 
Half Time: TASS Thistle 1999s 2-0 Antonine 1999s
 
Antonine, to their credit, came out in the second half equally as strong as the first and again threatened the TASS goal. However, again it was Jackson who was the hero spreading himself well to somehow deny the Antonine forward again. No one knows which part of the anatomy stopped the ball but what a block! This proved vital as TASS looked to maintain their two goal cushion.
 
As the half wore on TASS captain Conner Cunningham, and his centre back pairing of Logan Craig, were immense. Three goals conceded, in their last 9 matches, tells it's own story about this formidable TASS rearguard.
 
TASS began to dominate and take complete control of this match with influential midfielder Dean Picking dictating play from the centre circle. Strain, and him, combined saw very little go past them.
 
It wasn't long before goal number three came, a consequence of another Antonine mix-up at the back allowing TASS forward Martin Galbraith in to round the keeper and fire into the net.
 
3-0 and surely the title was coming to Ayrshire, however talisman Strain wasn't finished as he coolly collected the ball 25 yards from goal and fired another thunderbolt past the descending Antonine number one.
 
4-0, and game safe, saw the opportunity of getting the whole of the bench on to take part in this memorable performance, and it was the TASS right back Jamie Taggart who got himself into position early on, firing a thunderbolt of his own, however the Antonine keeper did exceptionally well to finger tip it over the bar.
 
With few more chances of note the match ended 4-0, a result that see's the title race end with the trophy heading for North Ayrshire.
 
It's a great testament to this group of players who, up until August, hadn't played together as a side, first winning the Glasgow Cup in what would be their first competitive matches, then to top that off with the league title speaks volumes about the quality in the TASS ranks.
 
TASS have one more fixture to play on 4th June this season, in the CYP cup final, and everyone connected with this wee side from the three towns wishes them the very best of luck to the finale of a fantastic season.
 
Full Time: TASS Thistle 1999s 4-0 Antonine 1999s
 
 
Sunday, 22 May 2016 18:20

Valspar fight back from the dead to draw

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Fixture: Valspar v Largs Colts
Competition: Central Ayshire YFA U14s
Date: 21/05/2016
 
As a second versus third top of the league encounter, this match had expectations running high and both sides did not disappoint, serving up a dramatic, highly entertaining contest.
 
Largs had the better of the first half, but the game was end-to-end stuff with MacKenzie Hill bringing out tremendous saves in the first fifteen minutes. The Largs keeper was not left twiddling his thumbs either and was in action keeping Valspar at bay three times in the first 20 minutes.
 
Valspar came closest to scoring when Lewis Glass was through on goal and pushed his shot past the keeper in the 24th minute only to see it hit the post and trundle to safety. 
 
Largs pressure paid off in the 27th minute when the swirling wind assisted the flight of the ball from a corner into the Valspar net.
 
Buoyed by their first goal, Largs continued to push forward and found the back of the net once more in the 30th minute to double their advantage.
 
Two minutes from the half time whistle, a great save from MacKenzie Hill from a Largs free kick kept the score as you were.
 
Half Time: Valspar 0 Largs Colts 2
 
The second half started with both teams battling for possession, but no chances were being created until Murray Thomson saw his effort fly wide in the 50th minute.
 
Largs responded a couple of minutes later, but with MacKenzie Hill on top form their effort could not beat the Valspar keeper.
 
Valspar began to dominate the game, with Lewis Glass giving the Largs defence a torrid time. His top quality movement and run on goal in the 55th minute was just thwarted by the Largs keeper.
 
Two minutes later, however, Glass made the breakthrough for Valspar when he fired home a great through pass from Craig Findlay to halve his side's deficit.
 
Largs responded quickly and once again MacKenzie Hill was tested just one minute later. He passed the test with flying colours though, as he palmed the ball to safety, denying Largs a third, and potentially decisive, goal.
 
Valspar continued to pressurise Largs and great interplay between Ron Mooney and Craig Findlay forced a great save from the Largs keeper, only for Connor Purvis to pounce and bang in the equalizer.
 
At this point in the game the Largs defence looked tired and Valspar continued to press. A great opportunity fell to Findlay to put Valspar ahead in the 65th minute, but he missed, just failing to get enough on the cross ball from Glass. Findlay's effort squirted narrowly wide of the post.
 
This great game had a fitting end when Glass again managed to get in behind the Largs defence. This time he sent over the perfect cross for Findlay to nod into the net, only to see a superb one-handed save by the Largs keeper touch the ball over the bar and keep the scores level.
 
This was a tremendous game played in an honest and competitive manner by two excellent football teams, thoroughly enjoyed by players and fans alike. WIth only four games to go, it is still all to play for in the Central Ayrshire YFA U14s league!
 
Full Time: Valspar 2 Largs Colts 2
 
 
Sunday, 08 May 2016 18:52

Valspar hit Cumnock for six

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Fixture: Cumnock Juniors v Valspar FC
Competition: Central Ayshire YFA U14s
Venue: Broomfield Park
Date: 07/05/2016
 
So much for the predicted heatwave it certainly missed Cumnock this morning. As a cold, biting wind blew across the slopping Broomfield pitch, the match kicked off with shivering parents on the touch line.
 
The Valspar boys did not let the inclement weather bother them though. The visitors tore into Cumnock from the first whistle, almost scoring straight away. The ball was passed to Murray Thomson who ran the ball forward winning a second strong challenge he played in Craig Findlay, whose shot won a corner.
 
Nothing came from that corner, but as Valspar piled on the early pressure another corner was won and Chrissy Callander cleverly picked out Lewis Glass whose fierce first time shot rebounded out off the keeper. It was Harry Evans who reacted quickest to fire the ball home and open the scoring for Valspar with just three minutes on clock.
 
Valspar had the bit between their teeth and from the kick off pushed forward again. Cumnock simply could not cope and it was not long before the hosts were two goals behind. Connor Purvis played a lovely through-ball, splitting the defence. Craig touched it onto Lewis Glass, who ran into the box, kept his nerve and beat the keeper to find the left bottom corner after five minutes.
 
Valspar where totally dominating play and deservedly found the net again after seven minutes, when Chrissy Callander calmly found the bottom corner to make it 3-0.
 
Perhaps Valspar slightly took their foot off the gas, or were just finding it too easy at this stage, but the game got a bit sloppy with a few too many high or misplaced balls. Cumnock to their credit were still battling and won two corners back-to-back. Both were well defended by Stuart Findlay who headed an attempt from the first off the line and by Layton Weaver who cleared well from the second to preserve Valspar's clean sheet.
 
Valspar soon got back into their stride playing some good football again, creating chance after chance and winning a numerous corners, but the ball just would not go into the Cumnock net. The home side's goalkeeper made a few good saves and numerous efforts went just high or wide.
 
Half Time: Cumnock Juniors 0 Valspar 3
 
The Valspar coach's half time talk did the trick as his side piled on the pressure on once again from the first whistle of the second half. The visitors were now playing some lovely passing football. Craig Findlay was replaced by Ron Mooney who made an instant impact, playing a lovely ball to Lewis Glass who smashed the ball into the net for 4-0.
 
Kier O'Neil, who had very nearly scored in the first half and had a really good game, was replaced by Tyler Robertson.
 
Valspar continued to create great some chances, including one from Murray Thomson whose great shot seemed destined for the top corner until the Cumnock goalie produced a great save, somehow getting a hand to it to push Thomson's superb effort wide.
 
Ron Mooney had made a great impact as a second half sub and deservedly got on the score sheet. Running into the box, his shot hit the keeper but was too powerful and ended up in the bottom corner for 5-0. He very nearly scored again moments later with another good run into the box, but this time the keeper saved.
 
Stuart Findlay replaced Liam Storie and Harry Evans was replaced by substitute Tony Nelson.
 
It was very comfortable for Valspar at this stage as they knocked the ball about well. The reshuffled defence continued to do well, determined to keep a clean sheet.
 
After winning yet another corner, Valspar's coach had a quiet word with Tyler, who played a clever short corner with Chrissy. Tyler crossed a lovely ball that Layton almost got his head to before the ball fell to Connor Purvis who made no mistake, burying the ball in the back of the net for Valspar's sixth goal of the afternoon.
 
Layton Weaver, now playing at left back, brought the ball out of defence showing great confidence and ability to take the ball past two Cumnock players. He continued his run down the left wing, finding Murray Thomson with a good cross, whose header went narrowly wide into the side netting.
 
This was a very good Valspar team performance on a bumpy slopping pitch in strong winds. McKenzie Hill and his solid defence will be very happy to keep another clean sheet, as Cumnock is never an easy place to get a result. Valspar's commanding victory here keeps the pressure on the teams above them in the league title race.
 
Full Time: Cumnock Juniors 0 Valspar 6
 
 
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