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South West Region (174)

While players and coaches from all across Scotland prepare for the 2014/15 season, one club and team will be missing a very special talent for the start of their campaign.
 
Lochar Thistle Youth AFC wrote “Over recent months a Lochar Thistle Youths AFC player Stevie Jo Kirkpatrick has been battling leukaemia and is currently undergoing further treatment.
 
“Stevie Jo is a very popular member of the 2004 team and her Dad, Steven, was one of the coaches.
 
“Both are a loss to the club and we wish Stevie Jo all the best and can't wait to see her back on the park.”
 
The family are now doing their bit to thank and help the Yorkhill hospital and the other groups who have supported them over this period. They’re holding a charity event at the Lochside Social Club on Saturday 26th of July starting at 19:00. Tickets are £5 and are available on the evening.
 
Even if you can’t make this Saturday, you can still support the campaign by donating at Jojos GoFundMe page. The link is http://www.gofundme.com/90781w. You can also keep up with Jojo's story via Facebook which you can access by clicking here.
 
Lochar Thistle Youth AFC concluded “Please give generously to this great cause and follow Jojo to keep up to date with her progress.” We at YFS couldn’t agree more and we wish Jojo, her family, and the club all the very best.
Portakabins. Old brick buildings. Flooded grass. If you took a stroll down to Pennyburn Playing Fields in Kilwinning in the years prior to 2000 this is what you would have seen. Now, 14 years on, the Kilwinning Community Sports Club (KSC to most) has formally opened their finished state of the art clubhouse and synthetic AstroTurf pitches - completing what has been a marvellous journey from barely nothing to almost everything to the local community.
 
On Wednesday (June 25th 2014) the Scottish Government's Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MSP had the honour of formally opening the new facilities. As a celebration, children from all seven of the local primary schools in the area got the day off school for a 'come and try' of various sports in KSC's 'Champions League and Commonwealth Games' promotion day.
 
It was a marvel to watch some kids smile at being taught Judo. Touching to see them laugh when they tried out gymnastics for the first time. Poignant when seeing their faces when they had to leave.
 
The children received expert coaching in a variety of sports. Athletics, hockey, judo, gymnastics, rugby, football and netball to name but a few. On the artificial football pitch, the schools played a Champions League tournament, where enjoyment was the name of the game. 
 
John Brown, Scottish FA South West Region Manager, said that KSC were: "doing everything to try and realise the Scottish Government and the Scottish FA's vision for activeness and good health in the community." He added that the clubhouse was a "magnificent changing as well as catering facility."
 
The club has continued to grow from day one back in the year 2000. They now have one of the best facilities in the South West of Scotland. People from all over North Ayrshire and way beyond descend on Kilwinning every day, to use the facilities. The high standards owe thanks to the trustees, committee members and volunteers of KSC. They are the driving for behind the club, who ensure that every child has the chance to be a lot more active in true community spirit.
 
KSC's Trust chairman Jim McCubbin said: “We are delighted with what has been achieved, but there is still room to grow. The club is in the process of building another new grass pitch, an indoor coaching facility and a small family golf room to add to the driving range. We want to ensure everyone in the community has the ability to reach a maximum potential at whatever level of standard they wish to achieve."
 
As the event drew to an end, the children made their way home after a day they will never forget. Whether or not they will participate in the Champions League or Commonwealth Games is yet to be seen. However, they will certainly be back at Kilwinning Sports Club.
Sunday, 29 June 2014 20:34

2013/14 Season Review: KSC Phoenix U15's

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Team: KSC Phoenix (Under 15's)
 
Season in five words: Competitive, rewarding, challenging, bonding, Spain.
 
High point of season: Reaching both the final in the costa Daurada Cup and Winning the Friendship in Football Cup or having five boys feature in respective Regional sides (well done to Jay Anderson, Ryan Strain Jnr, Murray the CAT Grayston, Ryan Millar and Josh Lafferty, with Jay Anderson Ryan Strain Jnr and Ryan Miller all reaching SYFA national squads). 
 
Low point of season: Losing narrowly 1-0 to Spanish Academy side in Daurada Cup Final or losing our keeper Ryan Millar to pro youth ranks (although massive well done lad!).
 
Player's Player of the Year: Ryan Strain Jnr (three years running a massive well done)
 
Manager's Player of the Year: Jack Ryan (great achievement) 
 
Top Goalscorer: Ryan Strain Jnr (second year running from midfield) 
 
Most Improved Player: Aiden Hughes (massive well done)
 
Special note: With the season now finished and despite our final position in the table of fifth the lads can be very satisfied on how they have bonded together as a team this year in what had been an extremely competitive league.
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:57

Feisty affair as KSC Phoenix see off Pollock

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KSC Phoenix
 vs
Pollock United
 
 
 
U15's Ayr International Cup
 
28 May 2014
 
 
 
With the sun shinning on the magnificent Rozelle parks today down in sunny Ayr, we would see the first group stage match turn into a feisty affair.
 
With five minutes in both sides looked hungry knowing a win would set them up nicely for pole position in the group, Pollock took advantage of some early searching balls into the Phoenix box which maybe of seen better reward had there been a touch more composure when pulling the trigger.
 
Phoenix likewise had their early chances through Boyd and Strain, the latter with the better of the two picked the ball up wide on the right, although perhaps he should of taken a touch however Strain went for an audacious effort into the far top corner first time, an unlucky effort but this did show the intent/ threat Phoenix posed when attacking.
 
Phoenix settled fairly quickly into the match and looked to edge themselves in front, around 10 minutes in we would see the breakthrough, after a needless challenge by Pollocks number 8 twenty yards into his own half Phoenix captain Jay Anderson took advantage of the free kick flinging in an inch perfect cross to strike partner Adam Boyd who bulleted a header away at the back post to put his team 1 in front.
 
As the half came to a close Phoenix were  on top, with perhaps the discipline of their opponents being the only real problem within their ranks, as a result there would be two bookings late on in the half.
 
Half-Time: KSC Phoenix 1-0 Pollock United
 
Straight from KO Pollock broke upfield forcing a free kick right in front of the corner flag, as the ball was swung in Phoenix vice captain Logan Craig cleared his lines and initiated his own sides next attack, it must be said Craig was exceptional in this match winning everything that came his way.
 
Next up was Phoenix keeper Murray Grayston with a mammoth goal kick which bounced in his opposite numbers 18 yard box as the Pollock keeper came to collect Phoenix scorer Boyd was on hand to get between the keeper and his marker for the latter to take the keeper out and the ball run into the back of the net.
 
The goal for the keeper was extraordinary, the collision between the Pollock players would see the match halted for five minutes.
 
On the restart Phoenix were hungry for more, next up after some neat play from Lewis Gardener who linked up well with Jamie Lyndsey  on the edge of the area, with the Phoenix forward struggling to get his shot away with any real conviction first time the ball kindly broke back to him on the edge of the area for a second bite pulling the trigger & smashing the ball high past the descending keeper.
 
3-0 and game over you felt, however as Phoenix went in search of their 4th Pollock would see themselves reduced to 10 men, with uncertainty as to the sending off Phoenix would test their luck from 25 yards out through Captain Anderson, with his effort flying just over.
 
As the match drew to a close Pollock would see red again and their chances of a late comeback diminish.
 
Full-Time: KSC Phoenix 3-0 Pollock United
 
 
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:51

KSC Phoenix and Dalziel ends level

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Dalziel BC
 vs
KSC Phoenix
 
 
 
U15's Ayr International Cup
 
28 May 2014
 
 
 
With both teams looking to edge out as winners ensuring them the easier tie in the semi final draw later today this match started lively, with the pressure off both sides qualifying for the semi finals they knew they were both through to the semi finals regardless however this result would also determine the opponents from the other group.
 
Daizel didn't take long to make the breakthrough taking advantage of some sloppy defending in the Phoenix rearguard, 12 minutes in and having to come from behind wasn't on the script, however to compound matters further just after the opener Phoenix were then reduced to 10 men, consequence of a moment of madness by the normally influential Jack Ryan who after picking up an early yellow for talking back kicked the ball away in frustration a short time later.
 
Was this to kill of Phoenix's hopes of finishing the group on top.
 
Half-Time: Dalziel BC 1-0 KSC Phoenix 1999's 
 
With the second half underway it was a pretty scrappy affair largely due to what was at stake, however as the half wore on Phoenix's 10 brave solders continued with their onslaught on the Dalziel goal, eventually with a free kick awarded just outside the area Phoenix's Logan Craig delivered another inch perfect cross toward the back post which was met effectively by Robert Steele who powered home another bullet header.
 
1-1 and enough for Phoenix to top the group on Goal Diff, and nothing more than they deserved after playing the majority of this match with ten men.
 
Full-Time: Dalziel BC 1-1 KSC Phoenix 1999's 
 
 

 

FC Kilmarnock
 vs
Clark Drive Girls
 
 
 
U15 League Cup Semi Final
 
14 May 2014
 
 
 
In a week of League Cup Semi-Finals for FC Kilmarnock Ladies, with one success and one defeat already, it was over to the 15s to take to the field with one objective - making it to the final. With only Clark Drive standing between the home side and a chance to compete for the first silverware of the season, the girls were raring to go. The two teams have yet to meet this season in the league andtherefore no one knew what to expect from the game, but the boisterous home support were hoping for nothing but a Killie victory. Could they pull it off?
 
As the game kicked off, both teams were attempting to gain the upper hand but neither were able to do so, as chances were few and far between. The closest either team came in the opening ten minutes was a long range effort from Killie's Katie Greensmith but she dragged her effort harmlessly wide of the target. 
Killie were huffing and puffing, trying to break down the impressive back line of Clark Drive but they were limited to shots from range. Skipper, Sophie Davidson tried her luck, but her twenty five yard effort was well saved by goalkeeper, Sophie Taggart.
 
The game was a slow burner but Clark Drive almost took the lead through Kate Parker, with their first opportunity of the game. The number fourteen latched onto a Lidia Carbonell pass before beating three Killie defenders on her way to goal. Unfortunately for the striker, her shot was straight at Kilmarnock number one, Kayleigh Davidson, who held on well. 
 
Sarah Tait almost made the breakthrough for the hosts but her shot was saved by the excellent Taggart. However, from the save the away side broke forward and opened the scoring as Carbonell found the back of the net. She gratefully accepted a loose ball before finishing with a well placed shot into the bottom corner of the net from outside the box A good strike from the number nineteen to give her side the lead late on in the half.
 
This was to be the last action of a first half which lacked any real excitement, typically from a Kilmarnock perspective. Clear cut chances were hard to come by in a close affair but Clark Drive would be the happier of the two sides going into the break. Killie were limited to shots from distance due to the excellent defending of their opponents but there was still 35 minutes to go in this semi final
 
Half Time: FC Kilmarnock 0-1 C;ark Drive Girls
 
Kilmarnock commenced the second half displaying a superior quality of football than they had in the first 45 minutes, and were almost level within minutes of the re-start. Substitute Ruby Sloss was causing havoc with her trickery on the left and it was she who crossed for striker Tait. However, her effort was straight at Taggart. Unlikely source Cobi Welsh was then inches away from restoring parity when she skipped past four Clark Drive players before sending a dipping shot goal-wards. The centre half could only watch on in agonising despair as her shot flew inches over the bar. The home side were getting closer however.
 
Sloss again was the instigator of the next piece of creative play, driving at the defence of Clark Drive, making her way into the box before slipping the ball to McCloskey. The striker sent a ferocious effort towards goal but again, the superb Taggart was on hand to save. McCloskey then had another chance to level the scores after the keeper parried a Greensmith shot but the forward couldn't get her feet sorted and sent the ball high over the bar. Killie must have been wondering if it just wasn't to be their day when another McCloskey goal bound effort riffled the post and bounced to safety.
 
At this stage in the match, the away side were offering little threat going forward but they were defending manfully. Kaysha Watson turned in a heroic performance at the heart of the defence as she and her team-mates kept Killie at bay. 
 
The home side were becoming desperate for a goal and two long range strikes from Welsh and Davidson nearly provided a way back into the match but the away keeper was, again, on hand to spoil the party. 
 
Killie were staring down the barrel of a heart-breaking defeat but with just minutes to go, up popped winger Katie Greensmith to send the home support wild. The winger picked up the ball at the edge of the box and worked a yard of space for herself before curling an effort across goal and into the bottom corner. A wonderful finish from the tireless Greensmith and Killie were back in the game! 
 
The referee brought the game to an end and extra time loomed. Could Killie continue on from their vastly improved second half performance or would Clark Drive regain the ascendancy?
 
 
Full Time: FC Kilmarnock 1-1 Clark Drive Girls
 
 
Killie started extra time in the same manner they concluded the second half and could have gone 2-1 to the good through the dangerous, Greensmith. She fired in a low effort that looked destined to nestle in the bottom corner but Taggart produced a top save to keep the sides level. From the resulting corner Tait and Welsh were close to giving their side the lead but they ball just wouldn't fall kindly for them.
 
Killie striker, Sarah Tait was becoming a real threat for Kilmarnock and she nearly turned the game on it's head with a volley after a cross from Sloss. However, her effort flashed over the bar. The visitors failed to heed the warning signs and Tait finally got the goal she and her team craved. The ball fell kindly for her as she twisted and turned her way past two Clark Drive defenders before firing a great effort across the face of goal and into the bottom corner. Killie had turned the game round but there was stil fifteen minutes to be played. 
 
Almost immediately, Clark Drive brought the game  back to a stalemate. They were awarded a free kick wide on the right hand side, which Toni Coyle stepped up to take. She sent a curling ball to the back post where Kate Parker was on hand to fire beyond Davidson in the Killie net. Not much the young goalkeeper could have done about it as the defence went to sleep, allowing Parker to creep in un-noticed. 
 
That was to be the last action of the opening half of extra time. Two goals apiece with the crowd beckoning for a winner from Kilmarnock.
 
The second period of extra time was short of any chances of note, apart from the one that mattered - the winner. With penalties looming Killie were trying everything to score but their counterparts were putting up a wonderful resistance. That was until the reintroduction of Niamh Deans. The number three picked up the ball in midfield before unleashing a volley towards the Clark Drive goal. The ball seemed to take an age to hit the back of the net as it hit one post, rolled behind the keeper before creeping across the line, with Taggart spreadeagled and for once, helpless on the ground.
 
The crowd were ecstatic with victory imminent.
 
Killie then shut up shop and looked to see the game out without losing a late equaliser.
 
They did just that and when the referee signalled the end of the game fans and players alike celebrated as the second pitch invasion of the week took place. A fantastic sight all round, with a picture painting a thousand words. 
 
Looking at Killie, they fought tremendously as they came back from the jaws of defeat. It didn't look as if it was going to be happen but the equaliser changed everything - there was a new buzz about the team. The website player of the match goes to Ruby Sloss, who made a real impact when she came on - terrorising her opponents.
 
On the other hand Clark Drive were worthy opponents. They failed to create many chances but when they did they were very clinical scoring two good goals. They could be very proud of their performance as they gave their all and defended stoutly. A special mention must go to Sophie Taggart and Kaysha Watson who were first class throughout the game.
 
Full Time (AET): FC Kilmarnock 3-2 Clark Drive Girls
 
Saturday, 10 May 2014 15:26

Killie pip Clark Drive in semi final thriller

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FC Kilmarnock Blues
 vs
Clark Drive Girls FC
 
 
 
13's SWF South West League Cup - Semi Final
 
7 May 2014
 
 
 
 
Author: Stephen Kennedy
 
Where do I start? How can I convey the brilliance of two sets of Under 13s Girls on a damp night in May? How can I transmit the superb atmosphere created by the Kilmarnock home support in a 14 goal thriller or the tension as both sides thought they were out of the League Cup and the joy when last minute equalisers take the game to extra time and penalties? I can try but the truth is – you had to be there and if you weren’t you missed a wonderful advert for girls’ football.
 
The match between Killie Blues and Clark Drive of Irvine is easily the game of the season so far at any age group within FC Kilmarnock. It had everything a supporter could ask for. Goals, drama, awesome saves; all the things a cup tie should have and more.
 
The game kicked off on a freshly cut but sodden Scott Ellis pitch, with Clark Drive firmly in the driving seat. Killie were slow in comparison, rather lacklustre in the first ten minutes or so. Clark Drive Girls hit the bar and post in the first minute of the match and continued to dominate but bad luck and good goalkeeping kept the scores level.
 
Killie’s first chance fell to Courtney Allan, following a lovely long ball over the top for her to latch on to. The Irvine keeper Mel Jones was swiftly off her line to block the youngster’s shot. Allan then followed up on a tremendous shot from Kirsten Robinson, which was parried by Jones. Allan’s effort travelled narrowly beyond the post.
 
It was end to end frantic entertainment as the excitement and tension grew but the Kilmarnock coaches were far from happy with the way the visitors were carving open their defence. It was poor defending that provided the first goal as CDG’s Kari Stewart took advantage of sloppy play before rifling the ball into the top left corner. 1-0 to the team in yellow and it was no more than they deserved.
 
Jemma Bruce almost doubled their lead but for the finger tips of Hope Welsh in the Killie goal.
 
Killie seemed to come alive after going behind, which is often the case. Five or six close range efforts, saved or blocked by keeper and defenders before the ball dropped to the left foot of Amy Murdoch, who scored from close range to level the game.
 
Courtney Allan, showed just how good a player she is, selling the last defender a dummy, delivering a powerful low drive that Jones did well to save. Holly McConnell’s follow up hitting the side netting.
 
Both keepers were on top form maintaining the score at 1-1. In fact I wondered if Jones was going to be the star of the show as she seemed unbeatable at times. Even when Allan found the touch to beat her, with a sublime low pass across goal, the ball inched away to safety. 
 
The first period concluded at one goal apiece. Nerves of steel were going to be required for the second half.
 
Half Time: FC Kilmarnock Blues 1-1 Clark Drive Girls
 
Kirsten Robinson has a wonderful left foot on her and proved it on numerous occasions during this match. Her first effort of the second half brought out another top save from Jones to push the ball over the bar. It was the left peg of Robinson that gave Kilmarnock the lead, shooting low, across the face of the goal to eliminate the keeper from the equation. A lovely strike indeed.
 
Then we witnessed some magical footwork from Murdoch, skipping by three players, then unselfishly setting up McConnell. That lass Jones saving again at the expense of a corner.
 
From the corner, which was headed towards goal by the smallest person on the park – Courtney Allan. The ball cleared from line fell to the dynamo that is Courtney Allan but her shot was brilliantly save by the keeper again.
 
Kari Stewart and Lana McLaughlin entertained with great link up play with Welsh saving from the resulting shot. This was followed by a Stewart free-kick from the right. Floated in, it took a wicked deflection before Jemma Bruce made contact with her knee at the back post. The ball travelled across goal and looked a certainty to finish in the back of the net but to the relief of the Killie coaches, missed by inches.
 
Clark Drive seemed to take hope from Kilmarnock’s missed opportunities and were rising to the challenge of finding an equaliser. From a corner McLaughlin tested Welsh’s resolve with a close range effort but the tall keeper held on the ball well. Welsh released Murdoch at the other end but once more Jones brought off a wonderful save.
 
Kari Stewart brought the game back to parity with a long shot that caught Welsh out as the ball agonisingly slipped between her legs. Game on again. With CDG now looking for a winner, Devon Cunningham, delivered a bullet of a shot, which Welsh gathered at the second attempt.
 
The home team’s 13s, 15s, 17s and Seniors were in attendance, providing an electric atmosphere as they cheered on Kilmarnock, whilst appreciating both sides for what was brilliant entertainment.
 
As the noise levels intensified, Allan cleverly beat the last defender, shooting beyond the keeper only to see the ball rattle the post. The ball fell to Murdoch whose shot was cleared off the line by an outstretched leg of a defender. 
 
The left peg of Robinson was once more the route to goal as Killie again took the lead. The noise was deafening and the tension rising further, if that was even possible, as the fans hoped Kilmarnock could kill this match off. And they thought they had done just that when Allan slipped by the final defender and casually slotted the ball beyond Jones to make it 4-2. Surely that was game over!!
 
Not a chance. Within seconds Jemma Bruce caught Killie napping and pulled one back and in the dying seconds, McLaughlin broke the hearts of the Blues as she scored to make it four all and into extra time we went.
 
Allan gave Kilmarnock the lead again with her second of the match before Bruce levelled for CDG. 
 
A rare sight saw Jones fumble a shot allowing Murdoch to tap home to make it 6-5 Killie as the anxiety became unbearable. 
 
Hope Welsh permitted Clark Drive a route back into this amazing match as she failed to hold onto a long shot; the ball slipping through her hands and agonisingly dropping in behind her and over the line.
 
Then disaster struck. Clark Drive’s Luisa Gibson broke through with only the keeper to beat. She made no mistake as she provided her side the lead for only the second time in the match. Hearts sank amongst the home support but credit to the girls, they played till the last second and would never concede this match was over.
 
Hope Welsh made amends for her error earlier as her kick out was knocked down to Allan and with literally seconds to play, the “wee yin” blasted home with the grace of Messi to take this spectacular match into penalties.
 
Full Time: FC Kilmarnock Blues 4-4 Clark Drive Girls
 
A truly amazing game of football between two teams who played the game as it was meant to be played. There was no cheating or arguing, wonderful skills on display, superb goals and comebacks and we now faced the dreaded penalty shoot out. Shame there had to be a loser here.
 
 
Before the first kick was taken, it has to be said that Clark Drive were favourites as their keeper had been on excellent form during the match as she had a presence between the sticks. Kilmarnock’s Welsh was almost in tears with the thought of being all that stood between defeat and a place in Final.
 
A goalkeeper, two goalkeeping coaches and players giving her advise but the look of terror was etched on her young face. My only comment was “no one expects you to save a penalty but if you save one, you could be a hero tonight.” Hope smiled and walked nervously towards the nets. 
 
What happened next will live with her for a long time as she not only saved one, with a finger tip touch onto the bar but also the one that really mattered. Diving to her right, she denied the taker with a brave save to send Killie into the final 3-1 on penalties.
 
Player of the Match: Where do you start? I considered carefully as I looked around the team. Consider Allan, Robinson and Murdoch’s goals along with the defensive skills of Laura Thomson. The goalkeeper Hope Welsh or the hard working Holly McConnell and you could see they were all candidates. After discussing with coach Lauren Johnstone, we agreed it had to be Jodie Davidson. She never put a foot wrong through the entire match and was inspirational at times. Well done Jodie.
 
Lauren spoke to Jodie after the game:
 
"The game was very difficult as we never had our full squad, with Julie Black away on holiday - making it even harder but we coped relatively well. I thought at 4-2 that might be it, but they kept fighting and, to their credit, forced extra time! 
 
"We had to dig deep in extra time as we were starting to tire but we stood up to the challenge. It was nervy but Courtney's last minute equaliser was fantastic. We showed great character and bravery throughout and that allowed us to win via penalties so we're all delighted! 
 
"What an achievement it is to be in the final - it's one of the best feelings ever! Hopefully we can go on to win it now but we need to continue to work hard. Also, good luck to the 12s on Saturday - it would be great to have an all Killie final.”
 
I think we all need to say a special thanks to the crowd. The atmosphere created by you had a huge impact on the players, giving them a lift when they were down and driving them on to the final. If we could have this sort of turnout at all our games, the club would be unbeatable!
 
It says a lot when images of the crowd almost match that of the players in the final cut. You helped make this result possible.
 
And let us not forget our opponents Clark Drive. They were tremendous on the night – never relenting, fighting for every ball and scored some brilliant goals. You did your club proud girls.
 
One final word. Two players on the bench who the coaches wanted to bring on but due to the closeness, competitiveness and importance of the match, it was decided not to risk changes. Emelia Farren and Christina Miller – your time will come. You are part of FC Kilmarnock – never forget that!
 
Final Result: FC Kilmarnock Blues 4-4 Clark Drive Girls (FC Kilmarnock win 3-1 on penalties)
 
 
 
 
Well this was the one the lads had looked towards as a result of their hard graft raising funds to get them onto foreign soils, and it was one hell of a trip which will stay in the minds of all involved who traveled with the squad, players parents and coaches.
 
The first of Phoenix's matches came as a surprise to say the least when they were paired against one of Scotland's Professional Youth teams Inverness Caledonian Thistle & eventual winners of the final itself at 15s level.
 
It would of been easy for the boys to have been distracted by their opponents status however they dug in deep from the first whistle matching Inverness Caley all over the pitch.
 
The heat to be fair must of affected both sides however the organisation of the pro youth club saw them through in the end despite some hot potato football in the last 10 minutes of the match with the scores at 2-1.
 
Caley had propelled into a two goal lead just around the half time whistle, the first of which consequence of a poor clearance from the Phoenix rearguard ultimately putting the big Caley striker through on goal. The second again was a poor goal to loose at any level with Phoenix backline being caught to far forward inviting the pace of the Caley forward to press; retrieve; lob and score as the keeper was well out off his line also.
 
Half Time KSC Phoenix 0 Inverness Caley Thistle 2
 
The second half was much more even with KSC pressing further up the pitch and causing the Caley boys to defend much deeper, as a result Phoenix got themselves back in the match courtesy of a well struck Jack Ryan penalty & at 2-1 it was GAME ON! in the baking heat. As the second half came to a close Phoenix were playing realy well however when in search of the equaliser it would appear to cost them dear when Inverness broke forward, however despite massive shouts for offside the goal stood, a cruel ending and perhaps flattering the Highland side.
 
Full time KSC Phoenix 1 Inverness Caley Thistle 3
 
 
Despite the professional ranking of today's opponents the KSC Players can be extremely proud of themselves for the determination shown to get themselves back into this match, perhaps a little more luck on the day but it must be said a credit to themselves they were given the calibre of opposition faced.
 
The second group match would see KSC Phoenix loose narrowly to a Spanish Academy side CD Galeo, courtesy of an extremely painfully error by Phoenix centre back Logan Craig as he somehow managed to trip over the ball.
 
This result was probably the hardest to take as from start to finish Phoenix were in control of this match,  again in the baking heat!
 
The last of the group matches would see us out against another academy side Vallao & who had beaten Inverness Caley Thistle 1-0 the previous day, however the Phoenix boys were mentally prepared and  desperate for their first win on foreign soils.
 
Despite some heroic performances and with the Phoenix protecting their narrow 1-0 lead courtesy of a Connor Black screamer our Spanish hosts equalised in the dying seconds of injury time.
 
Full time KSC Phoenix 1 Vallao 1
 
 
The boys would then see themselves proceed into the semi final where they would meet their first fellow youth football side Banchory Boys club from Aberdeen.
Benefiting both sides was the fact this match was kicking off at 7:30 without the glorious Spanish sunshine. It would be KSC who would draw first blood in this all Scottish encounter when Josh Lafferty broke through the Banchory sides back line smashing low and hard into the net. In a very one sided match Phoenix bombarded their Scottish counterparts without hitting that killer second, and as before this came back to haunt them with Banchory levelling late in the match to tie the scores at 1-1.
 
With only minutes remaining, Phoenix were to be awarded a penalty with the Banchory Boys being reduced to 10 men as a result of a terrible challenge on Phoenix forward Josh Lafferty.
 
Up stepped Jack Ryan who fired straight at the keeper! With the lads beginning to think despite their hard work they could be heading home without that much thought after win.
 
When the final whistle blew it was straight to penalties, three each was the format with Phoenix running out 3-2 winners in a never tangling shootout.
 
1st up Kerr Storie who fired right down the middle 1-0
1-1 Banchory score
Jack Ryan missed his second penalty of the match 1-1
Banchory miss with the Phoenix keeper Murray Graystone saving spectacularly 2-1 Phoenix with Logan Craig hitting the back of the net in style
 
Banchory score 2-2
3-2 Josh Lafferty scoring for Phoenix
Banchory miss and the Phoenix players coaches and travelling parents erupt with joy.
 
Big win under nervy proceedings, penalties are so cruel however it was onto the final.
 
The final itself would be played against one of our previous group opponents GD Gallao who'd beaten us 1-0 courtesy of a horrendous blooper, however this could only spur us on to victory or would it.
 
With little time to recuperate the boys were on the road at the crack of dawn the next morning, still dripping wet from their pool exploits on return to the hotel the evening before, an enforced strip change was needed.
 
The game started in tremendous fashion with both sides going close early on, there were to be little signs of nerves in the camp and as a result things were appearing to be going our way despite the heat again which must of given the Spanish an advantage more than the milky coloured boys from Ayrshire!
 
HT KSC Phoenix 0 Gallao 0
 
Second half was evenly competed however a mix up at the back would see Phoenix gift their opponents their lead, with nothing much separating the sides it was played to the end in great spirit.
 
Phoenix striking the bar on the hour mark told the story that Lady Luck was with their Spanish opposition likewise the referee AKA Michael Hasselhoff, who continually got decisions wrong & failed to spot a blatant kick from one of the Gallao players at 0-0. Hasselhoff was quick in asserting the Spanish lad had been booked previously however after reaching for his card quickly replaced it in his top pocket. This infuriated the Phoenix bench and as a result it was felt this fury influenced further decisions.
 
Regardless of the final result the lads I'm sure shall remember this as the pinnacle of their youth careers to date, and the fact the opposition was of a substantially high standard the boys knew they came a fraction away from becoming the first Scottish side to lift a trophy there in the 14 years the tournament has been played out.
What they can take away is they were the first Scottish club to reach a final out there, all who travelled out there gelled as a unit and this definitely was the key to our success as a team.
 
From the Coaches and the Parents a massive very well done you made us all very proud in the way that you conducted your business on the field.
KSC Phoenix more than just a team!

 

West Kilbride FC
 vs
KSC Pheonix
 
 
 
Under-15 CAYFA
 
05 May 2014
 
 
 
Well it was a match both sets of players were eagerly looking forward too and the first this season since both teams made their separate ways at the end of the last campaign, with Phoenix plying their trade in the top division and their hosts in the second who would come out top in this local derby.
 
This evenings fixture would see KSC's 7th game in 10 days and as a result only had a thin bare squad with as many as 8 players missing out due to various ailments.
 
However it was down to their comrades to step up to the play and ensure their already safe passage into the quarter finals unbeaten in the David McNaught Cup.
 
Phoenix looking for their fifth straight win of the group went on the offensive right from the off with winger Strain dictating the tempo of play with wave after wave of attack in the opening minutes.
 
It wasn't to long before the deadlock was broken, a neat cross field ball from Strain found the feet of opposite wing partner Paulo Harkness who came charging in at the back post to cooly slide the ball low under the descending WK keeper.
 
At 1-0 you felt it would be the start of a goal fest given the onslaught on the WK goal however it was West Kilbride who struck next with winger Jamie Wylie reacting first to poke the ball over the line! Perhaps the wake up call Phoenix needed as West Kilbride clearly weren't going to roll over and have their bellies tickled!
 
From the kick off following the goal it was another case of missed opportunities! as Phoenix squandered 2 or 3 gilt edge chances, however up next was Strain and he was determined he wasn't missing, as play broke down the left in a near identical phase leading to the first goal Strain met the diagonal cross ball on the edge of the 18 yard box, with little time to react he caught the ball sweet as a nut firing an unstoppable volley into the net giving the keeper no chance. Next up was Kerr Storrie who would see the first goal of his Hattrick materialise with a cool finish just before the half hour mark.
 
West Kilbride clearly refused to roll over even at 3-1 as a result straight from KO they flocked forward in hope of a goal, and a goal they would get. Perhaps riding their luck  as the Phoenix Captain Jay Anderson was wiped out on the edge of the area before the ball broke to  Kilbride's number 10 who fired the ball into the net from around 18 yards, a stunning strike none the less but a clear foul prior.
 
Half Time: West Kilbride 2-3 KSC Pheonix
 
With little in terms of Changes from either side it was more of the same end to end stuff from the start, with Phoenix stretching their lead further through Kerr Storrie with his second of the evening 4-2.
 
However again West K tried in vain to drag themselves into the match with the continual long ball forward, as a result it wouldn't be long before they clawed another back, 4-3 and a cracker of a match!
 
Would Phoenix rue the missed chances of the first half, No! would be the response as once again the play swung to the other end a cracking drive down the left wing by Harkness would see an inch perfect cross flung into the back post for strike partner John Jamieson to run onto smashing the ball low and hard past the helpless keeper 5-3
 
From this point in, Phoenix were like a cat with a mouse, playing and playing then pouncing with another 2 goals in the final ten minutes, first would be Phoenix number 10 Kerr Storrie who played an excellent match earning a well deserved Hatrick, next was the influential winger Strain who must of covered every blade of grass tonight, burst into the box twisting and turning only to be bundled over just as the trigger was being pulled, a clear penalty!
 
Up stepped Vice Captain Logan Craig who unleashed an unstoppable kick past the keeper to finish the match 7-3 to the visitors.
 
. 
Full Time: West Kilbride 3-7 KSC Pheonix
 
 

 

KSC Pheonix
 vs
Crosshouse BC
 
 
 
U15 Central Ayrshire Youth FA
 
05 May 2014
 
 
 
Well after returning from the Costa Daurada Cup earlier in the week as losing finalists the lads were keen to get back to winning ways in their first league encounter since late feb.
 
Despite the difference in league position 4th v 8th this was always going to be a tough but fairly contested match, the early exchanges were fairly even with maybe KSC Phoenix just edging it in terms of shots on target, however a result of some poor finishing would come back to haunt them as the match wore on.
 
Despite the early chances it was the hosts who struck first blood, with an absolute screamer of a free kick from around 20 yards into the keepers far left top hand corner.
 
Crosshouse took the lift from this goal and quickly doubled their lead as the first half reached the 20 minute mark, in all fairness Phoenix battled hard to draw level first with an effort from fully 25 yards which crashed off the bar from debutant Adam Boyd.
 
Phoenix were edging closer and with 15 to go in the first half a long kick out from Hunter in the Crosshouse goal would meet the head of their influential midfield maestro Connor Black who fired the ball straight out to the feet of Strain who curled  one just wide of the far top hand corner.
 
Phoenix would sense the goal was coming and with five to go after some neat play on the right by Maxwell and Strain the ball was fired across the 6yard box with Crosshouse scrambling to clear Jamie Lyndsey would be first to react steering the ball low into the net.
 
Crosshouse were not without their chances at the other end with the pace of their front two causing the Phoenix rearguard problems.
 
Half Time: Crosshouse BC 2-1 KSC Pheonix
 
In another fairly even half and the only difference separating the teams a wonder free kick in the first half the game was there for anyone who wanted it, unfortunately for Phoenix it looked like fatigue was setting in as this was their 6th match in a week consequence of their European adventures, as a result they would see their influential number 11 Josh Lafferty miss out not to mention the loss of their captain Jay Anderson midway in the first half,  if that wasn't bad enough the changes started coming thick and fast as the boys began to drop like flys.
 
As the match wore on Phoenix were steadily trying and as a result the rearguard was breached, with the Phoenix vice captain dead on his feet, he allowed his opponent to get in front of him, the result a clash of feet and a definite penalty.
 
3-1 and the game was becoming difficult to get back into, however what can only be described as the worst park in Ayrshire both teams kept on going, Phoenix felt that even at 3-1 they could claw themselves back and done so almost instantly after the penalty  with Phoenix number 8 Fraz Pierce smashing a dipping volly toward the Crosshouse net, with the hands in the air for celebrating the keeper made a spectacular save to tip the ball over the bar, next up was new boy Boyd who found himself in on goal twice however where it looked easier to score the big striker fired wide & with it Phoenix's chances of a come back.
 
Despite the score line I'm sure most would agree the match was pretty even in terms of possession with Phoenix having the greater number of chances,however if you don't take them you get punished and that's what happend today, Crosshouse did!
 
Full Time: Crosshouse BC 3-1 KSC Pheonix