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Broomhill the victors despite valiant Vics efforts

Newcraighall Leith Vics 2

Blair, 16,70

Broomhill SC 2

Muir 18, Hughes 38
  • Newcraighall Leith Vics 2-2 Broomhill SC (Broomhill win 4-3 on penalties)
  • Sunday, 29 March 2015
  • Ainslie Park
  • Under 14´s
  • TWS Scottish Youth FA Cup - Semi Final

Charalambos (Harvey) Nafpliotis | YFS South East Region Journalist

Newcraighall Leith Vics hosted Broomhill SC at Ainsley park. With the two sides competing for a chance to contest the U14's Scottish Cup final. 
Brandon Blair sparked the game to life on 3 minutes. John Robertson showed great determination to win the ball in the middle of the park and when he played it short to Bathgate he produced a defence splitting pass which released the speedy Blair down the left side. A fantastic turn of pace from Blair who left the Broomhill defenders trailing in his wake. A good cross was to follow but there were no takers in the box and Newcraighall couldn’t open the scoring.
With eight minutes played it was Broomhill who were starting to show dominance in terms of possession. Perhaps this growing confidence was the reason behind an audacious effort from Broomhill’s Gio Vezza. Strolling down the left flank for his team Vezza fired a powerful effort goalwards from a good 30 yards and forced Tyler McGee in the Newcraighall goal in to a smart save. The resulting corner was met by James Little John but his effort was blocked and the score remained level. 
Broomhill continued to assert their dominance in the coming minutes. With just over 10 minutes played the Broomhill lads were in fine form putting together a brilliant passing move. Calum Hughes linked well with Matthew long, who’s chipped pass was well met by Chris Melvin, the forward showing great skill to turn and dink the ball for the advancing Mitchell Donohoe, but for a smart save from Tyler McGee who dived on to the ball after coming out smartly Broomhill could have had the lead.
It must be noted that despite Broomhill’s dominance in possession Newcraighall’s defence was an eye catching unite. Communication was constant and Tyler McGee in goal had good command of his box. With around 15 minutes played the game changing moment that looked on the cards did indeed arrive.
When Sean Ward of Newcraighall stepped up to take a free kick within his own half few would have predicted what would happen next. With no disrespect to Newcraighall it's fair to say that Broomhill had been putting together better passing moves up until this point in the game. This was to change however when Ward played what looked like a simple ball forward to Bathgate. Bathgate returned the ball to Ward who found Gallantes, the forward jinked away from the challenge of Broomhill’s Littlejohn before returning the ball to Bathgate who sprayed a beautiful diagonal ball out wide to Josh Sharkey. Sharkey stole the show with a lovely threaded ball down the flank for Jordan Daly. The wideman oblidged with a quick ball in to the box after some nice footwork and the bobbling ball found its way to Brandon Blair who prodded home the opener for Newcraighall on 16 minutes.
Far from being knocked for confidence Broomhill responded almost instantly. With just 2 minutes gone since Newcraighall’s goal it was to be Broomhill’s Jack Muir who would level the game. A cross come shot from the left hand side evaded the attention of Tyler McGee and found its way in to the back of the net to make the score 1-1 just before the 20 minute mark.
The final 15 of the half were to be dominated by Newcraighall who can count themselves unlucky not to have been going in to the half time break with the score 2-1 or 3-1. A mixture of bad luck, as a bulleted header zipped just wide of the post for Gallantes after a good cross from Blair and superb defending from John Reid in defence for Broomhill as he cleared a dangerous cross this time from Gallantes, meant the score remained 1-1 going in to the interval.
  • Half Time:
  • Newcraighall Leith Vics
  • 1-1
  • Broomhill SC
In similar circumstances to the opener it was to be the team that appeared most under pressure that would take the lead in the game very early in the second half. Gio Vezza arrowed a free kick in to the box from long range and the faintest of touches with a glancing header from Calum Hughes diverted the ball in to the net to give Broomhill an unexpected early lead.
It may have been fortuitous in nature however the lead would be maintained for the large majority of the second half for Broomhill. Newcraighall seemed determined to put an average showing in the early exchanges of the first half behind them by starting brightly in the second.
A corner for Newcraighall was nodded goalward's with around 47 minutes played forcing Jack Muir to forgo his striker's instinct's and instead clear the ball off the line and keep his team in the game.  
After this however it was one man who stole the show with a brilliant performance. Gallantes was a constant menace to the Broomhill defence creating chances for his team with good crossing and maizy runs, drawing Broomhill players out of position. 
With the game clock now touching 55 minutes the hosts continued to grow in confidence. Flucker combined well with Ward to send Gallantes in to a shooting position on the edge of the box and his shot was turned behind by a sliding challenge from Ewan Stewart. 
Despite their dominance in the second period it looked for all to see like Broomhill would pip Newcraighall to a place in the final. This was reinforced on 65 minutes when Gallentes beat two men before crossing from deep for the awaiting James Smith in the Broomhill box, the forward leapt up well but was unable to connect with the inviting ball, drawing sighs of despair from the Newcraighall fans.
Cup football is nothing without late drama however. So it proved when Fynlay Connor stepped up in the final minute of the game to take a free kick, centrally around 22 yards from goal. In what could have been a scene from a football movie, Connor delivered a sublime ball to the back post which Smith diverted in to the path of Brandon Blair to stab home an equaliser and send the Newcraighall fans, and players, in to euphoric celebrations.
  • Full Time:
  • Newcraighall Leith Vics
  • 2-2
  • Broomhill SC
Tired legs began to show early in extra time, with a few fouls on both sides mainly due to frustration. Broomhill’s Gio Vezza on free kick duty once again showed that he has a knack for the art of the set piece as his cross come shot was punched over by Tyler McGee in the Newcraighall goal.

Soon after Newcraighall themselves would have the chance to break the deadlock when heroic pair Smith and Blair combined again to near devastating effect. Smith chipped the ball up to Blair who looked like he was making room to shoot. Vezza of Broomhill perhaps fearing a case of déjà vu however was on hand to emphatically clear the ball out and keep the scores level going in to half time in extra time.

The second half in extra time followed the theme of the first and in a game with many chances the tired legs were beginning to mean that chances were at a premium for both sides. Great credit to both sides however as they battled it out over the course of 90 minutes all the way to penalty kicks, a fantastic effort considering the players were all under 14 and still learning/ developing and coping with the fitness demands of the game. As the final whistle blew a fantastic gesture from both coaches as they congratulated each other on a fantastic spectacle and both declared that penalties are the harshest way to decide a victor.

The penalty kicks were to start in fantastic fashion as Fynally Connor and Gio Vezza were to find the top and bottom right hand corners respectively. But despite fantastic penalties from the two outfield players it would be Thomas Turnstall in the Broomhill goal who would steal the show in the shootout, making the crucial stop in the next penalty to give Broomhill the advantage. With all five of the next players converting the tie rested on the shoulders of young Bathgate for Newcraighall who had to score. An unfortunate shot off the post meant it would be Broomhill SC who would proceed to the final. Hopefully young Bathgate doesn't dwell on the miss, he stepped up confidently and took on a great responsibility and was unlucky to be denied by the post.

Despite the shootout being the harshest of deciders perhaps in this thrilling game it was warranted as neither side truly deserved to lose in what was an epic semi final. Congratulations to Broomhill who will contest the U14s Scottish Cup next month and commiserations to Newcraighall, a valiant effort played in a pulsating game of football.

Final Result: Newcraighall Leith Vics 2-2 Broomhill SC (Broomhill win 4-3 on penalties)


Newcraighall Leith Vics
Broomhill SC
1. Tyler Mcgee
2. Josh Sharkey
3. James Henderson
4. Dan McKinlay
5. Arran Bathgate
6. Fynlay Connor
7. Jordan Daly
8. Louis Flucker
9. Yrick Gallentes
10. John Robertson
11. Sean Ward
12. James Smith
14. Brandon Blair
15. Mark Tennant
16. Andrew McKay
17. Campbell Notley
1. Thomas Turnstall
2. Matthew Long
3. Ewan Stewart
4. John Reid
5. Gio Vezza
6. Calum Hughes
7. Logan McCarthy
8. James Littlejohn
9. Jack Muir
10. Mitchell Donohoe
11. Chris Melvin
12. Daniel McGarrie
14. Lewis Graham
15. Lewis Beveridge
16. Graham Brannan
17. Ross Methven
Star Player
Newcraighall Leith Vics
Broomhill SC
Yrick Gallantes. A fantastic all round display from the forward. Testing the goalkeeper, running well with the ball and creating chances.
Gio Vezza was excellent for Broomhill. A hard working display that oozed quality. Fantastic deliveries from set pieces, too.
Magic Moment
Newcraighall Leith Vics
Broomhill SC
Without doubt Brandon Blair's equaliser in the last minute of time. A well worked team goal from the set piece, powerful finish and fantastic celebrations. The magic of the cup!
Gio Vezza's free kick's were magic throughout, no specific magic moment but a collection of fantastic efforts from range. A real asset to his team.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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