An early goal from captain Adam Smith helped Rossvale claim the Glasgow and District YFL U13s Cup in a hard fought encounter with Harmony Row. Despite being two goals up at half time, Rossvale had to hold on for dear life at the end as Harmony Row threw everything at them in a bid to capitalise on the lifeline given to them by Callum McKeown’s second half free kick, but the Rossvale defence held firm to win the cup.
In blustery conditions in the south side of Glasgow at Toryglen, Rossvale got off to the best possible start when Smith’s free kick from the right wing curled in at the near post for the opening goal after only two minutes. Harmony Row goalkeeper Shaun Robertson was not helped by his defence’s decision to not use a wall and Smith took advantage and went for goal rather than the expected cross.
Harmony reacted well to the early blow and put Rossvale keeper Josh Ashburn under pressure with a neat turn and volley from Sam Muir that he saved comfortably and then Ashburn showed his confidence in the air by coming out to collect Niall McClean’s free kick whilst under pressure in a busy box.
Ashburn was called on again to make a save after good play on the edge of the box started by Dylan Boyce who passed to Cameron King then on to Kai Cook who laid it back to Boyce who fired a shot at the goalkeeper. It was a good exchange of passes and Harmony looked comfortable on the ball and growing in confidence despite being behind.
A mix-up at the back for Harmony gave Rossvale an excellent chance to extend their lead however from an indirect free kick inside the penalty area. With the wall forced back to the six-yard line Smith rolled the ball to Levi McIntosh who shot over the bar.
McIntosh made up for the miss moments later when he set up Jack Morrison to score Rossvale’s second midway through the first half. It came from a long punt by Ashburn, possibly helped by the strong wind, that put the Harmony defence under pressure instantly. McIntosh worked hard to close down the defender and win possession before slipping it to Morrison who chipped the goalkeeper beautifully from 25 yards. Harmony had been looking the more likely to score and get back in the game but it was a killer counterattack from Rossvale.
With the momentum back in their favour Rossvale came close to a third. Ryan Nielson’s free kick found McIntosh in the box but with the striker falling backwards as he collected it he could only manage to knock it across the box to Morrison who shot straight at Robertson.
Harmony were now looking for a way back into the game and Boyce set up Luke Butterfield for a long-range effort that was tipped wide by Ashburn with a fantastic diving save to his bottom right. He then caught the corner with ease as he continued to give a commanding display in the Rossvale goal.
It was not only Ashburn pulling off heroics in the Rossvale defence as after Cook attempted to capitalise on a slip at the back. He found left back Connel Coyle covering well for his teammate and putting in an important tackle to stop the attack.
Simon Miller was next to try for Harmony as he collected Butterfield’s cross ball on his knee before rifling a volley that dipped just over the crossbar. Miller was one of Harmony’s most potent attacking threats down the right wing and most of their play went through him as he skipped by players with ease.
The whistle went for half time with Rossvale in a commanding two-goal lead thanks to some clinical finishing and good goalkeeping, but Harmony certainly were not out of it yet.