Finnart AFC proved to be a class above the rest in the Glasgow and District Youth Football League U15s Supplementary Cup Final as they romped to victory with a 3-0 win over Dean Thistle.
A stunning free kick from Connor McKenzie put Finnart in control and two late goals from substitutes Dexter Morrison and Jakub Dmowski sealed the trophy for the boys from Bridgeton.
Unmistakable in their fluorescent pink strips, Finnart created the opening chance. Martin Scanlan’s lobbed pass to Jordan Wright on the left wing was difficult for him to control but he managed to lob it over the defence for Jack McIlveen to run onto, and the striker let the ball bounce before attempting his own lob over the goalkeeper but the covering Thistle defender did enough to put him off and the shot sailed over the crossbar.
The opening exchanges were the most even of the game and Finnart had centre back Persley Sojila to thank for intercepting a few Dean Thistle few balls and stopping their attacks before they could really threaten.
Finding joy down the left wing again, Finnart came close to the opener when Wright once more released McIlveen who cut into the box and fired low across goal forcing a great diving save from Thistle keeper Dylan Rooney.
Dean Thistle’s right back Blair McKnight fired over from long range and then Arron Downie’s excellent through-ball gave Brandyn Bain the chance to run at goal. He held off the challenge of the Finnart defender to get one-on-one with Paul Monaghan but to the goalkeeper’s relief he fired over the bar.
Halfway through the first half and it was hard to pick a better side but Finnart began to take control of the game and their high-pressing game made it hard for Thistle to create any more opportunities.
Fraser Knox did well to head clear a Finnart free kick as far as Paul McGroarty who volleyed over from distance and then Deans had to call on their keeper to bail them out again. Scanlan passed to Kalvin Rooney who tried a curling ball in behind the Thistle defence that was immediately latched on to by McIlveen but Dylan Rooney spread himself excellently to make the save and keep the scores level.
The Thistle keeper was keeping his team in the game and punched clear McGroarty’s free kick under heavy pressure from McIlveen, who looked desperate to get on the scoresheet but was not having much luck.
He did play a part in the opening goal however, winning a free kick on the edge of the box that McKenzie stepped up to take five minutes before half time. With the Finnart coaching staff calling on him to go for power, McKenzie calmly curled it over the wall and into the far top corner with a perfectly executed left-footed shot. It was a goal worthy of winning any cup final and the excellent Rooney had no chance of saving it.
A buoyant Finnart almost extended the lead before half time thanks to Ryan Madden’s bursting run down the right wing. He showed great pace to hit the by-line and had the composure to beat his man, cut back in and pick out Scanlan’s late run into the box but unfortunately his shot was straight down the throat of Rooney.
Finnart were good value for their half-time lead, despite having made heavy weather of the early stages they were in control for much of the last 20 minutes with their high-pressing game putting Dean Thistle under pressure and their midfield controlling the tempo of the match. Thistle’s strikers were looking increasingly isolated and they needed to get involved in more attacking positions.