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Finnart subs seal cup glory over Dean Thistle

Finnart AFC 3

McKenzie 30' Morrison 69' Dmowski 80'

Dean Thistle 0

  • Friday, 12 June 2015
  • Stepford Sports Complex
  • Under 15´s
  • Glasgow and District Youth Football League Supplementary Cup

Simon Ritchie | YFS West Region Reporter
Articles by Author | Contact Author

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.

  • Half Time:
  • Finnart AFC
  • 1-0
  • Dean Thistle

The second half began as the first ended, with Finnart getting behind the Thistle defence again. This time it was Kalvin Rooney who slipped in Wright but the Finnart player was up against an inspired Thistle keeper who made another good save one-one-one and the ball rebounded off Wright for a goal kick.

As if to let everyone know that they were not out of it yet, Dean Thistle went on the attack. Kieran Jeffers’ raking pass from the right wing switched play into the left side of the Finnart box for Jack Wotherspoon to hit on the volley with the outside of his boot but it curled across the face of goal and there was noone in blue to knock it in.

Dean Thistle looked more promising in the early stages of the second half as Finnart began to sit deeper, perhaps concentrating on keeping the lead rather than extending it. Thistle keeper Rooney did have to make a good save down low to his near post from another McIlveen strike however.

With the game beginning to go in the favour of Thistle, Finnart made a raft of substitutions that changed the game, none more so than Dexter Morrison. He was involved right from the off, collecting Sojila’s pass and instantly advancing on goal before playing in Wright who would have been glad to see the offside flag as he blazed over the bar from an excellent position.

Wright and McIlveen will both consider themselves unlucky not to have got on the scoresheet for Finnart but they were up against an inspired goalkeeper and just did not have luck on their side.

After Morrison curled one wide from long range you could sense he was a player of real quality who was looking to get involved and make things happen in the final third which he did for the second goal.

Rooney punched clear a Finnart corner but only as far as Morrison on the edge of the box and the midfielder calmly sidestepped an onrushing defender before slamming it into the top corner for 2-0.

Morrison then almost sealed the victory by creating a third. Another attacking run into the box, he held off the defender until he hit the byline and pulled it back for fellow sub Paul Waddell but his shot was somehow cleared on the line by a covering Thistle defender.

Dean Thistle were restricted to long-range efforts at this stage with Scott Thomson’s volley straight at Monaghan the best of their opportunities, although Sojila was still breaking up play and made a last ditch tackle to prevent Stuart Masterson from having a clear shot.

Another of Finnart’s subs, Julian Nda Kouame thought he had sealed the win with a close range header only to see it ruled out by the linesman’s flag.

The third did come shortly after however when substitute Dmowski capitalised on a mixup in the Dean Thistle defence and used his pace to take it round the goalkeeper and roll it in for 3-0 in the final minute.

When the whistle came there was no doubt it was a deserved victory for Finnart. The strength in depth of their squad proved the deciding factor and all of their players can be proud of the team effort that went in to the cup win.

Dean Thistle gave their all to a great cup final and showed promise that they can carry on next year and perhaps take it that one step further.

  • Full Time:
  • Finnart AFC
  • 3-0
  • Dean Thistle


Finnart AFC
Dean Thistle
1. Paul Monaghan
2. Ryan Madden
3. Connor McKenzie
4. Persey Sojila
5. Paul McGroarty
6. Martin Scanlan
7. Jordan Wright
8. Kenneth Crampsie
9. Jack McIlveen
10. Jamie McGowan
11. Kalvin Rooney
12. Finlay Milliken
14. Paul Waddell
15. Dexter Morrison
16. Jakub Dmowski
17. JUlien Nda Kouame
1. Dylan Rooney
5. Stuart Masterton
6. Fraser Knox
7. Kieran Jeffers
8. Jack Wotherspoon
9. Scott Thomson
10. Christopher Weir
11. Euan Grant
12. Arron Downie
14. Steven Stewart
15. Blair McKnight
16. Brandyn Bain
Star Player
Finnart AFC
Dean Thistle
Dexter Morrison - The impact he made when he came on was vitally important in securing the game for Finnart. Dean Thistle had looked like getting back into the game until he injected dynamism and forward thinking attacking play into Finnart's second half performance. He not only got the second goal but created several chances for his team mates.
Dylan Rooney - Was excellent throughout in the Dean Thistle goal and cannot be blamed for any of the goals, in fact if it was not for him they would have been looking at a much heavier defeat. He pulled off a string of good stops, particularly from close range one-one-ones and can hold his head high.
Magic Moment
Finnart AFC
Dean Thistle
Whether it's Roberto Carlos or Sinisa Mihajlovic, left backs have had a long history of being excellent at free kicks and Finnart's Connor McKenzie continued that with his fine curling effort. Not only was it a textbook free kick, it came at the perfect time for his team only five minutes before half time and gave them a lead they never looked back from.
A goal behind and outplayed for much of the first half, it would have been easy for the Dean Thistle players' heads to drop but they came out firing in the second half and when Jack Wotherspoon's volley flashed across the front of goal all it would have taken was one touch to get them back in the game. Unfortunately it did not happen but the Thistle players never stopped fighting and tried everything to get that equaliser.
Club Views
Finnart AFC
Dean Thistle
Jamie McGowan, Finnart coach, said: "Really great result, I felt the first 20 minutes we started really nervous and they were dangerous on the break. This cup started at the start of the season so we went with the team that started the cup. The subs are new boys, [Dexter Morrison] was at Hamilton Accies pro youth and Hibs for a while, I shout at him 'dirty work' because he needs to track back but that will come with fitness and once he gets his fitness back there will be noone that can touch him. He's an outstanding player."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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