Fixture: Bonnyton Thistle v Rutherglen Glencairn
Competition: inspiresport Scottish Youth FA Cup U21 Quarter Final
Kyle Gilroy grabbed a first half double as underdogs Bonnyton Thistle romped their way to a surprise 4-0 win over league rivals Rutherglen Glencairn in the Scottish Youth FA Cup.
Glencairn were fancied favourites and came into the match having beaten Bonnyton 4-1 in the previous encounter between the two teams this season and a place above them in the league. The year before, however, it was Bonnyton who had the better record against the South Lanarkshire side.
Despite the tense history between the two, the game kicked off and saw both sides try to keep the ball on the deck from the get-go. Bonnyton manufactured the first chance of the game within three minutes, working the ball nicely from the left wing to the edge of the box. Chris Kelly, Craig Patterson and Gilroy were all involved in the flowing move, exchanges one-touch passes, and Kelly’s cut back found the big striker but Patterson’s left-footed strike bounced into the hands of Glencairn goalie Christopher Truesdale.
The match continued at a quick tempo with both teams playing the ball on the ground, but with no chances until the ten minute mark when Gilroy found space in the box. Reece Lapham had worked his way from right back into a position to send over a terrific cross and Gilroy sneaked in at the back post and nodded home from inside the six-yard box to make it 1-0 to the home team.
Before the game, Bonnyton assistant coach Garry Bole had said if his team could score the first goal it would be crucial – he would be proved completely correct.
For the next ten minutes Bonnyton only grew stronger, enjoying particular success down the right hand side with Marc Maguire and Lapham. Despite the home side being in the ascendency Glencairn, for the moment, weren’t panicking. They continued to knock the ball around at pace, with Peter Copeland and Jason McArthur pulling the strings.
Despite Glencairn’s drive, Bonnyton began to turn up the heat and Gilroy was again the thorn in the away team’s side on 19 minutes. He set off on what may go down as the goal of the round as he picked the ball up just outside the box on the right hand side, jinked his way inside past two players before sizing up the keeper and side-footing the ball over him and into the top corner.
The second goal settled Bonnyton down into a slower pace of play, forcing Glencairn to chase a lot of shadows. Glencairn however looked particularly dangerous on the break, as flurries in behind the defence from McArthur showed. If Glencairn had been able to find him more often, you have to imagine he could have caused even more problems.
Kieran McCrum, along with Lapham and Gilroy, had been the standouts for Bonnyton so far. Despite not being involved in any of the goals, McCrum’s calm and composed nature on the ball, combined with his controlled aggression, assured he barely put a foot wrong throughout the half.
As the half came to a close, Glencairn had a penalty appeal turned down by the referee and a shot whistle over the bar from David Quinn. At the other end, Kelly met a through ball over the middle with his head and flicked it on to Patterson in front of him, leaving the striker with only the keeper to beat, but Truesland stood firm and parried the ball away.
Half Time: Bonnyton Thistle 2-0 Rutherglen Glencairn
The second half was a lot more subdued than the first, as Bonnyton got comfortable with their two goal lead and defended well to prevent any Glencairn counter attacks.
There was nothing of note in the first five minutes after the restart at all – and then the referee gave a penalty against Glencairn for handball.
Complaints from the defence fell on deaf ears and Patterson quickly grabbed the ball to prepare for the spot kick. After missing two chances earlier in the game it was third time lucky for the striker, drilling the ball low to Truesdale’s right and subsequently fist-pumping in front of the fans.
The third goal all but killed the game as a spectacle. You got the feeling Glencairn were just not at their best and had no way back – and they knew it. They were becoming increasingly frustrated, but to their credit they still looked to get Copeland on the ball and he was usually able to find another black jersey. Bonnyton were now the firmly dominant side in the game.
Both teams almost became aware of this stalemate of sorts, as tackles began to fly in and tempers flared, on and off the pitch.
To remind us all that we were watching a football match, Glencairn forced Stuart Cowan into two cracking saves in the space of the minute, the first from McArthur and the second from Paul Caughey.
And ten minutes before the end of the game Sean Mears stepped up to a free kick and clipped a delicious ball towards the front of the six-yard box, to which centre back Ian Paterson headed over the stranded Truesdale and into the roof of the net. Bonnyton had now matched the goal tally that Glencairn managed against them in the league this year – proving that on cup day, anything can happen.
Bonnyton manager, Ian Higgins, said after the game: “You’ve got to love when the underdog wins, especially in a Scottish Cup quarter final.”
Full Time: Bonnyton Thistle 4-0 Rutherglen Glencairn
Bonnyton Man of the Match: Kieran McCrum
Rutherglen Man of the Match: Peter Copeland