Fixture: Valspar U14s v AC Irvine U14s
Competition: League Cup Quarter-Final
Venue: Old Racecourse
The usual cold wind was blowing across the Old Racecourse as the boys lined up for this eagerly anticipated clash of the Titans. The Valspar boys had a point to prove after the disappointment of the previous league encounter, so the very competitive start was to be expected.
No quarter was given by either team as both teams fought to gain control of the game. Strong challenges where going in all over the park, including a cracker in front of me by Layton Weaver, both defences were well on top limiting the forwards to a few half chances.
The lively Lewis Glass was then injured in a clash of heads and both players had to be replaced, with Kier O'Neill being called into action for Valspar.
Mackenzie Hill produced the best save of the first half diving down to his left to keep out a fierce AC Irvine strike.
Lewis Glass came back on up front & it was good to see him get straight back into the action winning a strong 50/50 challenge.
Neither team could find a way through & a very well contested first half drew to a close with nothing between them.
Half Time: Valspar 0 AC Irvine 0
An early 2nd half corner allowed Richie Simpson to whip in an excellent ball, for the very impressive Murray Thomson to head home for 1-0 to Valspar.
Richie Simpson then had a great chance for a second Valspar goal himself running into the box, but his shot just went wide. Then the powerfull running and skill of Lewis Glass created a one on one chance which came back off the post.
AC Irvine were now starting to pile on the pressure looking for the equaliser, with their strong and quick number nine having a really good personal duel with the battling Harry Evans.
Tony Nelson who was having a good game sweeping up at the back, was very unfortunate when a headed clearance looped back over Mckenzie Hill hitting the bar, AC Irvine took advantage nipping in to head in the rebound, to make it 1-1.
The Valspar boys reacted really well to this going on the front foot again looking to try and re-take the lead, winning another corner that allowed Richie Simpson to whip in another great ball and Chrissy Callander made no mistake to make it 2-1 Valspar.
Valspar then won a free kick outside the box that was whipped in by Chrissy Callander and Murray Thompson blasted the ball into the back of the net, only for the referee to disallow for offside.
Craig Findlay was next to go close for Valspar, after causing mayhem in the AC Irvine box, but somehow the ball failed to find the back of the net after crashing off the bar.
The Valspar boys held firm to deservedly win the game, going through to the League Cup semi final with another excellent all round strong team performance against a fantastic AC Irvine side
Full Time: Valspar 2 AC Irvine 1