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Simply Spectacular Saints knock out Giffnock North to reach the SYFA Cup Final

Giffnock North United 1

McGlone 49

St Andrews BC 3

Morgan 30, Houten 36, 67
  • Sunday, 08 April 2018
  • New Tinto Park
  • Under 14´s
  • Scottish Youth FA Cup - Semi Final

On one of the biggest days in the club’s history, St Andrews BC upset the odds to beat Giffnock North United in the Scottish Youth FA Cup Semi-Final. A delightful double in the second half from skipper Gavin Houten was enough to edge the Saints into the final.

The two sides met at New Tinto Park, both with considerable crowds behind them to try and cheer them onto the Scottish Cup Final at the Excelsior Stadium in May. Coming into the match Giffnock North were the favourites, currently sitting 2nd in the Paisley and District Youth Football League. On the other hand, St Andrews sit in 4th and had lost twice already to Giffnock North this season, one of these being in the Gilbert Baird cup losing a dramatic game 6-5.

St Andrews kicked off the semi-final in a wet Govan and were immediately subjected to a high press by Giffnock North. The first chance of the game fell to the favourites after a deflection in the ninth minute found Giffnock North’s Jamie McDermott on the edge of the box. The striker attempted a half volley but it flew over the bar, failing to test Ross Duncan in the Saints goal.

The Saints first chance of the game came seven minutes later, with Aidan Blaney flicking the ball towards Lewis Darroch who raced goalward against Giffnock North’s Aiden McLaughlin. The tricky striker managed to create a bit of space away from the centre half at the edge of the box, but he slipped whilst taking the shot and dragged it well wide of the left hand post.

In the 18th minute the Saints had another chance, but the wet conditions were proving to be difficult and Joe Morgan also slipped whilst taking a shot on the edge of the box, meaning it also did not trouble Giffnock North’s Kai McFarlane.

A minute later though he was worried when Morgan fed the ball to Gavin Houten, with the striker picking up the ball and showing electrifying pace to burst in the box. Somehow though, after an almighty scramble and a combination of McFarlane and his defence, they managed to stop the striker from scoring.

They were not so lucky in the 30th minute however when more confusion in the box led to the opener for the Saints. A floated in free-kick caused chaos in the Giffnock North box with several shots being blocked before the ball fell to Morgan who prodded it into the back of the net. Captain Houten ran to the bench to celebrate as his side ended the first half 1-0 up.

  • Half Time:
  • Giffnock North United
  • 0-1
  • St Andrews BC

Kicking off the second half was Giffnock North and just a minute into the half they found themselves 2-0 down. Lochlan Byrne played a beautiful ball to Houten who went one on one with McFarlane. The young keeper did very well to save his first effort, however the rebound fell back to the striker who then coolly rolled it into the back of the net. He was soon surrounded by his ecstatic team mates and duly booked for his shirtless celebration.

Giffnock North were looking for a life-line back into the tie and got one in the 45th minute when Thomas McKeown fouled Daniel McGlone just outside the box. McGlone stepped up to take the resulting free-kick, but his effort smacked into the wall and was cleared.

But the right back was not to be denied twice and stepped up again four minutes in a similar position to his first effort. This time however his powerful effort found the right hand side of the net past a helpless Duncan and brought his team right back into the semi-final.

They used the momentum of their goal to try and grab an equaliser and came very close in the 53rd minute, with Regan Cusick finding James Hazlett in the box with his shot taking a deflection and looping agonisingly over the bar. From the resulting corner the ball came into the middle of the box to McGlone who’s effort smashed the bar.

An equaliser was not meant to be and in the 67th minute Houten put the tie beyond any doubt with a glorious goal. He perfectly controlled a high ball at the edge of the box, flicked it over his head and then volleyed it into the top left corner past a stunned McFarlane. The enigmatic striker ran over and performed Kylian Mbappé’s arms crossed celebration in front of the Saints fans who were in pandemonium.

Tempers began to boil over at the end of the game and Cusick saw red in the 70th minute for foul and abusive language towards the referee. The ten men of Giffnock North then tried their best to find another goal but to no avail and it will be St Andrews who will be making the trip to Airdrie for the InspireSport Scottish Youth FA Cup Final.

  • Full Time:
  • Giffnock North United
  • 1-3
  • St Andrews BC


Giffnock North United
St Andrews BC
1. Kai McFarlane
3. Aiden McLaughlin
10. Guy Farmer
12. William Dawson
14. Gerard Burns
15. Harry Stephen
18. James Hazlett
23. Kyle McIntosh
27. Liam Sheridan 38. Ben Thomson
43. Daniel McGlone
45. Sean Fyfe
59. Regan Cusick
1. Ross Duncan
3. Lochlan Byrne
4. Liam Nelis
5. Thomas McKeown
6. Andrew Hunter
7. Ryan McCabe
8. Joe Morgan
9. Nathan Temporal
10. Pat Leslie
11. Gavin Houten
12. Aidan Blaney
13. Robbie Carlin
16. Connor Weston
17. Sean McGhee
19. Lewis Darroch
20. Richard Mullan
Star Player
Giffnock North United
St Andrews BC
Giffnock North’s star player was midfielder Liam Sheridan, who ran the midfield for his side all match. He displayed excellent awareness to intercept the ball and win possession back before showing superb strength and dribbling to keep the ball and drive forward.
The star player for St Andrews had to be their captain Gavin Houten, who struck twice to put breathing space between the two sides. Besides showing sharp shooting and excellent composure in front of goal the striker also showed excellent link up play. He played with three different strikers during the duration of the match and had a connection with all of them.
Magic Moment
Giffnock North United
St Andrews BC
Giffnock North’s magic moment would have to be McGlone's thunderous free-kick in the 49th minute to bring them right back into the match. Though it was not in the top corner it has hit with so much venom there was nothing Ross Duncan could do to save it. Although the goalkeeper was wrong footed before it went in, jumping to the left as it was being taken making it even more difficult for him to get across to his right.
St Andrews magic moment had to be Gavin Houten’s wonder goal in the 67th minute, which sent his side into the final. First, he displayed great composure to bring the ball down under pressure, then excellent skill to flick it over his head. Finally, flawless technique to send the ball dipping into the top left-hand corner leaving Kai McFarlane with no chance.
Club Views
Giffnock North United
St Andrews BC
I'm naturally very disappointed with the result and performance on the day. In saying that I am very proud of my players performances throughout the competition. We will hopefully be back next season and hope to go one step further.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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