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Hillwood beat Glenvale in dramatic semi-final penalty shoot-out

Hillwood BC 3

Cannon 42, McGregor 62, Kelly 65

Glenvale FC 3

Conaghan 14, 70+2, Deans 41
  • Hillwood BC win 5-4 on penalties
  • Saturday, 28 April 2018
  • Hillwood Park
  • Under 14´s
  • West Region Cup

A pulsating clash between Hillwood Boys Club and Glenvale FC ended with a dramatic penalty shoot-out win for Hillwood, coming after an incredible 3-3 contest in this West Region Cup semi-final clash.

Glenvale threw away a 2-0 lead after goals from Owen Conaghan and Kyle Deans had them in cruise control just after the break. Hillwood hit back to turn the game around in the second half thanks to strikes from Lewis Cannon, Ceejay McGregor, and Cameron Kelly. Yet the drama in this 70-minute contest wouldn't end there, with Conaghan curling home a terrific free-kick to take the game to penalties.

Hillwood came into the game with a depleted squad that contained no substitutes, showing just how much energy and fight they had to show in order to come away with victory over a very game Glenvale outfit.

The hosts started brightly, and were trying to play the ball through to Ayaan Ali, who was a handful all afternoon with his power. There was also an early penalty shout when Ali went tumbling down in the box after running in from the right, but the referee saw nothing wrong.

Up the other end, Glenvale started flexing their muscles after a slow start. Lewis Brown cleverly slipped in Caden Barr, who made a smart run in from the right side of the penalty box. However, Barr's effort was too high after his clever movement.

Both sides were playing some lovely football, with just a final ball missing from most moves as the half wore on. It was a typical cup semi-final with plenty of commitment in the challenges and a desperation not to give the opposition a sniff.

However, after Glenvale had warned Hillwood about the space down the right side of the penalty area earlier on, they used it again to strike first. It was Conaghan who this time made the run to collect a lovely through ball, and, on the spin, lashed home a superb right-footed effort into the opposite bottom corner.

There was a chance to equalise just minutes later for Hillwood, but Cannon could only blaze Aaron Duff's cross over the bar from yards out. It was a lovely piece of play from Duff, who turned his man expertly before setting Cannon up with an inch-perfect cross.

It was end-to-end stuff towards the end of the first-half, with Glenvale starting to see more of the ball down the flanks. Conaghan drilled wide after a storming run down the left saw him take the ball past Archie Dickson, whilst McGregor miss-hit an effort from 20 yards after space opened up for the Hillwood midfielder.

Both sides huffed and puffed before the break, but it was to be the second-half that would contain all the excitement.

  • Half Time:
  • Hillwood BC
  • 0-1
  • Glenvale FC

It started early on, just three minutes in to be exact, when Cannon smashed a top-corner bound effort in on goal that had to be tipped over by a terrific one-handed stop from Nathan Lightfoot.

Right up the other end, Glenvale made it 2-0 with a stunning Deans strike. Collecting the ball in his own half, the little left-sided player drove forward before cutting inside and smashing a terrific right-footed over Dickson and into the net. It really was a sensational strike that just caught the Hillwood goalkeeper by surprise - putting the visitors in control.

Yet, just one minute later and Hillwood were back in the game. Cannon showed good strength to hold off the defensive Glenvale players around him, before lashing a low effort into the bottom right-hand corner to pull the score back to 2-1.

It was such an evenly-contested second-half afterwards, with both sides coming close to nicking goals at different times. Aiden McCann had the pick of the chances with a free header at the back post, but the defender could only nod over.

It seemed as though the game would just peter out heading into the final 10 minutes, with Glenvale keeping the ball well and defending solidly when they were posed any questions. 

However, Hillwood had something special left in their locker. A relaxed, passing move saw the ball come to McGregor around 25 yards out. The midfielder needed no invitation as he sent a bullet of an effort over Lightfoot and into the net to snatch a stunning equaliser. It was similar to Deans' earlier effort as both sides had a screamer to their name.

And just three minutes later, the hosts had thought they'd won it. Another attack down the right saw Lightfoot commit before the ball broke to Kelly on the other side of the box. The youngster steadied himself before calmly slotting the ball into the empty net and completing a dramatic turnaround.

Credit must go to Glenvale, however, for somehow finding the character to pluck out a last-second equaliser.

Just minutes after the unfortunate Ali was sent off for a second yellow in what appeared to be an off-the-ball incident, Glenvale won a free-kick over 20 yards out in one of the last kicks of the game.

Conaghan stepped up to smash a terrific strike into the top right-hand corner and take this stunning West Region Cup semi-final to penalties.

It was a fitting way to end a game that was so evenly-matched throughout, with both sides having their moments and regrets.

  • Full Time:
  • Hillwood BC
  • 3-3
  • Glenvale FC
For Hillwood - Cannon, McGregor, Duff, Aiden McCann, and Kelly all scored their penalties

For Glenvale - Conaghan, Brown, James Reilly, and Frazer McFadzean all scored their penalties.

Unfortunately, it would be young Nathan MacKay who would see his spot-kick saved by Dickson.

Kelly would have the penalty to win the match, and he duly delivered as he slotted home confidently to end a sensational match at Priesthill.

Final Result: Hillwood BC win 5-4 on penalties

Lineups

Hillwood BC
Glenvale FC
1. Archie Dickson
2. Aaron Duff
6. Ayaan Ali
7. Zak Winning
8. Aiden McCann
9. Matthew Hughes
21. Cameron Kelly
27. Lewis Cannon
28. Brendan McGuire
30. Kieran McCrory
44. Ceejay McGregor
52. Matthew McEwan
2. Kyle Deans
5. Kyle Hill
6. Frazer McFadzean
8. Cameron Robertson
9. Caden Barr
10. Lewis Gillespie
11. Lewis Brown
12. Jack Bringan
13. Nathan Lightfoot
14. Callum Bonnar
15. Nathan MacKay
16. Ross Bruce
18. Owen Conaghan
19. James Reilly
20. Kyle Ruby
21. Kian Keegan
Star Player
Hillwood BC
Glenvale FC
Ceejay McGregor - Everything seemed to go through the midfielder, who really showed his frustrations and leadership qualities when things weren't going his side's way. Hauled Hillwood level with a stunning equaliser in what was a terrific display.
Owen Conaghan - Two-goal Conaghan takes Glenvale's star-man award here. His two goals were right out of the top drawer. His first effort was a tremendously drilled effort into the far corner, whilst his second was a stunning last-minute equaliser from a free-kick that flew into the top corner. Converted his penalty to secure a positive display from himself.
Magic Moment
Hillwood BC
Glenvale FC
McGregor's equaliser was a huge moment in the game. Hillwood had just seemed a step behind Glenvale all game after going behind early on, but belief seriously rose when he rattled home his drive from 25 yards. A game-changing moment of the highest calibre, and without that piece of initiative, Hillwood were probably heading out of the cup.
Conaghan's free-kick had a special feel to it. It brought wild celebrations from all of Glenvale's bench and supporters. It was a magical moment of the highest order to keep Glenvale in the cup - regardless of how the day ended.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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