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Saturday, 21 September 2013 17:25

Johnstone Burgh dethrone three in a row Scottish Cup Kings Bonnyton

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Bonnyton Thistle FC
Johnstone Burgh BC
U19's Trans World Soccer SYFA Cup - R2
14 September 2013
In this keenly anticipated second round tie an injury ravaged Johnstone Burgh squad made their way down to Grange Academy in Kilmarnock to take on Scottish Cup holders and winners for the last 3 consecutive years - Bonnyton Thistle. Burgh were left with 13 fit players after illness and injury had decimated their squad in midweek and they knew they faced a tall order to topple the holders, who were fielding 9 of the players who lifted the Scottish Cup just 4 months ago, further strengthened with the addition of players from the pro youth ranks. However, there remained no shortage of talent and a great deal of resolve in the 13 Burgh players who travelled.
From the first whistle it was clear that Burgh had arrived with a disciplined counter-attacking game plan in mind and their players appeared to be executing it to the letter straight from kick off. Bonnyton dominated the early exchanges with their fluid passing game but were not making any impact through the compact Burgh midfield, where Adam Dardis and Aaron Lewis were imposing themselves and wide players Calum Craig and Andrew Skinner were working their socks off. The usual miserly Burgh defence was also dealing comfortably with anything Bonnyton striker Steven Hill and their attack had to offer.
As the first half progressed Bonnyton continued to dominate possession and press into the final third, but were still finding it difficult to penetrate the stuffiest defence in last seasons PJD YFL; a team who had 11 competitive shut-outs under their belt. Meantime, Burgh continued to pose a threat with swift dangerous breaks from strikers Craig Buchanan and Lewis MacDonald. Indeed MacDonald should have put Burgh ahead with the best chance of the first half when on 24 mins he cut in from the left of the Bonnyton box, beat his man and with just the keeper to beat from 8 yards placed a shot to the far corner which Bonnyton goalkeeper Scott Purdie stretched a foot to and blocked. Purdie was made to work hard on another couple of occasions by a Darren Kennedy long range shot on 28 mins and a near post volley from Buchanan on 35 minutes. By the end of the first half a pattern had developed with Bonnyton having the majority of possession, Burgh containing them and although having probably fewer chances had the most clear cut to score. 
Half time: Bonnyton Thistle FC 0-0 Johnstone Burgh BC
The second half continued with more of the same, although with the wind now at their backs Bonnyton were having even more of the game. Burgh suffered further setback early in the second half when midfielders Andrew Skinner and Adam Dardis had to be replaced due to injury and the Johnstone side were forced to use their only substitutes. The first half hour of the second half was all out pressure from Bonnyton as the cup holders tried to make the breakthrough, with David Shedden looking dangerous against the tiring Burgh players.  But still goalkeeper Sean Quinn and defenders Darren Kennedy, Craig Stevenson, Colin Rose and Ross Cairns held firm.
Burgh's chances were now fewer and far between, but they still posed a threat on the break and the Bonnyton players were beginning to show signs of frustration. The final whistle blew with the teams still locked at 0-0 and with Burgh hanging on in the final 10 minutes. Burgh were now the walking wounded with a further two players,Calum McFadyen who had been outstanding in various positions in this tie and Ross Cairns continuing injured as they were unable to be replaced. The 90 minutes had been played at a very high tempo and this continued in extra time.
Bonnyton were becoming more frustrated though as the game wore on and Johnstone Burgh continued to look very dangerous on the break. In the 10th min of extra time striker Buchanan again raced clear for a one on one with the Bonnyton goalkeeper and as he looked set to pull the trigger from the edge of the box, he decided to take an extra touch and over ran the ball into Purdie's arms. Five mins into the second period of extra time disaster struck for Burgh as Craig Stevenson collapsed with injury and had to be carried off. With Burgh now down to 10 men and complete backs to the wall, the Kilmarnock based Scottish champions went for the jugular and threw everything at the Johnstone side to try to finish them off before penalties kicks would decide the tie.
Burgh defender Taylor Curran made a remarkable block at the back post when the Thistle player looked certain to score with a header. However, incredibly Burgh's 10 men were not finished and in the final 7 mins with Bonnyton now looking as if they had given their last ounce, the Johnstone side came back with a final flurry themselves searching for the elusive winner. Buchanan again sprinted clear from the defenders and despite being ushered into the corner dribbled his away along the byline beating two defenders and firing a shot across the face of the goal just missing the far post.
The Burgh support were left outraged with only 4 mins left when Colin Rose played a superb 30 yard through ball over the Bonnyton defence and two Burgh players ran from deep to beat the offside trap and race clear of the defenders. With Buchanan and Craig through on the champions goalkeeper and defenders left in their trail and not a single appeal from the opposition, everyone was anticipating the winning goal. However, the referee still positioned in the Burgh half of the field decided to blow his whistle very late, to indicate what he thought was an offside!

Extra time finished still deadlocked, so the 10 left standing for Burgh were now into a penalty shoot out to decide things after a fast paced and exciting 0-0 draw where both teams gave everything.  With nerves undoubtedly playing a part for both sides, Burgh's goalkeeper Sean Quinn became the hero, saving 3 Bonnyton penalties and stepping up himself to take the fifth and final deciding spot kick and sending Burgh into the third round.
Final score: Bonnyton Thistle FC 0-0 Johnstone Burgh BC (2-3 on penalties)
Johnstone Burgh coach, Graham Cairns said afterwards how proud he was of every one of his players. "we certainly did'nt get an easy draw in this round and bearing in mind we only had 13 players today and not all of them fit, it's a great achievement by the players to come here and see off a team with their track record. Both sets of players are due credit for playing the game in a very sporting way despite what was a stake and although Bonnyton Thistle will be very sore right now, they are a good side and I'm sure they will have other successes". 
Johnstone Burgh squad: 1. Sean Quinn, 2. Darren Kennedy, 6.Calum McFadyen, 13.Colin Rose, 3.Ross Cairns, 4.Calum Craig, 8.Adam Dardis, 2.Aaron Lewis, 9.Andrew Skinner, 7.Lewis MacDonald, 10.Craig Buchanan Subs 5. Craig Stevenson, 11. Taylor Curran

Bonnyton Thistle squad: 1. Scott Purdie, 2. Blair Larmour, 3. Andrew Hunter, 4. Marc Abercrombie, 5. Ian Paterson, 6. Lee Gordon, 7. Ryan Golightly, 8. Keiran McCrum, 9. Steven Hill, 10. Christopher Kelly, 11. Sean Mears Subs: 12. Declan Adam, 14. Ewan Barrie, 15. David Shedden, 16. Steven McCarrison
(Johnstone Burgh squad photo from July 2013)
Last modified on Monday, 23 September 2013 12:06
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