BONNYTON Thistle under 19s emerged victorious in the Under 19s Paisley and Johnstone District League Cup with a 3-0 win over KSC Caley Thistle, winners of the under 17 league in Central Ayrshire Youth Football Association last year. Thistle, last year’s runners-up in the Glasgow and District YFL, all but killed the game by going two ahead early on before adding a third late on.
The game was played under extremely mild conditions but that did not halt either team from attacking early on in the opening exchanges. Thistle were the first to take advantage of their threat, on 14 minutes when attacker Sean Mears picked the ball up in the centre circle. The tricky forward jinked his way past three Caley players on his run through the middle before he played it to Sam McCloskey who neatly slipped in Steven Hill inside him. From just inside the box Hill’s first time shot with his instep nestled perfectly in the corner of the net, beating helpless goalkeeper Love to his left.
The away side were clearly disappointed to lose a goal so early on and went into their shells, much to Bonnyton’s advantage. Two minutes later, striker Steven McCarrison broke free on the left hand side and played a through ball along the ground for the advancing Mears who gunned in and hit the shot first time from 16 yards out and watched the ball ping into the bottom left hand corner with his team mates.
For the next ten minutes there were no real chances of note as the rhythm and tempo of Bonnyton’s early play faded away while the sting came out of KSC Caley’s early challenge. Bonnyton still had most of possession despite Caley looking dangerous on the few occasions they moved forward down the wings.
After half an hour, Caley were still waiing for this first shot on target. While the away team had worked the ball into the box on several occasions, and won multiple corners, the crucial clinical touch was lacking. John Pirie attempted to right this on his own with a long range shot but it was to no avail.
The teams began to find their stride slightly as the half drew to a close, with Kieran McCrum almost latching onto a Hill cross from the right after surging forward from defence and moments later Pirie once again managed to find space outside the Bonnyton box as he got in between the centre halves but his left-footed shot from the 18 yard line drifted a couple of yards too high.
Both teams had another chance each in the dying embers of a fairly lacklustre first half. Andy Hunter drilled a cross in from the left to the front post to the feet of McCarrison on the corner of the six yard box, but the ex-Ayr United man’s turning shot was blocked by the keeper. At the other end, Mason Boyd found himself with a bit of room to work with on the left after getting into a good position 20 yards out and he stepped into the box and hit a curling shot towards goal, only for Purdie to grab it out the air.