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Giffnock gutted by late Bonnyton magic

Bonnyton Thistle 3

Paterson 12, McCloskey 81, Hunter 86

Giffnock SC Thistle 1

Lyons 24
  • Saturday, 08 March 2014
  • Grange Academy
  • Under 19´s
  • Paisley, Johnstone and District YFL

Ryan Rowe | YFS South West Region Journalist & Bonnyton Thistle Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

BONNYTON Thistle needed late goals to defeat a hard-working Giffnock SC Thistle team on Saturday who had gone down to ten men in the first half.
Goals from Sam McCloskey and Andy Hunter won sealed the match for the hosts who found it difficult to penetrate a Giffnock side who equalised through Blair Lyons after Ian Paterson put Bonnyton ahead.
The game kicked off in blustery conditions and the weather only worsened towards the end of the game. This perhaps reduced the amount of real quality football on show than we would have expected from these two clubs but nonetheless we were treated to an exciting spectacle from the off.
Giffnock came out of the blocks to press the hosts and their efforts landed them the first opening of the match on five minutes but Connor Daniels couldn’t capitalise on Bonnyton giving the ball away in defence. Daniels had two pops at goal but both were blocked by defenders.
Moments later Daniels almost made it third-time lucky, this time from a free kick 20 yards out but it smacked off the bar before being cleared from danger.
Giffnock made it hard for Bonnyton to initiate any flowing moves but on 11 minutes Chris Kelly wiggled his way past two defenders at the left by-line after getting on the end of a through ball from the middle and then cut the ball back from inside the 18 yard box for Steven McCarrison. The striker fired a shot at goal from the penalty spot but his shot was blocked for a corner. However, the danger wasn’t over for Giffnock.
From the ensuing corner, an enticing ball in between the defenders and goalkeeper caused confusion in the Giffnock defence and no-one could match the height Ian Paterson achieved on his jump and he nodded the ball into the net past the helpless Stephen McPhee.
Despite only being just under 15 minutes into the match it could be argued that, in terms of chances, Giffnock didn’t deserve to be behind, although Bonnyton had controlled more of the possession.
With that in mind the visitors manufactured the next chance of the game just before the 20-minute mark. James Duncan picked the ball up from outside the area and shot from 18 yards with the outside of his boot but Scott Purdie made a good save for the home side to keep a clean sheet – for now.
Purdie was left defenceless as Giffnock equalised after Bonnyton again lost possession in their own half. Matthew Doherty won the ball and played a good through pass in between the Bonnyton full back and centre half for Lyons to pounce onto. The move was perfectly timed and Lyons took one touch before lobbing the bouncing ball over the keeper with aplomb from just inside the penalty area.
This gave Giffnock some confidence and they further began to impose their physicality and high pressing on Bonnyton.
This didn’t dissuade the home side from trying to unlock Giffnock and indeed they were unlucky not to go ahead on 29 minutes. McPhee made the first of a number of great saves he would later pull off as he denied McCarrison at the near post following a throw in, parrying superbly.
Five minutes later Lyons was almost able to lob Purdie, this time coming from the right channel as opposed to the left, after he was put through one-v-one. He skewed this effort wide of the goal from the corner of the box and left the scores level – as it would remain until half time, despite Oliver Lincoln having another go for Giffnock at Purdie before McPhee made another great save as he denied Ryan Golightly. McPhee also denied ex-Rangers striker Paul Kane wit a great save of the forward's left boot.
While Bonnyton weren't playing superbly - if it wasn't for McPhee it could have been 3-1 or 4-1 by now.
Just before half time Giffnock had a man sent off by the referee for what appeared to be an off-the-ball incident. 
  • Half Time:
  • Bonnyton Thistle
  • 1-1
  • Giffnock SC Thistle
The second half started with Giffnock playing more direct than they did in the first half due to their lesser personnel. The defence played a number of high and long balls over the top looking to exploit Bonnyton in behind. If Bonnyton’s defence gained control of the ball the away side pressed them high up the pitch, using the wind to their advantage, to disrupt their passing game and put them under pressure. This tactic worked for almost the entire second half as it made it hard for Bonnyton to become effective in the final third as they were forced into panicking from the back.
Because of this it required a loose ball situation for Bonnyton to conjure up their next chance and it was attacker Sean Mears who almost scored a magical goal as he aimed for the top corner from the edge of the box – but McPhee tipped the ball over.
A melee in the box following a 64th minute corner almost put Giffnock ahead with Bonnyton struggling to clear before Steven Hill had a turn and shot from the edge of the danger area flash wide.
In an increasingly end-to-end match Giffnock’s Doherty burst in between two Bonnyton defenders and shaped to shoot from the corner of the 18 yard box, only to fire wide.
Lee Gordon had been one of Bonnyton’s better players in the middle of the park before being substituted but his replacement Ewan Barrie first contribution with twenty minutes to go was to see his header saved at point blank range by the impressive McPhee following a cross from the right wing.
Bonnyton were now turning the screw and piling on the pressure and their fitness was beginning to show as was the strength of their bench with Barrie, Declan Adam and last but not least Sam McCloskey all coming on and having a positive impact on the game.
Adam hit a speculative shot from 25 yards after turning and driving into space in the middle of the park once he picked up the ball. The midfielder was unlucky to see his fierce shot parried away by the superb McPhee and then bounce back off the bar. Echoes of James McFadden in France almost came to be heard but instead of creeping under the bar the keeper’s tip was enough to keep it out.
 McCloskey would be the sub to make the difference through, clinching the goal that left Giffnock gutted. And what a move it was. Neat work on the edge of the area between Bonnyton’s midfielders and forwards allowed McCloskey to find himself some space just outside the ‘D’ and he let ping with his right foot and watched it fly into the bottom corner. Even in the form he was in, McPhee couldn’t reach this fast-moving, powerful yet accurate drive at his goal.
The goal came with less than ten minutes to play and it left Giffnock despondent and gave Bonnyton impetus to seal the game once and for all. The extra man was telling now and Andy Hunter grabbed a goal towards the end – another superb effort. Hunter’s strike was preceded by lovely footwork that allowed him to open up and shoot across the goalie from the corner of the 18 yard box. It was a goal for the cameras – and it was just a shame the photographer had already packed up!
The full time whistle went after a game that was a good preview for the cup match the two sides will play in the coming weeks. Giffnock can take great heart from the performance and they frustrated Bonnyton for long periods. The home side kept their cool and brought on good players from the bench that allowed them to finish the match fitter and stronger and in control - and they could have won by more despite not playing at their best for 90 minutes, largely down to McPhee's goalkeeping. Bonnyton stay unbeaten in the league while Giffnock remain just below the mid-table mark.
  • Full Time:
  • Bonnyton Thistle
  • 3-1
  • Giffnock SC Thistle


Bonnyton Thistle
Giffnock SC Thistle

1. Scott Purdie
2. Lee Gordon
3. Declan Adam
4. Ewan Barrie
5. Kris Chisholm
6. Steven Hill
7. Andy Hunter
8. Chris Kelly
9. Ryan Golightly
10. Steven McCarrison
11. Sam McCloskey
12. Kieran McCrum (c)
14. Sean Mears
15. Ian Paterson
16. Paul Kane
17. Justin Wood

1. Stephen McPhee
2. Gavin Orr
3. Johnny McNamara
4. Andrew Gilroy
5. David McHarg Shearer
6. Joseph Leach
7. Connor Daniels
9. Kristopher Holmes
10. Oliver Lincoln
11. Matthew Doherty
12. Blair Lyons
14. James Duncan
16. Niall McGinley

Star Player
Bonnyton Thistle
Giffnock SC Thistle
It's hard to pick someone when the match winner came from the bench but his for great goal at the end and his good work ethic throughout - this one goes to Andy Hunter.
One man - Stephen McPhee. If it wasn't for him Bonnyton could have won by four or five.
Magic Moment
Bonnyton Thistle
Giffnock SC Thistle
Both the late goals were superb and both celebrated with joy but since Hunter has MOTM and the fact that his [Sam McCloskey] goal effectively won the game - the magic moment is his clinical edge-of-the-area strike following neat interplay.
Blair Lyons opening goal was a great example of pressing a team high up the pitch and immediately taking action - a great through ball and wonderful lobbed finish leaving Bonnyton stunned and angry.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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