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Bonnyton bang in five to clinch cup

Johnstone Burgh 1

Skinner 3

Bonnyton Thistle 5

Paterson 6, Hill 39, 47, Golightly 44, Adam 70
  • Saturday, 31 May 2014
  • Keanie Park, Johnstone
  • Under 19´s
  • Elizabeth Canning Cup - Final

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

Bonnyton Thistle overpowered a depleted Johnstone Burgh side 5-1 in the final of the League Cup on Saturday. In the glorious Renfrewshire sunshine, the Kilmarnock side came back from a goal down early on to eventually come out fairly comfortable winners. A superb double from Steven Hill helped seal the win, with Burgh admittedly not being at their maximum.
 
The match kicked off with a sense of who-knows-what could happen; Burgh had edged Thistle in the Scottish Cup on penalties (Bonnyton's signature competition) while the Ayrshire outfit had won both of the league matches quite convincingly. This erratic and background clearly embedded itself in the game early on as after three minutes we had a goal - it was underdogs Burgh who grabbed it. Aaron Lewis' lofted ball down the throat of the Bonnyton defence put them under pressure and sprinting through the middle to latch on was Andrew Skinner; the pacy forward then neatly lobbed the ball over the on-rushing Scott Purdie from the edge of the box with his right foot, sending the Johnstone faithful into ecstatic cheers.
 
The joy however, was short lived.  Almost immediately Bonnyton raced up the park and pressured their opponents into conceding a corner. From the right, a curling delivery from the back post was met head-on by Ian Paterson who evaded his marker, found space and had a free chance to dunk the ball past the helpless Sean Quinn. 
 
With the game now level, things showed no sign of slowing down. The frantic start was emphasised by Thistle keeper Purdie twice in succession coming out from his own box to head the ball clear of danger - in part down to his injured hand - as Burgh pressed their opponents well in the middle and final thirds of the Keanie Park turf.
 
With 20 minutes played, Johnstone Burgh were looking very lively every time they entered the final third. While they weren't stringing as many passes together in possesion as their opponents, their pace in attack with Skinner, Craig Buchanan and Lewis MacDonald was causing the Bonnyton defence problems. Bonnyton too looked capable in the final third and perhaps more likely of actually going ahead but their final touch was often lacking that crucial, clinical element required.
 
Just after the half hour, Burgh had a good chance to go ahead when MacDonald was slipped in on the edge of the box in between the Bonnyton full back and centre half. The attacker pulled the trigger from 16 yards but scuffed his shot, leaving Thistle's goal intact.
 
Johnstone had the next chance again six minutes later when a slack pass in Bonnyton's midfield allowed Johnstone to break through the middle of the pitch with MacDonald racing through one-against-one with Purdie, only to fire straight at him from 12 yards at an angle.
 
From that wake-up call, Thistle reacted. Within moments they had worked the ball up the pitch and kept their opponents camped in their own half as they kept possession. The clinical final touch that had been lacking was then provided by Steven Hill with a great strike from close range to make it 2-1.
 
Now down 2-1, the next goal would be crucial and Burgh would again be made to pay for not taking their chances. As half time approached, the side in red won a corner and from it Ryan Ralston managed to connect but his header wasn't directed at goal well enough to trouble Purdie, and with team-mates queuing up behind him, he could have left it for them - if he had heard such a shout.
 
With just over a minute to go until half time, with Burgh still pressing Bonnyton in their box, the league champions managed to find the next goal. It was a magnificent piece of work from right-back Ryan Golightly who cleared the ball from his own box to alleviate pressure and then advanced up the pitch in support. He eventually received the ball out wide at the edge of the box and attempted a cross, only to see it blocked. Golightly opted to stay up for the corner and it proved an inspired decision as he determinedly got onto the end of the cross and headed downwards into the net with aplomb. This came as a hammer blow for Johnstone; had they not been equalised against so early, and then conceded so late, this game could've went a totally different direction. Now though it seemed certain Bonnyton would go on to win without much challenge.
  • Half Time:
  • Johnstone Burgh
  • 1-3
  • Bonnyton Thistle
The second half had barely even kicked off when Bonnyton all but sealed the win. Coming firing out of the blocks, seemingly set upon burying the game instantly, Thistle pushed up in their opponents half and pressed for a goal. It came via striker Hill who grabbed his brace with a lovely finish to extend the lead to three goals. It was the first chance of the half and eliminated any last chance of Johnstone, who had done well to get to the final and were unlucky when all was said and done to be 4-1 down, coming back into the match.
 
If there were any lingering thoughts that Burgh could make any inroads back into the match, they were dispelled by some top-drawer saves by Purdie. The pick of the bunch came from a free kick on the edge that was amazingly tipped away from the top right-hand corner of his goal. The ball curled and looked certain to fly in but the keeper ensured it would only be the one goal he conceded.
 
The game died down a little in terms of tempo and as Burgh's legs tired, Bonnyton had almost all the possession in the final half hour - with most of it being in their opponent's half. With 64 minutes gone, attacking midfielder Sam McCloskey went close after he latched onto a neat through ball on the edge of the box but couldn't slip the ball past Quinn as he stepped into the area and shot from eight yards.
 
On 70 minutes Bonnyton had their fifth goal to cap a fine performance. Hill made a bee-line down the right to get on the end of a through ball. Tidy footwork from the forward at the by-line opened up space for a cross on the edge of the box. The initial attempt was only half cleared from the six yard box and the rebound was calmly slotted into the corner with composure by midfielder Declan Adam.
 
Johnstone had a couple more pot-shots in the last 20 minutes that Purdie was able to deal with but in all honesty, the game had ended as a contest with that fifth goal. Burgh were forced into searching long balls to try and reduce the deficit but Bonnyton simply cleaned it up with the back four aided by Ewan Barrie in particular form midfield. The box-to-box man almost got a goal for himself late on when, either side of some shots form right winger David Shedden, the central midfielder broke from his own half and worked his way into Burgh's area of the pitch but his shot couldn't find the net at the end of a nice passing move. Later, Purdie denied MacDonald with a great near-post save as Burgh pressed for a second goal in the dying embers.
 
It was a shame to see them game die out in the fashion it did but Bonnyton thoroughly deserved their win and they played some attractive football right up until the final whistle. The four goal scoreline was in part down to Bonnyton scoring at crucial times and having the clinical touch that Burgh lacked, in addition to them having pretty much a full squad to Burgh's 11 players. 
  • Full Time:
  • Johnstone Burgh
  • 1-5
  • Bonnyton Thistle

Lineups

Johnstone Burgh
Bonnyton Thistle

1. Sean Quinn 
2. Aaron Lewis
3. Ross Cairns
4. Calum Craig 
7. Lewis MacDonald
9. Andrew Skinner
10. Craig Buchanan
13. Colin Rose
15. Ryan Ralston
16 Darren Kennedy
18. Callum McFadyen

1. Scott Purdie
2. Marc Abercrombie
3. Declan Adam
4. Ewan Barrie
5. Kris Chisholm
6. Ryan Golightly
8. Steven Hill
9. Andy Hunter
10. Chris Kelly
11. Stevie McCarrison
12. Sam McCloskey
14. Kieran McCrum
15. Sean Mears
16. Ian Paterson
18. David Shedden

Star Player
Johnstone Burgh
Bonnyton Thistle
Graham Cairns had praise for Calum Craig but for me, Lewis MacDonald was a constant threat all day long, even with his team behind.
The league officials gave the award to Ian Paterson who did well at the back and started the ball rolling for Bonnyton. However, for me it was a close call between Steven Hill and Ryan Golightly - with the latter probably just snatching it with a very impressive all-round display.
Magic Moment
Johnstone Burgh
Bonnyton Thistle
The opening goal could (and maybe should) have amounted to more for Burgh but nonetheless Lewis MacDonald could go home proud of such a composed finish so early on in the match. Moreover, the ball through to him was inch-perfect, forcing the keeper to rush out.
The goal which perhaps sealed the win: the third, on the the stroke of half time. It was all Golightly's work - he cleared the ball, sprinted to support the loose ball, hit the initial cross and then headed superbly from the corner that he won. (A Scottish Carlos Alberto?)
Club Views
Johnstone Burgh
Bonnyton Thistle
Graham Cairns (Manager) said: "Bonnyton thoroughly deserved their win but the scoreline was a little bit harsh. We felt we were unlucky to be 3-1 down at half time but certainly in the 2nd half Bonnyton could have added more than two goals".

Cairns added: "We were a bit disappointed in how we played as well. On that performance you'd never dream that we are actually a very good passing team. With only 11 players on the day I was extremely proud of the way every one of them gave 100% in that heat and never gave in right till the final whistle".
Steven Hill (player) on Twitter said: "Good win for the boys"
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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