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Thursday, 10 October 2013 11:43

Late comeback secures Glasgow opening day win

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Glasgow Schools secured the best possible start to their National Trophy campaign, with a late winner against rivals Lanarkshire in what was a thrilling game with lots of end to end action. Ex Hearts and Celtic midfielder Paul Hartley even came down to Hamilton Palace to watch, the Alloa boss was down to watch two of his players in the Glasgow side Michael Hardie and Chad Meechan, who both had good games in front of their boss.
 
Both sides started of getting a rhythm to their game, playing nice passing football and trying to create chances for themselves. The first chance of the match came via Kieran Doran who was fed threw on goal by Nathan Moore but the Glasgow number nines attempt was tipped over the bar by the keeper.
 
It was even for the first twenty minutes but just before the half an hour mark Lanarkshire opened the scoring in this cup tie when Adam Watson's long floated ball was missed by the defenders head and fell to Kierin Paterson who fired home to put his side ahead.
 
Knowing half time was just around the corner Glasgow pushed to try and sneak an equalizer and nearly got one twice but brilliant saves from Chris Truesdale in the Lanarkshire goal kept them out. Firstly Truesdale denied Sam Smith who ran threw one on one with him then seconds later the Lanarkshire keeper saved brilliantly with his feet from Chad Meechan who ran clear on goal and looked certain to score, but the home side had their keeper to thank going in ahead at half time.
It would be far too early in the season to call any fixture a title decider but it would be clear from the outcome of this match which of these early season contenders was the stronger in the west of Scotland. Celtic Boys Club had started this year like a train putting 17 goals past their opponents in three league matches so far, managed to win their opening tie in the Scottish cup tie without a recognised goalkeeper and next in their sights were the defending champions.
 
Sitting level with todays opponents at the summit of the league table with a perfect record so far Milngavie had yet to concede a single goal in the league, only one in the cup and were looking as strong as ever as they attempted to wrap thei hands around a third successive title to place amongst a number of other trophies that adorn their well stocked cabinet.
 
Under a slate grey sky on the edge of Paisley the two teams lined up and under the watchful eye of referee John Doogan the match kicked off. Celtic were instantly on the attack and within minutes of the start had crafted their first chance when Dylan McKinnon chested down a long ball for Paul McCann to strike but his effort was well held by Ross Fisher.
 
Stephen McKnight then spun well to free himself on the edge of the Miulngavie box and teed up McKinnon to strike but Fisher was once again equal to it, however it would prove to be third time lucky for the hoops when McKinnon spotted the run of McCann who controlled the ball well before tucking it home to give his side the lead after only nine minutes.
 
From the restart Milngavie broke forward and Kalvin Warren found himself in space on the edge of the area but his attempt was gathered cleanly by Daniel Farrell in the Celtic goal before another powerful from midfield dynamo McCann saw Bryce Mclean with the ball in the area but he failed to trouble Fisher with his effort.
 
The second goal wouldn’t be long in coming though and Hoops forward John Skilling pounced upon Wanderers James Logan as he took too long to make use of the ball before striding goalwards and finishing cleanly to double his sides advantage and it was almost three soon after Patrick Canning played in McCann but his shot drifted just wide.
 
Milngavie were quick to respond and poured forward in search of a breakthrough, their orange away shirts popping up all over the Bhoys back line as they probed for an opening. It wouldn’t be long before it came when superb anticipation by Alberto Vezza sent livewire forward Joe Slee clean through who kept his cool to lift the ball past the onrushing Farrell to make it 2-1.
 
All that good work was almost thrown away immediately by Warren whose sloppy defensive pass let in Skilling once again but this time Fisher stood up well and saved with his legs to ensure his side retained the lead.
 
The pressure on Celtic was increasing all the time and Vezza’s clever cross was headed over by Warren and Slee fired wide before Farrell was forced to change direction mid dive to keep out Bailey Williams’ long range effort.
 
Williams would have better luck with his next attempt though as a free kick awarded outside the box was thumped goalwards by him and skipped off the wet turf before being fumbled by Farrell who could only looked on in horror as Slee was first to react and stab the ball past him to equalise as we went into the half-time break.
Port Glasgow Juniors went into there home game hearing the news that last year's champions Hamilton Inverclyde had just been beaten 4-3 by St Andrews Boys Club, the players were buzzing in the warm up and certainly took that momentum into their game against Langcraigs, destroying the visitors 9-1 and moving up to 6th in the table only one point behind Hamilton.
 
Straight from the off Port looked to attack the away side and created many chances the first coming when Scott Lindsay rifled his shot narrowly over the bar from the edge of the box.
 
It wasn't long before the dead lock was broken however, Mark Alexander done well to beat his man and find space to get his cross is for Scott Lindsay to head home in acres of space at the back post.
 
Within two minutes Port Glasgow's lead was not just doubled but tripled, firstly when Ross Rodgers tapped a cross into a empty Langcraigs net then straight from kick off Port skipper Sean Dinning added his sides third.
 
All this had happened before Langcraigs had even woken up, the side had been missing a few familiar faces on the day but still expected more of themselves being three goals down and barely being in the home sides half.
 
It didn't get any better for Langcraigs when their goalkeeper spilled Scott Lindsays header right to the feet of Kieran Toland who tapped home.
 
The game was so one sided in the opening thirty five minutes with Langcraigs not having one shot never mind a shot on target and every time Port attacked them looking like adding another.
 
Just before half time you thought Port had settled down and were seeing out to the break but far from it as came their fifth, sixth and seventh goal just before the forty five minute mark.
 
The fifth goal coming from a great Scott Lindsay pass to Ross Rodgers who sprinted through on goal and slotted home with ease. The sixth via Kieran Toland with a spectacular strike and finally the last goal of a goal filled first half courtesy of Lee Roberts.
Arsenal BC powered through to the third round of the TWS Scottish Youth FA Cup after an impressive 5-2 victory over Rossvale BC. A derby atmosphere surrounded the match and this action-packed game had everything to reward those that turned out at John Paul Academy to take in this classic cup tie.
 
Arsenal got the game underway in conditions that couldn`t have been better, as an unseasonably sunny October afternoon provided a fittingly heated backdrop to the game.
 
The opening minutes were scrappy, as both teams sized each other up before Arsenal took the initiative when Kevin Moran played in Marc Rogers to force the first corner of the game, though the set piece came to nothing.
 
Arsenal showed their ambitions early on as Marcus Clark won a free-kick on the edge of the Rossvale box. Clark himself took the free-kick and forced the second corner of the game as the ball spun off the wall. 
 
Winger John Davis played a great ball into the box and Kevin Moran was unlucky not to score, heading just over the bar.
 
Rossvale got a corner of their own as Connor Clarke did well on the wing to deflect the ball off an Arsenal player and out. Dominic McCafferty whipped a nice ball into the area but a scramble in the box ended with the ball dribbling out for a goal kick.
 
Arsenal had a golden opportunity to go ahead after 13 minutes as Ross Clift was brought down in the Rossvale box by Mark Brown and the referee pointed to the spot. Marcus Clark stepped up and hit a good shot low to the keeper`s right but Ciaran McDade pulled off a fine save, tipping the ball just round the post. 
   
The deadlock didn`t last for long though, as Arsenal went ahead in the 18th minute. Paul McCamley saw a swirling shot from the left hit the far post but the danger wasn`t over for Rossvale as Jamie McGlinchey put the ball back into the danger area for John Davis to finish.
 
Davis was involved again for Arsenal as they doubled their lead a few minutes after taking it. Paul McCamley forced another corner and Davis delivered a great ball in for Kevin Moran to nod into the bottom left corner.
 
Rossvale gathered themselves and started to create a few chances of their own. Striker Connor Clarke did well to wiggle through the Arsenal defence and found Kevin Corr who produced a decent effort towards the bottom left corner. Keeper Shaun Boyle did well to hold the ball though.
 
Rossvale continued to press on to try and force a way back into the game. Glen Stokes laced a lovely ball through to the overlapping Robert Finnan, and he dug out a good shot to the keeper`s right. The ball fell to Connor Clarke after Boyle parried but Clarke couldn`t find the target and blasted the shot well over the bar.
 
After showing signs of promise, Rossvale were dealt a sucker punch as Arsenal went three up. John Davis was sent down the right wing and put a dangerous low ball across the six yard box, finding Ross Clift at the far post to bundle the ball over the line.
 
Arsenal strengthened their vice-like grip on the game soon after, taking a 4-0 lead through a corner from the right. 
 
Marcus Clarke delivered the ball into the danger area and `keeper Ciaran McDade attempted to punch the ball clear, only for it to fall to the feet of Kevin Moran who smashed the ball into the back of the net for his second and Arsenal`s fifth of the game.
 
The tense atmosphere boiled over in the 40th minute when Arsenal`s Jamie McGlinchey and Vale`s Thomas Robertson were involved in a scuffle, both earning a yellow for their troubles. Robertson was sent off a few minutes later after an incident in the box, and Rossvale saw their last hopes of a result disappearing.
 
Arsenal rounded off a mightily impressive first half by adding a fifth through Marcus Clark just before the break. Defender Gavin McNicol sent a long ball into the Rossvale box from his own half and found Clark, who fired the ball past McDade into the bottom left corner.
Monday, 07 October 2013 00:00

Harmony find their rhythm and hit five

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A well organised Harmony Row eventually ran out comfortable winners against Clydebank at Colquhoun Park. In softening sunlight against a backdrop of autumnal colours and Bearsden villas the team from Govan were able to convert their control into goals but only after a spirited Clydebank threatened to come back into the game early in the second half.
 
Harmony kicked off and assumed their intention to gain the upper hand with a series of intelligent probing moves that used the width of the field.
 
However after only three minutes Clydebank had a strong penalty claim waved away by referee Gerry Lyons after a long ball down the right flank from Gavin MacQueen released Steven Murphy into box where a strong challenge brought him down. The ball was quickly cleared to start a Harmony attack which involved Edward McTernan, Stewart Davidson and finished with a Ryan Kennedy shot which was palmed for a corner by goalkeeper Calum Easton. Harmony pressed tight on the Clydebank defence and never allowed the home team to settle on the ball.
 
Harmony’s slick passing game saw a Daniel MacKinnon header saved with Scott Jackson hitting the rebound wide then a good move that involved Davidson, Jackson and, McTernan opened the Clydebank defence without bearing fruit.
 
The game settled into a pattern dominated by Harmony but in twenty minutes against the run of play Clydebank were presented with the best chance of the game. Harmony’s Christopher Meikle was dispossessed by Kieran O’Donnell who had a clear run in on goal but his shot went high. A real let-off for the visitors. This warning to Harmony was heeded when two minutes later they took the lead. Gathering the ball twenty five yards out Jackson swung the ball out to the left where Graeme Anderson’s cross found the head of McTernan who carefully looped the ball past Easton into the left hand corner.
 
This proved to be a purple patch for Harmony and they scored their second goal four minutes later when Jackson saw his effort rebound to Grant Bolton who put the ball crisply into the net.
 
On the half hour mark Clydebank’s Murphy made a powerful run from the half way line but was thwarted by a tackle before he could get a clear shot on goal.
 
At the other end Ross McEntee picked up a loose ball twenty yards out but his free shot on goal went wide of the mark.
 
Harmony were snuffing out the Clydebank attacks and the first half ended with the team from south of the river in command.
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