Fixture: East Kilbride Caledonian Thistle FC v West Park United U13
Competition: Central Region Cup - Round 3
Venue: Ballerup Pitches, East Kilbride
Date: Sunday 24th January 2016
At the third attempt, due to fixtures being postponed due to bad weather the previous weekends, West Park travelled to East Kilbride to face Caledonian Thistle from the Lanarkshire FSA in their Round 3 match in the Central Region Cup.
It took both teams some time to get into their stride and deal with the windy, blustery conditions. The first half was a case of both sides trying to settle themselves back into a match rhythm. With the Christmas break and the recent match postponements, both teams will not have played a competitive match for about 5 weeks so it appeared players were a bit ‘rusty’ and took their time to find their passing range.
The first half was mainly a midfield battle, with both teams trying to gain the upper hand with play switching from half to half with little clear-cut chances for either side. Of those that did materialise, West Park had the best of these despite playing into the wind, but were unable to find the net.
West Park midfielder and captain Ryan Todd had a couple of long-range efforts that just went over the bar, whilst Rhys McNamee also had a couple of chances. The closest came when the EKCT keeper raced out to block a shot just inside the box after a great defence splitting pass had sent the West Park striker in on goal.
Half Time: East Kilbride Caledonian Thistle 0-0 West Park United
A half-time change of formation and tactics for West Park were quickly rewarded with the opening goal in the first minute of the second half. The deadlock was broken by Ryan Todd, who raced through past the defence after a loose ball and finished well in a one-on-one with the East Kilbride keeper.
West Park started to regain their pre-break confidence, and now with the advantage of the wind behind them, started to create more chances to extend their lead. The second arrived 10 minutes later, after a brilliant run down the left wing by Ryan Todd, followed by a deft cut inside to his right and lofting an excellent shot into the far side of the goal for his 2nd goal of the game.
This lifted the spirits of West Park, and they continued to take control of this Cup match. The midfield stood up well to the expected East Kilbride fightback, with the defence also ensuring that any opportunities were kept to a minimum, and the goalkeeper Euan Murray collecting everything that came near him.
The third goal duly arrived 26 mins into the half, Ryan Todd forced the keeper into a great save with the ball ricocheting loose in the box which Rhys McNamee didn’t hesitate in following up and slotting home into the net.
West Park wrapped up the win four minutes later with a well worked team goal. Jamie Etherson intercepted a goal kick by East Kilbride, moving the ball forward quickly to Arren Molloy who played a lofted ball over the defence to Rhys McNamee, who cleverly kept himself onside and finished well in the opposite corner for his 2nd of the match and West Park’s fourth.
West Park emerged victorious and moved into the 4th Round of the Cup, where they face a long trip to Oban this Sunday (31st January) to play Oban Saints Youths for a quarter-final place.
Full Time: East Kilbride Caledonian Thistle 0-4 West Park United