On a bright sunny afternoon, at Ochilview Park in Stenhousemuir, the Cumbernauld Colts and Hamilton Accies Boy’s Club met to decide the CSFA under 13 Cup winners. In front of a passionate crowd, the occasion was marked with a family friendly atmosphere, which was comparable with the maturing nature of these talented youngsters. The age grade has special significance for all Scottish youth footballers as it is the first grade at which the clubs field teams of 11-a-side.
The match had major implications for both sides. The Colts have positioned themselves to potentially achieve a treble of trophies this season, with the League and Regional Cup titles to be settled later in the year. Hamilton, on the other hand, had already tasted defeat in a final this season, against the hosts Stenhousemuir, and were out to fight for what silverware was still on offer.
In a high intensity end-to-end contest both sides were able to produce goal scoring opportunities across both halves, which left the family members in the stands biting their nails. The 3-1 victory for the Colts does not account for the intense pace of the match. The quality of the goals were unrivalled by any match on the day with three superb solo efforts. Were it not for the efforts of both goalkeepers the score would have been considerably higher. Overall the match was a thrilling finale to the season, in which these young men left the field with their pride intact.
The first half began as a tight-knit affair with neither team able to find enough breathing space to create a serious goal scoring opportunity. The breakthrough came mid-way through the half with a powerful header from Ciaran Hall putting the Cumbernauld side into the lead.
However, the greater number of chances created by the Colts could not extend their lead and it was soon wiped out by a brilliant solo run and goal from Dylan Ramage, which came from nothing. The rest of the half was a more aggressive attacking affair from both teams with the existing 1-1 score line looking unlikely to stay for long.
The final goal of the half from the Colts’ Ciaran McGukin was a display of exceptional footballing potential as a powerful blaster into the top corner restored their one goal lead.