On a scorching summer day, the U14s champions would be decided. The atmosphere was palpable, with dozens of friends and family members cheering on the young hopefuls. PFD United, only founded in 2010, were attempting to win their third trophy of the season, having clinched the League and League Cup.
However, the side was still suffering from the aftermath of their last minute defeat to East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup Final, and that motivation would prove crucial in this intense contest. Their opponents, Kilsyth Athletic, had so far been unable to repeat their glory of 2015, where they won two CSFA cups. However, Kilsyth were spurred on by a second place finish in the league, which made this final all the more important for the players and coaching staff.
The intense heat stifled the athleticism of both sets of players, with exhaustion evident all around. The most concentrated tussle was in midfield, which meant that the first goal didn’t come until after 50 minutes. Despite the difficulties for both sides in creating chances in the stifling conditions both goalkeepers had to be on top form to keep the score down. All in all there was no question that both sets of young men showed a exceptional character and put in all the hard graft that could have been expected.
The first half was a particularly tight affair with very few chances falling to either side.
The fist shots on target came from the PFD United forwards Jude Crawley and Ioe Booth but they were quickly snuffed out by the Kilsyth goalkeeper Aiden Belton.
Kilsyth made several strides up the left wing, but their attempts were scuppered in a large part due to the efforts of the PFD United defender Rian Kelly.
Even without immediate goals the match was not lacking in drama, as the Belton’s massive leap to retrieve the ball in the air involved a collision with PFD’s Kieran McLaughlin and near summersault onto the astroturf.
The final action of the half saw a Kilsyth run into the penalty box effectively blocked by PFD’s Liam Smith.