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Mill advance to Scottish Cup semis after EKFC thriller

Mill United FC 3

McInall, Connachan, Reid


Philbin, Gillespie
  • Saturday, 01 February 2014
  • Fairhill, Hamilton
  • Under 21´s
  • TWS Scottish Youth FA Cup - Quarter Final

John Cox | YFS Central Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

On a freezing day at Fairhill in Hamilton, the draw of the Scottish Cup paired together Mill United and EKFC in what was a fierce local derby. The teams played out an entertaining game, and the home team were eventual 3-2 winners. Gary McInall, Kieran Connachan and David Reid scored for Mill, whilst Chris Philbin and Scott Gillespie netted for the visitors. The referee had a fair amount of big decisions to make, and this would influence the game.
Gary McInall had a shot in the opening minute but the defence of EK blocked it and cleared it. The Hamilton outfit would continue to press, and Kieran Connachan played a good ball into the box, but Stephen Ward headed it away. The ball wasn't yet cleared far enough, and McInall received the ball on the edge of the box, the EK goalkeeper rushed out to him but the striker took it round him and the ball took a touch of an EK foot and found its way into the net. A great start for Mill.
The visitors started playing better after the goal, and Scott Young fired a shot from outside the box which flew by Nathan Wharton's post and out for a goal kick. They would  attack Mill again after this, Scot Gillespie in particular having a crack but it didn't trouble the goalie. In the next 5 minutes would be a dominant midfield battle, but out of nowhere Craig Tocher had a go and was very unlucky not to hit the target, with his long shot sailing just over.
The first half didn't have much in it after this until the last 5 minutes. McInall, again, found himself through. He lashed the ball into the net but the whistle had already gone for offside.
  • Half Time:
  • Mill United FC
  • 1-0
  • EKFC
The second half was no doubt a great period of football to have watched. It started off with Mill restarting the game, but losing the ball to the opposition. The midfielder ran down the right wing, and a perfect delivery found Ross Bryden. He volleyed it from chest height and the ball couldn't have been closer to the goal without going in. He knew it was a chance that had to have been taken, but unfortunately for EK, it hadn't.
10 minutes on, and EK were back on the break. Chris Philbin ran down the wing, cut inside the box and hut a shot which took everyone by surprise, including the Mill keeper however he did get a hand to it, but it wasn't enough as Philbin was there to convert the rebound and make it 1-1.
East Kilbride continued to push on after their goal, and almost made it 2-1 straight after the restart, with a pass from James Murphy not finding it's target and it was sent up the other end of the park. Darren Sneddon took the ball down brilliantly, and set up Reid to have a shot, but his volley was wide and didn't trouble Calder.
The Hamilton team were on the break again, and a stinging shot from Reid tested the EK goalkeeper but he was equal to it with a fine save to his left. The resulting corner was played in, the connection was made at the back post with a Mill player, and his header was going in if it wasn't for an outstanding save from Calder, who didn't know much about it with how fast the ball was going. The whistle had went for a free-kick for EK just after.
At this point, the free-kick was about to be taken but the whistle was blown and the goal nets had fallen out of place in the EKFC goal. The nets were placed back on after about 7 minutes, and everyone found it a bit humorous, including the ref.
When play resumed, Mill were on the attack from the off, and a good run by John Morrice into the box resulted in Mill getting a penalty. Kieran Connachan stepped up and couldn't have done a better job, into the bottom left corner way out of the goalies reach. The Mill coaches were ecstatic, with there being about 8 minutes left, not many people could see coming what happened next.
East Kilbride took the kick-off, and went straight into the Mill half. After 4 passes, Gillespie found himself one on one and knew he had to score. Well what a thumping strike he gave it, and the ball was in the back of the net. 40 seconds ago it was 1-1, now it was 2-2. 
The game still had lots to come, despite it being in the last 4 minutes. EK's David Mcbride had a chance but he was off balance and it went by the post. The goal kick was taken, and the ball was passed to David Reid. Hit it better he could not have done. From roughly 25 yards out, he curled it right into the top corner, leaving the keeper with not much chance. The Hamilton side celebrated as if they had won the Scottish Cup, the Mill coaches and fans went crazy. It was a great goal, but in amongst all this Ryan McLaughlin and Nathan Wharton had an off-ball incident which I personally didn't see. It resulted in the Mill goalkeeper being shown a red card, and the EK man getting a yellow. One of the Mill defenders went in goals for the last minute.
When everyone thought the game couldn't get any more dramatic, David McBride was sent off for a very bad tackle on a Mill midfielder, and both teams would finish the game with 10 men.
This was easily the most enjoyable game I have watched in a while, and although EK got knocked out, someone had to and they played well. Mill however will fancy their chances of winning the trophy, and if they play like that I can't see why the can't.
  • Full Time:
  • Mill United FC
  • 3-2
  • EKFC


Mill United FC

1. Nathan Wharton
2. Paul Kane
3. Grant Kelly
4. Christopher Brannan
5. Ross Burns
6. Darren Sneddon
7. Kieran Connachan
8. Brian Bittles
9. Gary McInall
10. Michael Coventry
11. David Reid
12. Dean Lindsay
14. John Morrice
15. Ben Falconer
16. Mark Mcquade
17. James Faughnan

1. Ross Calder
2. Liam Hickey
3. Stephen Ward
4. Ross Banford
5. John Griffin
6. Ryan McLaughlin
7. James Murphy
8. Scott Young
9. Ross Bryden
10. Callum Montgomery
11. Craig Tocher
12. Scott Gillespie
14. David McBride
15. Chris Philbin
16. Dominic Reynolds-Cowie
17. Liam McHugh

Star Player
Mill United FC
Gary McInall had a very good game for Mill, opening the scoring and was unlucky not to get another.
The EKFC goalkeeper, Ross Calder, made two stunning saves in a matter of minutes, and with the East Kilbride team being second best for most of the game, he was one of their best players.
Magic Moment
Mill United FC
It has to be David Reid's goal to win the game. Outside the box, it curled right into the top left corner and gave the goalie no chance and it sent Mill to the semi final.
After the penalty was scored against EK, they wasted no time in getting themselves back into the game. 4 passes and under 10 seconds it took them, and Scott Gillespie calmly put it by the keeper.
Club Views
Mill United FC
Gary McCracken, Mill United head coach said after the game: "The game had everything in it. The scuffle at the end ruined what was a great game. East Kilbride were unlucky to lose, but someone had to and fortunately for us it was them. We're having a great season, we've only lost 1 game and the players have every belief that they can go on to win the cup now."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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