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Late stunner in the snow books Hutchie's semi spot

EKFC Blues 0

Hutchison Vale 1

McCann 70
  • Saturday, 01 February 2014
  • K Park
  • Under 13´s
  • TWS Scottish Youth FA Cup - Quarter Final

Andrew Watson | YFS Central Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

EKFC Blues and Hutchison Vale met in the Quarter Finals of the TWS Scottish Cup at a snowy K Park in East Kilbride on a bitterly cold morning, with all credit going to the ground staff and EKFC committee for making sure there was football to warm the large crowd gathered under the stand at the impressive facility.
 
Shortly after kick off, it became clear that the operation of clearing snow from the pitch, which continued until the match began, would be worth the time, as two excellent and evenly matched teams set about sealing a semi-final spot on the Road to Airdrie.
 
The home side started the brighter, and did not have to wait long for their first effort on goal, as good work in midfield by Ben Kilcoyne gave James Airens an opportunity from 20 yards, but his first time effort was deflected over the crossbar.
 
A minute later, the first real chance of the match arrived for EKFC, when Zak Lindsay latched on to a short back pass, but the onrushing Ciaran Cairns was quick off his line to save bravely at the striker’s feet.
 
Cairns was again forced into action in a strong opening period by EKFC, this time doing well to hold on to a well struck volley from Sol Kelly after a testing cross from the left by Airens. EKFC’s front two of Kelly and Lindsay, ably assisted by Airens, caused the visiting defence many problems with their pace and power throughout the early stages, but a combination of good goalkeeping by Cairns and strong resistance by those in front of him put paid to these early attacks.
 
Against the run of play, after 18 minutes Hutchison Vale created a golden opportunity to take the lead. A passing move involving Daniel Lock, Lewis McCann and Luke McMahon created space for McMahon on the right hand side of the penalty area, and his sweetly struck shot was bound for the top corner before Kyle Brooks’ superb diving intervention tipped the ball over the bar.
 
The game was beginning to open up as the half progressed, and two minutes later EKFC’s best chance of the half was created all on his own by the ever dangerous Kelly. Outmuscling the defender who was attempting to shield the ball out for a goal kick, he won possession and forced Cairns into a fine save from close range. This was the start of a personal battle within the war, as twice within the next five minutes Cairns denied Kelly the chance to send his side into half time in the lead. Firstly, from the resulting corner, Kelly found space in a packed area to test Cairns’ handling in the slippery conditions, and then forced the keeper into a smart save from the left edge of the penalty area.
  • Half Time:
  • EKFC Blues
  • 0-0
  • Hutchison Vale
Unlike the first half, Hutchison Vale started the second period on the front foot, and twice in the opening minutes home goalkeeper Brooks was tested by efforts from McMahon and McCann, and on both occasions he displayed exemplary handling despite the slick condition of the pitch.
 
With 45 minutes played Hutchison missed a huge opportunity to take the lead, when good wing play by Scott Latto produced a cross which found McMahon unmarked, but his first time volley was too high with only Brooks to beat. 
 
The second half developed into a midfield battle, as the respective sides opted for only one striker supported by attacking wingers, but EKFC’s Kelly and Hutchison’s McMahon were starved of service, aside from occasional set pieces.
 
As the match entered the final ten minutes, however, the match became stretched as the effects of an hours’ exertion in the heavy conditions, and chances came at both ends. Firstly, Kyle Brooks excelled himself yet again to keep the scoreboard blank, as Brandon Blair’s cross from the left found Nathan Hill on the 18-yard line, and his drilled low shot was held superbly by Brooks. Then McMahon was again thwarted by the brilliance of Brooks, as his attempted chip was tipped wide by the fingertips of the keeper at full stretch.
 
With less than three minutes left on the watch, EKFC forced a corner after strong play by Sol Kelly once more, but just seconds later, Callum Anderson had threaded a perfectly weighted through ball to Lewis McCann for Hutchison, after launching a quick breakaway from his own clearance. With most of EKFC’s players still in the opposing penalty area, McCann had the freedom of the EKFC half to bear down on Brooks. As he advanced in line with the penalty spot he slotted the ball towards goal, but Brooks spread himself to produce a heroic save, which was celebrated like a goal in the stand by the home support.
 
It seemed like the crowd was preparing for an extra 20 minutes to decide the winner, but with the match seemingly destined for extra time, Brooks was finally beaten. It always seemed like it would have to be something special to beat the superb goalkeeper, and the strike that broke his resistance was worthy of winning any game. Lewis McCann picked up possession on the left hand edge of the EKFC box, and dribbled across the entire 18 yard line, weaving away from challenges before unleashing an unstoppable strike from the opposite angle of the area, which flew into the roof of the net for a stunning solo goal.
 
There was hardly time to kick off again, and the imminent final whistle was met by delirious celebration from Hutchie and EK players slumping to the turf.
 
After 70 minutes of two evenly matched teams trying to play football the right way, passing and moving with pace and accuracy, strong attackers meeting strong defences and excellent goalkeepers stopping everything that was thrown at them, no team deserved to lose. It was fitting then that a truly superb goal proved to be the only difference between EKFC and Hutchison Vale.
  • Full Time:
  • EKFC Blues
  • 0-1
  • Hutchison Vale

Lineups

EKFC Blues
Hutchison Vale

1. Kyle Brooks
2. Jamie Robb
4. Straun Sinclair
5. Sol Kelly
6. Kerr Elliot
7. Barry Donaghue
8. Ross Taylor
9. Zak Lindsay
10. Reece Horner 
12. Cavan Burns
16. Grant Sneddon
17. James Airens
18. Michael Peden
20. Callum Mackenzie
21. Craig McMillan
23. Ben Kilcoyne

1. Ciaran Cairns
2. Jay Peat
3. Nathan Hill
4. Thomas Sweeney
5. Eden Paterson
6. Ross Young
7. Luke McMahon
8. Rory Campbell
9. Lewis McCann
10. Luis Malcolm
11. Brandon Blair
15. Daniel Lock 
16. Callum Anderson
17.Scott Latto
18. Declan McFadden
21. Niall McFadden

Star Player
EKFC Blues
Hutchison Vale
Difficult to choose between goalkeeper Kyle Brooks and striker Sol Kelly. Both players did not deserve to be on the losing side.
Difficult to look beyond matchwinner Lewis McCann. Good all round performance and winning goal would light up any ground or game.
Magic Moment
EKFC Blues
Hutchison Vale
Any of Kyle Brooks' series of fine saves in the second half, but his one-on-one heroics in the closing stages to deny McCann drew applause from all in the stand.
The winning goal by Lewis McCann. Difficult to understate the excellence of this goal. A goal like that in the last minute of a Scottish Cup quarter final was a stroke of genius.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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