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Central Region (94)

East End Thistle hosted Wishaw Wycombe in the League. It was a tale of two halves as the home side looked to have all three points in the bag at half time, but a rejuvenated Wycombe had other ideas as the second half kicked off.

Thistle got off to a flyer with an early goal from a corner kick. Jaymi Patterson whipped the ball into the box and Nicholas McGaughinn got on the end of the loose ball to give the home side the lead.

Wycombe looked for a quick response, Lee Hadden hit the bye line and played a low driven ball across goal but there were no takers.

Thistle grabbed a second after a quickly worked throw in. Ethan Copeland flicked it into Liam Doherty’s path, who tucked the ball into the near corner.

Wycombe had there best chance of the game, Bruce played Browning through on goal, but his shot clipped the top of the bar. 

Browning had a great chance to pull one back for the visitors but he lost his composure, he only had the keeper to beat, but he blazed the ball high and wide of the target.

East End grabbed their third of the day, a terrific solo effort from Ross Smith as he coasted by the Wycombe players before passing it into the far corner.

Another Wishaw chance was wasted when Jordan Carey got himself into a forward position but his shot was wide of the far post.

 

Sunday, 29 January 2017 22:05

Strathaven cruise to victory over Wishaw

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Strathaven Dynamos U17s strolled to a 6-0 victory over Wishaw Wycombe Wanderers in this LFDA B League fixture. A hat-trick from Calum Hymas and goals from Jack Donald, Connor Anderson and Stewart Scott sent the home side on their way to an easy win.

The opening exchanges of the match were closely fought and Kyle Johnson had a good early chance for Strathaven, but could only find the side netting.

Gerald Kane nearly latched onto a short back pass from Gregor Mitchell but Ross Dyet was well off his line to prevent the striker capitalising on the error, before Lewis McDonald had two shots fly wide of the target.

Jack Donald’s pace was troubling the Wishaw defence early on, and he forced two good saves from keeper James Quinn.

Strathaven took the lead in the 16th minute after a high free kick found Mitchell in the box. Where it seemed harder to miss, he sent his shot backwards but David Cameron was on hand to lay off Hymas, who’s delightful shot nestled in the top corner of the net.

Strathaven kicked on from their goal and doubled their advantage soon after through Donald, who scored at the second attempt after seeing his initial shot parried by Quinn.

The second goal seemed to open the game up, and Kane spurned several good chances for Wishaw in quick succession before Connor Anderson struck the crossbar with a curling effort from the edge of the box.

McDonald sent another shot past the post, but Mitchell and Danny Crawshaw defended resolutely and seen that Strathaven went into half-time two goals to the good.

Sunday, 15 January 2017 14:03

Dalziel prevail over Jerviston in local derby

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Dalziel Boys Club were 2-1 victors over Jerviston Boys Club in this closely-fought U17s fixture. Ben Meighan had given Jerviston an early lead, but goals from Enrico Jannetta and Christopher Reid secured the victory for the home side.

Jerviston headed to Daisy Park with hope of avenging a 4-1 defeat to Dalziel earlier in the season. They started the brighter side by winning a succession of corners and free kicks near the Dalziel goal which were well defended. Jerviston saw the majority of the ball in the opening exchanges and had two strong claims for handball on right back Marc Hobson turned down. Hobson was shown a harsh yellow card by the referee for a mistimed challenge soon after. Adam Barton snatched at a rare chance for Dalziel, putting a strong shot over the bar after being laid off by Christopher Reid.

Ben Meighan gave Jerviston the lead in the 16th minute after a fine run and cutback from Joshua Bell, sliding a composed finish underneath Fraser Wright with the first real chance of the game. Meighan continued his fine first half performance by holding the ball up and bringing his team-mates into play, and combined neatly with Declan McAuley only for the final shot to be dragged wide of the target. Aidan Allan and Adam Greer were so far dealing with everything coming at them, including blocking a goal-bound shot from Barton to prevent Daziel levelling the game.

However, the equaliser came just five minutes before half-time, with Scott Livingstone and Matthew McCulloch linking up to find Enrico Jannetta at the edge of the box. His deflected strike found the bottom left corner of the goal. Jerviston should have regained the lead just before the break after Mark O’Rourke missed a close range header, but the sides reached half time with the score at one apiece.

 

 

Thursday, 05 January 2017 14:38

Ross County smash and grab Hibs away from home

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Ross County came to the Oriam with high spirits, but Hibs looked to get the job done early, a lot of missed chances for the hosts gave time for the visitors to settle.

It did not take long for the teams to start challenging the goalkeepers and defense, Russel Dingwall had the first attempt on target after five minutes that forced a good block by Innis Murray in the Hibs midfield. Hibs were getting the ball out wide a lot in the first half which caused problems in the Ross County penalty area, Hibs were pressing very high and piling the pressure on Ross County early on.

Ross County looked dangerous on the counter attack trying to catch Hibs out, this forced Hibs to make several fouls during the match. The first free kick was given mid-way into the hosts half. Ross County had a good chance to get the ball into the Hibs area. Dylan Dykes played an inviting cross into the penalty area but the referee blew for a free kick.

A lovely switch of play from Blair Malcolm allowed Ross County to get up the pitch, Christopher Mclaughlin picked up the ball mid-way into Hibs half, he had a shot at goal but it sailed over the bar. Hibs started getting the ball out wide again putting more pressure on County and won their first corner of the game after about 20 minutes. Murray played a good ball in but everyone missed, Jamie Gullan chased after the ball and won another corner. Murray played another good ball in but Ross County cleared their lines. 

Hibs trialist Enzo Reale adapted very quickly to the game and he had his first shot of the game that forced a brilliant block from Sam Morrison, the ball went back up in the air and Lewis Allan tried an overhead kick that came to nothing.

Ross County won a free kick in a very good position 25 minutes into the game, Dykes and McLaughlin were standing over it, a well hit free kick from Mclaughlin just missed the target. Nothing was to separate the sides after 25 minutes.

Hibs were trying to get Reale on the ball and it looked he was causing County lots of problems when he got his chances. He played a brilliant through ball into the path of Oli Shaw who went down appealing for a penalty but nothing was given. Gullan hit the first shot to make the keeper do some work, he didn't get much connection on it and it rolled into Mark Foden's hands. Dingwall had a good opportunity blocked which went on to deflect off Ryan Porteous for a corner, a tactical corner was floated in to an unmarked Ross MacIver who failed to get the volley on target. 

Hibs had a good opportunity 10 minutes before the interval, Gullan played a good ball in and Oli Shaw's side foot volley was deflected out for a corner. Sean Mackie was running down the left side a lot during the first half, getting the better of Blair Malcolm often and he played a brilliant ball into the box that found Shaw who's shot was cleared off the line. Shaw had another good chance just before half time where he got the better of the center backs using his pace and strength and he was let down by his shot that went wide.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016 21:47

Motherwell hold on to beat Gers in hard fought win

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The Steelmen hosted the Gers at the Excelsior Stadium in the SPFL U20s Development League. It was a hard fought win for Motherwell. After going in at the break with a 2-0 lead, Rangers pulled one back early in the second half to add to the excitement. However, the Motherwell defence was too well organised hard to break down for Rangers to grab the equaliser despite a fine display of some impressive styles of football, they never looked clinical enough in the final third to trouble the home side.
 
Motherwell started the game strongly, they had a great chance to open the scoring just five minutes in when Falconer broke free of the Rangers back four and slotted it past the Gers goalkeeper, but McCrorie was helped out by defender Houston as he was there to slide in and stop the ball crossing the line at the last second.
 
Barjonas nearly put the visitors in front with a well struck free kick from thirty yards out, but it was saved by the fingertips of Morrison.
 
Jack Hastie opened the scoring for the Steelmen. Hastie was first to pounce on a rebounded ball from the shot of Falconer, Hastie blasted it into the net from close range.
 
Liam Burt tried to put the Gers back level pegging with a half-volley struck from 25 yards out which forced a good save from the Motherwell shot stopper, Peter Morrison.
 
Motherwell’s Jordan Armstrong nearly had a disaster as he accidentally played a perfect ball through for Rangers’ Rudden but he was stopped at the last moment from a fantastic challenge Barry Maguire.
 
Motherwell had the perfect end to the first half; catching out the snoozing Rangers defence. Dom Thomas ran with the ball at his feet, his effort was blocked but the light blues couldn't clear the danger, Turnbull was there to punish them though, calmly slotting the ball into the back of the net from 18 yards.
 
The half time whistle came, much to the disappointment of the spectators in the stand. Motherwell went in with a well deserved lead, they were far more clinical than there opponents, who would have been irritated to go in at the break without a goal.
Westerton United & Dumbarton United were playing their first fixture in the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth District Youth League having decided to move from their previous local leagues and were hoping to get off to a good start on the opening day of the season at a wet & windy Colquhoun Park in Bearsden.
 
Despite the weather both teams produced some excellent football with the emphasis on keeping the ball on the floor and playing out from the back. During the opening 20 minutes neither team really troubled their opponents goal as both defences won the important battles in & around the penalty areas.
 
In a 5 minute spell midway through the first half, Westerton took a 2-1 lead, with a couple of well taken goals,  Jack Murphy scoring the first as he ran through and hit a 25 yard shot, which flew into the goal off the underside of the bar leaving Dumbarton United’s goalkeeper Evan Currie with no chance as he came out to close down the attacker. 
 
The 2nd goal was just as good, Frazer Weir dribbling into the area and with a deft touch, placed the ball over the keeper and into the net from just outside the six yard box.
 
Dumbarton United never panicked despite going behind twice during the first half, they kept their discipline and continued playing their neat & tidy football, building attacks from defence and they were rewarded as midfielder Dylan Brown scored twice to draw the game level at 1-1 and  2-2. 
 
Firstly, Ross Peters pass found its way to Dylan who from 6 yards out, headed the ball passed the Westerton goalkeeper Max Clarke and into the bottom corner. His 2nd goal came in the 34th minute as he weaved his way past 3 players and found himself 16 yards from goal before lashing the ball into the net, to make the score at half time 2-2.
On a sweltering Sunday afternoon the U16s SYFA Central Cup champions were decided. For Milton this match was an opportunity to achieve a league and cup double. With two other finals to play for, the FVFDA Challenge Cup and FVFDA League Cup, there was a sense of history in the air for the boys in blue.
 
Calderbraes were looking to win the Regional Cup to complete an exhausting schedule which saw them play up to three games per week for five straight weeks. With a small army of friends, family members and other supporters crowded into Ochilview Park the match would not disappoint.
 
Unlike the cup finals immediately before and after, this match had no shortage of goals and the high attacking pace was set very early on. It was Milton who set the pace in the first half with three goals which showed off their array of talents. Two wonderful individual strikes and a well worked team goal left the travelling support in no doubt as to their team’s focus on victory. The second half was a closer affair with the tension palpable to all those present. However, with one goal per side Milton emerged the worthy winners by a 4-1 score. 
 
The breakthrough for Milton came within the first five minutes. Rory Price scoring with a spectacular curing shot into the top right hand corner.
 
Milton increased the tempo even further with three goal scoring opportunities being blocked, two by Calderbraes’ keeper Jordan Skelton and one by a tackle from Barry Fraser.
 
Calderbraes’ first shot on goal from Lewis Newton was decisively stopped by the Milton goalkeeper Robbie Taylor. However any thought of an immediate equalizer were put out of everyone’s mind when Naill Kelly blasted a scorers to make it 2-0 to Milton.
 
A third goal came after a wonderful pass from Lee Allen put through Joseph McGuckin to score.
Sunday, 12 June 2016 19:30

PFD United secure narrow cup final victory

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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.
On a day when vast throngs of family, friends and supporters made the pilgrimage to Ochilview, perhaps the most vocal were the U19s SYFA final between Mills United and Steins Thistle. Mills United’s progress to the final was remarkable considering that they had finished last season with a prospective U19 team of just seven players, with only the timely recruitment of friends allowing them to compete. As for Steins Thistle, the Central Region Cup would be the culmination of a notable season and would mark a treble, along with the local cup and league titles. 
 
In a match of extremes Steins Thistle and Mill United looked determined to make a breakthrough right from the kick off. With a vocal support both sets of players pressed relentlessly, with Mills United making the most of their chances. The final 2-1 score line does not do justice to match of rapid end to end movement.
 
The first 20 minutes of the match were dominated by Steins Thistle. They saw repeated shots on goal snuffed out by Mill United’s goalkeeper Ryan Tweedlie. A free kick from 30 years when just right of the mills post which signalled that Steins would find the Mills United goal one way or another. This apparent dominance was reinforced by Mills first shot on goal which was convincingly retrieved by Steins goalkeeper Callum Gray. 
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 13:59

Eastend Colts complete comeback to win cup

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The second match on the sunny Sunday finals day was to prove a treat. Both sides brought a sizable and enthusiastic backing to Ochilview Park, which added excitement to the occasion and helped to keep this reporter on the edge of his seat.
 
In a game of two polar opposite halves, the gritty refusal from both sides to quit highlights the potential character building rewards of football on young players. The first half was the better half for Torrance, who were able to settle into their rhythm much quicker and take a 2-0 lead over the Eastend Colts.
 
The second half saw a complete turnaround from the Colts who were able to create an effective barrier in midfield, which allowed Torrance few chances to add to their goal tally. More importantly their attacking potential came through, which saw them eventually take a one goal lead. This finally tally of 3-2 is an adequate reflection of a game which appeared one-sided at times but was, in reality, a hard won effort.
 
After a tentative start in which both sides struggled to find their rhythm, Torrance took the lead after a superb setup by Sonny Campbell put Jordan Greenhill through for the opening goal.
 
As the half progressed Torrance were able to put together the better passing moves on the field. Their play was rewarded by a second goal, this time coming from some persistent play on the left by Campbell who then slotted it through. However, the final moments of the half would be a preview of what was to come.
 
The final decisive play of the half saw Colts striker Kian Donaghy score from a precise right side cross. The score might have been level were it not for several saves from Torrance goalkeeper Fraser Trearty.
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