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Both Jerviston and Newton showed a nervous disposition as they were forced to wait an extra thirty minutes to start their game as the game before them went all the way to penalties.
 
But soon enough the teams took to the pitch surrounded by the beautiful countryside and fields of Carluke as the sun beamed down on what was shaping up to be a competitive LFDA League Cup Final.
 
Much of the opening 15 minutes saw a tetchy midfield battle with Adam Greer controlling the possession for Jerviston when they had the ball, but in truth, Newton dominated the ball without actually creating anything for their strikers to feed off of.
 
Much of the Newton play was attempted down the right wing but was cut out by the Jerviston defence time and time again for throw ins which often led to more sideways passing and meaningless possession.
 
Newton grew complacent on the ball and Jerviston pounced on this slack play and created a fantastic chance as the ball was won with many Newton players committed forward to try make something of this early confidence.
 
The ball was hoofed down the right wing and Declan McAuley made chase, outsprinting Jamie Doyle as he desperately tried to regain the shape of Newton’s defence but to no avail, the ball was crossed at a fantastic height for the unmarked Gareth Kerr but his volley was saved at point blank range by Lewis Cameron and tipped over for a corner.
 
Fantastic opportunity to spit in the face of Newton’s dominance.
 
Jerviston now had the wind in their sails and continued to batter the Newton back four with Declan McAuley’s bad touch gifting the ball to the ‘keeper after the ball breaking in the box.
 
They took the lead after 20 minutes when they won a free kick on the right corner of the box.
 
With players lining up in the box, the Newton goalkeeper Doyle expected a high cross into the box but Conor Boyle spotted this and caught him out at his near post, giving the boys from Motherwell the lead.
 
Newton finally created something for themselves as the ball broke for Sam Kent 25 yards out who rounded the charging Jerviston ‘keeper but with his view obstructed by a defender, he tried to swivel and find a pass but lingered on the ball in a crucial position and was soon fouled by a trio of Jerviston players led by Adam Greer.
 
The resulting free kick was hammered into the wall and cleared.
 
Jerviston should’ve made it 2-0 when Reiss Stewart split open the Newton midfield and defence with a pinpoint pass to Gareth Kerr whose low drilled shot from the right was tipped past the post by Lewis Cameron.
 
The Jerviston goalkeeper Aidan Allan once again found himself in an awkward position after initially clearing a route one display from Newton but the ball landed to Jamie Main with the empty goal at his mercy and Allan nowhere to be found.
 
An equaliser seemed a given but Conna Rice bailed out his ‘keeper with an excellently brave block, the ball was still live but Allan re-joined the conversation and dove in front of the rebound shot from Main, maintaining the clean sheet for now.
 
Newton soon again took a hold of the match with the possession that they had enjoyed for much of the opening minutes.
 
They won a free kick 25 yards out which David Thompson struck with tremendous ferocity, forcing Allan to tip it over for a corner.
 
The ball was then sent right on top of Allan from the corner and Jamie Main made up for his missed opportunities just minutes before and nodded the ball home to bring the teams in even at half time
Blantyre began the match as big favourites, having already won the league cup only a few weeks ago and winning 15 out of 15 games in the league this season. Mossend had lost the previous encounter to Blantyre in the league 4-0 and sit 6th in the league. 
 
Blantyre started the match against Mossend by kicking from right to left, but Mossend started the brightest in the initial stages but only had a poor cross into the box to show for it. 
 
Shay Livingston looked sharp for Blantyre and some initial good work by him won successive corners but nothing came of them.
 
Despite all the pressure in the opening stages coming from Blantyre, the first big chance was to fall to Mossend after 5 minutes.
 
Lee Dixon was played through and had a great chance to open the scoring against the run of play but a wonderful tackle from captain Jay Swan prevented him from hitting the target. 
 
Aaron Henderson was to have Blantyre's first chance after 6 minutes but the Mossend keeper Gary Joe McMullan made himself big and pulled off the first of a string of saves to keep his side in the game. 
 
From the resulting corner Blantyre thought they had scored but the linesman correctly flagged for offside after a mistake from the keeper. 
 
Mossend again had a wonderful opportunity after 11 minutes with Lee Dixon attempting to get there in front of the Blantyre goalkeeper, David Malarky, but couldn’t quite get there. 
 
Blantyre started to dominate possession as the game settled down and the best chance of the match was to fall to them after 17 minutes. Excellent play from Jack Murphy resulting in him crossing for Bradley Craig however he blazed over when it seemed easier to score. 
 
Blantyre eventually got a deserved goal to open the scoring 22 minutes in, the ball was flicked on from Henderson, Craig this time squared it to Livingston and he couldn’t miss from only six yards out. 
 
Blantyre began to take control of the final and only a few minutes later should have been two up if it wasn’t for a top save from the Mossend keeper following a good strike from Jack Murphy. 
 
It was one way traffic for most of the first, as Blantyre were getting down Mossends left side a lot and were causing them a lot of problems. 
 
30 minutes in, Craig sent Henderson clean through but he blazed his chance over bar, with Mossend hanging on.  
 
McMullan made a fine double save only moments later to prevent Blantyre going clear and if they were 3 or 4 up, nobody could have argued. 
 
However, Mossend somehow managed to find a hugely unlikely equaliser, thanks to some fantastic work from Brendan Markey on the right hand side, he cut it back for striker Liam Watson who poked it home to spark big celebrations in the 33rd minute for the Mossend fans. 
 
McMullan made another good stop as Mossend went into halftime the much happier side after being under the pump for most of the first half. 

Holytown Colts defied all odds to come from two goals down against Drumsagard AFC and emerge victorious in the U13s LFDA Cup Final.

A Lucas Ramsey double gave Drumsagard a two-goal cushion, but goals from Lennon Black, Aiden McFadden and Shaun Ward turned the game around in dramatic fashion.

A scrappy start to the game saw plenty of throw-ins, and the first real opening of the game saw a high Ramsey shot held well by Holytown keeper Robin Dingwall.

Ward turned superbly in the Drumsagard box but could only fire a tame effort at Nathen Coyne’s goal, before Ramsey glanced a header wide of the target.

Black had to be on his toes in the Holytown defence to prevent Josh Carroll finding space in behind, but could do nothing to thwart the opposition’s attack moments later.

A short headed back-pass from Scott McCallum allowed Craig Queen in on goal, but his effort could only strike the post. However, Ramsey was on hand to tap into an empty net and give his side the lead.

The striker doubled his own and his side’s tally just four minutes later, latching onto another under-hit Holytown back-pass and calmly slotted past Dingwall into the bottom right corner.

Ward had a great opportunity to pull a goal back for his side just moments after falling two behind, but after rounding Coyne and with the goal at his mercy, he couldn’t find the necessary power and saw Drumsagard defenders rush back to clear his tame effort.

Queen had a shot deflected just over the bar, but it was Holytown who found the net next, Black bulleting a header into the bottom corner from a delightful Sean Clark corner.

Jamie McLaughlin nearly found himself through on goal soon after, but was cynically fouled right on the edge of the penalty area. Clark fired the resulting free kick inches over the bar, before a stunning pass from Blair Shillady and a deft knockdown from Queen saw a fierce effort fly just over from Ramsey.

A sore looking but manageable injury to Connor Gracey and a half-chance for Shillady were the last actions of the first half, with the score remaining 2-1 heading into the break.

Despite the sun shining over a beautiful day in north Motherwell, the Lanarkshire Football Development Association League Cup Final between Drumsagard and Bellshill AFC was held inside the fantastic facilities of Ravenscraig.
 
Both teams seemed focused on the game during their warmups and as they walked out to the roar of the crowd there to watch, you could tell this was going to be a well contested match.
 
It was clear in the first ten minutes that Drumsagard had the composure over their opponents though, they held on to the ball well and captain Kyle Gillespie linked up well with Blair Shillada and Taylor Murray on either wing.  
 
They used their pace and skill to often beat their respective full backs and whip balls into the box but striker Craig Queen lacked the height and heading accuracy to make anything of the chances.
 
Defender, Jack Fagan of Bellshill did a good job of taking Queen out of the match for large spells of the game.
 
The first real chance of the match fell to Blair Shillada after linking up with Taylor Murray on the right wing which sent him through on goal with a tight angle but a poor heavy touch allowed keeper Josh Wilson to collect the ball with ease.
 
Soon after, Bellshill managed to get into the game a bit more with their long balls making it awkward for Drumsagard defenders Lewis Wark and Alexander Ballantyne at times but the pair stood strong and despite some scary moments seemed fairly confident at the back together.
 
Kyle Ross of Drumsagard was given a golden opportunity to take the lead twenty minutes in when a long free kick from their own half was lofted into the box and as the Bellshill players held their high line, Ross was left all alone twelve yards out from goal with the ball soaring right to his feet but his volley hammered off the crossbar and the rebound was hit high and wide.
 
Drumsagard continued to send messages to Bellshill of what was to come.
 
Drumsagard hadn’t put together many clear-cut chances thus far in the game and many of their shots had been from range and even though many of them were destined for the top corner, Wilson in goal for Bellshill had been equal to every one of them.
 
The first goal for Drumsagard came just on the half hour mark when Shillada once again showed good pace and determination to charge down and block a Bellshill clearance following a throw in on the mangers’ far side which caused the ball to bobble into the box.
 
Josh Wilson hesitated whether to rush out or not, Shillada poked the ball over the beaten keeper and made it 1-0 to Drumsagard although the goal had been coming for a while following Drumsagard’s continued domination of possession and calmness on the ball.
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 21:25

Five star Strathaven humble Aston Villa

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Strathaven Dynamos U17s battled to a hard-fought 5-1 win over Aston Villa in their LFDA B League match. The score line somewhat flattered the hosts, for whom goals from Calum Hymas, Sean Cunningham, Ethan Charlton and William Poulton saw off their rivals, who levelled through Craig Leitch early in the second half.

An even start to the match saw both sides create early opportunities to score, Taylor Wilkinson going close for Villa before a good headed back-pass from Scott Logan prevented William Poulton getting in on goal.

However, Poulton was the creator for his side’s opener moments later, crossing low for Calum Hymas to slide under Ben McNicol after just three minutes. Some good defending from Elliott Sorbie and Gregor Mitchell in the early stages of the game ensured their one goal lead lasted.

Hymas looked to double his own and his team’s tally with a trademark run from deep inside his own half, but fell at the last hurdle after being tackled just as he was about to enter the Villa penalty area.

The away side cranked up the pressure and were aggrieved when a controversial clearance-come-back pass from Mitchell wasn’t given, and Scott Roy went on to test Ross Dyet in the Strathaven goal with a firm effort which was well held by the keeper. Hymas was then perhaps lucky not to be booked for a hopeful dive after being put through on goal.

Sean Cunningham had two good chances in quick succession to double Strathaven’s advantage.

He was inches from connecting with another outstanding Poulton cross, before he headed wide from point blank range after a Connor Anderson corner. Strathaven’s centre backs were having a troubling few minutes, and a missed Elliott Sorbie clearance resulted in Roy going through on goal, but he could only fire his shot wide of the mark.

An injury scare for Mitchell put the game on hold, but the defender shrugged it off and battled on.

Taylor Wilkinson looked dangerous on the right flank, and his penalty claims after his cross struck the arm of Mitchell were waved away by the referee. Poulton then nipped in front of McNicol but headed narrowly wide, before Ben Brown performed a heroic tackle on his own goal line to prevent his side conceding again.

Leitch shot just over the bar from a good position after pressure from make-shift left back David Cameron, and a blocked Elliott Sorbie header from a Strathaven corner was the last action of an incident-filled first half.

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.
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