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Central Region (153)

A feisty Central Region Cup final between Hamilton Accies and North Motherwell Boys Club ended in a hard-fought 2-1 win for Motherwell in a heated clash that threatened to spill over in the second half.

It all looked rosy for Motherwell heading into the break after Hayden Cogan fired them into the lead. However, Kai Kirkpatrick notched a fantastic equaliser for Accies in the second half before being sent off for a late challenge with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Motherwell used the one-man advantage to terrific effect, and grabbed a winner through the tireless Dylan Davidson with just over 10 minutes remaining - sending the Motherwell fans into raptures.

Accies actually started the brighter side in the first 5-10 minutes. Kirkpatrick and Reece Reddiex were lively without really creating too much, and Hamilton had a positive vibe about them.

It was Motherwell who created the first opportunity though, as Lewis Falconer's cross into the box was flicked straight to Jake Inglis, who rifled over the bar with a snapshot.

There was an impressive display of passing football from either side in this one, bringing a fresh and very welcome style of football to the contest. Other than the odd loose ball, both sides were hanging onto the ball well when they had it, and it made for an intriguing contest.

Some lovely, passing play saw Rory Fitzpatrick lay off the powerful Lewis Blane. However, despite having a sight of goal for a second, his shot was quickly blocked.

Motherwell started to get used to the balls coming into Fitzpatrick and Reddiex, with Kieran McMahon and Sean Reid not giving Accies a moment on the ball in the final third after the 15 minute mark.

The game then broke into life. A clever run forward from Reddiex saw the ball break to Ross Ruckett. A terrific chance opened up for him, but he could only fire it over with a wasted effort.

Up the other end though and Motherwell stormed into a 25th-minute lead. Ross Brownlee controlled down the left and played a forward pass to Cogan. There didn't look to be too much on for Cogan, but he seamlessly drifted through several players before rifling an effort over Nicholas McNab and into the net.

Accies struggled for a meaningful response, but the opener didn't stop them playing their passing game. Kirkpatrick fired an effort straight at Stuart Robertson as they continued to move it with confidence.

However, the game was largely where Motherwell would've wanted it. They were in control of proceedings without being dominant. A terrific ball from Anton McQuade through to Davidson saw him fire an effort that had to be parried round.

Despite not creating too much before the break, Hamilton should've been level. Kirkpatrick sent a terrific cross into the area for Shea Lafferty who had peeled off his man. Lafferty, though, could only nod straight at Robertson, who reacted superbly to divert it away and keep Motherwell ahead heading into the break.

Declan Duffy was the hero as the St Ambrose keeper saved multiple penalties to ensure St Ambrose won the Scottish schools league cup 4-2 on penalties against an unlucky Uddingston Grammar.

A dramatic penalty shootout saw Ben O'Brien put his spot kick in the bottom left hand corner to win the cup for St Ambrose after it finished 1-1 after full time. 

Uddingston however were the team to go in front after four minutes, Aaron Davies getting in behind the St Ambrose defence and coolly lifting it over the keeper to give Uddingston an early lead. St Ambrose had a few half chances throughout the half, Eli Simpson and O’Brien looking particularly dangerous down the middle.

Despite their pressing and hard work up front, the Uddingston defence stood firm and were able to withstand the pressure as they went into the break in the lead.

Saturday, 02 June 2018 23:11

Gartcairn leave it late to secure County Cup

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Gartcairn secured the treble as they overcame a nine-man Kirkfield United in the blistering sun at the Falkirk stadium.

The heat was definitely on for both sides as Kirkfield looked for revenge on Gartcairn having been beaten by them six days previous in the league cup final. Gartcairn were on the hunt for a domestic treble and two Craig Cummings goal inspired Gartcairn to do so.

It was a slow start to the game. Both teams trying to adapt to the conditions and making sure not to over exert themselves.

The only real chance fell to Jason Stevenson as he raced through one-on-one with Kirkfield Goalkeeper Tom Crawford. Gartcairn were first to score, Cummings getting the first of his brace in the 28th minute after some lovely build up play by Gartcairn put him through one on one with Crawford and he made no mistake in finding the net. Sam Anderson was desperate to level the score, making a fantastic box to box run, but he could only sting the palms of Drew Gorrie.

Kirkfield levelled just before the break. A corner from the left hand side caused havoc in the box and Gorrie couldn’t claim it, allowing Finlay Patrick to burst the empty net to give Kirkfield a huge boost going into the break.

Calderglen eased their way into the final of the Lanarkshire cup with an impressive performance in front of goal against Dalziel.

Four goals from James Scott inspired Calderglen to an emphatic victory despite the best efforts of Dalziel hitman Nathan Brown who converted a hat-trick for his side.

Calderglen were looking to put the Monday blues behind them after a Scottish cup semi-final exit two days previous, whereas Dalziel had ideas of their own to make the final.

Dalziel took the lead within seven minutes, Brown getting the first of his goals after a powerful run resulting in his shot going under the unfortunate Calderglen keeper Callum McGhie.

Calderglen slowly fought their way back into the game and eight minutes later they were level. William Dawson’s effort went through the hands of Dalziel keeper Alistair Rankin and into the net to level the scoring.

It was end to end stuff, both sides looking not to crack under the pressure of the occasion. A penalty was awarded to Calderglen in the 22nd minute after Sam Morrow was clipped.  Dawson confidently strolled up and fired it home from 12 yards to put his side in the lead.

All Saints were the deserved winners in this hot-headed Glasgow Schools Cup Final. A dominating performance in the midfield from Nathan Fell secured the trophy, with the tough-tackling captain scoring two and setting up another.

It started scrappily at a sun-soaked Loreto. Tackles and aerial challenges were flying in and it wasn’t long until one header resulted in a goal. All Saints skipper Fell bulleted a long throw into the box, and Merci Ngoy was on-hand at the front post to nod in the opening goal after only 14 minutes.

Holyrood almost hit straight back. Anton Neely’s free-kick caused the All Saints goalie trouble, and the ball bounced high around the six-yard line. Dan Martins rose a leg, and the referee gave a penalty for high feet. Neely stepped up again, and hit his penalty low to the left, but keeper McClellan was fully behind it and kept the Saints ahead.

One or two chances were exchanged with Merci Ngoy and Fell again testing the Holyrood keeper, but there was nothing Aaron McKissock could do to keep Fell’s next shot out. 

The referee played a good advantage in midfield, allowing Scotland Schoolboys’ star Fell to control the ball, knock it past his man and curve a shot into the bottom corner with the outside of his left foot. It was a sublime piece of skill, and it doubled All Saints lead on the half-hour mark. 

But, Holyrood were able to hit back just before half-time. Ikenna Anunobi broke through after a great ball from Shakhar Kamal and won a corner. Centre-half Danny McGeever lept through the air and powered a bullet header into the net. 2-1 going into the break.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 10:25

Gartcairn do the Double

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Gartcairn Academy lifted their second trophy in as many months on Sunday when they triumphed over Eastwood Juveniles to win the Kenwil Print and Design Cup.

Daniel Johnstone’s second half goal was all that separated the two sides at the final whistle in what was a hotly-contested final.

Gartcairn kicked off on a gloriously sunny afternoon at Benburb’s New Tinto Park and both side flew out of the traps in an energetic start to the game.

Each side was desperate to gain the upper hand which resulted in a frantic beginning to the game.

The first chance of the game came when Steven Hastie galloped down the left wing, outstripping the defence and driving towards the near post, forcing Scott Matthews to parry the ball behind.

Gartcairn then responded with a good opportunity of their own. Some slick passing down the left channel released Luke Kelly, who beat his man before cutting the ball to the edge of the box. Josh Moore was waiting but fired his effort straight at Ryan Truesdale in the Eastwood goal.

Academy were enjoying most of the ball during the opening exchanges, with their defence pushing up towards the halfway line in an attempt to control proceedings.

Moore had a chance to open the scoring when Kelly played a short corner to him from the left. The winger beat one defender before firing an effort at the near post, but Truesdale was equal to it.

A minute later Gartcairn went close to finding the net, once again from a corner. This time, Kelly swung the ball towards Scott Burns at the back post. The centre back headed back across goal, but none of his teammates could get the touch the ball needed to cross the line.

Hastie continued to look dangerous for Eastwood and admirably pressed and harried the Gartcairn defence as the first half progressed.

By the half hour mark most of the play took place in the Juveniles half and they struggled to maintain possession, preferring to try and hit Academy on the counter.

Calum Rodger looked particularly dangerous going forward from left back and played a crucial role in Gartcairn’s next attack. A neat pass found Kelly in the box with his back to goal, when the winger teed up Ciaran Reilly. The attacker took a touch before hitting a low shot, which the goalkeeper smothered comfortably.

Moore had another chance to open the scoring minutes later when Reilly’s pass found him unmarked at the back post, but the right winger saw his shot trickle harmlessly wide of the far post.

Gartcairn upped the intensity as the match approached half time, spurning a number of decent opportunities. First, Reilly fired a tame shot from distance wide of the far post. Then, with a couple of minutes remaining, Moore beat two Eastwood defenders down the left before seeing his near-post effort parried behind for a corner.

The referee then called time on an entertaining first half. Gartcairn could probably feel a little aggrieved to have gone in level, but Eastwood would have to improve to stand a chance of winning the cup.

Thursday, 29 March 2018 13:25

Title chasing KSC Kilwinning defeat Giffnock Alba

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KSC Kilwinning Rangers 09’s pulled off an impressive win, scoring three times on their travels to Giffnock Alba in the PJDYFL 1999 division three.

The first half was a tight contest, although there were no real chances to note.

Alba, sitting tenth could leapfrog Giffnock Roma and Rutherglen Glencairn Juniors into eighth place with a win. Meanwhile, with a host of games in hand, Kilwinning knew a win would help them heap pressure on the three sides ahead of them, including first place Glasgow East BC.

Alva Academy were crowned FVSFA league champions at a sunny Ochilview stadium in Stenhousemuir in a 4-1 victory over St Mungos High School. An impressive first half performance coupled with a well drilled second half proved too much for St Mungos, who despite getting a goal back was unable to derail the eventual champions.
 
It was St Mungos who got off to the brighter start; a corner kick which met a Saints head bounced off the bar and was cleared by the defence who had an early wake-up call. Another corner a few minutes later nearly broke the deadlock but an unfortunate touch off of the knee led to a goal kick to Alva.
 
Seven minutes into the game, St Mungos continued to look the brighter side with an overhead kick attempt squandered in by the thankful keeper.
 
Despite all this St Mungos pressure it was Alva who took the lead, a screamer from the right wing in what looked to have been a cross, ended up chipping the keeper and finding the net. Jack Fisher didn’t care though, a superb goal to put his team in front.
 
Minutes later Alva doubled their lead, Adam Hutchison went on a mazy run, taking on several defenders before firing it past the on-rushing keeper with a composed finish into the back of the net.
 
St Mongos nearly fired straight back with Luke McAlpine picking up the ball from the switched off defence, but keeper Jason Foord produced a good save to stop the attacker.
 
With just under twenty minutes played, Alva seemed to grow into the game, looking the more confident on the ball and most dangerous to score. The St Mungos player’s frustration seemed to get the better of them and they began to resort to long balls which led to nothing.
 
Alva added a third just before half time to add more frustration to the St Mungo’s players. Kris Kelly played his way out of trouble with some trickery before squaring it to Dylan Smith who made no mistake in side-footing it past the keeper and putting Alva 3-0 up at the break.
It was Lornshill Academy who became Forth Valley U14s league champions at a sunny Ochilview stadium in Stenhousemuir and they did so in some style. Opposition Grangemouth High School ran them close towards the end of the first half but Lornshill proved much too strong and won the game 6-4.
 
The first corner of the game brought with it the first goal, a Tom Hatelyesque corner floated into the box by Lornshill’s number 3 saw him score straight from the corner kick, a deep ball curler over the keeper and nestled inside the back post. A wonderful goal.
 
Lornshill doubled their advantage fifteen minutes into the match with some lovely build up play which led to number 6 rounding the keeper and laying it off to number 17 who smashed it past the helpless keeper from close range.
 
In the early stages of the game it was nearly all Lornshill with the Grangemouth defence struggling to cope with the counter-attack but Grangemouth eventually found their feet and started to create some chances of their own.
 
The game had a healthy audience with classes from both schools backing out the main stand in support of their school and the players seemed to thrive off the atmosphere their fellow class mates created.
 
Grangemouth finally converted one of their earlier chances when Kyle Neish broke through the defence thanks to a lovely through ball to take it past the keeper and put Grangemouth on the target on the 24th minute of the match.
 
Grangemouth almost got the equaliser straight from kick off when a free kick from Ciaran Heeps was just headed over the bar from Connor Ramsey.
 
Lornshill almost made Grangemouth pay for their missed opportunity when they ran up the park, catching the defence off guard before shipping it to the wings. Number 17 crossed the ball into 12 who just put it past the left-hand side of the post.
 
But it was to be Grangemouth to find the next. Heeps picked up a loose pass from outside the box and unleashed a screamer to take it over the head of the helpless keeper and draw the match.
 
As half time approached it seemed as if the teams would head into the break on level pegging but another wonder strike from Lornshill’s number 12 made sure that wouldn’t be the case. Picking up another slack pass from the right wing, he brought it onto his left and let rip from some distance to restore their lead.

The two sides met in a sunny Springfield for a 12pm kick off in Division B of the Under 14 Central Scotland FDL. Celtic kicked off the encounter, but it was Jerviston who were quickly on the front foot, pressing the Celtic defence high up the pitch hoping for a mistake. They forced one in the second minute when confusion in the defence led to the ball falling to Tony Mullen in the box, but the strikers near post shot was easily saved by Blair McKay.

However, a minute later Mullen did not make the same mistake capitalising on another Celtic defensive mistake to pick up the ball, drive goalward and smash past a helpless McKay. In the 7th minute Mullen scored his second of the game when he was well found rushing through the middle of the pitch on a Jerviston counter attack. He then managed to hold off his marker and retain his composure to slot the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

A minute later Celtic almost halved the deficit when Aidan Gallagher’s through ball found Sharo Abdullah on the counter attack. However, he was only able to get a flick on the ball, after being pressured by a combination of defender and goalkeeper, and his shot was scooped up by Dominic Leary.

As the first half progressed Celtic began to dominate proceedings with their beautiful Tiki-Taka style, with Jerviston looking to counter from a Celtic mistake with their high intensity pressing. Celtic’s pressure nearly paid off in the 32nd minute, when a free-kick found Robbie Neill in the box, but his attempt was well saved by Leary. Soon after that chance the referee blew the half time whistle, with Jerviston going into the interval 2-0 up.

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