I was at New Dundas Park in Bonnyrigg again on Saturday afternoon and the under-19 league play-off between Cavalry Park and Leith Athletic was played in brilliant sunshine. The Leith combine fared no better than many others who have played Cavalry Park this season. They came off second best as Cavalry picked up the huge trophy that goes to league championship winners in this age group. Leith did not leave the home of Bonnyrigg Juniors FC empty handed however, as they were also presented with a trophy for winning Division B of the under-19s in the South East Region Youth FA.
Most of the players slogging it out in the sunshine know each other as many of them in fact played for Leith Athletic in the past. I could go on to report on all the good things I saw taking place. There were six goals to keep the good turnout of fans happy, and Cavalry Park scored four of these six goals to win 4-2. Every player on the pitch, in my humble opinion, contributed to the game. In fact, I can give you the names of all the players who caught my attention.
Cavalry Park - Andrew (the real) Mackay, Chris re-Joyce, Down in the Dale O’Hara, stylish Lyle Finney, Greg (wow factor) Douglas, super-star Chris Barron, STEWART ADAMS (yes, I ‘reckon’ a very good player), Sean (powerhouse) Guiney, Kris (the seek him here, they seek him there) McLoughlin, Steven (x-factor) MacGregor, Fraser (mighty mac) McKinlay, Alexander (the great) Borthwick, Michael (a walk in the) Park, Johnny (comes marching home) Malcolm, Fraser (head of the) Adams family, and last but certainly not least, the very good Liam Tomassi.
It has been a memorable season for the Cavalry Park squad and they are back at New Dundas Park again to face Lochend this time in what will be their last game of a memorable season. Leith (bless them) Athletic, did exceptionally well in the decider and when they levelled the score at 2-2, the Leith players and their many fans in the sunshine on the terracing must have thought they were in with a real chance of winning. Two more great goals from Stewart Adams for Cavalry Park put paid to the chances of Leith winning, however. I have seen Cavalry Park in action quite a few times recently and it is Adams who appears to me, at least, to have that touch of class when it comes to both creating and scoring goals. Stewart wears the magical No 7 on his jersey and when the going got tough for Cavalry Park, it was Adams who produced the goods once again.
It was however, quite a heroic display from these Leith players and there is certainly only praise from me to Philip (several really great saves) Talbot, Declan (the mighty) Fergus, Liam (get in there) Smith, Jamie (five of the best) Todd, Lewis (sixth sense) O’Connor, Kayne (and very able) Paterson, super Steven Froude, John (no longer with Hearts) Robertson, crisp and Aiden Tuohy, Dean (fantastic) Forbes, CONOR (great game) SPOWART, Aidren (very able) Ludwiniak, and as written on Leith teamsheet, Collumn Baird.
Referee Billy Connor had, again in my humble opinion, had a superb game. You will notice I have two names of players in capital letters - Stewart Adams and Conor Spowart. Cavalry Park equalised with a magnificent free kick from the right corner of the 18 yard box and No 3, Dale O’Hara, sent a left-foot in swinger in to the top left hand corner of Philip Talbot’s goal to make it 1-1. Well, if you are going to score an equaliser in any game, then O’Hara’s free kick is the way to do just that. WHAT A GOAL. And little old me just happened to be in line with Dale when he took his free kick and there is a picture of the goal in the file of action shots taken at the game, available to all, by clicking here
The first half was marked by a variety of good passing football and the dreaded ‘long balls’ that are a feature of Scottish football. It was 1-1 at the break and neither team had taken control of the game at that stage. It was nice standing in the sun during the half-time break! I am always so glad to be able to form my own opinion of players at all the games I cover and when I come to my own conclusions, I can then make sure the players who do well in games, get the praise they deserve. Thankfully, I am not one of the ‘smart arses’ who attend games to run the rule on players. I actually can make up my own mind who plays well. I have named both squads although I do think there were some numbers on one of the team sheets with no names next to them! Possibly, it was that pie I bought at New Dundas Park that affected my eyesight. However, I do think I know who played well and for Cavalry Park, Stewart Adams certainly played very well and so, too, did Conor Spowart, No 10 on the Leith teamsheet! Adams ‘speaks for himself’ in all games and he produced the goals for Cavalry Park when they needed them most. Spowart on the other hand is smaller that Adams but he was in great form for Leith and his close control was wonderful to watch.
It is typical that a player like Spowart has not been given the chance to play at a higher level. On TV on Saturday night, I watched in awe as Messi turned on his brand of magic for Argentina against Brazil! If Messi and all the other smaller players who are his team-mates with Barcelona was Scottish, he would have been dumped long ago. 'Too small', or so those 'in the know' in Scottish football would have said. In the same vein, I thought Conor Spowart (and I do hope his name and number on the Leith teamsheet are correct) had a super game. Stewart Adams, well I will ‘let him speak for himself’!
Cavalry Park went 2-1 in front in this league decider, from an OG. Leith had brilliant spells of passing football to delight me, for one! Kayne Paterson made it 2-2 and it was ‘game on’ as the tempo increased. Stewart Adams joined in the ‘blitz’ on the Leith goal and uner-fire keeper, Philip Talbot, made sensational saves and also blocked certain goals in one amazing spell of play in the Leith goalmouth.
Declan Fergus was in great form in the Leith defence but he and his team-mates were hemmed in at times. Steven Froude worked hard up front for Leith, but the pressure was on their defence. Jamie Todd made his mark in the Leith defence with great clearances. Then Stewart Adams showed just how good he is at creating and scoring spectacular goals. The Cavalry Park No 7 pounced to slam home a third goal for his side, following a deflection from a corner. That made it 3-2 for the side from Duddingston. It was ‘game, set and match’ to Cavalry Park when Adams hammered home a 30 yard shot and that took the score to 4-2 and that was the way it finished.
It is now the turn of Lochend to see if they can ‘spoil the party’ for Cavalry Park when they meet in the last final of the season in this age group.
Full Time: Cavalry Park Under 19s 4-2 Leith Athletic Under 19s