Photos courtesy of Craig Halkett / Harmony Row's winning goal (via Facebook) /
In the sleety conditions, play got underway in Airdrie for the Under 21’s Trans World Soccer SYFA Cup final between Harmony Row and St Peter’s Juveniles Griffnock North. The physical and competitive game saw Harmony Row claim the title, winning 1-0 with Kieran Blackwood claiming the only goal of the game.
The game got off to a scrappy start, with a number of throw ins for both teams in the early play. The first real chance came for St Peter’s with a free kick 10 yards in from the halfway line. The ball reached the box but Harmony Row were able to clear the danger. From their clearance, Harmony Row pressed forward but St Peter’s held their defence.
Then it was St Peter’s on the attack as Liam McGonigle drove the ball down the wing and crossed the shot into the box from 35 yards but Harmony Row goalkeeper, Calum Easton , caught the ball to deny the score.
Harmony Row’s Mark Burbridge demonstrated some great footwork to jink round the St Peter’s defence only to give possession away. However, he was soon on the attack again, passing into the box for Cameron Haddow and Ross McEntee to link up but neither could find the space to shoot.
St Peter’s were going forward once again and looking dangerous but Luke Whelan swept in to make the tackle and deny them any chance and change the momentum. The ball went to McEntee and he pressed forward but St Peter’s exerted their pressure in defence to deny him any chances.
Burbridge again controlled the ball and passed it in to Haddow who passed it out wide but it was just too far for MacKinnon to run onto. However St Peter’s throw in was won back by Harmony Row, and Grant Bolton crossed it in from the corner of the pitch but it was sent into the arms of St Peter’s goalkeeper, Daniel McLean.
There was some interchanging play between Burbridge and Haddow, with Burbridge getting into space. He did well to keep the ball in play near the edge of the pitch but he couldn’t get the shot that he was looking for.
There was another near chance for St Peter’s taken by McGonigle. His shot found the box and was flicked back by Anthony Quinn to Michael McDonald, but McDonald slipped before he could take a shot to relieve the pressure on Harmony Row. However they were soon pressing again, with Harmony Row defending well and McGonigle’s shot from 30 yards sailed over the top of the goal.
Harmony Row were looking dangerous and pressing forward through Haddow. He put the ball through for Kieran Blackwood but they were called for offside before he could take a shot at goal.
St Peter’s were then pressing forward again, with Quinn putting the ball into the box from out wide. However Liam Crichton came in too late to make a shot, colliding with Easton as the ball went wide.
Harmony Row soon responded to this near danger with Burbridge taking the ball down the right hand side and sending it inside the box to Blackwood who chipped the ball into the net but also colliding with the post as the ball sailed right of McLean.
Delighted with their lead but disappointed with losing Blackwood so early in the game, Harmony Row pressed on with McEntee taking the ball down the left wing only to become pressured by the defence of Bohme and Cunningham.
St Peter’s tried to press forward but were stuck in their own half, eventually moving forward through a throw in by Liam O’Kane. His ball found Hewitt who crossed the ball only for his shot to go wide of the net. McGonigle tried to send a high ball in but his shot went wide of the goal. His corner was then cleared by Harmony Row.
Harmony Row were able to drive forward and as the ball was crossed in from the wing, Haddow ran in but McLean dived over the ball to deny the scoring chance they had created.
As the rain and wind became even heavier, McEntee drove the ball forward but McLean cleared the danger. From the corner that followed, the ball was headed over the goal.
St Peter’s had another near chance, with Murney crossing from the left wing but Harmony Row were able to clear the danger.
The last play of the half came from a Harmony Row corner. Haddow’s shot reached the box and Bolton headed the ball but Quinn was able to clear the danger to prevent any further scores.