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South West keeper wins them draw against North

North 2

Binnie 11', 43'

South West 2

Scott 17', McGovern 23'
  • Friday, 15 January 2016
  • Toryglen Regional Football Centre
  • 15's Girls
  • Scottish Schools' Inter-Regional Cup

 
Simon Ritchie | YFS West Region Reporter
Articles by Author | Contact Author
 

Despite taking the lead, the North region were forced to come from behind to snatch a draw in the Schools’ Inter-Regional Cup 5th and 6th placed playoff. They had Julie Binnie to thank for two goals either side of South West strikes by Hannah Scott and Kathleen McGovern, with North the more creative in front of goal but unable to take their numerous chances against inspired South West goalkeeper Ciara Pollock.

Although the game was of little significance to the overall tournament, neither side wanted to finish with the wooden spoon and the lack of pressure gave both sides the freedom to be a bit more attacking. Something North embraced from the off with right winger Ruth Caney twice putting in dangers balls in the opening stages, one just a whisker in front of Binnie and another that Ellen Reid perhaps should have hit first time, instead she took a touch in the six yard box and the chance was gone.

Reid did better with a couple of chances shortly after, forcing two saves from Pollock, both of which the goalie did well to hold on to. It was the start of a long afternoon for the South West stopper. 

With a host of chances already passing North by, their hearts would have been in their mouth when South West winger Kirsteen Laing skinned her marker and fired a shot narrowly wide with Emily Mutch trying to narrow the angle. It would have been typical of football for the better side to suddenly go behind out of nothing, but in fact it was North who took the lead not long after.

Out of nowhere the ball fell to Binnie about 25-yards out and she surprised everyone by taking the shot early and watched it settle in the back of the net. It was a deserved lead and North looked hungry for more.

When Ruth Caney’s cross was first pushed out by Pollock and then scrambled out of the box by her defence it looked like the damage was clear but centre-half Flora Bruce hit a dipping 20-yard effort that clipped the top of the crossbar. Pollock showed her worth with another brave block at the feet of Binnie and then watched a Caney shot whizz over the bar, as South West struggled to stay afloat in this game.

Their perseverance and luck paid off, however, when they grabbed the equaliser. Laing’s free-kick found Scott in acres of space in the box and she showed great awareness of the keeper’s position to deftly flick it over her head and knock it into the back of the net. It might not have been in the script but it was a quality piece of play.

North responded in their usual attacking manner with Lucy Grant doing well to dig the ball out from under her feet and unleash a dipping shot that Pollock had to tip over the bar with both hands. She made another comfortable save from Binnie before making the stop of the match from Reid. With the striker bearing down on goal, Pollock took a step to her left anticipating a shot across goal, but Reid went for the inside post and despite having already moved in the other direction, Pollock reacted brilliantly to adjust her feet and dive back across to push it wide for a corner.

From the resulting corner, Pollock was reduced to spectator as Jodie Strachan matched her fellow centre-half’s earlier effort by striking the top of the crossbar from the edge of the box, but, incredibly, Pollock’s goal was leading a charmed life and before the half was up her side even took the lead.

They’d been pinned back for 90% of the half but, having already taken one of their limited chances, it was clear South West were in a clinical mood. Central midfielder Abigail Eadie found McGovern who did well to hold off the challenge of Emma Rogers and fire home under the onrushing Mutch.

  • Half Time:
  • North
  • 1-2
  • South West

With their tails up from taking a lead into half-time, South West came out looking like a much more confident and attacking side. A gallivanting run down the right flank by Laing saw her pick out McGovern almost right on the penalty spot but, fresh from her first half strike, she couldn’t connect as she would have liked and it trundled wide. McGovern then almost took advantage of some slack North defending but was forced to take a difficult chance on the half-volley and again missed the target.

McGovern was involved in everything South West were doing as they continued to make the scoreline look deserved, this time setting up Scott with a neat one-two, with the midfielder forcing Emily Mutch into a fine fingertip save.

As if this game wasn’t full of enough surprises, South West were given a taste of their own medicine as despite dominating the second half, they conceded the equaliser. A simple through ball from Caney set Binnie off and running and this time Pollock could do nothing about the finish.

The goal sparked North back into life and they once again took control of the match as they searched for a winner. While Pollock had had a tremendous game in goals, there was more than hint of luck about the combination of saves that stopped North from going ahead. Caney’s drive was saved by the keeper but she could only parry it back into danger and Eilidh McHattie responded first to get another shot in which was blocked by the grounded goalie and then, as the North player tried to force it in with limbs everywhere, eventually the South West defence managed to scramble it clear.

Pollock certainly wasn’t a one girl show at the back for South West with everyone digging in to prevent another goal, Shanna Hynes in particular with a great last ditch tackle to stop Binnie from claiming her hat trick. Then Emma Flemming used her strength to make it as difficult as possible for Binnie to get a good angle on her next shot which went wide.

A couple more late efforts from Binnie and Strachan came to nothing for North and South West held on to grab a draw.

  • Full Time:
  • North
  • 2-2
  • South West

Lineups

North
South West
1. Emily Mutch
2. Tara Dow
3. Flora Bruce
4. Jodie Strachan
5. Emma Rogers
6. Ruth Caney
7. Eilidh Shore
8. Connie Hannah
9. Lucy Grant
10. Eilidh McHattie
11. Julie Binnie
12. Hannah Donald
14. Ellen Reid
15. Anna Blanchard
1. Ciara Pollock
2. Abigail Eadie
3. Shanna Hynes
4. Emma Flemming
5. Charlotte Bryden
6. Holly Hart
7. Lauren Hilson
8. Hannah Scott
9. Kathleen McGovern
10. Kirsten Laing
11. Fiona Cullie
12. Ruth Currie
14. Jordan Gallacher
15. Isla Burns
17. Gabby Higgins
18. Kelsey Yard
Star Player
North
South West
Julie Binnie - Her double made the difference for North and her hard work and perseverance up front meant that even when things didn't go her way against a top keeper, she kept trying until she found the back of the net again.
Ciara Pollock - Without any doubt, she is my player of the game. It could have been a cricket score if it wasn't for Pollock and she's the main reason her side are walking away from this game with a draw.
Magic Moment
North
South West
Binnie's second goal was a moment of relief for North who must have felt they'd thrown their chance of getting anything from the game after somehow going in at half-time behind, but a calm and collected finish from Binnie after a great through ball from the also excellent and involved in everything Ruth Caney, made sure they at least got something from the game.
I've said enough about Pollock's saves so the South West star magic moment is their second goal. Despite being battered for much of the half and looking like a beaten side, they didn't give up and Abigail Eadie and Kathleen McGovern combined to lethal effect to put their side in front.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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