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Fantastic four for Aberdeen as they win SSFA Senior National Cup

Aberdeen Schools 4

Wallace 9’, MacLeod 46’, Johnson 67’, Philipson 78’

West Lothian Schools 1

Kay 30’
  • Wednesday, 27 April 2016
  • Station Park
  • Under 18´s
  • SSFA Senior National Cup
 
Aberdeen clinched their first SSFA Senior National Cup, since 1993, with a fine performance against West Lothian at Station Park. The first half was a well-fought encounter, between both teams, and they went into the half time break level at 1-1, following an early opener from Matthew Wallace and a later reply from Nathan Donnelly Kay.
 
However, Aberdeen’s impressive second half showing, where they netted three times through Lachie MacLeod, Euan Johnson and Michael Philipson, turned the final in their favour. It was a performance truly worthy of a trophy winning side.
 
Both teams created some early half chances but it was Aberdeen who took the lead in the ninth minute of the game. Wallace displayed some fine footwork on the edge of the box as he beat his marker before firing a powerful shot into the bottom corner of the net. It was a fine goal to bring the cup final to life.  
 
In the 16th minute MacLeod almost extended Aberdeen’s lead as he latched onto a loose ball in the penalty area. Andrew Wilson, in goal for West Lothian, had to be alert to keep out the number nine’s shot.
 
Soon afterwards, Aberdeen’s goalkeeper Keller Elmsie also had to spring into action. He executed an exquisite diving save to tip a shot, from Kay, over the bar and preserve his side’s lead.
 
As the game approached the half hour mark West Lothian grabbed their equaliser – and what a delightful goal it was. Kay controlled a headed knock down, from Adam Kennedy, with his chest and volleyed the ball straight into the back of the net. With the scores now level it was all to play for.
 
Eight minutes later West Lothian came inches away from taking the lead as Dean McConnell leapt like a salmon to head towards goal, from a corner kick. Unfortunately, for him, the woodwork came into play as he saw his effort rebound off the post and away.
 
West Lothian created another clear-cut chance just before half time, which could have seen them go into the break on a high. Craig Kirkland fired in a superb cross, from the left flank, and Kay came agonizingly close to meeting the ball with his head. The perfect example of how football is a game of fine margins.
 
  • Half Time:
  • Aberdeen Schools
  • 1-1
  • West Lothian Schools
If ever someone creates a blueprint on how to start a second half then the way Aberdeen began this one wouldn’t be far off. The intensity and the energy was abundant and this resulted in a goal within the first minute of the period. MacLeod made a superb driving solo run, straight through the heart of the West Lothian defence, before finishing expertly into the bottom corner of the net.
 
West Lothian had a couple of half chances to equalize, through Kennedy and Kay, but soon, in the 67th minute, Aberdeen stretched their lead to two. Johnson nipped across his defender, just a few yards out from goal, and neatly turned a left wing cross into the goal with a lovely finish.
 
Two minutes later, Wilson’s shot-stopping capabilities were required as Angus Grant was accidently played in by a West Lothian defensive interception. Wilson’s reactions were on point as he dived down low, to his left, to parry away a shot struck just yards away from him.
 
Of course if that save was on the ‘Heurelho Gomes’ side of the goalkeeping spectrum then Wilson’s next save was full on ‘Gianluigi Buffon’. Grant was played through on goal and unleashed a fierce strike, which rebounded off the crossbar. Lewis Jopp was the first to meet the ball, in the penalty area, and he struck the ball towards the open goal for a seemingly inevitable fourth. Wilson had dived in an attempt to save the initial Grant shot but raced back across his goal and thrust out a leg to prevent Jopp getting a goal for himself. Excellent goalkeeping.
 
Despite the heroics of West Lothian’s man between the sticks Aberdeen did eventually get their fourth and final goal, 12 minutes from time. Philipson was able to convert, into the bottom corner from close range, and effectively kill off the cup final.
 
The referee soon brought an end to the game and Aberdeen could celebrate their long awaited title. Both teams are clearly very talented, as evident by them both being present in the final and the close match up in the first half. However, Aberdeen managed to find that extra gear, in the second half, and that is why they are celebrating being National Cup champions.
 
 
  • Full Time:
  • Aberdeen Schools
  • 4-1
  • West Lothian Schools

Lineups

Aberdeen Schools
West Lothian Schools
1. Keller Emslie
2. Cameron Tough
3. Ryan Keith
4. Lewis Jopp
5. Bradley Manson
6. Lachlan Wood
7. Mark Gilmour
8. Matthew Wallace
9. Lachie MacLeod
10. Michael Philipson
11. Lewis Liversedge
12. Euan Johnson
14. Steven Innes
15. Angus Grant
16. Oscar Slater
17. Craig Armstrong
1. Andrew Wilson
2. Cameron Donaldson
3. Connell Gibson
4. Dean McConnell
5. Jake McCreadie
6. Dominic Kane
7. Dominic Foulkes
8. John James Henderson
9. Scott Hay
10. Nathan Donnelly Kay
11. Craig Kirkland
12. David Hendry
14. Euan McGill
15. Adam Kennedy
16. Rhegan Swarn
17. Dylan Noonan
21. Luke Williams
Star Player
Aberdeen Schools
West Lothian Schools
Lachie MacLeod – Ran the channels, stretched the defence and worked his socks off. Chipped in with a classy goal that kicked off Aberdeen’s second half in style.
Nathan Donnelly Kay – Scored a superb goal, which required perfect technique to stick away. West Lothian’s most potent threat in the game.
Magic Moment
Aberdeen Schools
West Lothian Schools
MacLeod’s goal – Excellent solo run and finish. No one was going to be stopping him on that occasion.
Kay’s goal – Wilson’s save comes a close second but this finish is simply wonderful. Most (including myself) would probably have booted it out of the park, never mind finding the target.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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