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Saints are spot on as Airdrie pay penalty in Scottish Cup final

St Peter's Football Club 0

Airdrie United 0

  • St Peters FC 0-0 Airdrie United (St Peters win 4-2 on penalties)
  • Sunday, 08 May 2016
  • Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
  • Under 17´s
  • inspiresport SYFA Cup - Final
Fraser McLuggage

Fraser McLuggage | YFS Central Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

 
Airdrie United met St Peters in the 2015/16 Scottish Cup final at Airdrieonians' Excelsior Stadium. A home tie for the diamonds, who brought with them an unsprisingly large support (as did St Peters).
 
The match was a meeting of two 'heavyweights' of the 1999 age group. Reaching a Scottish Cup final is a tremendous achievement for any squad of players - but nobody would have bet against either of these two sides enjoying a good run in this season's competition. 
 
Airdrie were a promising side at the younger age groups, dominating the Central Region soon after turning 11-a-side - before losing a lot of players to Club Academy Scotland. They have enjoyed a renaissance over the last two years, thriving in the West Lothian AYFC and entering this final on the back of their second successive County Cup triumph (and a thrilling semi final against Dundee West).
 
Saints have been a consistent force at the age group since beginning their 11-a-side journey. They've won Regional Cups, local leagues and cups and even the Scottish Youth Champions League tournament. However, the Scottish Cup has always eluded them. Today they looked to change that.
 
Airdrie got the game underway and from the first whistle It was a close encounter, with both sides cancelling each other out. The first half was a nervous one for both teams, as they found their feet. Neither team could create a clear cut opportunity. 
 
The only moment of drama in the opening half came off the ball. An altercation with one of the Airdrie players saw them reduced to 10 men and left with an uphill task for the remainder of the match.
  • Half Time:
  • St Peter's Football Club
  • 0-0
  • Airdrie United
The second half started in a similar fashion. With Saints enjoying the numerical advantage they enjoyed more possession, however found themselves up against a well organised and resolute Airdrie defence.
 
Ten minutes after the restart the first effort on goal came. St Peters' Louis Fisher struck a volley that curled just over the bar. Saints then had a penalty claim a few moments later when Fraser Burns went down under the challenge of Sean Mullen but the referee deemed it unworthy of a spot kick. 
 
Bradley Rae had only been on the pitch for a few seconds when he had the best opportunity of the game so far. His surging run saw him drive through on goal but the Airdrie goalkeeper Tony Sharkey was able to stop his powerful shot.
 
Saints  were starting to throw men forward in an attempt to win the match in regulation time. Jack McWilliam crossed the ball into the box for Rae but the header was held well by Sharkey. 
 
McWilliam was proving to be a difficult player for the Airdrie defence to handle. He got the ball on the wing and cut inside but his fizzed shot went over the bar.
 
Despite being on the back foot Airdrie were still very much in the game. They came close to clinching victory when Ross Henderson curled an excellent effort off the crossbar. St Peters breathed a sigh of relief and the referee's whistle went for the end of 90 minutes.
 
  • Full Time:
  • St Peter's Football Club
  • 0-0
  • Airdrie United
The extra thirty minutes was still not enough to separate these two closely matched sides.

Airdrie had a free-kick 30 yards out which was fired goalwards by Henderson. However, the Saints keeper was equal to it.

One last surge up the field by the Diamonds saw Marcus Boyce seemingly one on one with the goalkeeper but Saints skipper Niall Herron slid in to win the ball back before he could pull the trigger.

Penalty kicks were required and St Peters held their nerve from the spot to win 4-2. The players in red and black celebrated their finest hour, whereas it was desperate disappointment for an Airdrie United side who put so much into the game.

Well done to both sides for an final with grit, determination and plenty of quality. Today belonged to St Peters but you wouldn't bet against Airdrie seeing out the season with a considerable set of silverware, before having another assault on the Scottish Cup next year.

Final Result: St Peters FC 0-0 Airdrie United (St Peters win 4-2 on penalties)

Lineups

St Peter's Football Club
Airdrie United
1. Ryan McLaren
2. Darren Robertson
3. Mark Seggie
4. Niall Herron
5. Brad Cooper
7. Jack McWilliam
8. Haydn Stewart
9. Bradley Rae
10. Fraser Burns
11. Steven Fergusson
12. Ross Mckay
14. Blair Gray
16. Louis Fisher
17. Thomas Cruden
18. Lewis Gibb
19. Jay Little
20. Christopher Gallagher
1. Tony Sharkey
19. Sean Mullen
14. Christopher Lang
11. Andrew Kennedy
8. Kieran Devine
9. Marcus Boyce
10. Jack McKnight
2. Declan Wood
4. Reagan McDonald
7. Christopher O'Kane
12. Ross Henderson
3. Kieran McParland
5. Desean Nelson
16. Jack Taylor
15. Joshua Higgins
Star Player
St Peter's Football Club
Airdrie United
Fraser Burns. Throughout the game he tried to get the ball forward. He was the key player in the majority of attacks. He was an effective playmaker and didn't look tired even in the second period of extra time. Composed on the ball throughout.
Tony Sharkey. He was a solid last line of defence for Airdrie, compensating well for them being a man down. He was very unlucky in the penalty shoot out, guessing the right way twice, but the well placed shots were just out of reach.
Magic Moment
St Peter's Football Club
Airdrie United
Marcus Boyce was one on one with the goalkeeper but Niall Herron slid in to win the ball back before he could pull the trigger. Top class defending.
Ross Henderson's curling effort off the crossbar. It gave the keeper no chance and if it had been slightly lower, would have won Airdrie the cup.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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