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Penalty king Kyle saves Tynie's cup dream

East Craigie Swifts 1

Faulkner 41'

Tynecastle FC 1

Jones 80+1'
  • East Craigie Swifts 1-1 Tynecastle FC (AET, Tynecastle win on penalties)
  • Sunday, 05 February 2017
  • Craigie Park
  • Under 16´s
  • inspiresport SYFA Cup - Quarter Final
Ten man Tynecastle FC booked their place in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup, following a penalty shootout against East Craigie Swifts. The visitors lost striker Matthew Dillon after 37 minutes, and fell behind at the start of the second half courtesy of Ewan Faulkner’s goal. With time against them, Alassan Jones scored in injury time to take the game into extra time, but the game was decided by a penalty shootout that saw keeper Kyle Wilson save two of the four East Craigie penalties, while his teammates all found the net, taking Tynecastle into the last four.
 
The visitors started on the front foot, with defender Andrew Mackay twice heading over the bar from corners inside the opening minutes. East Craigie’s first effort came from striker Kier Gardiner after 10 minutes, but the striker’s header was easily saved by Kyle Wilson.
 
The Tynecastle keeper was called into action three minutes later. Max Flucker’s free kick was diverted towards the bottom corner, and the keeper did well at full stretch to keep the ball out of the net.
 
It was clear for all in attendance at Craigie Park that the pitch wasn’t doing either side any favours. Despite the less than ideal conditions, both sets of players battled on. East Craigie keeper Charlie Kennedy was called into action after 19 minutes keeping out Charlie Green’s effort.
 
Next up, the hosts created their best chance of the half. Reece Lornie was sent through one on one with Wilson, but the keeper managed to get a fingertip to the ball and push it wide of the post. Despite starting on the back foot, East Craigie were beginning to grow into the game, while Tynecastle were about to be dealt a big blow.
 
In the closing minutes of the half Tynecastle were reduced to ten men, courtesy of a second yellow card. Things nearly went from bad to worse for the visitors as Gardiner managed to create space in the penalty box, but his effort went straight into the arms of Wilson.
  • Half Time:
  • East Craigie Swifts
  • 0-0
  • Tynecastle FC
Just over 60 seconds of football had been played in the second half when East Craigie took the lead. Finlay Baird’s ball into the box was met by Ewan Faulkner, who got in front of his defender and steered the ball past the helpless Wilson.
 
Despite being a man and a goal down, Tynecastle continued to press, but were missing the end product on more than one occasion. John Robertson fired over from the top of the box before Mackay brought a save out of Kennedy after 57 minutes.
 
East Craigie were content to soak up the pressure and try and hit on the break. Gardiner was again thwarted by Wilson after 69 minutes.
 
The 10 men continued to search for an equaliser as captain Chris Finnie saw his effort saved by Kennedy before Robertson again fired wide. The hosts nearly grabbed a second goal, but Lornie’s low effort crept wide of the post.
 
As the game entered injury time, Tynecastle got their goal. Kennedy failed to gather Calum Page’s cross under pressure, and following a goalmouth stramash, Alassan Jones - previously a Scottish Cup hero with Edina Hibs - back heeled the ball into the net, sparking wild celebrations on the Tynie touchline. This was a tough one to take for East Craigie, who were minutes away from the semi-finals, but there is a reason that Tynecastle haven’t been beaten this season.
  • Full Time:
  • East Craigie Swifts
  • 1-1
  • Tynecastle FC
The first few minutes of added time were played at a similar tempo to the previous 80 minutes, with Tynecastle rejuvenated by their late equaliser and the hosts looking to make their mans advantage count. An East Craigie free kick landed at the feet of Gibson, but the defender couldn’t get a shot away as the ball was cleared.

As the game wore on, players on both sides were beginning to feel the effects of playing nearly two hours of football. Finnie saw his shot saved by Kennedy after 89 minutes before Gardiner brought yet another save out of Wilson. Tynecastle went down the other end and nearly got the winner as the ball broke nicely for Green at the top of the box, but his effort was blocked by an East Craigie defender.

By this stage, the game had been stopped on more than one occasion for players suffering from cramp. With eight minutes remaining, Lornie’s corner came to Brandon Donnelly, but his shot was wide of the mark. With 100 minutes played, the visitors won a free kick 25 yards from goal, but Robertson’s tired effort didn’t trouble Kennedy, and the game would be decided by penalties.

East Craigie were to take first, with the first penalty being taken by Finlay Baird. The midfielder had had an excellent game, but saw his penalty pushed away by Kyle Wilson. Chris Finnie managed to shake off his cramp and send his penalty into the side netting, putting the visitors ahead in the shootout.

Josh McLaughlin was next up for East Craigie but Wilson came out on top again as he pushed away the striker’s kick. Charlie Green was next up for Tynecastle and doing his best to copy Finnie’s penalty, found the net.

Jordan Conway needed to score to keep East Craigie’s hopes alive and did, putting his penalty into the bottom left corner, halving the deficit in the process. Kyle Hilditch was the third Tynecastle taker and the third player to send his penalty into the right corner.

Keir Gardiner stepped up and beat Wilson making the score 2-3. The responsibility fell to John Robertson, and as Kennedy dived to the right, the Tynecastle man sent the ball into the bottom left corner, securing their place in the semi-final.

This is a tough one to take for East Craigie Swifts, who were minutes away from the semi-final. With one cup final place assured and another looking likely, as well as a league title in their sights, they are still in a position to have a very successful season. If they can keep this squad of players together, and perhaps add a few new faces, there is no reason they can’t challenge for the Scottish Cup next season.

As for Tynecastle, they will be relieved to have made their way into the last four, although nobody will be more relieved than Matthew Dillon. A side that has scored goals for fun domestically, they needed to dig in today, and despite playing for nearly an hour a man down, managed to match East Craigie until the very end. They must beat two of Lewis United, Rangers SABC or Portobello CFA if they are to lift the Scottish Cup, but that is something that looks a real possibility based on the fight they showed today.

Final Result: East Craigie Swifts 1-1 Tynecastle FC (AET, Tynecastle win on penalties)

Lineups

East Craigie Swifts
Tynecastle FC
1. Charlie Kennedy
2. Aidan Mcirvine
3. Brandon Donnelly
4. Rhys Beattie
5. Leon Gibson
6. Finlay Baird
7. Ethan Bannon
8. Max Flucker
9. Jordan Conway
10. Euan Fallon
11. Ewan Faulkner
15. Cameron Christie
20. Reece Lornie
88. Keir Gardiner
99. Josh McLaughlin
1. Kyle Wilson
2. Alex Adams
3. Luke Cunningham
4. Chris Finnie
5. Andrew Mackay
6. Calum Page
7. Alassan Jones
8. Charlie Green
9. John Robertson
10. Matthew Dillon
11. Sean Ward
12. Jordan Daly
14. Kyle Hilditch
15. Blair Ross
17. Macauley Anderson
25. Ben Cargill
Star Player
East Craigie Swifts
Tynecastle FC
Finlay Baird - Rarely gave the ball away and set up the opening goal in what was a stellar performance from the midfielder. Didn't score his penalty, but that was down to good goalkeeping rather than a bad strike.
Kyle Wilson - Made numerous important saves when East Craigie were on top and produced two top saves in the shootout. Two similar performances will be required if Tynecastle are to go all the way.
Magic Moment
East Craigie Swifts
Tynecastle FC
Faulkner's goal - An excellent finish that put his side ahead at a crucial time in the match
Jones' goal - Super composure to back heel the ball into the net and spark the celebrations on the touchline.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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