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Kilby strike in extra-time to beat Hurlford in gripping Scottish Cup final

East Kilbride FC 2

Collins 53, 112

Hurlford BC 1

Mackin 11
  • Sunday, 20 May 2018
  • Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
  • Under 17´s
  • inspiresport Scottish Youth FA Cup - Final
East Kilbride met Hurlford in the final of the Scottish Cup on a chilly Sunday morning the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie. It was a fantastic match by two teams determined to play attractive attacking football despite the biggest of stages.
 
Hurlford took the lead in the first half, courtesy of Conan Mackin. An early goal after the break from East Kilbride's Dylan Collins levelled up the scores and from that point onwards it was both goalkeepers that stole the show for the regulation time that remained. Both sides could have snatched it during extra time but it was that man Collins who kept his cool and sealed Scottish Cup glory for Kilby.
 
East Kilbride needed extra time to win their very first match in this competition against Clydebank. They then saw off Rossvale and Gartcairn with a little more ease (although the Gartcairn tie did go to extra time), before a last minute goal won a gripping tussle against Hill O'Beath, again with the help of extra-time. Two established Edinburgh sides were next up, but the Lanarkshire side were able to negotiate their way past Hutchison Vale and Edinburgh City to seal their cup final berth.
 
Hurlford's road to Airdrie began with a few routine victories over KSC Kilwinning, Caledonian YC and EK Burgh United. They then secured an impressive victory over a well renowned Cantera side, before hitting four against Kirkfield United, Westdyke CC and Jerviston in succession to reach the final. 

For Hurlford, they were aiming to make history and win the club's first ever Scottish Cup at youth level. EKFC were victorious at the 2002 age group a couple of years back, but the 2001 squad were chasing their first cup win.
 
The first half started at a frantic tempo, with neither team able to take a grip of the match. The play swung from end to end, with the Hurlford fans in full voice from the first whistle.
 
With nearly ten minutes on the clock, East Kilbride had the first clear sight of goal. Max McWilliams created space brilliantly in the attacking third and then delivered the killer pass for Ross Smith. Smith took an excellent first touch and drilled the ball across goal, but Lauchlan Kirkland saved well with his feet to keep the score goalless.
 
Within a few minutes the scoring was opened and it was at the other end of the part it happened. Hurlford's Jack Mullen showed excellent composure in midfield and produced a perfectly weighted through ball for Conan Mackin, who lobbed the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.
 
The remainder of the half continued in a similar fashion. Kirkland was called upon to make a few routine saves and his opposite number Adam Haynes likewise. However, neither side could add a goal in what remained for the first half, leaving the Ayrshire side the happier with their slender lead at the interval.
  • Half Time:
  • East Kilbride FC
  • 0-1
  • Hurlford BC
More of the same followed after the teams emerged for the second half. Hurlford had a couple of early sights of goal but couldn't find their way past a determined Kilby back line. At the other end, EK were started to make inroads and soon their pressure paid off.

A free-kick was awarded to the Lanarkshire side on the left touch-line, thirty yards out from goal. A wicked inswinging delivery was forthcming from Mark Risi and skipper Dylan Collins rose highest to glance the ball beyond Kirkland into the bottom left-hand corner. The East Kilbride squad swamped their dugout in jubilation. You can see how much it meant to them.
 
The match continued in a similar pattern and a little over ten minutes later, Hurlford were next to draw gasps from the crowd. A stunning half volley from Barry Davidson looked to have crept in underneath the crossbar, but for a piece of goalkeeping brilliance from Haynes.
 
A few minutes later the Ayrshire side went close again. Ben Wilson produced a towering header from a corner kick. It had the goalkeeper beaten all ends up but Alistair Peacock was alert on the line to scramble the ball clear.
 
It was almost a mirror image at the other end as both sides searched for the winning goal in the closing stages. Dylan Paberzs tried his luck from range and it looked like a certain goal but for a fingertip save from Kirkland. 

The final minutes ebbed away and neither team could cut open the opposition defence. The full-time whistle blew and thirty minutes of extra-time beckoned, with the possibility of penalties.
  • Full Time:
  • East Kilbride FC
  • 1-1
  • Hurlford BC
The first half of extra time was a slightly more cagey affair. The players on both sides had put so much into this contest so far and neither wanted to slip up.

The best chance of the first half fell to Hurlford's Denver Bolland, who dragged a shot just wide of the left hand post.

Into the second half and East Kilbride's goalscorer Collins thought he had netted the winner. However, his shot cannoned back off the crossbar.

At the other end Bolland went close again. He latched onto an inviting cross and fired a volley wide at the back post.

It looked like one moment would settle it and that's exactly what happened. With time running out a long pass was flicked on in midfield, giving Collins a lot to do. However he got the bouncing ball under control, held off his man and slid the ball low beyond the goalkeeper.

Minutes later the final whistle blew and East Kilbride's celebrations could officially begin. You have to feel for Hurlford, who could have won the match on another day. However, nobody can deny East Kilbride were deserved winners. To win a fourth game in extra-time is an incredible way to cap off a memorable Scottish Cup journey.

Lineups

East Kilbride FC
Hurlford BC
1. Adam Haynes
2. Gianni De Marco
3. Ross Smith
6. Alistair Peacock
8. Ross Taylor
9. Dylan Paberzs
10. Zak Lindsay
11. Michael Peden
12. Mathew Weir
14. Barry Donaghue
15. Max McWilliams
17. Dylan Collins
25. Bradley Wilkie
26. Mark Risi
27. Evan Wylie
28. Dominic McLaughlin
1. Lauchlan Kirkland
2. Adam Graham
3. Kerr Fullarton
4. Kerr Thomson
5. Jack Mullen
6. Ben Wilson
7. Barry Davidson
8. Taylor Crolla
9. Rhys Miller
10. Lewis Hood
11. Lewis Ballantyne
12. Loudon Strachan
14. Blair Taylor
15. Conan Mackin
17. Denver Bolland
18. Leon Kerr
19. Dylan McConnell
Star Player
East Kilbride FC
Hurlford BC
Collins was the difference between the teams. A majestic display in such a big match.
Kirkland was Hurlford's stand out performer, as he pulled off a string of fine saves.
Magic Moment
East Kilbride FC
Hurlford BC
The final whistle. The joy on the faces of the EK players, coaches and parents was a sight to behold.
The opening goal from Mackin gave the Ayrshire side the perfect start. Great call and cool finish.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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