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Monday, 13 February 2012 00:59

Slattery double secures Queens' semi slot

Written by  Stephen Temlett
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Queen of the South Under 19s
 vs
Ayr United Under 19s
 
 
 
Competition: SFA Youth Cup - Quarter Final
Venue: Raydale Park, Gretna
Date: 12/02/2012
 
 
 
Author: Stephen Temlett of The Away End
 
 
 
This surely had to be the first time two sides played each other on three separate occasions in one weekend. Queen of the South faced Ayr United on Saturday in Division one and the Under 17’s and 19’s took on each other in their respective Youth Cup quarter-finals on the Sunday. The Under 19’s match was moved to Raydale Park in Gretna to keep the Palmerston pitch in good condition for the return of Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup on Tuesday.
 
Out of the three games it is almost a guarantee that this match had the best goals as Queen of the South edged Ayr United 2-1 to progress to the semi-final of the Scottish F.A Youth Cup. Ayr United took the lead through a stunning free-kick from Mark Shankland who will be wondering if he will ever hit a ball as sweetly again. However less than ten minutes later it was Queens midfielder Patrick Slattery’s turn to grab the headlines with his free-kick. His effort thundered in off the post to level the game. The Doonhamers missed a big chance to go ahead when they missed a penalty but Slattery got his second just after half time and that goal proved to be decisive as the Palmerston club progress to the semis.
 
The game kicked off and the “local derby” did not take long in getting going. Four minutes into the game and the rivalry brought its first caution. Sam Atkinson brought down Ayr’s Roddy Patterson just outside the box. To add to Atkinson’s frustration at being yellow carded United took the lead through the subsequent free-kick. Mark Shankland hit the ball so well, right into the top right hand corner, and so hard that Queens keeper Jim Atkinson had absolutely no chance.  
 
Shankland had a chance to double his tally for the afternoon when Atkinson failed to deal with a cross but his header hit the post. Just as Ayr looked to be in complete control Queens won a free-kick 30 yards out. Patrick Slattery stepped up and hit a thunderous shot which blasted in off the post to make it 1-1 after an explosive 15 minutes. His free-kick was equally as good as Shanklands and the debate will rage on between spectators as to the better goal.
 
Ayr had another half chance when Patterson’s shot/cross hybrid floated just over the crossbar. After this extremely entertaining first quarter of an hour the game died down with only half chances being made by both sides. This was the tone for a large majority of the game with neither side making many clear cut chances.
 
The match was played mainly in the middle of the park with the wingers not getting enough service and when they did they were shut down almost immediately. It took until the 26th minute for the next big chance. It was Queens defender Josh Simpson whose shot was tipped over the bar by Ayr keeper Bobby McLache. Slattery almost scored again for Queens direct from the corner but it hit the roof of the net.
 
The boys from Palmerston were now in the ascendancy and that dominance increased when they were awarded a penalty. Honest Man Jo Maxwell was spotted by the referee pulling on a jersey at a corner and the penalty was awarded. Sam Atkinson had a chance to make up for his earlier error but his penalty was hit straight at McLache who threw himself on top of the ball to turn the tie back in Ayr’s favour.
 
Just before half time Shankland hit another free-kick however Atkinson was more prepared this time to make a good save.
 
That was to be the last good chance of an entertaining first half. 
 
Half Time: Queen of the South Under 19s 1-1 Ayr United Under 19s
 
The second half started off just as well with Queens getting the eventual winner three minutes after the restart. Shaun Handling twisted and turned his way into the box, put the ball across the face and Slattery slotted the ball home to pick up his second of the afternoon.
 
After this the chances were few and far between for both sides. Darren McGill had a great chance to pull Ayr level but his shot from eight yards out was saved spectacularly by Atkinson. The shot was drilled low and hard at the keeper but the ball somehow got trapped under his boots right on the line.
 
The last great chance of the game fell to Doonhamer Liam Park which would have settled the game. He ran 50 yards, zigzagged through several players, rounded the keeper but his final shot hit the sidenetting.
 
As it turned out the game was won by Slattery’s goals and Queen of the South will march on to the semi final.
 
Queen of the South U19’s coach Stuart Rome said after the game. “It was a close game and we edged it. We defended really well and they pressed us the last ten, fifteen minutes and before that it was nip and tuck. The penalty was a bad miss and I think at 2-1 we would have been really in the ascendancy after that.”
 
Rome would love his lads to go further in the tournament but insists they have to enjoy the event: “I think the boys have got to go and express themselves and enjoy the day. Semi finals of the Scottish Youth Cup for 16 and 17 year old boys don’t come around every five minutes and I think the boys have earned the right to be there and they have to enjoy themselves whoever they are going to play."
 
Full Time: Queen of the South Under 19s 1-1 Ayr United Under 19s
Queen of the South Under 19s
Ayr United Under 19s
Atkinson
Simpson
Gray
Atkinson
Hooper
Slattery
Handling
Crozier
Vallance (Burgess, 82)
Todd
Young (Park, 61)
Substitutes:
Park
Burgess
Wilkinson
Davidson
Etherington
McLache
Murdoch
McKee
Kelly (Dyer, 58)
Armstrong
Maxwell (Marshall, 55)
Hutchison
Wylie
Patterson
Shankland
McGill
Substitutes:
Dyer
Marshall
Muir
Clark
 
 
Givova are an Italian sportswear brand (click here to see range) who cover all tiers of the game, from Serie A's Chievo Verona and Catania, to grass roots. They have hit Scotland so look out for YFS team members in their Givova kit at your game!
 
Givova UK Man of the Match: Patrick Slattery
 
Referee: Derek Crothers
Last modified on Thursday, 08 August 2013 17:39
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