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Monday, 12 March 2012 23:20

Bonnyton see off ten man Row to reach final

Written by  Andy Bargh
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Harmony Row YC Under 19s
Bonnyton Thistle Under 19s
Competition: SYFA Challenge Cup - Semi Final
Venue: Pollok Juniors
Date: 11/03/2012
The Scottish Cup Semi-Final; Always an occasion to look forward to, no matter who is battling it out on the field for a place in the final. However, on this occasion the draw was kind to the neutral as Bonnyton Thistle and Harmony Row, the top two in the Glasgow & District Youth Football League, faced each other in Pollok.

With a great match anticipated, it didn’t disappoint. After Harmony Row prevailed 1-0 in the last meeting in the league between the two, it wouldn’t have been unfair to class them as favourites, but Bonnyton started the brighter team, taking the game to Harmony Row in the first 20 minutes but without creating any real opportunities.

Instead, against the run of play, it was Harmony Row who tested the opposition goalie first. A corner was floated in from the wide area and was headed towards the net by a Harmony Row player, but keeper Chris Murchie pulled out a top-drawer save to claw the ball away and prevent his team going behind.

Bonnyton found their groove again and started to become more effective in the final third. Within a 15 minute spell Stuart Davidson headed just over from a corner, Mick Lennox shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area, and Greig Mitchell had their first shot on target from 18 yards out but it was comfortably held onto by the Harmony Row goalkeeper.

Harmony Row tried to press forward but were restricted to playing long balls forward as Peter Wood and Andy Strachan remained stellar in the centre of defence for the Ayrshire outfit. The match looked like it would be goalless at the break, but with 5 minutes to go before half-time, Bonnyton broke the deadlock. A swift counter attack broke down the left hand side and Eddie McTernan squared for Calum Watt to side foot into the far corner magnificently from around 12 yards out. Bonnyton were one up on the stroke of half time, but the first half didn’t end there.

A tussle in the centre of the pitch between Watt and a Harmony Row striker ended with the referee playing an advantage, but before he turned his back he noticed a stamp on Watt’s thigh from the Harmony Row player, and he had no option but to send him for an early shower, with no protests from his team mates.

Half Time: Harmony Row YC Under 19s 0-1 Bonnyton Thistle Under 19s

The second half begun with Harmony Row coming out all guns blazing, desperate to try and get themselves back into the tie, but the Bonnyton team held firm and refused to offer their opponents a clear sight of goal, with Stuart Walker working tirelessly in the right back position.

Bonnyton struck what seemed to be the killer blow just before the hour; Mark Armour did well to work himself into a position on the right and beat 2 defenders before putting the ball into the box to allow Watt to poke home and bag his second of the game. 2-0 and against 10 men, it seemed Bonnyton were cruising to the final.

But back came Harmony Row with a ‘nothing to lose attitude’, making several changes and taking the game to Bonnyton, creating several chances in the process but being unable to make the pressure count. They hit the crossbar from the edge of the box after splitting the Bonnyton defence with a well-crafted pass, before hitting the post from a difficult angle 10 minutes later. 

Harmony Row’s constant attacking left them open at the back and Stuart Davidson had an opportunity for Bonnyton but his effort sailed over from 20 yards out. Clear-cut chances were few and far between; Row had a free-kick from the edge of the box that failed to trouble Murchie, and the Bonnyton defence did their job well.

The next goal would be vital, but the 10 men of Harmony Row were starting to tire and with around 12 minutes to go, Bonnyton substitute Craig Patterson latched onto a superb through ball from arguable man of the match Stuart Walker to race forward and finish with delightful composure.

The game was effectively over from that point onwards and despite their best efforts, Harmony Row’s 10 men couldn’t find a way past the Bonnyton defence and so it is the Ayrshire boys who march on to their second Scottish Cup Final in consecutive seasons.

Full Time: Harmony Row YC Under 19s 0-3 Bonnyton Thistle Under 19s 
Last modified on Thursday, 08 August 2013 16:55
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