View Photo Gallery | Discuss the Match | Buy Photos and Souvenirs
Bonnyton Thistle Under 19's reached their third Scottish Cup final in a row after a hard-fought victory over Rossvale at Adamslie Park in Kirkintiloch.
Rossvale kicked the game off and the tone for the first half was quickly set as a cagey scrappy affair. The opening was typified by frequent stoppages, one of which was a particularly nasty accidental clash of heads that resulted in both players making a trip to the hospital.
The first hint of danger came from a fleeting Bonnyton break down the right flank following a Rossvale corner kick. Ryan Golightly popped a cross over to the back stick but it was scrambled clear before the goal was put under too much threat. Sam McCloskey was looking dangerous for Bonnyton, his movement from central positions towards the right wing was particularly impressive and looked as if it could cause Rossvale a few problems as the game wore on.
It was McCloskey who had the game’s first real shot on goal. It came from another Golightly cross into the box - it found McCloskey in a yard of space but his snap-shot pinged just wide of the postage stamp corner.
As the first half continued, Rossvale pressed higher up the park without too much penetration of the Bonnyton backline, who were happy to fire forward long balls whenever a Rossvale move broke down. These long balls frequently found Steven Hill making intelligent arching runs between the central defence and full back positions. Corey Bracey at central defence for Rossvale was having a great game however and mopped up these Bonnyton attacks with particular ease. Bracey himself was quite capable of stepping out from defence with the ball at his feet and sliding passes down the left channel for Rossvale. He looked a very accomplished modern day centre half.
The game’s first ounce of quality came on the half hour mark when a flash of skill by Bonnyton’s Jordan Muir took him past two Rossvale midfielders but his tame shot from the edge of the box was gratefully scooped up off the deck by David Aubrey in the Rossvale goal.
Rossvale’s Scott Lindsay is a player with excellent talent but the Bonnyton defence were doubling up on him well to stifle his threat. However, as the first half crept towards the whistle, Lindsay was able to get to the byline on the left flank and whip a ball in towards the penalty spot. It found Robert Park but the striker could only guide the ball into Dylan Caddis’ arms with the inside of his right boot.
On the stroke of half time, Bonnyton’s Marc Abercrombie arrowed a powerful free kick from the half way line into the Rossvale box. It came very close to finding the head of Kieran McCrum as he dived in at the far post but the ball evaded him and sped out for a goal kick.
The referee brought the first half, void of any clear opportunities, to an end with the sides at a solid stalemate; although the bobbly park didn’t exactly promote a great footballing spectacle.
Half Time: Rossvale FC 0-0 Bonnyton Thistle
Bonnyton got the second half underway and at long last the game sprang into life. The spark came when Rossvale set off on a sensational sweeping passing move through the Bonnyton half. Michael Milarvie exchanged with Park who found Andrew Frodsham and he set it up on a plate for Lindsay. Sadly for Rossvale, the finish didn’t mimic the build up as Lindsay unleashed a fresh air shot and let Bonnyton off the hook.
Bonnyton had an extra zip about them too. McCloskey dazzled the defence with a lovely turn to skin his marker on the left flank. He picked out Golightly at the far post who cut the ball back for Sean Mears, but the keeper spread his body superbly well to save.
Rossvale threatened again when a Lindsay corner found Bracey hurling himself at the ball at the far post but his powerful header was tipped over the bar by Caddis.
Ryan Conville then had a go for Rossvale when he cut in from the right flank and went searching for the top right hand corner with his left foot. The ball looked net bound from the moment it left his boot but it curled just over the bar with the keeper beaten all ends up.
Then came the first of two top drawer saves in the second half. Steven Gregory looked certain to score for Bonnyton after he latched onto a loose ball in the Rossvale box. It broke to him 8 yards from goal and he smashed it towards the roof the net but Aubrey pulled off a sensational stop underneath the crossbar to keep the scores level.
Bonnyton brought on substitute David Shedden and it added a dimension to their play that had been missing. Shedden is a flying machine and within minutes of his arrival he demonstrated his powerful running ability when he set off on a solo 60 yard run past player after player to win a corner. The corner came in and Andrew Strachan guided a glancing header just wide of the target.
The game’s second top drawer save came when a delightful Ryan Linning pass found Kyle Cameron peeling of his marker on the edge of the box for Rossvale. Cameron’s first touch was perfect but just when it seemed he would pick his spot in the back of the net, Caddis flew out at full stretch to save.
Instantly Bonnyton broke from the save, Muir beat his man and sent the speedy Shedden through on goal but he shot against the keepers legs with the goal at his mercy.
Bonnyton began to turn the screw and Ewan Barrie was having a stormer in the middle of the park. He had some exceptional touches and never wasted a pass. The introduction of Shedden had clearly vitalised the team and with fifteen minutes remaining, they opened the scoring. Shedden, almost inevitably, found himself running towards goal with the Rossvale rearguard unable to handle his pace and power. He stroked the ball past the advancing keeper and held his breath as the ball slowly bobbled into the bottom left corner of the net. 1-0.
A couple of minutes later and Shedden put the game to bed when he scored his, and Bonnyton’s, second goal. A quick throw-in from the right touchline sent Shedden running into the box unmarked. He showed great composure to strike it low past the keeper and into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
The two goals were a cruel blow to Rossvale who had more than played their part in the game. As the minutes drifted away, the hosts couldn’t find any answers to Bonnyton’s two goals, and it was the Ayrshire side who nearly scored again through an eye-catching overhead kick. McCloskey’s acrobatic effort thundered off the crossbar and as the ball was booted clear the referee blew the final whistle to put Bonnyton into the final.
Rossvale were unlucky to lose the game as there wasn’t much between the teams but Bonnyton ground out the victory and will take to the field in Airdrie for the third season in a row.
Full Time: Rossvale FC 0-2 Bonnyton Thistle