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Sunday, 01 September 2013 19:13

Slick City see off Craigshill challenge to progress

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Edinburgh City 99
Craigshill Thistle
Mathew Brien 6
Kevin Munro 18
Donald Dixon 33
Mark Seath 11


Scottish Youth FA Cup Round 1, 15s
Forrester High School, Edinburgh
01 September 2013

By Alasdair Mackenzie
YFS South East Region Reporter
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Edinburgh City emerged victorious after a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Craigshill Thistle on Sunday afternoon in the first round of the Scottish Youth FA Cup. An early goal from City’s Mathew Brien was cancelled out by Mark Seath’s leveller, but two more first-half goals for City from Kevin Munro and Donald Dixon were enough to see them safely through to the next round, despite a strong second half performance from the visitors.

The blustery conditions did not seem to affect the players as the game burst into action directly from the kick off. City’s Donald Dixon jinxed his way down the flank within the first minute and Michael Mclaren met the winger’s cut back with a shot that went narrowly over.
An impressive and high-tempo start from the hosts was soon rewarded, as midfielder Mathew Brien struck a stunning half-volley from outside the box that looped over Craigshill keeper Harry Copping to open the scoring.
City were well organised at the back, but Craigshill managed to create their first opportunity when the ball broke for Ciaran Vaughan, but his shot from a tight angle could not find the target.
The battle for midfield dominance was central to the early stages of the game, with City finding particular joy down the flanks thanks to the excellent work of Dixon and Kevin Munro. However, it was Thistle who were next to find the net after the ball broke out from a corner for Mark Seath to strike an excellent low shot off the post and in from just inside the area.
The visitors had grown into the game and Michael Galbraith was causing some problems for City with his physicality.
However, City looked the more likely when going forward and were soon back in front.
The excellent Munro was a constant threat down the left and took his goal brilliantly, as he turned his defender and dispatched a left footed strike into the bottom corner.
Thistle’s attempts to get forward were being foiled by the assured Shawn Cunningham of Edinburgh City, who put in an excellent performance in defence. However, Craigshill had a great chance to equalise after about twenty minutes after Seath played through James Erskine brilliantly, but John Gallagher was out quickly to block from a one on one position.
The game had really opened up and another brilliant through ball, this time from City midfielder Brien, released Munro on the left but he was denied by a great save from Copping. An almost identical chance then appeared at the other end, with a save from the outrushing Gallagher denying Erskine.
City then extended their advantage, with Dixon capitalising on a stray back pass with an accomplished finish that found its way in off the post and gave the home side a two-goal cushion heading in for the break. 

Half Time: Edinburgh City 99 3-1 Craigshill Thistle

The second half started brightly with chances at both ends. Some great play from City striker Michael Mclaren set up another chance for Munro but on this occasion the winger shot just wide.

Craigshill were much improved after the break, and thought they had pulled one back when a vicious strike across goal from Erskine beat the goalkeeper but flew just past the post. Erskine was causing all sorts of problems for the City defence and he again found himself freed by a pass from midfield, but Gallagher was quickly out to clear.
Thistle again came agonisingly close as Cameron Russell found space for a shot with the ball bouncing around in the box following a corner, only to see his strike come back off the post. Craigshill were asking a lot more questions of the home side in the second half, but City were always dangerous going forward thanks to the work of McLaren and Munro, who again combined after McLaren beat his man to swing in a cross that Munro struck narrowly wide on the volley.
Jamie Dixon put in an impressive shift for Thistle in the second half, and after beating two men in his own half he launched a fantastic long pass forward for Erskine, but again Gallagher was alert to the danger and gathered well.
Despite pressure from the visitors, it was City who created the final chances of the match. The excellent combination play between Munro and McLaren that had caused Thistle problems all day continued as Munro burst down the left and cut back a low cross that McLaren drilled narrowly over the bar.
City celebrated a hard-earned victory at the final whistle, but Thistle will be encouraged by a strong second half performance in which they were unlucky not to score. The home side will be confident heading into the next round, as they displayed plenty of quality going forward and certainly have an abundance of individual talent in their squad.

Full Time: Edinburgh City 99 3-1 Craigshill Thistle


Edinburgh City 99 Craigshill Thistle
1. John Gallagher
2. Louis Hazelwood
3. Rhys Anderson
4. Cameron Milligen
6. Mathew Brien
7. Adam Markham
8. Reiss Philp
9. Michael McLaren
10.James Green
11. Donald Dixon
12. Shawn Cunningham
14. Louis Fletcher
15. Josh Reddington
16. Andrew Joint
17. Kevin Munro
18. Jacob Smyth 
1. Harry Copping
2. Jamie Dixon
3. Ciaran Vaughan
4. Robbie Sinclair
6. Ryan Curran
7. Kieran Gray
8. Mark Seath
9. Euan Langan
10. James Erskine
12. Blake Snedden
13. Mathew Shearer
15. Christopher Bauld 
17. Connor McIver 
18. Cameron Russell
19. Michael Galbraith
Kevin Munro was a constant threat down the left wing for City, and linked up extremely well throughout the match with striker McLaren. Fully deserved his goal, which he took with great composure.
James Erskine was at the heart of Thistle's attacking threat, and showed great workrate throughout the match. Always willing to chase long balls and passes from midfield, and he was unlucky not to score.
Alan Fletcher, Edinburgh City coach, said: "It was a good overall team performance, it was a close game and I thought the strong winds interfered with the football. I'm delighted with the defence in the second half."
John Russell, Craigshill Thistle coach, said: "I thought we showed them too much respect in the first half. We were much better in the second half but the windy conditions made it difficult."
Last modified on Monday, 02 September 2013 21:10
Alasdair MacKenzie

Alasdair Mackenzie | YFS South East Region Journalist

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