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Bankies leave it late to clinch Scottish Cup

Airdrie United BC 1

Boyce 47

Clydebank FC 3

Fleming 17, Slee 81, Yusuf 90
  • Sunday, 14 February 2016
  • Excelsior Stadium
  • Under 19´s
  • inspiresport SYFA Cup - Final
Clydebank are the new holders of the Scottish Youth FA Cup after defeating Airdrie United in a hotly-contested game on a beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium. 
 
The match was one of the most highly anticipated finals of the year, with two teams that know a thing or two about the competition. Airdrie United lost out to St Peters on penalties in last year's final at Under 17 level, and have challenged in a number of other seasons at the 1999 age group. Clydebank originally entered the competition as Milngavie Wanderers and season after season seemed to go close, but never quite make it to the showpiece final. 
 
Clydebank got proceedings under way by kicking off, but the first chance of the game fell to Airdrie United after just two minutes. Kieran Devine collected the ball in the Clydebank box with his back to goal, before sliding a pass back to Andrew Kennedy who scooped his shot wide of the target.
 
United continued to dominate for the opening 15 minutes and looked more likely to score, until Clydebank's William Fleming outstripped the Airdrie defence and was brought down by goalkeeper Tony Sharkey, which resulted in a penalty.
 
The keeper received a yellow card for the foul while Fleming stepped up for the penalty. The striker rifled a low hard shot with his left foot into the centre of the goal. Sharkey managed to get a foot to the ball, but it was not enough to stop the ball crossing the line.
 
Airdrie almost had the perfect response just three minutes later when Devine cut in from the right wing and fired at goal, but Bankies goalie Thomas McGuire pulled off an excellent save to deny him.
 
Soon after Fleming had a chance to double his tally after Clydebank's Sean Smith cut in from the left hand side and squared the ball to his team-mate, but Fleming could only poke the ball over the bar. 
 
The Bankies then came within inches of doubling their lead following a set-piece. Fleming won a free kick just outside the box on the right hand side and curled in a delightful cross that Smith knocked onto the post with a glancing header.
 
Clydebank pushed hard to grab a second goal before the half-time whistle and came close once again after Smith undid the Airdrie United defence. The forward sprinted into the box from the left wing and fired a shot at goal, where Sharkey denied him with an excellent save.
  • Half Time:
  • Airdrie United BC
  • 0-1
  • Clydebank FC

United needed to improve on their first half performance and their players came flying out of the traps in the second half, and were almost instantly rewarded.

Just two minutes into the second half Smith scooped a high ball into the box, when McGuire allowed the ball to slip through his hands as he jumped for it. The ball fell to Marcus Boyce, who couldn't have missed as he prodded the ball into the empty net from a few yards out.

United were buoyed by their equaliser and started to apply some heavy pressure to the Clydebank defence, who looked a little rattled after the goal.

Airdire United sub Ross Dunbar then came very close for the hosts after a mazy run down the right wing left him with a sight at goal. Dunbar struck a low shot towards the bottom right corner, forcing McGuire into a good save before the ball was knocked behind for a corner.

Then followed a moment of madness from United keeper Sharkey. Fleming broke free of the Airdrie defence and burst into the box, only for Sharkey to shepherd Fleming away from goal towards the touchline on the right wing. Sharkey ended up chasing Fleming until he was outside his box and was helpless to prevent Fleming's floating shot towards the goal. Much to the keeper's relief, Fleming's shot sailed over the bar.

Clydebank's Brendan Price had the next chance of the game with a looping header from about 13 yards, but Sharkey easily saved.

A long free kick from Airdire then saw the ball floated into the box when McGuire flapped at the ball and missed it, only for the defence to clear. The sun was clearly causing problems for the Clydebank keeper as it shone brightly in his line of sight.

Airdire were enjoying most of the ball at this point as Clydebank struggled to get out from their own half. A rare chance fell to Joe Slee after Jordan Hay broke through the defence, only to be denied by Sharkey. The ball then dropped to the feet of Slee at the edge of the box but his shot was deflected behind for a corner.

Slee wouldn't have to wait long for another opportunity however, and gave Clydebank the lead just two minutes later. The striker - who started the game in midfield - received the ball on the left wing, and after a good run fired a powerful low shot from distance towards the near post. Sharkey was beaten, and a delighted Slee sprinted towards his manager's dugout, mobbed by his teammates.

The next chance of the game fell to Clydebank's Hay from a free kick. Hay won the free kick initially after a stray backpass from the Airdrie United defence resulted in the midfielder being brought down just outside the corner of the box. Hay fired a left-footed shot over the opposition wall, but the shot was too high and ended up over the bar.

Clydebank substitute Abdul Yusuf then sealed the win for the Bankies with a third goal in stoppage time. The forward struck a brilliant shot from around 20 yards out on the left wing after cutting inside, which curled magnificently into the far post.

The Clydebank players and management were delighted with Yusuf's impact and could breathe a sigh of relief as the game was now surely beyond the reach of Airdie United.

The Bankies continued to hit United on the counter as the Diamonds pressed for a goal, but the day's scoring was done. Referee Mark Crawford soon blew the final whistle, resulting in ecstatic celebrations from the Clydebank players, coaching staff and fans.

 

  • Full Time:
  • Airdrie United BC
  • 1-3
  • Clydebank FC

Lineups

Airdrie United BC
Clydebank FC
1. Tony Sharkey
2. Blair Findlay
3. Ross Henderson
4. Ryan Donn
5. Sean Mullen
6. Liam Dillon
7. Christopher O'Kane
8. Kieran Devine
9. Marcus Boyce
10. Declan Wood
11. Andrew Kennedy
12. Jack Taylor
14. Christopher Lang
15. Connor Campbell
16. Reagan McDonald
17. Ross Dunbar
1. Thomas McGuire
2. Louis Robertson
3. Matthew McLean
4. Jack Carson
5. Robbie Donaldson
6. Alex Hunter
7. Joe Slee
8. Daniel Crawley
9. William Fleming
10. Sean Smith
11. Ronan Officer
12. James Traynor
14. Jordan Hay
15. Abdul Yusuf
16. Brandon Price
17. Grant Mackie
Star Player
Airdrie United BC
Clydebank FC
Marcus Boyce - The striker was a threat throughout the game and was unfortunate not to add to his goal tally. Was the main driving force behind United's attacks.
Joe Slee- Gave a strong performance with some neat touches in midfield in the first half, before eventually moving up front and causing the Airdrie United defence all sorts of problems. A terrific performance.
Magic Moment
Airdrie United BC
Clydebank FC
Sharkey's save after 42 minutes from Smith's shot- Wonderful agility from the goalie that denied Clydebank a second goal before half-time and kept his team in the game.
Yusuf's goal - Fantastic strike from distance that sealed the win for Clydebank. A goal worthy of winning any final.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
Last modified on Tuesday, 16 May 2017 18:47
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