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Glenvale AFC reach Scottish Cup final after outstanding win

Glenvale AFC 7

Cumming 9, Lee 25, Crooks 32, Pittaway 39, McDonald 46, McLaughlin 56, 68

Hillwood FC 0

  • Sunday, 25 March 2018
  • Parklea Playing Fields
  • Under 16´s
  • SYFA Cup

Glenvale AFC Under 16s are set to face Spartans in the SYFA Cup final for the second successive year after comfortably dispatching Hillwood in the semi-finals on Sunday.

Glenvale hit seven past Hillwood in a commanding win to reach May’s cup final, due to be held at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium.

Hillwood kicked off on a chilly afternoon at Parklea but it was Glenvale who enjoyed the better start to the game. The Paisley side dominated possession during the opening exchanges and won a few corners, where they highlighted their effectiveness from set pieces.

It was from one of their corners that John Cumming opened the day’s scoring with around nine minutes on the clock. Jack Smith floated in a delivery towards the back post from the right and found Cameron Crooks waiting. Hillwood keeper James Burns parried Crooks’ header but the ball fell invitingly for Cumming, who poked the ball home from close range to give his side an early lead.

Vale came close to doubling their advantage minutes later, again from a corner. This time Smith played a low ball towards the edge of the box, spotting centre forward Rhys Best McDonald’s late run towards goal. The striker fired a low shot at goal but Burns smothered his shot well.

Best McDonald looked up for the game and was heavily involved in Hillwood’s next opportunity. The forward picked up the ball on the right of the Glenvale attack and charged down the wing, beating two Hillwood defenders in the process. He then teed up Aaron McDonald but his shot flew harmlessly over the bar.

With 25 minutes on the clock Fraser Lee then extended Glenvale’s lead to two. A long ball over the top reached Brian Connor, who thundered down the left wing towards goal. Connor squared the ball with a lovely outside-of-the-boot pass to Lee, who took a touch before calmly placing the ball in the bottom corner.

The Hillwood players struggled to create chances in this period, finding Glenvale’s defence particularly stubborn and difficult to break down.

Seven minutes later, it was three. Crooks was played in down the right and fashioned a one-on-one against Burns before he showed great composure to roll the ball past the onrushing keeper and into the Hillwood net.

Glenvale continued to press for a fourth goal with Best McDonald looking particularly dangerous, but the striker was unable to find the net despite going close on more than one occasion.

Vale would grab a fourth before halftime however, with the Paisley side once again taking advantage of their set piece abilities. Smith fired in a cross towards Harry Pittaway at the back post, where a simple tap in was all that was required to extend their lead to four.

The referee then called time on a superb first-half performance from Glenvale.

  • Half Time:
  • Glenvale AFC
  • 4-0
  • Hillwood FC
Glenvale kicked off the second half but it was Hillwood who took to the pitch with a renewed sense of urgency and determination. They pressed and harried Glenvale all over the pitch, desperate to find a way back into the game.
However, six minutes into the second half, Glenvale got their fifth. Connor threaded through a pass to Aaron McDonald, who outstripped the defence for a one-on-one with Burns. McDonald bore down on goal and coolly slipped the ball past the Hillwood goalie.
Hillwood then had a couple of opportunities of their own to get on the scoresheet. First, Ailans Budens came close to pulling one back when he got on the end of a cross from the right. The winger headed the ball back across goal, but it looped harmlessly over the bar.
Sean Barrett was next to have a go for Hillwood. He lined up a free kick on the edge of the Glenvale box and curled his shot over the wall, but the ball narrowly cleared the bar.
Then, four minutes later, Glenvale substitute Aidan McLaughlin got on the scoresheet. A long ball over the Hillwood midfield reached Connor, who in turn played an inviting ball through to McLaughlin. Burns rushed off his line but McLaughlin got a toe to it first and poked the ball beyond the keeper to make it 6-0.
Budens continued to look like Hillwood’s best chance at pulling one back and the substitute went close with an attempted lob from the edge of the box, but Glenvale goalie Ciaran McDowell caught the ball well.
McLaughlin then got his second and his team’s seventh with around ten minutes left on the clock. Simon Adekunle released Adam Bridges down the right wing, who then fired a low, driven cross across the face of goal. McLaughlin timed his run perfectly to get in front of the defence and hit a first-time shot that gave Burns little hope of stopping it.
There was still time for one last chance for Hillwood and it came via some excellent play from substitute Emmanuel Annag. The forward collected the ball on the left wing and weaved his way through the Glenvale defence, eventually finding himself on the right corner of the box. A sublime turn fooled the Glenvale defence before Annag teed up Liam McGinnity, but his shot was blocked.
The referee then called time on an excellent display from Glenvale. Hillwood battled bravely and made Vale work for the win but it was Glenvale who booked their place in May’s Scottish Cup final at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium.
  • Full Time:
  • Glenvale AFC
  • 7-0
  • Hillwood FC


Glenvale AFC
Hillwood FC
1. Ciaran McDowell
2. John Cumming
3. Andrew McColl
4. Jack Smith
5. Kyle McLaughlin
6. Adam Bridges
7. Aidan McLaughlin
8. Sean Borland
9. Rhys Best
10. Aaron McDonald
11. Simon Adekunle
12. Harry Pittaway
13. Fraser Lee
14. Luke Christie
15. Anton Calderwood
16. Cameron Crooks
17. Marcus Lavery
18. Brian Connor
1. James Burns
3. Matthew Donnach
y 4. Stewart Perry
5. Ryan Redmond
7. Ailans Bulans
8. Tashen Rajakaruna
9. Dean Reilly
10. Ryan McGovern
11. Liam McGinnity
15. Gary Cook
16. Jamie Appleby
20. Josh Hadwin
21. Emmanuel Annag
25. Fergus Boyce
27. Dilina Loku Yaddehigde
88. Sean Barrett
Star Player
Glenvale AFC
Hillwood FC
Brian Connor - the forward didn't get on the scoresheet but provided three assists for his teammates in an excellent display. Tormented the Hillwood defence time and again and was the best player on the park.
Ailans Bulans - The winger came off the bench at the beginning of the second half and used his strength and pace to hassle the Glenvale defence. Was unfortunate not to score but was repsonsible for Hillwood's best attacking play.
Magic Moment
Glenvale AFC
Hillwood FC
Glenvale's final goal was an excellent demonstration of teamwork. Each player did precisely what they needed to do, when they had to do it and the players involved can be pleased to have scored such an efficient goal.
Emmanuel Annag's late dribble was a fantastic piece of skill and could have easily resulted in a goal. Excellent footwork from the youngster.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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