East Region (209)
In the Café Royale League, Fairmuir picked up an 8-2 win away to Maryfield. Stuart Heenan bagged a hat trick, with Harrison Smith, Jude Duguid, Brodie Cussick and Leo Norrie all on target.
Carnoustie went down 3-1 at home to Ferry. Scott Hamilton’s penalty gave Carnoustie something to cheer after a tough day at the office. Pitfour made it two wins from two with a 4-2 win over Riverside.
There were a total of 25 goals in the two J Clenaghan League matches. DUSC picked up a 7-4 win over St Andrews Colts, and Broughty beat Dundee West Reds 9-5.
In the P Gibson League, Dundee West Royals won 5-1 against Monifieth. Aiden Davidson found the net with an overhead kick, while Mylo McDonald, Euan Mather, Harris Malik and Jamie Stewart also found the net.
Elsewhere in the league, there were wins for Dundee Thistle and Celtic Boys, while Kirrie and Mearns played out a 3-3 draw. Aaron Brown scored for Kirrie, while Josh Cormack grabbed a brace.
In the DS Rennie League, ACSC pulled off the shock of the day as they stunned high-flying Broughty United. Kyle Yule and Kaden Houghton got the goals for the Arbroath side who inflicted Broughty’s first defeat of the season. Leon Winterton kept up his fine scoring run, but couldn’t earn his side the points.
Celtic Boys would have moved level with Broughty at the top of the table with a win, but lost 2-1 to Dundee West. Cammy Blacklock and Aiden Law got the goals as Dundee West came from behind to earn their first win of the season.
Owen Boath continues to lead the scoring charts after finding the net twice for Ferry in their 4-0 win over DUSC. Harrsion Taylor and Blair Anderson were also on target.
Fairmuir eased to an 8-0 win over Brechin at Graham Street. Aaron Christie chipped in with a brace, while Rhys Ross, Billy Donald, Jay Tosh, Mark Ross, Ryan McGregor and Cole Phillip all found the net.
In the Watson McInally League, Riverside extended their unbeaten run with an 8-0 win over Douglas, while Maryfield won 4-1 against St Andrews Colts.
Pitfour picked up another win as they beat Broughty Panthers 8-2. Ryan Carr and Harris Ahmed got the goals for Broughty, but it wasn’t enough as Dundee West beat Carnoustie Panmure 5-2. A hat trick from Lewis Hutton and goals from Cavan McLaren and Jude McIntosh saw Dundee West race into a five goal lead, second half strikes from Lewis Siverwright and Jay Bryce gave the hosts something to cheer.
Celtic Boys picked up a big win over Dundee Thistle. Cody Louge scored four times, with Joel Grant bagging a hat trick. Blane Devaney, Derren Gordon, Josh Gordon and Cammy Wilson were also on target.
This week’s featured match saw Logie Harp host Fairmuir in a battle for top spot in the Maryfield League.
Fairmuir’s Jake Grady opened the scoring after seven minutes with a composed chip over Logie keeper Samuel Ross. Lightning struck twice for the striker, who curled a shot past Ross from the edge of the box 60 seconds later to double his side’s lead.
Logie were the league’s top scorers ahead of this match, but struggled to create any chances. Lennox Slater passed up a golden opportunity when he headed over from 10 yards.
Slater’s powerful drive proved to be the best chance either side had in the second half, but Fairmuir stopper Cammy Hendry got down well to push the ball round the post. Fairmuir held on to win 2-0, and move level with Dryburgh at the top of the table.
St Murdochs picked up a 2-1 win over Scone Thistle, while it was honours even in the Broughty Ferry derby, as Broughty and Ferry played out a 3-3 draw.
In the W Mills League, Riverside came from behind to beat Lincraig 5-2. Callum Brand fired in a hat trick, with Paul Traynor and Samuel Gallagher also finding the net as Lincraig lost for the first time this season.
Goals from Cameron Vaughn and Saul McGivney earned St Murdochs Colts a 2-2 draw with Monifieth. Oliver Carmichael and Jamie Lynch got the goals for Monifieth.
East Craigie Swifts picked up another win in the Dave Pullar League as they beat Dundee Rangers 8-1. Keir Gardiner scored a hat trick, Matt McKinnon bagged a brace, and Callum McCleary, Euan Faulkner and Jordan Conway also found the net. Celtic and ACSC played out a 2-2 draw, while Ferry beat Forfar 5-3.
In the Bodycare Complimentary League, Partan Craig won 3-2 against Carnoustie Panmure. Craig Begg, Martin Robertson and Antonio Boyd all found the net as Carnoustie suffered their first loss of the campaign. St Andrews Colts won 2-1 away to Brechin, and Dryburgh beat DUSC 5-2.
Jaden Murphy scored five times as Fairmuir Violet beat Kirrie 6-1. Ryan McLaren also found the net. Letham Tans downed Monifieth 4-1, and Ferry won 7-1 against Luncarty.
Here’s how the action went down:
Carnoustie Panmure secured passage to the third round as they won 3-1 against Lumphinnans United. Jack Chalmers was on target twice with Dillon Fraser also finding the net.
They will be joined by Fairmuir, who won 8-2 away to Forfar. Stuart Heenan grabbed a hat trick as Fairmuir cruised into Round Three.
Pitfour and Maryfield will also be in the draw for the next round, as they eased past Broughty Pumas and Scone Thistle respectively. Ferry Athletic, Arbroath and Riverside also made it through.
Ferry Athletic cruised into round three as they hit double digits against Lomond Colts. Owen Boath notched five of the Ferry goals. Maryfield were having similar fortunes in front of net, as they picked up a big win over Douglas.
Forfar Boys, Kirrie Thistle and Pitfour all scored seven times in their matches as they eased into Round Three.
Fairmuir were beaten 2-1 by Blue Brazil, while Monifieth beat Bridge of Earn by the same score line.
Two of the ties were decided by penalties, the first saw Jeanfield knock Celtic Boys out after a 2-2 draw, while DUSC advanced thanks to 10-9 shootout win over Riverside.
Broughty United were on league duty, and picked up an 11-0 win over Brechin in the DS Rennie League. Leon Winterton picked up a hat trick for the second game on the bounce. The result takes Broughty six points clear at the top of the table.
Lewis Hutton grabbed a hat trick for Dundee West U/15 as they beat Duloch Juniors Yellows 7-0. Fairmuir beat Kinross Colts by the same score line to seal a place in Round Three. Robbie Flynn bagged a hat trick for the Dundee side.
Pitfour squeezed into the next round as they bear Riverside 5-4 on penalties, where they will be joined by Carnoustie and Celtic Boys.
There were two G Taylor League fixtures that saw Broughty beat Montrose 5-3, and Monifieth close the gap on Pitfour to two points with an 8-0 win over Forfar.
This week’s featured match saw two teams with 100% records face off as Dryburgh Athletic hosted Glenrothes Strollers. The visitors knocked out Dryburgh CC in Round One, and made it a Dryburgh double as they picked up a 1-0 win.
The game’s only goal came after 22 minutes when Kieron Bowie slotted a low shot past Aaron Cosgrove.
Dryburgh had struggled offensively in the first period, but were given a boost when Bowie saw red for a second yellow card midway through the second half.
Ryan Smith and Ross Mcnaughton both had efforts saved by Callum Doran. The pressure was increasing on the Strollers’ backline as the game wore on. Central defender Thomas Glendinning made an important goal-line clearance before Doran denied Smith again with a flying save in the final minutes.
Fairmuir saw off Bayside 4-0 to book their place in Round Three. Jake Grady, Matthew Nelson, Ethan Samson and Kane Hynes all found the net. Ferry won 5-4 against Rothes Juniors and Jeanfield Blacks picked up a 3-0 win over Kelty Hearts, as only three of the DDYFA teams made their way into the draw for the next round.
Logie Harp picked up a 6-2 win over St Andrews Colts in the only Maryfield League fixture of the day.
Lincraig moved to the top of the table after a 3-3 draw with Dryburgh CC. This result combined with Riverside going down 3-0 to Monifieth, thanks to a brace from Ross McDowell and Adam Gray’s strike means the W Mills League has a new leader.
Bryce Duff bagged a brace for St Murdochs Colts as they picked up a 5-1 win over Forfar West End. Cameron Vaughn, Dylan Smith and Alfie Paterson were also on target.
Brechin beat Dundee Rangers 4-1 to earn their first win of the season. Aaron Angus scored from the penalty spot, with Jamie Raffan picking up a hat trick for the Angus side.
East Craigie Swifts are into Round Three after beating Celtic Boys 8-5 after extra time. Last year’s quarter finalists raced into a 3-0 lead, but found themselves trailing 5-4 in injury time. Callum McCleary found the injury time equaliser as East Craigie went on to seal the win and avoid being on the end of a big upset.
Dundee Rangers Scottish Cup adventure will continue into the next round after they beat Bayside 4-1. Rangers had never made it past Round One, but Daniel Wardlaw’s hat trick and Josh McCleary goal saw them ease into Round Three.
Ethan Coupar’s hat trick helped Carnoustie Panmure to a 7-1 win over Dryburgh. Forfar, ACSC and Brechin all made it into the third round.
Forfar West End and DUSC both picked up wins in the league. DUSC beat St Andrews Colts 2-1, and Forfar WE beat Montrose 3-2.
Fairmuir got their revenge on Forfar West End as they booked their place in Round Three with a 3-2 win. The Angus side took all three points when the sides faced off in the league, but a double from Jaden Murphy and a goal from Cammy Henderson had Fairmuir three to the good, and despite a late comeback, they made sure of their place in the next round.
Here’s how the action went down:
Pitfour started the Café Royal League with a 7-4 win over Carnoustie Panmure. The visitors lost their 100% start to the season, with their goals coming from Scott Hamilton, Harrison Whittet and a Jack Chalmers double.
Ferry Athletic picked up a 1-0 win over Maryfield thanks to Will Hanbury’s goal.
In the J Clenaghan League, Brechin came from behind twice to take a point from Newtyle. Cayden Carroll twice put the hosts ahead.
In the P Gibson League, Dundee West Royals started with 6-1 win over Dundee Sporting Club. Mylo McDonald, Jamie Stewart and Aiden Davidson all scored twice for the Charlotte Street side.
ACSC are the first DDYFA team in Round Three of the Scottish Cup after they beat Carnoustie 7-1. Kaden Houghton grabbed a hat trick, with Kyle Yule, Bobby Fleming, Alex Davidson and Shay McGiveney also on target. Conor Bisgrove provided the Carnoustie goal with a free kick.
This week’s first featured match saw Dundee West travel to Dawson Park to take on Ferry Athletic.
Dundee West were searching for their first win in the top flight, but found themselves 2-0 down inside 20 minutes. Owen Boath scored twice, first lifting the ball over Jordan Walker into the net, and secondly rolling a shot underneath the Dundee West keeper.
Cameron Blacklock’s goal five minutes after the restart gave Dundee West a lifeline, only for Jack Moir to put Ferry 3-1 up with a cool finish six minutes later.
Patrick Todd quickly reduced the deficit with a close-range finish from a corner, as Dundee West set up an intriguing final 20 minutes.
With seven minutes to go, Blacklock cannoned a shot against the bar, and the resulting counterattack saw Boath complete his hat trick, rounding Walker and shooting into the empty net.
Forfar picked up a 3-2 over Fairmuir in the DS Rennie League. Mathew Platt struck twice for Forfar in the first half, with Blair Quinn’s 25-yard wonder strike proving to be the difference between the sides. Mark Ross got the goals for Fairmuir.
Sam Ellis bagged a brace for Kirrie Thistle as they beat Brechin 4-0. Archie Mclean and Logan Richardson were also on target. Leon Winterton got a hat trick for Broughty United as they won 6-0 in Montrose.
Riverside mounted a comeback of their own to maintain their unbeaten record. They fought back from 2-1 down against Maryfield to win 5-2. Oscar Hickey scored four times, and Jonah McCallum got his 14th goal of the season.
Matthew Murphy’s hat trick helped Arbroath Lads to a 7-1 win over Douglas. Josh Tutchenor scored twice, with Dylan Tulleth and Lewis Smith also on target.
Despite Pitfour being the form side, they were slow out the traps, and fell behind after 10 minutes when Hari Caswell sent a dipping shot over Archie Kelly-Barton after 10 minutes.
Pitfour lost Kelly-Barton after 25 minutes when the goalkeeper became concussed, but rallied and managed to turn the game around with two goals just before half time.
Kai Finnie brought them level with a close-range finish from a corner, and Jordan Turnbull put them in front, drilling the ball home from a Finnie knockdown.
Ally Alcorn made it three for the champions with a simple header, before Kai Meldrum pulled one back for Ferry on the hour mark.
Alcorn struck again, tapping in after being denied initially by Hayden Church. There was still tome for one more goal as Matthew Younger headed home a corner in the closing minutes, but Pitfour held on to make it seven wins from seven matches.
Elsewhere in the G Taylor League, Nick Fletcher’s hat trick earned Dundee West a 3-2 win over Broughty Panthers. Ryan Carr and Liam Jones were on target for Broughty.
Broughty United earned a point after a thrilling 4-4 draw with Carnoustie. Lewis Sivewright scored twice for the hosts, with Connor McFarlane and Braden Batley also getting on the scoresheet.
Montrose got their first win of the season as they thrashed Dundee Thistle.
Arran Ferry added two more goals to his ever-increasing tally as Monifieth moved up to second in the table with a 5-2 win over Celtic Boys. Cody Louge got both goals for Celtic.
Riverside picked up a 4-2 win over Forfar. Dougray Smith bagged a brace, with Jack Kingston and Daniel Hart also on target.
Ferry got their first win of the season as they thrashed Forfar 5-0 away from home. Goals from Louie Anderson, Louie Porter and Brandon Donnelly gave Ferry a 3-0 lead at half time, with Jake Stewart and Daniel Garamy adding further gloss to the scoreline in the second period.
In the W Mills League, Brechin City went down 6-1 against Dryburgh CC. Their goal was scored by Luca Foley. Zak Livie and Bryce Duff were on target for St Murdochs Colts, but couldn’t stop them losing 4-2 against Lincraig.
Liam Annan scored twice for Monifieth as they beat Forfar WE 6-0. Sean MacKinnon, Lewis Lawson, Ross McDowell and Greg Kemp also found the net. Connor Spence and Ross Anderson were amongst the scorers for Riverside as they beat Kirrie 3-1. Dundee Rangers picked up a 1-0 win over Dundee Thistle.
It was honours even as ACSC and Ferry played out a 3-3 draw, while Fairmuir suffered their third defeat in four games as they lost 4-3 to Kirrie. Ryan Cormack scored all four goals for the Angus side, eventually sealing the win with a last-minute penalty.
In the Bodycare Complimentary League, Craig Begg’s brace earned Partan Craig a 2-2 draw with Brechin City, while Dryburgh Athletic picked up an 8-5 win over Montrose.
Robbie Tait scored four times for Carnoustie as they came from a goal down to beat St Andrews Colts 6-1. Monifieth won 6-2 away to Forfar WE.
Stefan Brown was on target twice for Coupar Angus as they beat Kirrie 3-2. Ryan Robertson also found the net for the hosts.
Monifieth Tayside picked up their first win of the season as they won 4-1 against Brechin, while Dundee West suffered their first loss of the season as they went down 5-1 against Ferry at Charlotte Street.
There was a first win of the season for Letham Tangerines as they beat Forfar West End 3-2. Cammy Fraser and Callum Clark got the goals for the champions, but couldn’t prevent suffering their second loss of the campaign.
Here’s how the action went down:
Ferry Athletic also picked up a win on the road. Haydn Farningham got a hat trick as they won 6-1 against Brechin. Broughty Pumas, Riverside CSC and Pitfour all hit the goal trail as they cruised into Round Two.
There was no such luck at Charlotte Street, as both Dundee West Reds and Royals were knocked out. The Reds were beaten 8-0 by East Fife YA, while the Royals went down 5-1 Letham Sky Blues. Euan Mather got the goal for the Royals.
Dundee Thistle were beaten 6-1 by St Johns, but Maryfield United advanced to the second round thanks to a 3-1 win at home Letham.
Mark Ross and Stewart Simpson both scored twice for Fairmuir as they won 6-1 against Lumphinnans United. Thomas Gibb and Cole Philip also scored as they sealed a spot in the next round.
Ferry Athletic were the final side on Scottish Cup duty, and they picked up a 4-1 win away to Letham Sky Blues, thanks to Owen Boath’s brace and goals from Rian Clark and Nicolas Mathew.
In the D S Rennie League, Forfar Boys won 6-1 against ACSC. Matthew Platt got a hat trick, there was a double from Ben Cormie and Liam Baillie was also on target for the champions. Billy Rennie got the goal for the Arbroath side.
Dundee West went down 3-2 at home to Kirrie, and Celtic Boys picked up a 2-0 against Montrose.
In the Watson McInally, two of the teams with 100% records faced off as Riverside hosted Dryburgh. It was the hosts that maintained their perfect record thanks Jonah McCallum's double, which handed them a 2-1 win. Sy Coventry got the goal for the visitors.
There were wins for Vale of Tay and St Andrews Colts, while Monifieth won 7-1 against Carnoustie. Ben Strachan got a hat trick, while Sammy Wilson and Jamie Pelling also found the net as Monifieth made it four wins from four.
Blue Brazil started on the front foot, but couldn’t find a way past David Boylan, who did well to push away a curling effort from Euan Stewart.
Godswill Oke opened the scoring for Dundee West four minutes before the break with a curling shot from the edge of the box.
Eight minutes after the restart, Nick Fletcher raced clear of the visitor’s defence and coolly slotted Dundee West into a 2-0 lead.
Fletcher nearly scored an identical goal after 70 minutes, but saw his effort come back of the post. 60 seconds later, Lewis Black curled a free kick into the top corner, setting up a nervy final few minutes for the Dundee side.
With two minutes remaining, David Boylan tipped Jack Reid’s shot onto the post. Connor Reid put the rebound into the net, but the referee judged him to be offside.
Graeme Stewart scored five times for Fairmuir as they cruised into the second round. Robbie Flynn, Liam Hunt and Mason Anderson were all on target as they ran out 8-1 winners over East Fife YA Gold.
There was a big win for Pitfour away to Blairgowrie. Jordan Turnbull scored four time, with Kai Finnie and Charlie Edwards picking up hat tricks. Ally Alcorn, Matthew Glenn and Ross Cameron also found the net.
Broughty Panthers returned to winning ways with a thumping win over Hearts of Beath. Ryan Carr scored a hat trick, while Lewis Denny, Haaris Ahmed and Daniel Boyle all picked up doubles.
Carnoustie edged out Monifieth to seal their place in the second round. Khalid Bjeirmi and Braden Batley had Carnoustie 2-0 up, and they managed to hold on despite a late goal from Aidan Lorente.
Goals from Jayden Allen, Matthew McIntosh and Ciaran Tippet handed Celtic Boys U15S a 3-2 win over Jeanfield Swifts.
Riverside, DUSC, and Ferry join the previously mentioned teams in the second round.
Fairmuir dismantled Lumphinnans United at Graham Street, winning 9-2. Jake Grady, Ross Hazel, Alex Stewart, Mark McCrory, Ethan Samson, Mathew Nelson, Jamie Timmons and Jack Whyte were all on target.
Blairgowrie secured passage to the second round with a 3-0 win over Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts Colts. Mattner, Gordon and Smith on target for the hosts.
Forfar Albion needed penalties to get past Jeanfield Reds, after a 4-4 draw. Robbie McGlauchlin, Ben Fanner and Billy Lawson, as well as an own goal provided Forfar’s goals, but keeper Grant Brown was the hero, as he saved three penalties in the shootout, as Forfar ran out 3-2 winners.
Matthew Gorrie’s double inspired Dundee Rangers to their first ever Scottish Cup win. He scored twice with Kevin Smith also on target as they won 3-2 away to Bayside.
Forfar Boys also advanced to Round Two. Elliot Boath scored twice for them as they ran out 3-2 winners against Thornton Locos. Robbie Davidson was also on target.
Partan Craig advanced to Round Two with a 7-4 win away to Jeanfield Blacks. Martin Robertson and Craig Begg both scored twice, with Nathan Lamb, Joe Chiverton and Liam Thompson also finding the net.
Dryburgh and Monifieth are also into the next round, thanks to wins against Cairneyhill Athletic and Luncarty respectively.
Monifieth Athletic beat Aberdour 4-2, while Kirrie edged past Lochgelly Albert Colts with a 1-0 win.
In the Presidents League, last year’s joint U19s league winners took on the U17s champions as Forfar West End hosted Fairmuir. It was Forfar that took the three points, courtesy of Ally Wilson’s double, and goals from Cammy Fraser and Morgan Evans. Fairmuir’s goals came from Ryan McLaren and Errol Vela, but this didn’t prevent them falling to their first defeat of the season.
Elsewhere in the league, Ferry beat Brechin 5-2, and Luncarty picked up a 4-2 win against Monifieth Tayside.
Benarty Astros 2002’s recently won their league – Fife Football Development League Division 1 - for the first time. We were fortunate enough to talk to Club Secretary, Kerry Duff, to find out about why they had such a superb season.
Kerry and the rest of the team were thrilled about their brilliant year. She said this about their season in general: “It has been a long hard season battling against some excellent sides. Thankfully the boys managed to keep their nerve to grab the title that their efforts all season had richly deserved.” In a league as competitive as Benarty Astros’, that might have been the deciding factor that saw them lift the trophy.
The best moment of Kerry’s season was winning 3-0 over local rivals Lochgelly Albert Colts in the East Region Cup Final to win their first trophy. She believed that this gave Benarty Astros the determination to go on and win the league: “Winning the first silverware available gave the boys the confidence and the belief.” Confidence and belief are crucial elements to winning a league title, and Benarty Astros had these in abundance.
The biggest challenge this season was a close encounter against a strong Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts side in the league play-off match. Despite a solid performance from Inverkeithing, Benarty Astros managed to progress after a penalty shootout, which Kerry called “a real test of the boys’ ability and character which they passed with flying colours.”
Kerry praised the boys' "team spirit and willingness to work hard for each other every week.” This was key to Benarty Astros successful season, along with their mentality and performance. Kerry thinks that they can keep up their high standard of football, which would result in “improving the players as individuals and as a team which will hopefully lead to continued success on the pitch.” If Benarty Astros manage to sustain their level of effort, commitment and attitude then they are heading in the right direction for more positive seasons.
Kerry also thanked the parents, carers, supporters and sponsors of the Benarty Astros youngsters: “We would like to thank them for the tremendous level of support shown to the club. Without these guys contribution our success this season would have been impossible.” This just goes to show how important these unseen helpers are, and how they are the driving force behind the club.
Congratulations to Benarty Astros on their successful season and good luck for the upcoming seasons.
Kennoway United under 14’s were this year’s surprise winners of the Fife Football Development League Division 1, playing in their first competitive season. We had the opportunity to talk to head coach Peter McQuade to find out about his team’s remarkable season.
Winning the league is a fantastic achievement, especially at the first time trying, and that’s why it’s one of Peter’s favourite moments of the season. He says his other favourite moment was “the development of the players.” Player development is very important to a successful season as confidence and technical skills improve, which leads to better performances and more matches won. Peter also commented that “We feel ecstatic to be honest, it's been a fantastic achievement to win the league in our first competitive season and just a reward for all the hard work and dedication shown not only by the players but from everyone connected with the club.”
Peter put his team’s unforeseen brilliance down to his players: “The team spirit and desire of the entire squad not only to win the league but also to be the first Kennoway team to win it. They never gave up which was shown by the amount of late important goals against the other league challengers and showed the desire that all the squad had.” Passion, desire and challenging work were evidently key factors in Kennoway United winning the league at the first time of asking.
However, there were challenges to overcome for Peter’s young team: “After suffering our first league defeat and a heavy defeat in the regional cup, the following week we played DFC Wanderers away in the league, with only 13 fit players we managed to come away with a 2-1 victory which turned out to be pivotal in our season.” Kennoway United also had to win their final game of the season to be crowned champions, displaying their mental strength in a competitive league.
Kennoway United have high hopes for next season, and the groundwork is being laid by Peter, who wants to “continue to improve the players and coaches, and to drive everyone to better last season’s achievements. He also commented that it would be fantastic if along the way players are offered the opportunity to play at a higher level.” If they can achieve their targets, and judging by this seasons performance, Kennoway United are well on their way to another league title.
Congratulations to Kennoway United on their league win and good luck for next season.
The G Taylor League saw one of the closest runs title races in Dundee as Dryburgh Athletic clinched the league title on the final day of the season. They also lifted the Tommy Clark Trophy and the Jean Pierre Babin Cup as they completed a domestic treble. We caught up with captain Aidan Nelson and top goal scorer Ewan Stewart to find out about their super season.
Dryburgh’s success this season highlights a powershift in the 2002 age group. Two years ago, Fairmuir completed the treble, at Dryburgh’s expense. Nelson was part of that squad, and he explains how he and his teammates managed to turn the tables on their nearest rivals.
“We work hard for each other. We all can’t play well at the same time and it is all our job to work even harder when we see a teammate struggling. It is my responsibility as a captain to push all the players to work as hard as they can and my responsibility to work hard every game to set an example for the whole squad.
“On top of that we have some very talented players defensively and offensively. In goal, we have, in my opinion, the best keeper in the league in Aaron Cosgrove. We also have Aaron Flynn in defence who has had a fantastic season for what seems like every year since we came up to 11-a-side.
“In midfield, we have fantastic depth with Marcus Gray who is a rock in the middle of the park, Ross Mcnaughton who always seemed to score when it mattered most and Dylan Smeaton who created chance after chance down the left-hand side.
“But our main strength is our squad. Whoever comes in works as hard as they can for the team. No player in our team could do it by themselves and we know that.”
13 of Dryburgh’s treble winning squad were part of the side that lost out to Fairmuir two years ago. Striker Ewan Stewart was one of the players they brought in at the beginning of the 2015/16 season, and he has flourished into one of the most dangerous forwards in the league over the past two years.
His 48 goals were instrumental in Dryburgh’s success, and there was one goal that sticks out in his mind as the best of the bunch.
“My first in the game against Fairmuir back in March. It was nine minutes in and it was enough to settle the nerves. We knew the title was on then.”
Dryburgh ended the season three points ahead of second place Fairmuir, and in the end, it was their two wins over the Graham Street side that clinched the title.
The sides met in the quarter final of the Tommy Clark Trophy just before Christmas, and it was this game, that was decided by a penalty shootout, that was Nelson’s highlight of the season.
“The strength and determination shown by the team to grind out a 2-2 draw even though we were not at our best really showed why we achieved so much this year.
“Again, we came from behind in the penalty shootout, but thanks to our brilliant goalkeeper we managed to bring it to 3-3, which meant if we scored our penalty we’d be winners. Ross Mcnaughton took our final penalty and as if under no pressure calmly rolled it into the corner for us to grab the win. It was a great moment which showed the strength of our team.”
Striker Stewart explained what has given Dryburgh the edge in the big matches this season.
“Our fitness levels and desire to win gave us the edge. We wanted it more.”
As for the captain, he made it clear why Dryburgh have had the edge over Fairmuir.
“We’re better than them.”
Dryburgh’s only domestic defeat came against Logie Harp, and Nelson felt that the games against the side that finished fourth in the league were some of the toughest of the season.
“We suffered our first defeat in about 18 months against them, although we had had a serious lack of preparation before this match, they were the better team on the day.
“The next time we played them was in the cup and we managed a 1-0 win. However, the score didn’t really represent just how well we played to beat them. We had to be at our very best to beat this team and thankfully we were.”
As for Stewart, he thought that Tynecastle were their most testing opponents of the season.
“They were a big physical side that could also play football.”
While Stewart and Nelson have grabbed the headlines for their performances this season, the captain picked out fullback Kalin Jones as his unsung hero of the season.
“Kalin shows up every week and does the job he is asked to do. He constantly puts in a shift and sometimes doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.
“In the first cup final, he was one of our best players and was always calm on the ball when others were panicking. Whoever plays in front of Kalin, he seems to form a good partnership with and always seem to play well with them.”
As for Stewart, he was full of praise for midfielder Jamie Gelly.
“Jamie is a very consistent performer who has chipped in with vital goals at vital times. He plays in the same school team as well and to win four cups and a league in one season is a real achievement. He’s had a great season.”
Despite Dryburgh completing a domestic clean sweep, the 2002 age group is one of the most competitive in Dundee, and captain Nelson knows that he and his teammates will be taking nothing for granted in the coming seasons.
“It became clear at the end of the season that quite a few teams were making huge improvements so I think next year the league will be very open and a lot more challenging than the past two years.
“As a team, I think the only way we could do better is to improve on our Scottish Cup run from last year where we reached the Last 16. If we make a few good signings I think going further in the Scottish Cup is a reasonable goal that we could achieve.
“It’s up to us to continue improving, continue winning and hopefully carry our success into next season.”
48-goal Stewart is also well aware of the tests waiting for Dryburgh next season.
“Fairmuir will be strong again I’m sure, but there are teams strengthening over the summer so I expect maybe one or two other teams to be up there challenging also.
“As a team winning the treble again would be a real achievement. Personally, I hope to have more game time so I can get more goals and be top goal scorer again at Dryburgh.”
With the season finally done and dusted, Nelson had this message for his teammates and coaches.
“Although this season we had incredible success in all competitions, it is still clear that improvements have to be made individually and as a team for us to really challenge for the Scottish Cup. Which this season has showed should now be our main goal.”
While Stewart added: “See you all at pre-season!”
There isn’t much for me to say about this Dryburgh team that hasn’t already been said. Having seen them in their biggest matches this season, there is a confidence amongst their players that no other team they have faced seem to have.
In their two cup finals, they weren’t at their best, but there was an inevitability that they would eventually get the win. It has been their ability to grind out wins without being at the best that has seen them lift three trophies this season.
While Fairmuir ran them close for the league title, Dryburgh always had the upper hand when the two went head to head. While there isn’t much between both sets of players, Dryburgh have a stronger unit, and in Aidan Nelson, Ross Mcnaughton and Ewan Stewart, have three players more than capable of producing a moment of magic to win any match. Add into that, the strength in depth in their squad is unmatched by any other team in the league.
Next season, they will be the favourites to win the league and domestic cups, a title that they deserve, but one that will bring about a fair amount of pressure. As their players have said, with the other teams strengthening, the title race may well be a close-run thing, and this season has shown that every team in the 2002 age group can cause an upset in the cup competitions. If any side manages to finish above Dryburgh, then they will likely be the champions.
In the Scottish Cup, they were comfortably beaten by Tynecastle. That is the standard they have to reach and surpass to succeed at the top level. If they can bring in a couple of quality additions, that might just be a possibility.
In the East Region Cup, there are plenty of strong teams, and Dryburgh are one of them. If they get a favourable draw, there is no reason they can’t go and reach the latter rounds of, and maybe even win, that competition.
Dryburgh Athletic 2002s Treble Winners: Aaron Cosgrove, Ryan McKay, Ross Mcnaughton, Marcus Gray, Ewan Stewart, Ben Wilson, Sol Heary, Daryl Tosh, Keillor Lowe, Cory Finnigan, Jamie Gelly, Aidan Nelson (c), Kalin Jones, Arron Flynn, Brandon Mcginnis, Dylan Smeaton
In what was one of the closest run title showdowns in any of the DDYFA leagues, Pitfour 2003s emerged victorious at the top of the D S Rennie League table. As well as their league title triumph, they also lifted the Dundee West Anniversary Cup and the J Duffy Cup. We caught up with manager David Allan to find about their super season.
In the 2015/16 season, Pitfour narrowly missed out on the league title, but picked up silverware in the form of the Diamond Jubilee Cup and at the beginning of the 2016/17 campaign, Allan’s side were looking to build on the previous year’s success.
“After coming so close to winning the league last season, we were determined to try and go one better and win the league this season, which we did by winning our last league game against Fairmuir. Doing well in the cups is always nice and winning two cup finals as well was a lovely bonus.
“The players knew that if they played to their potential as a team then they would be successful this season. It was very hard to maintain but they have an excellent attitude and this carried them through.”
The race for the title went down to the wire, with Pitfour, Arbroath and Fairmuir all in with a shout of being crowned champions going in to the closing weeks of the season. In the end, Pitfour finished two points clear of second place Arbroath, and six points clear of Fairmuir in third.
And Allan knew that the matches against their two nearest rivals would be crucial in deciding the destination of the league title come the end of the season.
“There is very little between all three teams with each of us knowing that whoever took the most points in these games would probably win the league. We lost 3-0 to Arbroath at home then drew 2-2 with them in Arbroath.
“We managed to beat Fairmuir 4-0 home and away. We gained seven points out of the possible 12 in games against each other. Arbroath gained five out of 12 and Fairmuir gained four out of 12.”
It was their 4-0 victory at home to Fairmuir that finally sealed the league title, and this match also featured Allan’s moment of the season.
“Our striker Alistar Alcorn scored a screamer in our must win final league game against Fairmuir. This put us 2-0 up with less than 15 minutes to go and I managed to relax slightly knowing that the league was coming our way.”
Alcorn was a key component of Pitfour’s title winning side, as he found the net 39 times over the course of the season. And he felt that second place Arbroath provided his side the toughest test.
“We had lots of hard games against them. The first won we lost 3-0, the next one won 5-3 then drew 2-2 and won 2-0 in the final.”
Alcorn and his strike partner Jordan Turnbull contributed over 70 of the 150 goals Pitfour scored this season, and there are two of his 39 strikes that stick out in Alcorn’s mind.
“Either the one against DUSC, which was a solo goal, or the one against Ferry in the cup final.”
While Pitfour were prolific in front of goal, it was their immense defensive record that saw them over the line in the big matches. With just 44 goals conceded in all competitions and five clean sheets in 12 league matches, Pitfour are proof that good strikers will win matches, but good defenders win championships.
One of the players that marshalled the defence was captain Andrew Allan. He felt that his sides success came from: “A combination of determination and a must win attitude going into every game along with our team’s ability of playing great football.”
It was one of the captain’s defensive colleagues, Rory Cromwell, that was his unsung hero of the season.
“He never asks for attention and doesn’t score often but he is an attackers worst nightmare. It’s as though he’s everywhere on the pitch no matter where you look.”
As for top scorer Alcorn, he picked an unorthodox unsung hero.
“Our coach David. He’s a great help and encourages the boys to play their best and if it wasn’t for him there would be no team.”
Despite winning the treble, Pitfour were denied the chance to add the Wellgate Cup to their trophy cabinet by fellow treble winners Dundee West. And it was their matches against Dundee West that captain Allan felt were the toughest of the season.
“Our toughest opponents this season were Dundee West, who we played twice in the Wellgate Cup, and lost in both games in very tough matches that could have gone either way. We were unfortunate to miss out on a win on either game.”
David Allan also felt that Dundee West were a good test for his side.
“Both games were very close against Dundee West and could have gone either way. They have some excellent individual players in their side, but play well as a team.”
With the 2016/17 season done and dusted, top scorer Alcorn is setting his sights on surpassing this seasons success.
“I want to win the four domestic trophies, the East Region Cup and do well in the Scottish Cup.”
Pitfour’s captain is equally ambitious.
“We want to win the league again, retain our trophies and hopefully have a long run in the Scottish and East Region Cups.”
While both players are clearly not short on confidence, their manager knows that matching their ambition will be easier said than done.
“A longer run in the Scottish Cup would be great to do, but is not a priority. We lost to Rossvale from Glasgow 3-2 in the third round of the Scottish Cup. This was our most disappointing result of the season as we felt we were the better team but lost out to two own goals and a debatable penalty.
“Like any cup competition, you want to go as far as you can. The East Region Cup has some very good Fife teams playing in it, so to get to the final will be tough.”
Captain Allan had this to say to his teammates on the back of Pitfour’s incredible campaign.
“Thanks to the coaches for their commitment and dedication. If it wasn’t for them this wouldn’t be possible and thanks to my teammates and their parents for turning up to every game and trying their hardest to get the results and hopefully we can have another great season."
Top goal scorer Alcorn added: “Keep up the hard work and David, try to turn up for training on time.”
While the manager had this to say to his players and their parents.
“Thanks to all 16 of my players for putting in such a fantastic effort in winning the treble. Their skill and determination to achieve the treble was tremendous and they have made my job easy this season in knowing that every team I sent out or every change I made in a game would be supported by all the players in the squad.
“They are a great bunch of boys who all get on very well together, especially so when considering the team is made up of boys from Scone, Perth, St Madoes, Errol, Inchture and Longforgan. A special mention must also go to the parents and friends of the boys who have supported them tremendously over the last two seasons.”
The 2003 age group is one of the most competitive around, which really highlights how impressive Pitfour’s achievement is. Both Arbroath and Fairmuir have talented squads that have scored goals for fun this season, but Pitfour’s defence have given them the edge in the matches against their title rivals.
In goal, Archie Kelly-Barton is one of, if not the best, goalkeeper in the league. And while he isn’t the busiest of goalkeepers, he always seems to pull off the important saves when required. In front of him, Andrew Allan and Rory Harrower have struck up a partnership that even the best of strikers have struggled to breach.
Up front, Alistar Alcorn and Jordan Turnbull have struck up a formidable partnership that has caused every defence issues this season, while the skilful Ben Clos offers a different attacking dimension from the right of midfield.
Next season, Pitfour will more than likely be involved in a four-way race with Arbroath, Fairmuir and Dundee West for the league title and domestic cups. While they will be seen as the ones to beat by every team in the 2003 league, they have the strength in depth and the character to go and win more silverware in the coming seasons.
As for the East Region Cup and Scottish Cup, any side that fancies themselves to go and win these competitions will want to avoid Pitfour, who should be backing themselves to go and challenge for at least the East Region Cup.
Pitfour 2003 Treble Winning Squad: Archie Kelly-Barton, Rory Harrower, Dylan Wright, Ben Clos, Kairn Brand, Charlie Edward, Ross Cameron, Andrew Allan (c), Ethan Thom, Oliver Farquharson, Matthew Glen, Jordan Turnbull, Jamie McRae, Alistar Alcorn, Jacob Edwards, Rory Cromwell