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Compact Star defy Spartans Reds

Edinburgh City Star 1

Mackie 48

Spartans Reds 0

  • Saturday, 08 December 2018
  • Forrester High School
  • Under 19´s
  • David Murray Cup

Edinburgh City Star progressed in the U19s David Murray Cup after a wafer-thin 1-0 win over Spartans Reds at Forrester High School. In a match between two even teams eyeing the top of League One, it was apt that only a rebound from a saved penalty could distinguish a victor.

It was a game that started with a lot of kinetic energy but little momentum; fifteen minutes in there had been as many bookings as shots (one). Both teams hurried the ball forward with such haste that strikers and midfielders were chasing in hope, and the defenders could sweep up, play back, or clear out any ball.

Possession was even but the style of play better suited Star. Captain Ryan Foggo and defensive shield Joseph McGinty are a stout combination, while striker Kieran Richmond doesn’t mind being offside three times if he escapes on the fourth. He had put the ball in the net once already - albeit offside - before he got loose in the 21st minute. Only the right boot of keeper Craig Wylie kept parity, an excellent save.

Reds’ best chances in the opening half came within a minute of each other not long after that reprieve. A cute dink over the centre backs by Glen Aitken nearly got Angus O’Connor in. A strike from 20 yards by David Whalen was whipped only a yard over the bar.

Yet Star still offered a threat by beating offside. A stroke of fortune had midfielder Jordan Mackie clear from halfway, but he hit well over on the run. A nice turn by Cameron Burns fed Richmond, who took the long way round before crossing inches beyond partner Owen McGreevy. However, the half ended without a goal.

  • Half Time:
  • Edinburgh City Star
  • 0-0
  • Spartans Reds

After 45 minutes of stalemate, the next half got a goal within three minutes. McGreevy robbed his fullback on the right and, approaching the byline, cut across the recovering defender’s line before hitting the ground. The penalty was given, but missed: Josh Brock’s effort to the left was too close to Wylie. Reds, however, will rue statically watching Mackie walk in alone to convert the rebound.

Conceding a goal had undoubtedly not been in Spartans’ half time team talk, but playing football more on the floor had. With Aitken deeper, Whalen advanced, and substitute Christian Oroz Storm providing some impetuous on the right wing, there was nice football thirty yards from goal. Unfortunately Foggo et al stood in those thirty yards.

Equally problematic for Reds was the game now suited Richmond, waiting on halfway to break, and break, and break again. One time Wylie ran out only to smack his clearance off the striker, but the ball fell two yards short and wide. On another occasion the Star man could have passed to McGreevy for a tap in, but hit over.

With half an hour of the match left, Spartans attempted to turn the screw, and Edinburgh City retreated. A beautiful dummy by Storm on the right forced Star’s centre backs to cover out of position. When the clearance ricocheted into the middle Whalen struck a bouncing ball only centimetres over. Moments later, the same man headed a deep cross to the same destination.

Too often, however, moves ended in similar crosses swung hopefully to the back post. From these, nothing came. Time ticked on until suddenly there were only minutes to go. In a desperate last effort Aitken mishit one such cross, nearly fooling Aaron Hamilton in goal. Whalen headed another straight into the keeper’s arms, then hit a fine skidding effort tipped well round the left post.

Yet many seconds of these remaining minutes were spent watching Richmond running on the counter and somehow not scoring. By the time one last cross dropped to a swivelling Owen Barnes, four yards out, the defender’s strike represented Spartans’ last hope. The shot went straight into Hamilton’s gloves.

  • Full Time:
  • Edinburgh City Star
  • 1-0
  • Spartans Reds

Lineups

Edinburgh City Star
Spartans Reds
1. Aaron Hamilton
2. Josh Brock
3. Owen McGreevy
4. Scott Peggie
6. Kieran Richmond
7. Glen Smith
8. Jordan Mackie
10. Cameron Burns
11. Evan Glendinning
14. Connor Preston
15. Ben Wilson
16. Joseph McGinty
18. Gavin Wells
19. Cailean Ryan
20. Ryan Foggo (c)
22. Jason Whitehead
1. Craig Wylie
2. Robbie Foster
3. Joe Coats
4. Owen Barnes
5. Danny Harkins (c)
8. David Whalen
9. Norani Vuna
10. Glen Aitken
11. Angus O'Connor
12. Reece Bertram
14. Conrad Cinar
15. Christian Oroz Storm
17. Benjamin Ross
18. Erlend Paraiwa
21. Jonathan Inglis
Star Player
Edinburgh City Star
Spartans Reds
Ryan Foggo: There can be little doubt about the foundation upon which Star’s triumph was built. Foggo organises his defence with excellence, and it was telling that in one break of play he and defensive midfielder McGinty were seen discussing their positions. Any team has to work extremely hard to break through this team.
Owen Barnes: It should not be forgotten that Spartans Reds only conceded once, the result of a penalty. Barnes was solid, winning loose balls, and his willingness to pass was a key part in Reds improved style in the second half.
Magic Moment
Edinburgh City Star
Spartans Reds
Because Edinburgh City’s defence remained continuously united and impenetrable, the team could wait for something to happen up front. The best single spark for excitement was prior to half time: the turn by Burns in the middle of the field, who played it forward to Richmond. The striker then embarked on a long run across and around the defence, but could not quite find McGreevy in the middle.
Credit has to go to David Whalen for getting strikes at goal when so few opportunities were available. His effort running on to a bouncing ball in the second half was the result of a wonderful Storm dummy to beat his fullback, and then a slice of luck in where a ricochet ended. The shot, however, was not luck but technique and probably deserved a goal.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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