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Barrhead YFC progress after hard-fought victory against Arbroath Lads

Arbroath Lads 0

Barrhead YFC 2

Bolger 55, McSkeane 63

Alasdair Hooper | YFS Dundee Senior Reporter
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Barrhead YFC came out 2-0 winners in their 5th Round Scottish Cup tie against Arbroath Lads. Connor Bolger and Nathan McSkeane both scored in the final 15 minutes of the game to give their side victory in what had been a well-fought and evenly matched game.

The first five minutes of the match was a clear indication of how the cup-tie pan out. Both teams were up for it and were battling hard in the middle of the park for possession of the ball.  The first chance came the way of Barrhead when Bolger sent in a fine throughball for his teammates to run onto. Arbroath’s goalkeeper, Jackson Marr, beat the oncoming Barrhead players to the ball and claimed it well.

Shortly afterwards, in the eighth minute and Barrhead came close again. A corner kick was sent towards the back post and the oncoming McSkeane just missed making any contact on the ball.

On the 12th minute and it was Arbroath’s turn to pose a threat at goal. A through ball was sent over the Barrhead defence for Max Duff to chase down. Unfortunately for him the Barrhead ‘keeper, Calum Hepburn, was quick off his line and booted the ball away just before Duff could reach it.

Just 2 minutes later and Arbroath posed a further threat from a corner kick. After taking a few ricochets the ball fell to the feet of Brandon Low who diverted the ball towards the bottom right hand corner of the net. Bolger was in the right place at the right time to clear the ball on the line to save Barrhead from going behind.

Shortly afterwards in the 15th minute came the biggest moment of the match so far. Arbroath’s Ryan Napier chased down a neat ball into the penalty area and was brought down by a Kyle Elrick challenge. The referee deemed the challenge sufficient enough to award a penalty kick to Arbroath. Argyle Cairns stepped up to take the kick and fired hard and low down towards the bottom right hand corner. He was denied by a splendid diving save from Hepburn who parried the ball away to safety.

The match then became a real midfield battle with strong tackles going in and possession changing hands frequently. The next, and last, clear chance of the half fell to Thomas MacRae of Barrhead in the 30th minute. He made a fine run down the left wing of the pitch before unleashing a fierce shot across the face of goal. The ball flew just wide of the post much to the relief of the Arbroath defence.

The second half continued in the same fashion as thefirst. Arbroath had another good opportunity as clock ticked into the 40th minute. Low sent a fine throughball towards Ryan Corbitt. However, Hepburn, who’s decision making was proving excellent all game, ran out from his line and dived to claim the ball expertly at the feet of the number 16.  

In the 53rd minute it was Barrhead’s turn have an attempt. The ball fell to McSkeane about 20 yards out and he fired towards goal. Marr did well to save, and also hold the ball, as it had bounced off the uneven surface just before he got his hands onto it. 

Two minutes later and the spectators witnessed the first goal of the match. Bolger latched onto another well weighted through ball and ran down at goal. He fired his shot into the left of the net and, despite Marr managing to get a hand to it, there was too much power and it nestled in the bottom corner.

Arbroath did their utmost to try and get back into the game. The players ran themselves near empty to attempt to work a break for themselves. Similarly Barrhead dug in and defended admirably. In the 63rd minute a goalscoring opportunity did arise. Unfortunately for Arbroath, it fell to the away team. McSkeane expertly took down a high ball in the penalty area, turned the defender and dispatched a shot towards the bottom right hand corner. Again Marr did well to get a hand to it but for the second time there was too much for it to be kept out and Barrhead found themselves 2-0 up. From Arbroath’s point of view their challenge became all the more difficult.

In the final closing minutes Barrhead managed the game well continuing to defend very well and ensuring that possession wasn’t given away cheaply. The final chance of the game arose in the final minute and it was Barrhead’s. A low cross was played towards Kyle McLean at the far left post. He hit a first time attempt towards goal but Marr saved excellently and pushed the ball away to prevent his side going down 3-0 which would have been a misrepresentation of the difference between the two sides today.

The referee blew the final whistle shortly afterwards and all those associated with Barrhead cheered once their progression to the next round of the Scottish cup had been assured. The players from both teams did incredibly well today and there was absolutely nothing to choose between the two sides for most of the match. Additionally, while the goal scorers will get the headlines, the quality on display from both teams’ defences should not go unnoticed.  The score remained at 0-0 for the first 55 minutes purely because of the good no-nonsense defending. You would be hard pushed to find better defensive displays this weekend. 

Lineups

Arbroath Lads
Barrhead YFC
1. Jackson Marr
2. Ryan Napier
3. Ross Crosbie
4. Fraser Fair
6. Max Duff
7. Matthew Robbie
8. Lewis Grieg
9. Calvin Wood
10. Brandon Prouse
11. Lee Paterson
12. Alex Martin
14. Morgan Buick
15. Argyle Cairns
16. Ryan Corbitt
17. Brandon Low
18. Matthew Cargill
2. Anthony Phillips
3. Connor Bulger
6. Kyle McLean
9. Lewis Connor
10. Cynan Mackie
11. Calum Hepburn
12. Nathan McSpeake
15. Kyle Elrick
17. Thomas MacRae
18. Thomas Kane
20. Lee McTernan
24. Jonathan Caldwell
25. Dean McLaughlin
27. Euan Corry
28. Aran Keir
Star Player
Arbroath Lads
Barrhead YFC
Brandon Low – This could have been given to any of the defenders but Low earns it for his commanding, no-nonsense defending on top of providing a couple of decent throughballs that nearly opened up goalscoring oppurtunities for his team. He also nearly found the net himself.
Calum Hepburn – This could also have been given to any defender, or the goal scorers, but for me the goalkeeper deserves a huge amount of credit. Decision-making was spot on throughout and that penalty save was top drawer.
Magic Moment
Arbroath Lads
Barrhead YFC
The build up play to the penalty incident was good to watch. The passing was spot on, despite the surface, and the move could well have finished with a goal if challenge that resulted in the penalty hadn’t occurred.
Can anyone look past that penalty save? Has to be good if the opposition support quietly praise it. It could also have been a very different game if the penalty kick had gone in.

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