A pulsating end-to-end first half thriller settled the U13’s West of Scotland YFL Presidents Cup final, as Coylton FC ran out deserved winners against their league rivals Caledonian 2004s.
An action packed game with early goals, mazy runs and and some defensive mix ups made for an interesting spectacle for the fans, as the boys put on a show in the morning sun on an immaculate pitch at Dam Park.
Caledonian took the game to table toppers Coylton and their early pressure paid dividends after only two minutes. Anthony Brown went on a fantastic run, beating his man on the right wing before cutting the ball back to Caley’s number four, Josh Robinson, who dually dispatched the ball under the keeper to set the tone for the match.
The Coylton boys looked stunned by the rollercoaster start that Caledonian had made, however they soon grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.
A similar run on the right hand side from tricky winger Cameron McMillan created space just inside the box for Robbie Meiklem to get a shot away, but Ewan Henderson in the Caley goal couldn’t hold the ball which meant that Dylan Conkie had an empty net to level the tie.
Less than a minute later though, a sublime lob from Coylton striker Meiklem turned the final on its head. The number 14 won the ball on the right hand side midway inside Caley’s half. He then drove with the ball into the box and produced a piece of magic as he chipped the keeper at the angle to give Coylton a 2-1 lead.
A quick-fire double salvo from the team in orange meant that they were in the ascendency after a whirlwind start to the Presidents Cup final 2017.
The leaders, who are unbeaten in the West of Scotland league, then sat back as Caley tried to get themselves back into the game. Both teams were trying to get the ball on the deck and pass and move their way to goal, but both sets of defences managed to cut out any promising moves.
However, Coylton did eventually make their way into the Caley half and were awarded a penalty after defender Struan Knox hacked down Meiklem, after the striker managed to get to the ball fractionally faster than the big defender. Number nine Jack Marks stepped up and hammered Coylton further into the lead on 22 minutes.
Coylton’s attacking players Dylan Conkie, Robbie Meiklem and Cameron McMillan continued to press the Caledonian defence as they looked to extend their team’s lead.
Nevertheless, out of nowhere Caley pulled a goal back to score the fifth goal of the game. Knox floated a free kick into the box which evaded Coylton’s defenders and goalkeeper leaving Innes Gallacher with a tap in.
Just as Caledonian looked to be back into the match, some slack defending let in Meiklem to restore Coylton’s two goal cushion three minutes later. A long ball was launched forward which didn’t look like causing any problems, but some confusion between Max Ferguson and Henderson in goal meant that Meiklem got to the ball first and he neatly finished beyond the keeper.
Shortly after Coylton’s fourth goa,l the referee brought the first half to close in what had been an excellent 35 minutes of football from both sides with excitement aplenty. The previous meeting between the teams was a 0-0 stalemate back in March, so the boys had obviously brought their shooting boots.