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Monday, 22 April 2013 23:57

Rossvale hold nerve to defeat JJA in classic

Written by  Scott Syme
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Jimmy Johnstone Academy
Rossvale Thistle
U15 West Region Cup - SF
Cathkin Park
The much anticipated meeting of two old rivals took place at Cathkin Park, in the West Regional cup semi final.

Jimmy Johnstone Academy v Rossvale Thistle 98s is a game both sets of players look forward to and seems to be the acid test for the coaches on how far their respective teams have progressed.

The game started at a frantic pace with no real football being played in the early stages, Rossvale seemed to settle first and started to use the pace of their winger's Jack Crumlish and Richard Dunn to get behind the JJA defence, Cammy Ralston was causing real problems with his strength and pace which saw a stream of free kicks awarded to Rossvale as JJA struggled to cope, despite this dominance the first goal came in a fortunate fashion as a weak Michael O'Brien pass found it's way through the JJA defence to fall at the feet of Rossvale's top scorer Paul King a few yards from goal who toe poked it past the keeper.

If the first goal was fortunate the second was the exact opposite a searching free kick found Paul King who had made good movement in behind the JJA fullback, his pass back into the box was met sweetly by Michael O'Brien on the volley and the ball flew past the keeper to put Rossvale in the driving seat.

Half Time: Jimmy Johnstone Academy 0-2 Rossvale Thistle

If ever there was a game of two halves this was it, a formation change seemed to rejuvenate JJA who put Rossvale onto the back foot form the off and quickly got themselves a foothold in the game after pouncing on a slack pass from Rossvale JJA raced forward and the midfielder struck the ball from distance into the top right hand corner leaving Milne with no chance.

The Rossvale heads seemed full of doubt and JJA poured forward with the second goal seeming inevitable and it came in the strangest of fashion with with Rossvale threatening on the break a miss kicked cross from a quick throw caught Rossvale short at the back and suddenly the game was tied at 2-2.

The game seemed to settle after the equaliser with Rossvale starting to find their way in the match again but all the real threat was now coming from JJA whos players seemed to have grown six inches and were winning every battle all over the park, the loss of Aiden Wisely to a head knock saw the introduction of Jack Law

With just over 15 minutes to go a set piece put JJA into the lead for the first time, the ball was delivered from the right deep into the Rossvale box it found an unmarked runner who rose unchallenged and despite a desperate attempt by Milne the ball flew into the net.

Rossvale looked a beaten team at this point,the last throw for them was to throw Crumlish up front to join King and Ralston, with time against them Rossvale threw everything at JJA who were defending well and appeared to be in a comfortable position to run out the clock.

With almost the last kick of the game Rossvale made another assault on the JJA goal and the ball fell to the feet of Cammy Ralston who managed to shift the ball enough to find space in a packed box to strike the ball low past the JJA keeper for 3-3.

The game went straight to penalties, a pity in a game were no boy deserved to be a loser after giving everything for their respective teams.

Full Time: Jimmy Johnstone Academy 3-3 Rossvale Thistle

Jimmy Johnstone stepped up first and the first kick was saved by Milne, Ralston scored to put Rossvale ahead only to see Frazer Kennedy miss and and the shootout levelled, the game remained level until the fifth round of penalties when JJA missed again to a wonderful Milne save, as if scripted up stepped Declan Bryson against his old team and a bunch of schoolmates to strike the ball home and take Rossvale through to the final.

Both sets of fans clapped the boys off after a wonderful spectacle which was a real credit to youth football in Glasgow played in a competitive but sporting manner.

Final Result: Jimmy Johnstone Academy 3-3 Rossvale Thistle (Rossvale win 4-3 on penalties)
Last modified on Saturday, 03 August 2013 20:52
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