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South East win Inter Regional final to retain crown

SYFA South East 1

Currie 5

SYFA South West 0

  • Sunday, 27 April 2014
  • Toryglen Regional Football Centre
  • Under 16´s
  • SYFA Inter Regional Cup - Final

Paul Elliott | YFS West Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

The South East region was victorious against the South West region in the Under 16 Inter Regional final at Toryglen in Glasgow. It was a game of fine margins with both sides having plenty of opportunities to score goals, but in the end it was a single goal that was the difference.

The game burst into life in the fifth minute with an early goal for the South East region. Aaron Currie made a piercing run behind the South West defence to chase a looping pass popped over the top of the backline. Currie struck it first time with his right foot and the ball shot like a bullet into the top left hand corner of the net, leaving the goalkeeper utterly helpless. It was a superb finish from a tight angle to make it 1-0.

Aside from the early goal, South East started the game the stronger with lots of pace up front and in the channels. South West had some early dead ball opportunities to send high crosses into the South East penalty area but these were dealt with well by a confident defence. As the game settled, South East’s goal scorer Currie was again causing problems with his blistering pace when he outran Paul McCluskie to shoot at goal, but on this occasion he dragged his right footed effort wide of the mark. Then a lovely ball by Aaron Nugent found an imaginative diagonal run of Jamie Chapman but his shot was well saved by South West’s keeper, despite being left exposed again.

Sonny Swanson, Ethan Hamilton and the Currie were pivotal for the South East region as they linked very well with each other, and each of them proved an excellent out-ball for the South East rearguard. Chasing the game, South West’s Jamie Dunlop looked up for the battle, fighting in midfield as was Chris Wilson who never shirked a challenge. The front two for South West had precious little to work with due to solid defending by Mark Mathieson, Aaron Nugent and Cameron Begbie.

South East nearly added a second goal when a Swanson cross swerved towards goal and landed on top of the crossbar, with the goalkeeper well beaten. Then minutes later Currie chased down the ball into the corner flag, won it and cut back for Hamilton. The striker slid in to meet it but wasn’t able to get connect with his toe to prod the ball into the gaping South West goal.

South West had their best opportunity of the first half through a Mark McGuire header. Paul McCluskie sailed a free kick into the box to find the excellent run by McGuire who blasted a header just over the bar. It was a great chance to equalize but the defender was unlucky to see his effort miss the target. With the last kick of the first half, South West came close again to levelling the score. McCluskie’s free kick clipped the wall and was smothered by the goalkeeper low at his right post.

  • Half Time:
  • SYFA South East
  • 1-0
  • SYFA South West

South East got the second half underway and instantly went on the attack. Hamilton was well marshalled on this occasion by Alan Murphy who cleared the ball before the striker was able to have a dig at goal. Moments later and Hamilton went charging into the box again but he lost his footing at the vital moment and allowed the defence to clear the danger. The clearance sent Reece Cunningham on a mazy run up the right wing. The winger cut into the box and eventually gave Dennon Fisher an opportunity but he shot wide of the goal.

Up the other end of the park and South East’s Swanson dropped off his marker and on the turn unleashed a right foot shot past the left upright. It was an excellent effort and a spectacular dive by James Sinclair in the South West goal. Then Kerr Fraser sent Hamilton running through on goal for South East but he was unable to hit the target with only the keeper to beat and defenders at his heels.

A short time later, the influential Hamilton prompted a world class save by South West’s Sinclair between the sticks. A solo run into the box resulted in the striker sending a powerful left foot shot that seemed destined for the bottom left corner of the net, but Sinclair at full stretch tipped the ball round the post for a corner. It was a great save that seemed to energise his team.

South West took the final by the scruff of the neck as Jamie Dorans and Cunningham came more into the game. Dorans has a good touch, impressive vision and looked dangerous in the final third. Cunningham was always dangerous with the ball at his feet and was capable of running at the South East defence with success. As South West piled on the pressure, Cunningham got onto the end of a Fisher head flick and used his pace to get to the touchline. He sent the ball across the face of goal but there were no takers in the six yard box. Almost immediately Cunningham was involved again and nearly scored with a powerful right footed effort from just inside the box. The shot was well saved by Byron Gibb’s legs and another opportunity went a begging.

As the minutes ticked away South West were dominating but there was always the threat of a quick break by the speedy South East forwards. It was one of these quick breaks that led to a moment of world class goalkeeping by Sinclair once again. Hamilton ran through one-on-one for South East and tried to round the keeper. Somehow, while on the deck, Sinclair managed to reach out a hand and grab the ball from the feet of the striker just before he could finish.

Then a lovely piece of football exposed the South West defence and almost killed the game for South East. Swanson teed up Dominic Foulkes who picked out Gabrielle Auria peeling off his marker at the far post. He whipped it across the goal just beyond the diving outstretched leg of Hamilton. Moments later and another chance to put the game to bed came when Swanson on the break smashed a shot just over the bar at the top left corner.

In the final moments of the game the South East players took the game to the corner flags. They successfully weathered the South West storm and were crowned Inter Regional champions to their great delight.

 

  • Full Time:
  • SYFA South East
  • 1-0
  • SYFA South West

Lineups

SYFA South East
SYFA South West
1. Byron Gibb
2. Aaron Nugent
3. Fraser Paton
4. Mark Mathieson
5. Cameron Begbie
6. Lewis Swaney
7. Sonny Swanson
8. Morgan Reid
9. Ethan Hamilton
10. Gabrielle Auria
11. Jamie Chapman
12. Domonic Foulkes
18. Macauley Jarret
14. Iain Sheridon
15. Kerr Fraser
16. Aaron Currie
1. Jordan McNaught
4. Paul McCluskie
3. William McLean
12. Kyle Watson
5. Marc McGuire
6. Kieran Kelly
14. Callum Hamilton
2. Alan Murphy
7. Chris Wilson
8. Jamie Dunlop
15. Jordan Malone
16. Gregor Malone
9. Jamie Dorans
10. Reece Cunningham
11. Dennon Fisher
17. Toni Murphy
18. Sandy Irvine
Star Player
SYFA South East
SYFA South West
Magic Moment
SYFA South East
SYFA South West
Aaron Currie's early goal gave his side the perfect start.
James Sinclair's save from Ethan Hamilton was right out of the top drawer.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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