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Linwood and Giffnock share the points in six goal thriller

Linwood Rangers YC 3

Bridgewater 26' Wilson 41' 68'

Giffnock SC Thistle 3

Donnelly 69' Otonti 9' 78'
  • Saturday, 18 April 2015
  • Linwood Sports Centre
  • Under 15´s
  • Paisley Johnstone and District Youth Football League

Dave Marshall | YFS West Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

A late goal, two minutes from time earned Giffnock SC Thistle a draw with Linwood Rangers in an enthralling league tie.  Giffnock had originally taken the lead through striker Jeremiah Otonti. Linwood responded with two goals either side of the half through Max Bridgewater and Steven Wilson to take the lead. A second goal from Wilson looked to have given Linwood the win but late goals from Ryan Donnelly and Otonti earned Giffnock a share of the spoils. 

It was Linwood who settled the quickest in the early exchanges. Euan King played through Ciaran McPherson but his shot from just inside the box went wide. 

The opening goal came nine minutes into the game and there was more than air of good fortune about it. Jeremiah Otonti’s presence in the box caused havoc for Linwood and when the defence desperately tried to clear the danger the ball smashed off the strikers knee and off the post, into the goal. Goalkeeper Gary Russel had no chance as Otonti was rewarded for his harrying of the defence. 

Despite the goal Linwood still remained the team in the ascendency. Euan King collected the ball in the Giffnock box and took out three defenders, but was denied a goal by Liam Gray who dived at King’s feet to deny him the chance. 

Steven Wilson then ran through the Giffnock defence to the byline before cutting back an enticing ball across the goal. However, the ball was just out of reach of the oncoming attackers and Giffnock cleared. 

It was then the turn of Tony Gallacher to run to the byline, this time looking for Wilson on the cutback. Again for Linwood though the ball was agonisingly just out of reach. 

A couple of corners from Bill McIntosh were met well in the air by Max Bridgewater and Steven Wilson. On both occasions they watched their attempts go wide. 

It was a corner that led to the equaliser. McIntosh this time choosing to play it low and hard to the front post and Max Bridgewater was there to put it in. More than a slight suspicion of an own goal but Bridgewater was happy enough to claim it. 

Linwood almost took the lead through another corner this time taken by Cieran McKenna. The inswinging delivery took the ‘keeper out of the equation and just when it looked like Max Bridgewater was about to head home his second, Owen Murphy raised highest to make an excellent clearance. 

Giffnock played their best football in the later stages of the half as they looked to retake the lead. Matthew Forbes play for the wing was causing problems and as he cut the ball back to Ryan Donnelly he looked to have possibly been upended in the box. However, his appeal for a penalty fell on death ears. 

Jeremiah Otonti got on the end of a long ball to go through 1 on 1 with Gary Russel. It was the ‘keeper who won this dual saving Otonti’s low and hard shot. Russel was on top form again to deny Ryan Donnelly who saw his long shot tipped onto the underside of the bar and out. Russel getting the slightest finger tips to the ball to keep his side level at the break. 

  • Half Time:
  • Linwood Rangers YC
  • 1-1
  • Giffnock SC Thistle

Linwood took the lead within the opening minute of the second half. A pass from Ciaran McPherson was dummied by Steven Wilson into the path of Euan King. King had saw his shot saved but Wilson followed up and fired his side into the lead. 

Linwood then came looking for a third goal to try and secure the points. Harvey Brown produce a looping shot that was gathered on the second attempt by Liam Gray. The ‘keeper mopped up again this time from a Max Bridgewater header after a free kick from Bill McIntosh. 

The dual between Otonti and Russel continued as the striker found himself 1 on 1 with the ‘keeper. As the equaliser loomed it was Russel who came out on top again and denied Otonti his second of the game. 

As we reached the halfway mark in the half, the match was finely poised with both teams looking for the vital next goal. Both teams having chances to turn the game in their favour. 

Jeremiah Otonti looked to turn provider as he produce a lovely ball in from the wing. A ball that was just begging to be headed in was just out of reach from his oncoming team-mates. 

A turning point in the match as Steven Wilson was played through on goal by Bill McIntosh. As the Giffnock defence stopped looking for an offside that wasn’t coming, Wilson may have just had too much time as his eventual shot smashed off the post and away from danger. 

Wilson wouldn’t have to wait too long for his second goal of the game. A superb ball from Tony Gallacher landed at the feet of Wilson. Liam Gray did well to deny both Wilson and then Jamie McGuire but on the third attempt Wilson puts the ball in the net to double Linwood’s lead. 

With 12 minutes to go it looked like that would be that. Giffnock were keen to show that it wouldn’t be that easy as they responded straight from kick off. A powerful shot by Ryan Donnelly from all of 25 yards could not be stopped from going into the top corner. Even though Gary Russel got two hands on the ball, the shot was that powerful that it would have taken a brick wall to stop it going in the net. Game on again. 

Steven Wilson had a chance to restore his side’s two goal lead. His shot from the edge of the box produce a fantastic save from Liam Gray. 

Giffnock came looking for the equaliser as Otonti was again through on Russel but the ‘keeper looked to have the striker’s number as he was again denied. Ryan Donnelly was looking to replicate his first goal as his powerful shot from the edge of the box was tipped round the post from Russel. 

As time ticked down Jeremiah Otonti finally got the better of Gary Russel in the 1 on 1 battle. Again getting on the end of a long ball, going through the defence and producing a calm and cool finish under Russel to earn Giffnock a point. 

As the full time whistle went both set of players noticeable groaned at only being able to earn a point a piece. Linwood especially ruing letting a late two goal lead slip away. An entertaining game nonetheless. 

  • Full Time:
  • Linwood Rangers YC
  • 3-3
  • Giffnock SC Thistle

Lineups

Linwood Rangers YC
Giffnock SC Thistle
1. Gary Russel
2. Jamie McGuire
3. Bill McIntosh
4. Jordan Mackay
5. Max Bridgewater
6. Harvey Brown
7. Cieran McKenna
8. Euan King
9. Tony Gallacher
10. Reece Gallagher
11. Ciaran McPherson
12. Lewis Glasgow
17. Steven Wilson
1. Liam Gray
5. Owen Murphy
7. Campbell Lang
9. Craig MacLennan
10. Joe MacPhee
11. Oscar Sibille
12. Mathew Forbes
14. Max Stoddart
15. Craig McKeegan
16. Micheal O'Neill
17. Jeremiah Otonti
18. Ryan Donnelly
Star Player
Linwood Rangers YC
Giffnock SC Thistle
Steven Wilson - On another he would have had a hat-trick and more but he was at the heart of all his side's attacks and his two goals were the least he deserved for his performance.
Jeremiah Otonti - Much like Wilson he would have had a hat-trick on another day. For a player of short stature it was incredible to watch him use his power and speed to bully the much bigger defenders. A fine performance and kept going to earn his team a point.
Magic Moment
Linwood Rangers YC
Giffnock SC Thistle
Linwood Rangers second goal was a fine piece of football. Quick and effective one touch passing rounded up with the finish from Steven Wilson.
Hard to chose between Ryan Donnelly's 25 yard screamer and Jeremiah Otonti's late equaliser. Giving the elation of himself and his team, I think Otonti's equaliser just nicks it.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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