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Second half fightback seals cup glory for EK Blues

East Kilbride Blues 2001s 3

Lindsay 61', Connor 63', Frame 77'

Giffnock SC Napoli 1

Alpine 20'
  • Saturday, 28 May 2016
  • Parklea Recreation Ground, Port Glasgow
  • Under 15´s
  • P&J DYFL Gilbert Baird League Cup

Mark Gillespie | YFS North Ayrshire Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author [email protected]tland.co.uk

East Kilbride are this year’s Paisley & Johnstone District YFL Gilbert Baird Cup winners, but they did it the hard way as they overcame Giffnock Napoli at Parklea. And, with apologies for an old, famous cliché, it was very much the game of two halves, as they took until a midway spell in the second half to turn the game on its head.

Giffnock had looked comfortable for much of the opening period, and were left wondering where those same energy levels went in the second half. Mirkin Alpine’s goal on 20 minutes came after a good spell of midfield control and indeed Giffnock went on to shade the first half, carving out the better openings.

Cameron Mackey was proving a real handful for the EK defenders with his direct running, and with Gianni Demarco’s strength the Napoli side were getting slightly the better of the one on ones in midfield in the early stages. But, overall there was little to choose between these two sides until the Giffnock side got their noses in front on 20 minutes.

It came from the set piece as Dominic McLaughlin fired in a free kick from the right, picking out Mackey inside the area. He helped to the ball on to Alpine in space and, with the EK defence struggling to close down, the striker made no mistake from close range.

There seemed to be no immediate Blues response, as the game returned to something of a stalemate. Width was missing from the game and EK’s best chance of the half came after fine work down the left from James Airens. His cross was parried out by Christopher Wylie as far as Dylan Collins who couldn’t force home the rebound.

It was a tight half of few cast iron chances away from that. Demarco fired a decent long range effort wide on 30 minutes for Giffnock, as there remained just a goal between the sides at the interval.

  • Half Time:
  • East Kilbride Blues 2001s
  • 0-1
  • Giffnock SC Napoli

The onus was very much on East Kilbride to lift things in the second half, with greater tempo and urgency surely the message from the coaches at half time. It took them a while to turn the screw, however, as Giffnock maintained a packed midfield and kept them pinned back as the clock passed the hour mark.

But EK finally established some momentum and turned the game around in the game’s decisive two-minute spell. It came shortly after Gregor Neilson had driven his side forward, playing a fine one two with Aiden Fellowes on the edge of the box. Wylie saved, but from the resulting set play Gregor Neilson played in Zak Lindsay and the forward rocketed the equaliser high into the net.

Confidence surging, Blues had their noses in front two minutes later with a fine individual effort from Daniel Connor. Great play took him down the left channel before he unleashed an unstoppable shot from the angle past Wylie.

From that Giffnock really struggled to mount any serious response, with Mackey not carrying the same direct threat of the first half. Blues closed down better with Fellowes running the channels to keep his side a threat from balls from Collins over the top, almost catching Giffnock out.

With nothing to lose Napoli pushed up, getting players forward in the final ten minutes, but all to no avail, as another ball pinged over the top by Lindsay found Jack Frame clean through to round Wylie and score the clinching goal.

On the merits of their second half display East Kilbride were due their win, and having come off second best in two previous finals this comeback will have tasted all the sweeter as they celebrated a famous win with their supporters.

 
  • Full Time:
  • East Kilbride Blues 2001s
  • 3-1
  • Giffnock SC Napoli

Lineups

East Kilbride Blues 2001s
Giffnock SC Napoli
1. Samuel Danks
5. Andrew Crawford
25. Ewan McCulloch
6. Alistair Peacock
8. Rose Taylor
19. Gregor Neilson
24. Jack Frame
4. Daniel Connor
20. Dylan Collins
2. James Airens
17. Lewis Payne
11. Michael Peden
10. Zak Lindsay
26. Euan Andrews
2. Max McWilliams
11. Aiden Fellowes
31. Christopher Wylie
4. Finlay Ardison
8. Sebastian Nicol
12. Marc Risi
9. Cameron Mackey
5. Dominic McLaughlin
6. Cameron Downey
17. Sam Greenwood
11. Sean Higgins
7. Gianni Demarco
14. Max Gillies
2. Drew Mackenzie
15. Marcus Holland
3. Lewis Campbell
10. Mirkin Alpine
19. John O’Hagan
Star Player
East Kilbride Blues 2001s
Giffnock SC Napoli
Zak Lindsay was the catalyst for Blues comeback with a fine goal and overall performance.
Cameron Mackey was a dangerous runner for Giffnock in the opening half.
Magic Moment
East Kilbride Blues 2001s
Giffnock SC Napoli
Frame's late goal was the clincher for Blues.
Alpine's opener seemed to have Giffnock in first half control.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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