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Erskine squeeze past Glenbrae to lift cup on home soil

Erskine YFC 1

Dempsey 53

Glenbrae Colts YFC 0

  • Sunday, 18 June 2017
  • Park Mains HS
  • Under 17´s
  • Erskine YFC Invitational Tournament

A towering header from Logan Dempsey led Erskine YFC to glory in the final of their home tournament, in a closely fought match with Glenbrae Colts. After narrowly missing out on lifting the Paisley & Johnstone Districrt YFL Division Two crown, Erskine arrived at Park Mains HS desperate for silverware. Colts, from the division below, put up a good fight but in the end one could reflect on a deserved victory for the boys in red and yellow.

Despite boasting much of the possession in the opening 25 minutes, Erskine struggled to create much in the final third. Both teams failed to string more than a few passes together at a time, with the game very much taking on the moniker of a 'midfield battle'. It ended up being the underdogs who fashioned the first shot at goal when Jacob Devine sprinted in behind the Erskine defence. From 15 yards out he hit the bouncing ball on the half volley with his left foot but he connected perhaps too strongly, and watched the ball sail high and wide.

At the other end, it was Devine's opposite number, Ross Birch, who was tasked with finding the space in behind. The striker was just growing into the game at the point where he had a goal ruled out for offside; the balls over the top from the supply men behind him would become a persistent problem for the Colts back line.

The game really started to liven up after that disallowed goal, especially for the home side. Glenbrae began to defend with a bit more urgency and were quick to try and counter attack, but they lost their way as soon as they approached the Erskine box on multiple occasions. Winger Evan Meyer McDonagh passed up a golden chance to put the home side ahead when the ball fell to him from a cutback five yards out, but he scuffed his shot and the keeper was in no danger. Cameron Kerr then tried a volley from similar range as Devine's early effort at the other end, but he too was off target.

With five minutes until the whistle, Erskine upped the pressure again. Ciaran Doherty went close when he hit the post from 10 yards out when he moved onto McDonagh's cross, and then Kerr had a shot from distance saved following a dribble through the middle of the Glenbrae defence. Kerr produced the next effort too, but he slashed this one wide from inside the box following a quick counter attack on the left.

  • Half Time:
  • Erskine YFC
  • 0-0
  • Glenbrae Colts YFC

The second half started in similar fashion to the first, as a stalemate during the opening exchanges. And, again mirroring the first period, it was Glenbrae producing the first shot. This time again they failed to trouble the goal of David Kelly, with Nathan Gordon's lob being too high.

And that chance proved to be pivotal as five minutes later Erskine took the lead. A dangerous corner put the keeper under pressure and Dempsey squeezed in between two Colts defenders at the back post before rising highest to nod the ball home. He ran off to the side as his teammates joined him. John Henderson was the last to join the party after he took the corner, and Dempsey duly thanked him with a high-five.

Glenbrae almost hit back when Adam Donnelly forced an awkward save from Kelly with his shot, and then Dempsey nearly doubled his account but he blazed over from McDonagh's cutback on the right.

Henderson's set piece prowess had been in full display at the corner for the game's only goal, and he sensed the opportunity to showcase his dead ball talents again from a free kick around 25 yards out. Standing to the left of the D, Henderson eyed up the goal and whipped a free kick past the wall and on target but this time the goalie was equal to it.

Henderson continued to provide a threat with his quick-tempo play, either when dribbling or in his passing, and McDonagh was also a constant outlet. But for the final 15 minutes it was all Glenbrae as they pushed for an equaliser, perhaps sensing that if they grabbed the next goal momentum would swing their way and they could pull of the upset. The Colts pumped free kicks into the box with regularity but to no avail. Jack McSkeane, Thomas Devlin and James O'Malley were all involved in promising opportunities that led to nothing but the best chance of them all fell to Devine, the same man who conjured up the very first shot at goal in the match.

With less than five to go, Erskine's Sam Meiklejohn lost possession midway inside his own half as he tried to dribble out of defence. Derek McIntyre won the ball and slipped in Devine who had peeled off his marker and found the vacant space left by full back Meiklejohn. He took two touches into the box and once there had time and space to size up Kelly and his goal, but he opened his body up too much and skewed the shot wide of the far post, to the agony of the Colts' faithful. Because at that moment they knew there wouldn't be a better opportunity.

Nonetheless, despite the late onslaught, Erskine deserved the win. They were better in possession and spent more time in their opponent's half over the course of the game; even as Glenbrae piled on the pressure towards the end, the home side looked dangerous on the break. On another day, they could have grabbed another goal to seal the victory but that didn't matter as the boys celebrated with the trophy later on.

 

 
  • Full Time:
  • Erskine YFC
  • 1-0
  • Glenbrae Colts YFC

Lineups

Erskine YFC
Glenbrae Colts YFC
1. David Kelly
3. Gareth Duffy
4. Callum Boyce
5. Greg Fletcher
6. Evan Meyer McDonagh
7. Andrew Macmillan
8. Logan Dempsey
9. Ross Birch
10. Cameron Kerr
11. John Henderson
12. Ciaran Doherty
14. Lewis Blackett
15. Ross Canavan
17. Nicholas Ritchie
21. Sam Meiklejohn
31. Aaron Gemmell
32. Brendan Denovan
2. Andy Wilson
3. Darren Patterson
4. Adam Donnelly
5. Thomas Ryan
6. Derek McIntyre
7. Nathan Gordon
8. Jack McSkeane
9. Jacob Devine
10. Ryan Devlin
11. James O'Malley
12. Ewan Burns
14. Connor Cousland
15. Connor Friel
17. Alexander Currie
Star Player
Erskine YFC
Glenbrae Colts YFC
John Henderson won the award given out by the officials and on reflection he was probably his team's most effective on the park and enjoyable to watch with his skill and dribbling ability. Cameron Kerr must be mentioned however; he was a good creative force and a consistent goal threat and when he was subbed off, Erskine struggled.
It was more of a team performance than one led by any one individual, and it would be hard to separate Jack McSkeane and Derek McIntyre, but I'd opt for the latter. He was the main outlet for his team's playmaking and rarely put a foot wrong in defence or attack.
Magic Moment
Erskine YFC
Glenbrae Colts YFC
It has to be the goal: great delivery by Henderson and super header from Dempsey.
Hard to pick one out but there was one eye-catching dribble by McIntyre that excited the crowd.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
Last modified on Thursday, 22 June 2017 15:39
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