This Sunday sees the first of the Under 14's SYFA Cup semi-finals sees SERYFA side Spartans FC Youth face off against Westdyke Community Club from the ADJFA. Both sides have had a fantastic journey so far just getting to this stage, but only one can progress into the final, where they will face one of either Giffnock North BC United or St Andrews BC, who face each other on the 8th April.
Spartans FC Youth have had a good season so far. They currently sit in fourth place in the SERYFA Division 1 with two games in hand over the league leaders Tynecastle FC who have a 10 point advantage. They are currently in the quarter-finals of the Jewel Miners Trophy and reached the quarter-finals of the South East Region Cup before being knocked out by Hutchison Vale.
Westdyke Community Club are certainly having a season to remember. They are fourth in the ADJFA with 14 points to make up on league leaders Banks O'Dee Albion, however Westdyke have five games in hand thanks to their impressive cup runs both regionally and nationally. They are still to play their third round match in the Winton Trophy against Formartine United YFC and are into round five of the Eddie Mannell Trophy.
Two sides with plenty to shout about, but let's look at their route to the Scottish Cup semi-finals.
Spartans FC Youth
Spartans began their campaign in the second round with an away tie against SERYFA Division 3 side Haddington Athletic CFC. Haddington were always up against it against a team like Spartans and they made their superiority count, easing into the next round with a 10-0 win.
Next up was another away match against East Region side Arbroath Community Sports Club. There was another large gulf in class and Spartans took full advantage, heading home with a 9-0 win under their belts.
The fourth round saw Spartans make the trip eastward again as they travelled to Perth to face Jeanfield Swifts. It was here that Spartans conceeded their first goal of the competition. This did not deter the Edinburgh side though and they booked their round of 16 spot with a 5-1 win.
Their round of 16 match put them up against tough opposition in the form of Blantyre Soccer Academy. Blantyre have been flying in the Lanarkshire FDA League and Spartans had to be at their very best to navigate their way into the quarter-finals. They came through their challenge well, securing a 3-0 win and a spot in the last eight.
The quarter-finals finally gifted Spartans a home tie for the first time in the competition this season, the unfortunate side of that was they were drawn against a very formidable side in Cumbernauld Colts. The CSFA side had already won their League Cup earlier on in the season and were familiar with how to achieve cup success, but Spartans managed to hold strong and scrape through to the semi-finals, winning the tie 2-1 and setting up the clash against Westdyke.
First up for Westdyke was a home tie against ADJFA League C Section1 side Colony Colts. Colony Colts have been performing well this season, but with two leagues separating the sides it was always going to be difficult for the home side and it proved to be so, with Westdyke securing a third round spot with a 10-0 win.
Into the third round and next up for Westdyke was a home tie against SERYFA side Bonnyrigg Rose FC Whites. The journey appeared to have had an effect on the Edinburgh based side as Westdyke eased to victory with another 10-0 win.
Round four set up an all ADJFA tie as Westdyke were given an away draw against League B side Culter United. Culter have not had the best of times so far this season and that continued in this match as their League A opponents proved too much for them, earning their last 16 spot with another double digit win.
The round of 16 saw Westdyke make a trip to the South West Region to play Caledonian YC, who had done exceptionally well to make it this far into the competition. This was t be their last stop however as Westdyke once again dominated with a 10-0 victory.
The last eight set up what was, on paper, Westdyke's biggest test to date, a home tie against Musselburgh Windsor. Windsor are currently third in the SERYFA Division 1, one spot above Spartans FC Youth. This did not phase Westdyke whatsoever as they booked their semi-finl spot with a resounding 6-0 win.
When looking at these cup journeys it is clear to see that Spartans definitely have their work cut out for them. Westdyke have not only convincingly won all of their cup matches to get to the semi's, they have also done so without conceeding a single goal.
Spartans however will not be an easy game for Westdyke CC. The Edinburgh side have only conceeded two goals on their journey and have proven that they can step up to the task as well, as shown by their incredible victory over Cumbernauld Colts in the previous round.
Many will have Westdyke as favourites for this match but the best thing about the Scottish Cup is that it can throw up surprising results from out of nowhere. We all eagerly await the result.