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Giffnock North lift West Region Cup with late flurry

Giffnock North 5

Harrower 5, 62, Hill 37, McKay 60, McKenzie 69

Knightswood 2

Keenan 25, McMahon 70
  • Sunday, 10 June 2018
  • Petershill Park
  • Under 13´s
  • SYFA West Region Cup

Giffnock North lifted the SYFA West Region Cup after a flurry of late goals guaranteed the trophy for the under-13s side.

Giffnock overcame Knightswood 5-1 in Sunday’s final but the game could have gone either way until the Glaswegian side were reduced to ten men, at which point the floodgates opened.

Giffnock kicked off on a dry Sunday morning at Petershill Park but the game’s first chance fell to Knightswood with just five minutes on the clock. Forward Jack Keenan played the ball to Ben Willis who then returned it to Keenan on the edge of the box, but his low drive was easily held by Marc Newton.

Knightswood had another chance moments later when Gregg McMahon’s corner found Willis at the near post, but Newton saved the ball well.

Then, just a minute later, Giffnock took the lead. Striker Greg Harrower got on the end of a long ball forward and drove at goal, drifting slightly to the left. The angle was narrow but Harrower slotted past the onrushing Ross Faiden, with the ball clipping the inside of the post before crossing the line.

Giffnock North enjoyed more possession than their opponents after the goal but were pressed relentlessly all over the pitch. Where Giffnock were patiently looking for an opening, Knightswood harried them and looked to hit them on the counter.

Knightswood then came within inches of levelling the score. Flynn Kerr attempted to lob Newton from the edge of the box with a looping shot, but the goalkeeper did very well to stretch and catch the ball.

A minute later, Knightswood came close again to finding an equaliser. Willis was released to the right of the box and fired a low shot at the near post, but Newton was equal to it.

Lewis Hill then spurned an excellent chance that could have seen Giffnock double their advantage. Harrower whipped in an inviting cross from the right that Hill got a head on, but his effort didn’t trouble Knightswood goalie Faiden.

Giffnock surely would have made it 2-0 if not for an exceptional block from Knightswood’s Ciaran Grant. Harrower shifted the ball out to Christy Diamond, who swung a cross towards George McKenzie in the box. The forward was about to pull the trigger when Grant threw himself in front of the shot, superbly denying the chance.

Willis always looked dangerous in attack for Knightswood and the striker came very close to scoring a wonderful solo goal about halfway through the first half. Willis broke free of the Giffnock defence and drove to the edge of the box before clipping the ball past Newton, but also just wide of the far post.

Knightswood began to pile on the pressure and were soon rewarded with another goalscoring opportunity. Grant got on the end of a cross from the left and was unmarked at the back post but failed to slip the ball past Newton.

Faiden then produced an outstanding stop to prevent Knightswood from doubling their advantage. Harrower broke down the left and outstripped the defence for a one-on-one with the Giffnock keeper. Faiden was quick off his line and spread himself well to deny Harrower.

Then, with halftime fast approaching, Knightswood grabbed the equaliser their play deserved. The ball fell to Keenan on the edge of the box, who took one look before firing a powerful effort that gave Newton little chance of saving it.

Knightswood almost took the lead on the stroke of halftime when McMahon released Keenan for a one-on-one with the keeper, only for Jed Connell to come out of nowhere to provide a superb block to deny Knightswood their second.

The referee then blew his whistle to call time on an entertaining first half. The match was tight and looked like it could go either way in the second period.

  • Half Time:
  • Giffnock North
  • 1-1
  • Knightswood

Knightswood got the second half underway and within two minutes, Giffnock had once again taken the lead with an excellent team goal. Harrower shifted the ball out to McKenzie on the right, who fired a low cross in at the near post. Lewis Hill was waiting and calmly slotted the ball in at the near post to give Giffnock the lead again.

Connell went close to doubling Giffnock’s advantage when he struck a long-distance shot just minutes later, but saw his effort sail just wide of the right post.

Then came what proved to be the game’s decisive moment. Knightswood’s Nathan Porter lunged for the ball rashly with two feet and was shown a red card and the game faced lengthy delays as medical treatment was carried out on the pitch.

When the game got underway again, Knightswood struggled for possession but came close to an equaliser with McMahon’s free kick. The youngster curled the ball around the wall from 20 yards out but Newton held the ball well.

Giffnock were determined to make the extra man count and could have had a third when Robbie Wilson played in Harrower. The striker drove into the right of the box but his effort couldn’t beat Faiden, who palmed the ball behind for a corner.

McKenzie took the set piece and lofted the ball towards the back post, where it fell kindly at the feet of Luke McKay. McKay tried to nudge the ball over the line but Faiden reacted superbly to smother the ball and deny Giffnock their third.

Knightswood were happy to play on the counter and were inches away from levelling the scores after an excellent run from Willis. The striker used his pace and strength to beat two Giffnock defenders as he thundered towards goal for a one-on-one, but his shot rolled agonisingly wide of the far post.

Then Giffnock got their third. Harrower got on the end of a through ball for a one-on-one but was denied by Faiden. The ball fell to McKay in a crowded box and the midfielder did well to get his shot away, only for the Knightswood keeper to pull off another excellent reflex save. Again, the ball fell to McKay and this time he calmly slotted the ball into the net.

With Knightswood still reeling from the goal Giffnock charged up the pitch and made it 4-1, effectively sealing the win. McKenzie whipped in a corner from the right towards the near post where Harrower eventually got the ball over the line.

With just five minutes left on the clock Giffnock scored their fifth after an incisive breakaway. Harrower broke free of the Knighstwood defence and sprinted down the left wing before squaring the ball to McKenzie, who took a touch before coolly slotting home.

With the match entering its final moments there was still time for one last goal, and what a goal it would be. Knightswood won a corner on the right and McMahon curled the ball towards the back post, beating everyone before it dipped under the bar and nestled into the back of the net.

The referee then signalled for full time, bringing the entertaining match to an end.

  • Full Time:
  • Giffnock North
  • 5-2
  • Knightswood

Lineups

Giffnock North
Knightswood
1. Marc Newton
2. Lewis Hill
3. Struan Rickards
4. Jed Connell
5. Adam Houston
7. Luke McKay
8. Christy Diamond
9. George McKenzie
11. Greg Harrower
12. Ben Gibney
14. Joshua Brownlie
15. Declan Green
16. Lewis Barclay
17. Robbie Wilson
18. Leon McMurray
1. Ross Faiden
2. Luke Morrison
3. Ben Willis
4. Nathan Porter
5. Reece Harkness
6. Reece Mcateer
7. David Duffy
8. Gregg McMahon
9. Jack Keenan
10. Flynn Kerr
11. Ciaran Grant
14. Calvin Sutherland
15. Mark Pafery
Star Player
Giffnock North
Knightswood
Greg Harrower - led the Giffnock attack superbly and was a menace throughout the game. Finished the match with two goals and could have had a hat trick if not for his selflessness in front of goal.
Ben Willis - gave 100% for his team and never tired in attack. Constantly chased down loose balls and put pressure on the Giffnock defence throughout. Always looked dangerous on the break.
Magic Moment
Giffnock North
Knightswood
Lewis Hill's goal early in the second half was an excellent example of good team play. Players weaved into position and passed incisively to create a well-worked goal.
McMahon's last-gasp goal was a tremendous display of technique from the midfielder. Curled the ball into the net, giving the Giffnock defence no chance of stopping it. The perfect corner.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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