Arsenal BC powered through to the third round of the TWS Scottish Youth FA Cup after an impressive 5-2 victory over Rossvale BC. A derby atmosphere surrounded the match and this action-packed game had everything to reward those that turned out at John Paul Academy to take in this classic cup tie.
Arsenal got the game underway in conditions that couldn`t have been better, as an unseasonably sunny October afternoon provided a fittingly heated backdrop to the game.
The opening minutes were scrappy, as both teams sized each other up before Arsenal took the initiative when Kevin Moran played in Marc Rogers to force the first corner of the game, though the set piece came to nothing.
Arsenal showed their ambitions early on as Marcus Clark won a free-kick on the edge of the Rossvale box. Clark himself took the free-kick and forced the second corner of the game as the ball spun off the wall.
Winger John Davis played a great ball into the box and Kevin Moran was unlucky not to score, heading just over the bar.
Rossvale got a corner of their own as Connor Clarke did well on the wing to deflect the ball off an Arsenal player and out. Dominic McCafferty whipped a nice ball into the area but a scramble in the box ended with the ball dribbling out for a goal kick.
Arsenal had a golden opportunity to go ahead after 13 minutes as Ross Clift was brought down in the Rossvale box by Mark Brown and the referee pointed to the spot. Marcus Clark stepped up and hit a good shot low to the keeper`s right but Ciaran McDade pulled off a fine save, tipping the ball just round the post.
The deadlock didn`t last for long though, as Arsenal went ahead in the 18th minute. Paul McCamley saw a swirling shot from the left hit the far post but the danger wasn`t over for Rossvale as Jamie McGlinchey put the ball back into the danger area for John Davis to finish.
Davis was involved again for Arsenal as they doubled their lead a few minutes after taking it. Paul McCamley forced another corner and Davis delivered a great ball in for Kevin Moran to nod into the bottom left corner.
Rossvale gathered themselves and started to create a few chances of their own. Striker Connor Clarke did well to wiggle through the Arsenal defence and found Kevin Corr who produced a decent effort towards the bottom left corner. Keeper Shaun Boyle did well to hold the ball though.
Rossvale continued to press on to try and force a way back into the game. Glen Stokes laced a lovely ball through to the overlapping Robert Finnan, and he dug out a good shot to the keeper`s right. The ball fell to Connor Clarke after Boyle parried but Clarke couldn`t find the target and blasted the shot well over the bar.
After showing signs of promise, Rossvale were dealt a sucker punch as Arsenal went three up. John Davis was sent down the right wing and put a dangerous low ball across the six yard box, finding Ross Clift at the far post to bundle the ball over the line.
Arsenal strengthened their vice-like grip on the game soon after, taking a 4-0 lead through a corner from the right.
Marcus Clarke delivered the ball into the danger area and `keeper Ciaran McDade attempted to punch the ball clear, only for it to fall to the feet of Kevin Moran who smashed the ball into the back of the net for his second and Arsenal`s fifth of the game.
The tense atmosphere boiled over in the 40th minute when Arsenal`s Jamie McGlinchey and Vale`s Thomas Robertson were involved in a scuffle, both earning a yellow for their troubles. Robertson was sent off a few minutes later after an incident in the box, and Rossvale saw their last hopes of a result disappearing.
Arsenal rounded off a mightily impressive first half by adding a fifth through Marcus Clark just before the break. Defender Gavin McNicol sent a long ball into the Rossvale box from his own half and found Clark, who fired the ball past McDade into the bottom left corner.