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Mears double dumps Caley out of cup

Bonnyton Thistle 3

Hill 14, Mears 16, 80

KSC Caley Thistle FC 0

  • Saturday, 11 January 2014
  • Grange Academy
  • Under 19´s
  • PJ&DYFL League Cup

Ryan Rowe | YFS South West Region Journalist & Bonnyton Thistle Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

BONNYTON Thistle under 19s emerged victorious in the Under 19s Paisley and Johnstone District League Cup with a 3-0 win over KSC Caley Thistle, winners of the under 17 league in Central Ayrshire Youth Football Association last year. Thistle, last year’s runners-up in the Glasgow and District YFL, all but killed the game by going two ahead early on before adding a third late on.
The game was played under extremely mild conditions but that did not halt either team from attacking early on in the opening exchanges. Thistle were the first to take advantage of their threat, on 14 minutes when attacker Sean Mears picked the ball up in the centre circle. The tricky forward jinked his way past three Caley players on his run through the middle before he played it to Sam McCloskey who neatly slipped in Steven Hill inside him. From just inside the box Hill’s first time shot with his instep nestled perfectly in the corner of the net, beating helpless goalkeeper Love to his left. 
The away side were clearly disappointed to lose a goal so early on and went into their shells, much to Bonnyton’s advantage. Two minutes later, striker Steven McCarrison broke free on the left hand side and played a through ball along the ground for the advancing Mears who gunned in and hit the shot first time from 16 yards out and watched the ball ping into the bottom left hand corner with his team mates.
For the next ten minutes there were no real chances of note as the rhythm and tempo of Bonnyton’s early play faded away while the sting came out of KSC Caley’s early challenge. Bonnyton still had most of possession despite Caley looking dangerous on the few occasions they moved forward down the wings.
After half an hour, Caley were still waiing for this first shot on target. While the away team had worked the ball into the box on several occasions, and won multiple corners, the crucial clinical touch was lacking. John Pirie attempted to right this on his own with a long range shot but it was to no avail.
The teams began to find their stride slightly as the half drew to a close, with Kieran McCrum almost latching onto a Hill cross from the right after surging forward from defence and moments later Pirie once again managed to find space outside the Bonnyton box as he got in between the centre halves but his left-footed shot from the 18 yard line drifted a couple of yards too high.
Both teams had another chance each in the dying embers of a fairly lacklustre first half. Andy Hunter drilled a cross in from the left to the front post to the feet of McCarrison on the corner of the six yard box, but the ex-Ayr United man’s turning shot was blocked by the keeper. At the other end, Mason Boyd found himself with a bit of room to work with on the left after getting into a good position 20 yards out and he stepped into the box and hit a curling shot towards goal, only for Purdie to grab it out the air.
  • Half Time:
  • Bonnyton Thistle
  • 2-0
  • KSC Caley Thistle FC
The second half kicked off with Bonnyton looking as though they were coming out to kill the tie and stop any comeback. Despite having to plug away for over half an hour until they scored, KSC Caley were unable to mount the fight back they wanted as the home side’s fitness and experience began to tell.
Bonnyton dominated the beginning of the half, despite not firing on all cylinders. McCarrison had the first shot of the period on 50 minutes with a fierce ping from 20 yards out but Love was untroubled. McCrum was next to go closest but his header off a pacey Chris Kelly cross from the left hand side flashed wide.
Declan Adam kept up the pressure on the away side as he worked some shooting space on the edge of the area on 68 minutes. Shifting the ball neatly onto his right foot the midfielder curled a shot at Love but the Caley keeper was equal to the strike and the score stayed 2-0.
Sam McCloskey had been able to dictate the play from midfield frequently throughout the match and he began to creep close to scoring with just under 20 minutes to go. The attacking midfielder picked the ball up just inside the final third in the middle of the park following a pass from Mears but his fierce drive couldn’t find the net as it veered inches wide.
Caley were struggling to mount any meaningful attacks during this time but had defended admirably, with credit to the back four and goalkeeper. McCloskey was at the epicentre of everything Thistle were doing – he and Mears the main threats all day long.
Another player who continually threatened to score was defender McCrum on his bursts forward and he met a cross again, this time from the right, but he couldn’t wrap his foot around the ball and his shot missed at the front post.
Caley almost made things very interesting in the last 15 minutes when a shot out of nothing by Boyd whipped towards goal from 16 yards out but wasn’t able to beat the keeper.
And with that, Bonnyton wrapped up the victory on 80 minutes. Lee Gordon swung in an inch-perfect cross form the right and Mears met the pass with a terrific volley from eight yards out and the two celebrated knowing they had sealed victory for their team.
In the final seconds of the game Bonnyton’s new signing Kris Chisholm could have grabbed a goal on his debut but his shot, coming after McCrum slipped in Hunter on the left and the full back cutting back superbly, flew over the bar.
That was how the game finished and it is Bonnyton who march into the League Cup semi final. KSC will acknowledge that they were not at their best, especially in the second half. Bonnyton turned the heat up slightly in the second half and it told as the away side had to be solid to prevent any clear cut chances – which they very nearly succeeded in. Both teams fought very hard throughout the tie and while Bonnyton can dream of winning this and possibly the league, Caley can be very confident in their ability to gain promotion from the lower division. The underdogs did well against a very experienced and professional side who just proved to have too much in the tank despite not always getting into top gear.
  • Full Time:
  • Bonnyton Thistle
  • 3-0
  • KSC Caley Thistle FC


Bonnyton Thistle
KSC Caley Thistle FC

Purdie Adam Barrie Golightly Gordon Hill Hunter Kelly McCarrison McCrum Mears Paterson Chisholm

Love Crombie Rugg Lewis Larmour McAvoy McIntyre McClure Still Boyd Pirie

Star Player
Bonnyton Thistle
KSC Caley Thistle FC
Sam McCloskey dictated the play from time to time in midfield but the performance of Sean Mears was electrifying. He was a constant threat and did a power of running and never gave the defenders a minute.
Mason Boyd was the player most likely to score for the away side, or at least create something. He also wasn't afraid to tackle hard.
Magic Moment
Bonnyton Thistle
KSC Caley Thistle FC
The opening goal: Mears' dribble was superb and his pass to McCloskey allowed him to set up Hill for the clinical first time finish.
Mason Boyd's shot in the second half almost crept in but despite the greeat technique the scoresheet remained blank.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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