Author: Michael Gaughan
Finnart Star under 14s secured their place in the third round of the SYFA Challenge Cup with a 2-0 victory over Hampden BC. Kieran Carey and Connor McKenzie both scored in the last minutes of each half to seal the victory for Finnart. Hampden gave a great account of themselves in which was a tight match at Glasgow Green.
It was a fine morning at Glasgow Green for the SYFA Challenge Cup Tie between Finnart Star and Hampden BC. Both teams were looking to seal their place in the next round of Scotland’s most prestigious youth competition.
Finnart began brightly winning a few corners in a row but the Hampden defence held firm and kept the game at 0-0.
Six minutes in Finnart midfielder Eoghon Kenny struck a thunderous drive from twenty-five yards out but it was well saved by Hampden Goalkeeper Stephen Kirwan.
A few minutes later the ball found its way through the Hampden defence to Finnart Striker Kieran Carey who was unlucky in his attempt to round Kirwan, but it was a great stop by the keeper who also managed to clear.
After twenty minutes tricky Finnart striker Jamie McGowan danced away from the defence and managed to force a shot which went well wide.
Finnart had dominated the opening stages with a number of chances created, they would have felt hard done by having not broken the deadlock but the Hampden defence had held firm doing very well not to concede.
On Twenty-five minutes it was then Hampden’s turn to attack, strong midfielder Liam Gallagher went on a powerful from his own half earning a free kick on the edge of the Finnart box. Hampden number ten Paul Waddell struck the free kick which forced a wonderful save from Goalkeeper Bailey McGuire.
Five minutes later Hampden central midfielder Brandon Wu forced a corner, it was wiped in with pace to the back post by full back Laurie McCabe and it fell to the back post for centre back Ross Davie who was unlucky to see his effort rise above the bar.
On the stroke of half time the high pressure by Finnart was rewarded as they won the ball at the edge of the box, it was then slid through to Carey who made no mistake and slotted home. 1-0!
Hampden found themselves down at half time but probably deserved to be level at the break after some wonderful defensive play.
Half Time: Finnart Star 1-0 Hampden BC
Five minutes into the second half the ball was slid through to Finnart winger William Gray whose wonderful effort was saved by an on form Kirwan in goals.
Seven minutes later Finnart Central Midfielder Kenneth Crampsie launched a strong effort from twenty yards out and again Kirwan saved well.
Sixty minutes in Cameron McHarg of Hampden saw his stunning thirty yard free kick just skim the bar, it almost looked a certainty to go in.
Three minutes from time Finnart found themselves two goals up. After great one-two by Connor McKenzie and Eoghon Kenny, McKenzie’s cross-cum-shot found its way into the right hand corner of the Hampden net. 2-0!
Finnart still had time to launch one last attack; McKenzie unleashed a powerful shot from the left flank which was bound for goal but Kirwan showed his class in goals once again with a wonderful save.
So, after a great match Finnart Star earned their place in the third round of the SYFA Challenge Cup after a closely fought contest with Hampden BC. Credit to both teams who were competitive throughout the match.
I have to give credit to the unsung hero of the match - Persley Sojila of Finnart Star. He was brilliant at the heart of the Finnart defence not making any mistakes and was very comfortable on the ball.
Full Time: Finnart Star 2-0 Hampden BC