It was quarter-final day at New Tinto Park as Caledonian Braves visited the home of Benburb FC to compete in the U18 inspiresport Scottish Youth FA Cup.
Benburb FC had won against BSC Glasgow in the round of 16 for their spot in the quarter-finals whilst Caledonian Braves secured a 2-1 victory against Westdyke Community Club Thistle to make it through to the quarter-finals.
Now it was up to the teams to battle all the weather elements in the 90 minutes to book their place in the semis.
The first chance of the game came early on, and it was for Caledonian Braves’ James McBrearty as he took a swing at goal however Benburb’s keeper, Aidan Carroll, managed to comfortably block the shot.
It was not a long wait for the first goal of the game, however, as Benburb were awarded a free-kick just outside the box in the sixth minute.
Aaron Bradley stepped up to take it and his cross found the feet of multiple players in the box. After a scuffle, the ball managed to find itself in the back of the net and Benburb had an early lead.
After some end-to-end play, Caledonian Braves got a corner which Evan Rankin headed over to take. The cross looked promising, and he was unlucky not to find anyone on the receiving end as it was headed away from goal.
Benburb then had their fair share of shots as some lovely link-up play saw the ball land at Logan Kerr’s feet who took a shot, but it drifted wide.
Bradley stepped up to take Benburb’s corner and it found Glen Anderson at the back post, but his shot went wide.
In the 16th minute, a foul in the Caledonian Braves box found the referee wasting no time in pointing to the penalty spot giving Benburb their chance to make it two.
Lewis Forward was the player to take on the challenge as he stepped up to the spot and managed to send the keeper in the wrong direction as the ball hit the back of the net to double the advantage.
Caledonian Braves did not back down though, as they continued to press the ball and attempt to get a goal.
The third goal did go in Benburb’s favour as Bradley displayed some excellent dribbling. He managed to get past the defenders in the box to pass the ball to Forward who smacked it into the back of the net from close range.
Bradley then had his shot at goal moments later, but it was an excellent save from the keeper who punched it away from goal. It was picked up on the rebound, but the shot flew over the bar.
Chances were few and far between in the second half as both teams struggled to get into the opposition’s box.
Angus Brown for Benburb found himself one-on-one with the keeper but his shot drifted wide, denying his side a fourth.
The fourth goal for Benburb came 63 minutes in as Bradley calmly took his shot to slide the ball past the keeper.
Caledonian Braves were still determined to get back in the game though, and they continued to challenge despite going down to 10 men with 10 minutes to go.
Benburb would get another in the closing minutes of the game however as Mario Pacitti pulled off a magnificent overhead kick that found the top left corner of the goal. Benburb’s 5-0 victory was set in stone minutes later when the full-time whistle was blown.
Benburb FC Player of the Match: Lewis Forward
Forward got two excellent goals for Benburb and made excellent runs on and off the ball to ensure he was constantly posing a threat to the opposition.
Caledonian Braves FC Player of the Match: Aaron Boyd
Boyd continued to press the ball and did not give up for Caledonian Braves as he kept getting into good space and looking for the ball
Benburb FC Magic Moment:
Mario Pacitti’s overhead kick in the closing minutes of the game found the ball in the top left corner as Benburb secured the game with a 5-0 victory
Caledonian Braves FC Magic Moment:
James McBrearty had the first shot of the game that nearly put Caledonian Braves in front as it was rocketed towards the goal and was unfortunate not to go in.
1. Aiden Carroll
2. Glen Anderson
3. Mario Pacitti
4. Jack Dunbar
5. Santino Fox
6. Shai Stephenson
7. Aaron Bradley
8. Lewis Forward
9. Angus Brown
10. Mack Montgomery
11. Kieran Wilkie
14. Logan Kerr
15. Matthew Montgomery
17. Callum Logue
19. Oliver McKendrick
Caledonian Braves U18s
1. Fraser Johnston
2. Evan McLean
3. Zachary Fairley
4. Leo Hannah
5. Ronan Kane
6. Jack Scott
7. Lewis Brennan
8. Callum James Abraham
9. James McBrearty
10. Gabriel Brown
11. Aaron Boyd
14. Shay McManus
15. Jack Chambers
17. Alexander Young
18. Declan Fleming
19. Jack McCardle
20. Evan Rankin
21. Liam Walsh
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