Last season’s treble winners, Blue Brazil U17, continued their perfect start to the league campaign with a 5-2 victory over Jeanfield Swifts at Venters Park.
Blue Brazil started their league season off two weeks ago with an emphatic 9-1 away victory against Kirkcaldy and Dysart, whereas for the visitors, it was the Swifts’ first game back in the Fife Under 17’s Division One as they were looking to impress on their return.
The hosts started on the front foot as pacey striker, Lennon Cuisick had his header parried out by Reuben MacDonald and then cleared out by the defence.
Tricky winger, Lewis Campbell, just seconds later thought he had his side ahead, finishing past MacDonald, but the referee quickly blew for offside. After ten minutes, Blue Brazil won their first penalty of the match. Joe Gauld brought down Calum Stewart after a quick dribble inside the box leaving the referee with no choice but to award a spot kick. Brandyn Coventry sent the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards to give his side the deserved lead.
Campbell again, was causing bother down the left-hand side and with his second effort at goal, smacked the crossbar as the ball went over for a goal kick. For the majority of the first half, Jeanfield were resilient at the back against a strong Blue Brazil attack, with clearances off the line and several saves from MacDonald.
Just after the half-hour mark, Michael McCallum eventually doubled the home side’s advantage with a neat finish from inside the box. McCallum, who was extremely composed on the ball all game from central midfield, slotted his goal away to give his side a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Jeanfield made a tactical change upfront, bringing Robertson off the bench, to which he made an instant impact, sending a shot just narrowly wide of the post. With virtually the last play of the half, the Swifts earned themselves a lifeline. A brilliant run down the left from full-back, Gauld, led to a cross reaching the head of Ethan Stark, who reduced the deficit going into the interval. A big second half ahead for the team in black and white.
The visitors started the second half with the same momentum as they ended the first, creating multiple chances in the opening stages. Daniel Coppin’s effort from a free kick went narrowly wide, as did the effort just a minute later from Finn Bannerman.
Unfortunately for Jeanfield, Blue Brazil managed to defend against the wave of pressure and won themselves another penalty. Coventry stepped up once again, this time having his effort saved by MacDonald, but Campbell was on hand to tap in the rebound and regain their two-goal advantage.
Cuisick added a fourth just after the hour mark, leaving Swifts with a mountain to climb despite their resilient performance. Substitute, Jake Wilson, headed in a fifth after 67 minutes, reaching the end of a cross at the back post.
Stark managed to get his second of the match with roughly twenty minutes to play, slotting past Brook Morrison to add a consolation for his side. Bannerman, who also provided a threat to the Blue Brazil defence, nearly got a goal for himself but sent the ball narrowly wide from a cross on the right-hand side.
Blue Brazil were reduced to ten men after McCallum, who as mentioned before, was very impressive, put in a late challenge and was forced to sit the last ten minutes on the sidelines.
The referee blew for full-time, and it was two wins out of two for Blue Brazil, to the delight of the players and coaches. So much so, that they were shown their second red card of the match. Bell received a second yellow card from the referee for ‘over-celebrating’ the three points. Nonetheless, it was a deserved victory for the treble winners.
After the game we spoke to both teams, first the visitors Jeanfield, speaking to coach, Bruce, and goalscorer, Ethan:
Bruce: “Very good performance, we’re back in the Fife league after being out for a few seasons, we’ve done pretty well in the Dundee league. They (Blue Brazil) won this league last year so we knew it would be a tough challenge today, and I think we held our ground pretty well.
We would love to win this league, we’ve set our stall out this season, we’ve got six new players who have come in and complimented the squad and are definitely pushing to get into the team. Judging by today’s performance, we’ve got a little bit to go, we are still developing as a team and hopefully, over the course of the next two/three games, we get stronger and we push on.
Ethan: “I thought they (Blue Brazil) passed the ball really well, their movement off the ball was better than ours and we didn’t really step up to the challenge.
The goal for us is to finish as high as possible. It’s a new league, a new challenge. Tougher teams, the Dundee league last year was a challenge in itself, I thought we did pretty well but the Fife league will be the pinnacle to showcase what we can do and go out and have fun.
Next up we spoke to Blue Brazil coach and player, Craig and Jed, about their impressive victory:
Craig: “I thought it was a really good game, the game went exactly as we expected. When we went up to Jeanfield the last time, they turned us over up there so there was a little personal thing that we wanted to put right.
We set out a game plan, thought the boys were exceptional, it was quite a physical affair and I thought we matched them quite well all over the park. When we got our moments up the park, I thought we took our chances really well, overall, it was a well-deserved win.
Jed was asked about the message from the coaches at half-time to try and maintain that lead after a late Jeanfield goal: “Keep the heads, try not to get too carried away and stay tight in, that’s what we have done, and we got the win.”
Coach, Craig was finally asked about whether the aim was to replicate last season’s achievement of winning the treble: “We have a mentality where we take a game at a time, the guys are brilliant in terms of training and they work extremely hard. We (coaches) are just there to facilitate them and put the game plan there to allow the guys to deliver it.
Yeah, it is going to be similar objectives, but we’re not going to get carried away and see where it takes us.”
Blue Brazil Player of the Match: Michael McCallum
Jeanfield Swifts Player of the Match: Ethan Stark
Blue Brazil U17s
1. Brook Morrison
3. Jake Wilson
4. Ciaran McHale
6. Charlie Bell
7. Jed Geddes
8. Jamie Innes
9. Calum Stewart
10. Kieran Meacher
11. Brandyn Coventry
14. Lewis Campbell
15. Lennon Cuisick
16. Harris MacDonald
17. Luca Hassan
18. Michael McCallum
Jeanfield Swifts U17s
1 Ruben MacDonald
3 Joe Gauld
4 Lewis Leadbitter
7 Lewis Dyson
8 Callum Robertson
9 Zen Saputo
14 Finn Bannerman
21 Rholmark Colanse
10 Daniel Coppin
15 Ryan Daly
12 Nevin McKenzie
17 Innes Robertson
11 Ethan Stark
6 Ewan Summers
20 Favour Sunday
18 Fedor Zhuko
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