A ten-man Glasgow South defeated Benburb 4-3 in a Glasgow and District U15s Division One crunch tie at New Tinto Park. The result means that Benburb will stay in ninth place while Glasgow South remain fourth, still in their first season since achieving promotion.
From the opening minutes, it was clear that a very close but very open encounter was to ensue. It was the visitors who took an early lead when centre midfielder Jack Beer took the ball from deep and drove through the Benburb ranks, embarking on a slaloming solo run and smashing the ball into the top right corner. The Southsiders doubled their lead in an excellent display of skill by Mark Gallagher, with the striker taking the ball at the edge of the box and sharply cutting inside and curling an effort into the top right corner.
At this stage of the game, many sides would have let their heads drop and quickly been dispatched off by a high-flying opponent, but Benburb continued to compete and test the Glasgow South defence. Symon Walczak continued to battle in the Benburb midfield and Lucas Lever was a livewire on the left flank, fighting to regain possession and create chances for his teammates.
The home side pulled one back with Lever taking the ball forward on the break and slipping through Luke Nisbet, with the striker coolly slotting home to bring his side back in the game.
With chances flowing for either side both Enzo Markovic of Benburb and Lewis Rankin of Glasgow South were called into action, with both making crucial saves from close range.
Benburb completed their comeback right on the stroke of half-time. A perfectly-weighted ball was taken down and struck home cleanly by Nisbet, bringing the two sides into the break level.
Once again it was Glasgow South who started the half strongly, managing to regain their lead shortly after the interval. Good team play was rewarded when the ball was cut back to Stephen Campbell on the edge of the box, who found himself in space and arrowed the ball into the back of the net.
The driving force of Beer, as well as impressive, high-pressing, play from his midfield partner and South captain Lewis Richardson, made for a formidable attacking unit.
Their Benburb opponents, however, were not going down without a fight. Often driven on by Lever and Kyran Bradley, Benburb launched a barrage of attacks and eventually found a leveller. Following a penalty box scramble and a strong save by Rankin, the ball dropped to Walczak who blasted the ball into the back of the net to level the score at 3-3.
Right-back Daniel Hugh Connor’s energy helped Benburb stave off the attacking threat of Richardson, while also carrying his side forward. Symon Walczak was agonisingly close to putting his side ahead but another crucial Rankin save and a bizarre ricochet and goal-line clearance denied the midfielder.
Momentum seemed to be flowing in Benburb’s favour when Glasgow South were reduced to ten men after Mark Gallagher kicked out at Kaiden Donohue as tensions reached a boiling point.
South were undeterred though, and yet again it was Jack Beer coming to his side’s rescue. He made a late run in behind the Benburb defence and managed to sneak the ball home, securing his brace.
With only minutes remaining, the game still had a final turn when the pressure and volume of Benburb attacks drew a foul from their opposing defenders, with the referee pointing to the spot in the dying embers of the match. Luke Nisbet’s side-footed effort was read expertly by Logan Rankin who won his side the game with an excellent penalty save.
Benburb Player of the Match: Lucas Lever
Lever was electric on the left flank, not only in attack but also in his defensive duties. The Benburb man was everywhere and involved in everything for his side, fighting to win back possession but also showing drive and quick feet going forward and creating dangerous opportunities and goals. Lever’s unrelenting presence gave his opponents a constant headache.
Glasgow South Player of the Match: Jack Beer
An exemplary performance from start to finish. Beer was often the source of inspiration for his side, not just with his two goals but also in the quality of his play, demonstrating all-round technical attributes but also a real intelligence for what runs and passes to make. Beer’s coolness under pressure and constant attacking threat ultimately won his side the game.
Benburb Magic Moment: Determination
Simon Walczak was one of Benburb’s key performers and provided their magic moment as he made a lung-busting run to the right corner of the pitch before taking the ball and almost finding the back of the net.
Glasgow South Magic Moment: Shot-stopping heroics
The visiting side’s win would not be possible without the efforts of goalkeeper Logan Rankin, and no moment was more crucial than his last-minute penalty save where he read the direction of the shot to deny a Benburb leveller.
Manager’s Thoughts – Steph Campbell – Glasgow South
“I thought my boys played really well and handled the physical side, especially after going down to ten men.
“It was a great battling performance to get the three points in a really enjoyable competitive game which was a great advert for U15s youth football in Glasgow.
“Benburb played well and the game could have gone either way if both teams took their chances. These three points are massive if we want to finish in top four this season. We only came up from Division Two so this has been a great first season in the top division.
“I felt it was a good all-round team performance but thought Jack Beer and Logan Rankin had a big influence in getting the three points.”
1. Enzo Markovic
2. Daniel Hugh Connor
4. Jackson Smith
5. Calvin Watson
6. Symon Walczak
7. Kyran Bradley
8. Sam Junnor
10. Muhammad Drammeh
11. Kian Hatfield
12. Lucas Lever
13. Blake Watson
15. Luke Nisbet
16. Kaiden Donohue
19. Alexander Mavers
Glasgow South U15s:
1. Logan Rankin
2. Nathan Dunn
4. Freddy Markham
5. Ben Hewitt
6. Jack Beer
7. Lucas Muir
8. Drew Hart
9. Mark Gallagher
11. Stephen Campbell
12. Kalvin Stewart
13. Robbie Sim
14. Lewis Richardson
15. Josh Gardiner
/ 1 week ago
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