It was a warm one at New Western Park, home of Renfrew FC. With the sun shining onto the pitch, some great football was played in the U14 SYFA West Region Cup Final between Gleniffer Thistle and St Andrews BC. Both teams played some great attacking football with chances for both teams, but it was Gleniffer who were able to handle the heat and come out on top as 5-2 winners.
St Andrews were quick off the mark and pressed from the start, but Gleniffer had the first chance as Ben Mackenzie showed great pace to get away from his man and almost put Gleniffer ahead, but his shot went just wide of the post within five minutes.
Thistle would not be kept out for long though as a minute later Tyrone Zimuto showed great skill to beat his man and was able to pick out a beautiful cross to Charlie Crilly at the back post, who tapped it home from close range to open the scoring.
Gleniffer kept pilling on the pressure in the opening stages and on 11 minutes Stephan McKay made a darting run into the box. He was able to take the ball around the keeper, but he was brought down for a penalty. Fortunately for St Andrews, it was called offside, and it remained 1-0.
St Andrews kept pushing forward and almost equalised in the 15th minute after an outstanding cross from Tyler Boyland nearly found the back of the net, but it was cleared away from some outstanding defending by Joshua McCall.
Gleniffer continued to play some great flowing football and almost doubled their lead after a lovely, curled shot by James Reid smashed off the crossbar in the 23rd minute.
St Andrews kept on pressing looking for an equaliser and Boyland almost provided it three minutes later. He beat his man and cut inside on his right foot, but his shot went wide of the post.
Gleniffer wanted to put the game to bed in the first half and almost did when McKay showed excellent skill to get passed his man and whip a dangerous ball in. Unfortunately for his team, no one was there to tap it home.
That was all the first-half action with good chances for both teams and some great football. There was still, lots of action to come in the second half but at the break, it remained Gleniffer 1-0 St Andrews.
It was a rapid start to the second half as soon as the whistle blew. St Andrews created more chances, and Black saw his header saved by keeper Gerry Walsh.
Gleniffer made it 2-0 after McKay showed more outstanding skill and his shot deflected off the defender and into the back of the net.
St Andrews needed a quick goal and it almost fell to them after a brilliant corner that was whipped in. The ball was flicked into the box, but no one could get the finishing touch.
Not long after though, St Andrews again fired back after some great link-up play from Jayden Sexton, his cross into the box found Dean Black who was able to tap the ball home in the 41st minute and the comeback was on!
Gelniffer were not phased at all though as a minute later Reid was brought down in the box and a penalty was awarded. Crilly stepped up to take it and cooly slotted the ball home for his second of the match.
St Andrews kept searching for a route back into the game and nearly got it after a scramble in the box from a corner saw the ball smash off the crossbar in the 51st minute.
St Andrews kept fighting on and they got another goal five minutes later as Jamie Skilling got the ball crossed into him and
was able to tap it home to make it 3-2.
Thistle yet again were showing some brilliant passing football and it led to a quick response by them as McKay’s low-driven shot found the bottom left-hand corner to make it 4-2 to Thistle.
St Andrews almost got a speedy response of their own as Black was played in and his fierce shot forced a fabulous save of Thistle keeper Gerry Walsh on 60 minutes.
After an intense final couple of minutes with St Andrews threatening at the other end, Geniffer sealed the deal in style when Andrew McCall was able to dink the ball over the keeper to secure the victory for Thistle in the 68th minutes.
Not long after the referee blew for full time and Gleniffer were crowned champions. They showed great passing football throughout the match and scored some excellent goals. Don’t forget about St Andrews though as they kept fighting until the very end and their effort was second to none, they also showed flashes of brilliance, but it just wasn’t their day.
Gleniffer Thistle Player of the Match: Charlie Crilly
Crilly showed great pace and outstanding skill throughout the match, capping off his perforamance with two great goals.
St Andrews BC Player of the Match: Dean Black
Black’s quick response goal injected belief into his side which sparked life back into the team.
Gleniffer Thistle Magic Moment:
Managing to clear their line magnificently after the close goal-line scramble.
St Andrews BC Magic Moment:
Their quick recovery goal sparked them into life and allowed them to start to play some fluent football and create some very good chances.
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