Villa Park enjoyed their Central Lanarkshire YFA 2008 B Division Cup Final victory over close league rivals Blantyre Soccer Academy Gold. But it wasn’t as convincing as their last meeting in the league because this went all the way to sudden death penalties.
It was a match that had everything and the great support at Beltane Park were taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions until the very last kick of the ball.
Early on in this encounter Villa Park where on top slightly but it was Blantyre who had the first real opportunity with Reece Aitken feeding Reece Ayvin who was through on Villa Park goal, but Zak Stewart saved well with his legs.
Player of the match Tyler Weir was causing all sorts of trouble for Blantyre, but it was his opponent who struck first. Jay McDonald picked the ball up in the midfield and he struck a powerful low-driven shot which Stewart did well to get a hand on, but Aitken was there to calmly slot home and open the scoring.
Blantyre gained confidence from this and looked the most likely to score again but could not find a second before the break and it remained 1-0 at half-time.
The second half started similarly to the end of the first with Blantyre enjoying possession, Wallace Russell was starting to find space in the midfield and picking out passes to Ayvin whose driving runs were a constant threat down the right.
Aaron Marley then started to come into his own and pushed Villa Park forward. He passed to Weir, but the resultant shot was well held by Keir Martin in the Blantyre goal.
Weir then picked the ball up on the right wing and provided a cross for, David Brown who was alone in the box, but the finish just evaded him.
Villa Park pushed for an equaliser, and they didn’t have long to wait.
It came 31 minutes into the second half, and it could only have been one man. A Marley corner was played dangerously into the box and Weir was waiting just on the six-yard line to header the well-deserved leveller home.
The remaining minutes of the match were fairly even with the final chance falling to Blantyre. Ayvin made another superb run down the right, and he beat the keeper with his cross, but Aitken could only see his attempt come back off the post.
After this close encounter the match could only have been decided by one thing a penalty shootout and to add to the tension it went to sudden death. No one wants to lose the game this way, but it was a great save by Stewart who secured the victory and the cup for Villa Park.
Blantyre Player of the Match: Reece Ayvin
Ayvin’s direct running was extremely dangerous. He was involved in everything good Blantyre done going forward.
Villa Park Player of the Match: Tyler Weir
Weir was superb causing Blantyre loads of problems all morning. He scored the equaliser and tucked away his pen brilliantly.
Blantyre Soccer Academy Gold 2008s
1. Keir Martin
2. Kieran Inglis
3. Christopher Wood
4. Jay McDonald
5. Noah Coonie
6. Wallace Russell
7. Reece Ayvin
9. Reece Aitken
10. Teejay Chalmers
11. Aaron Buchanan
12. Kieron Bell
14. Aaron Smith
15. John McCrory
16. Ethan Gillespie
17. Jamie McPherson
18. Paul Currie
Villa Park 2008s
1. Zak Stewart
2. Taylor Richie
3. Stephen Cunningham
4. Max Tyrrell
5. Callum Robertson
6. Aaron Marley
7. Callum Reid
8. Michael Nichols
9. Tyler Weir
10. Lewis Connolly
11. David Brown
15. Anthony McShane
16. Niall Grew
17. Ovi Oviomoh
19. Fergus Stark
21. Kia Watson
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