Glens lift the silverware
Glencairn u21s ..2 M Windsor u21s.1
Glencairn’s latest generation of under-21 players followed in the footsteps of their treblewinning predecessors.
They brought silverware back to New Southcroft Park as they secured the Lady Darling Cup with a 2-1 victory over Musselburgh Windsor under-21s at Somervell Park in Cambuslang.
The young Glens side will now try and make it a double as they go into the Golden Goals Cup Final this weekend.
A healthy crowd turned out to watch the young Rutherglen side take an early grip on the game, and Thomas Robertson was first to go close as he fired just over the bar in the second minute.
The early pressure continued as captain Ryan Bennett danced past several tackles into the penalty area before seeing his shot deflected into the side netting.
Bennett went close again in the 10th minute when he got the break of the ball after a dribble by Chris Dallas, but Musselburgh goalkeeper Daniel Laing saved down low to his left. Windsor hadn’t threatened the Glencairn defence at all in the opening stages, their closest effort being a volley by Steven Kean which flew well wide of the target.
Glencairn took a well deserved lead in the 18th minute. A long ball was misjudged by the Musselburgh defence, and Connor McGuiness was first to react to the chance as he stabbed the ball past Laing and into the empty net.
The goal seemed to take some of the sting out of the Glens side, though, and Windsor began to exert more of a threat in the match for the first time.
Musselburgh surprised most people in the ground when they equalised in the 32nd minute, against the run of play. A free kick into the box saw indecision between Glens’ goalkeeper Chris Truesdale and defender Euan Conroy, and Windsor striker Steven Kean made enough of a nusiance of himself to force the error and divert the ball into the net from a yard out.
Truesdale was forced into a save from a header by Chris Stevenson in the 34th minute as the young side from the east started to believe it could be their night. Truesdale also made a good save in the 37th minute after Kanvan Tufail’s low shot was almost deflected into the net from close range by defender Dempsey.
The young Glens started the second half in the same manner as the first as they went on the front foot from the start. Craig Dallas ended his dribble with a stabbed shot which was blocked in front of goal, and then seconds later Bennett’s header at the back post was just off target.
Glencairn made their first substitution in the 48th minute, winger Daniel Salah replacing defender Mark McHendry, with Craig Young dropping slightly deeper to provide the defensive cover. Shortly afterwards there was another change for the Glens, with Andrew Quial replacing Martin McCann. Kyle Burrows replaced Shaun Davidson for Musselburgh on the hour mark.
Truesdale made an excellent save in the 62nd minute as a lovely passing move ended with the ball falling at the feet of Wayne Simpson who seemed certain to score, but the Glens’ number one made a block with his foot to keep his side level.
Glencairn re-established their lead in the 75th minute. Positive play by McGuiness helped the ball across the edge of the penalty area to Ryan Bennett, who cut inside his marker before drilling a low shot under Laing from 18 yards. Bennett’s celebration saw him dive full length in front of the Glencairn dugout, with his team mates quickly piling on top.
In the 85th minute, Glens’ Anthony Dempsey was shown a second yellow card and then the red for a foul on the halfway line.
As the match moved into stoppage time, the referee awarded Musselburgh a free kick right in front of goal on the edge of the penalty area. Kean fired in a swerving effort which Truesdale did well to hold above his head on the goal line.
Victory Glencairn under-21s captain and man of the match Ryan Bennett lifts the Lady Darling Cup