Fi­nal piece in jig­saw

U-21 Glens reach fi­nal of last cup to con­quer

Rutherglen Reformer - - Juniors - Peter Fer­gu­son

Glen­cairn U-21s........1 Tower H U-21s..........0

Ruther­glen Glen­cairn Un­der21s over­came league lead­ers Tower Hearts to move in to the fi­nal of the only com­pe­ti­tion they have not won since they were formed al­most seven years ago.

It was not a clas­sic, but when you are in a Scot­tish Cup semi fi­nal, it is just about get­ting to the fi­nal, and Glen­cairn edged a scrappy en­counter at New Tinto Park in Go­van in front of a healthy crowd.

Both teams took some time to feel each other out in the open­ing stages and, while Tower had the bulk of pos­ses­sion, they did not cre­ate any chances of note.

It was Glen­cairn who were first to re­ally go close in the eighth minute as David Quinn burst for­ward from left-back and set up An­ton Phinn for a shot on the stretch which he stabbed a yard wide of goal.

There was a brief mo­ment of con­tro­versy in the 14th minute when Tower striker Scott Cameron rose above goal­keeper Chris Trues­dale to head the ball goal­ward.

There were claims that the ball had crossed the line be­fore it was hooked out but the ref­eree whis­tled for a foul.

Glen­cairn con­tin­ued to cre­ate the chances and Craig Young in­ter­cepted a de­fen­sive pass be­fore drilling in a shot which was fly­ing in to the top cor­ner be­fore Tower goal­keeper Daniel McLean reached to send the ball round the post.

Tower were start­ing to come into the match and forced Trues­dale into

an ex­cel­lent save as he reached down low to his left to save Cameron’s shot which had taken a slight de­flec­tion off Josh McCorry.

A minute later David Sea­grave skipped away from Glens de­fender Alex Grier but McCorry got over to make an ex­cel­lent block.

Both teams seemed to be play­ing ner­vously and there was very lit­tle of the free-flow­ing foot­ball that has been as­so­ci­ated with both sides for the past cou­ple of years.

How­ever, the oc­ca­sion prob­a­bly dic­tated the edgi­ness, and it seemed even at this stage that one goal would win it.

Tower thought they had that goal in the open­ing minute of the sec­ond half when Sea­grave lobbed Trues­dale but the ball re­bounded from the bar and bounced in front of the line for the grate­ful goal­keeper to grab.

An ex­cel­lent last- ditch tackle by Grier took the ball off Sean Hughes as he was about to shoot mo­ments later.

The best chance of the match ar­rived in the 73rd minute as Jor­dan David­son’s head flick re­leased Phinn through the mid­dle with only McLean to beat. But the Tower keeper dived full length to his left to beat away his firm shot.

The dead­lock was fi­nally bro­ken with 11 min­utes left on the clock when Glen­cairn at­tacked down the left and the ball was fed into the cen­tre where it broke in front of David­son.

Tower threw bod­ies in front of the firm shot, but the ball broke be­hind the prone de­fend­ers and David­son was the first to re­act and he squeezed a shot past McLean and into the cor­ner of the net.

The goal was cel­e­brated like a cup win­ner as the en­tire squad formed a pile- up in front of the Glen­cairn dugout.

Tower al­most equalised im­me­di­ately as Trues­dale came to punch a long ball, only to be beaten in the air by Sea­grave, but the ball looped over the cross­bar.

The ref­eree added six and half min­utes of stop­page time, but the young Glens held firm for their clean sheet, su­perbly mar­shalled by their cap­tain Euan Con­roy.

The SYFA Un­der-21 Scot­tish Cup fi­nal be­tween Glen­cairn and Bar­rhead YFC takes place on Sun­day, May 7, at the Ex­cel­sior Sta­dium in Air­drie.

Heads up Njab­ulo Ndlovu wins an aerial challenge with Greg McEwan

Start­ing line up (Back row) Alex Grier, Josh McCorry, Jor­dan David­son, Chris Trues­dale, David Quinn, Njab­ulo Ndlovu, Euan Con­roy; (front row) Craig Young, Con­nor McGui­ness, An­ton Phinn, Eoghan McKe­own

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