Young Glens’ cup joy

Glen­cairn un­der 21s lift SYFA Scot­tish Cup

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Mur­ray Spooner

Ruther­glen Glen­cairn un­der 21s fi­nally got their hands on the SYFA Scot­tish Cup for the first time in their his­tory.

The young Glens, who have only been in ex­is­tence for seven years, needed just two first-half goals from mid­fielder An­ton Phinn to seal a 2-1 win over Bar­rhead YFC on Sun­day.

Cap­tain Euan Con­roy, who is from Ruther­glen, lifted the tro­phy which has been the only piece of sil­ver­ware the team have failed to pick up since they were set up in 2010.

Sun­day’s cel­e­bra­tions went on through­out well in to the night be­fore The Re­former caught up with man­age­ment team Alex McArthur and Andy McFadyen, who made their way back to Ruther­glen to fin­ish off the party.

“It feels ab­so­lutely won­der­ful,” Alex, who has helped guide­the club to an in­cred­i­ble un­beaten run of 21 games, said. “This is some­thing Andy and my­self have worked to­ward for a long time. With­out the back­room staff, we wouldn’t have done this.

“But we can only do so much, it’s up to those boys on the park who can do the busi­ness for you and they cer­tainly did that.”

The highly rated Phinn was in­stru­men­tal in the first half. His clever touch and fin­ish put his side into the lead after 27 min­utes be­fore run­ning in off the wing to score the sec­ond four min­utes later.

Bar­rhead pulled one back be­fore the break but it was The Glens who con­trolled the sec­ond 45 min­utes to hold off an op­po­si­tion come­back.

Alex said: “We started very well. We scored two quick goals and had the chance to make it 3-0 shortly after but we missed and we failed to clear a cor­ner and let them back into it.

“We then dom­i­nated the sec­ond half but, hav­ing said that, in the last 10 min­utes they had a cou­ple of half chances, par­tic­u­larly one in the 94th minute and the boy bal­looned it over the bar which made us hold our breath.

“The whole squad were phe­nom­e­nal on Sun­day, it was a hot and dry day and they gave their all. We asked them to leave every­thing on the park and they did and came away with a won­der­ful and mag­nif­i­cent tro­phy.”

The co-boss hailed the en­tire team for their ef­forts but gave a spe­cial men­tion to a few star per­form­ers.

He said: “An­ton is the type of boy who can give you noth­ing for 85 min­utes and can pro­duce a won­der mo­ment for you. On Sun­day he did it the other way around. The boy is a phe­nom­e­nal tal­ent and a great as­set to our team.

“Craig Dal­las was fan­tas­tic. His run­ning, his pace and his di­rect­ness to­wards the op­po­si­tion re­ally hurt them. Big Jabs [Njab­ulo Ndlovu] was bril­liant and Alex Grier and Euan Con­roy were ex­cel­lent at the back.”

The Glens still have plenty play for as they still have the league cam­paign to fin­ish while also fo­cussing on the West of Scot­land semi-fi­nal and the fi­nal of the Golden Goals Cup.

Peter Fer­gu­son at Ex­cel­sior Sta­dium It has taken Glen­cairn un­der­21s seven sea­sons but they fi­nally com­pleted their sil­ver­ware col­lec­tion as they de­feated Bar­rhead in the SYFA un­der-21 Scot­tish Cup fi­nal.

It was a sun-drenched oc­ca­sion at the Ex­cel­sior Sta­dium in Air­drie in front of a healthy crowd.

And it was a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion for co­man­agers Andy McFadyen and Alex McArthur to make as they se­lected 16 play­ers from a large squad for the fi­nal.

In the end they stuck very close to the team who had de­feated Tower Hearts in the pre­vi­ous round, mak­ing only one change with the tricky skills of Craig Dal­las pre­ferred to Eoghan McKe­own.

And Dal­las did not waste any time in mak­ing an im­pact as his run and shot forced the keeper into save after only 38 sec­onds.

The match had not re­ally sparked into life as the mid point of the first half ap­proached but out of nowhere, The Glens took the lead. In the 27th minute Glen­cairn were awarded a free kick in their own half. Grier pinged a pre­cise free kick over the top of the de­fence where Phinn killed the ball be­fore drilling a shot past McMaster into the far cor­ner of the net.

The Glens were very much on the front foot now, and four min­utes later the lead was dou­bled. Dal­las played the ball for­ward and it was not cut out by the de­fence, al­low­ing Phinn to race through and beat McMaster.

A nice pass­ing move by Bar­rhead in the 33rd minute ended with Steven­son fir­ing over the cross­bar from 20 yards.

Two min­utes later the come­back was on for real as Bar­rhead pulled a goal back when O’Neil fired a de­flected shot through a crowded box into the net.

Bar­rhead should have been level in the 38th minute when Hag­gerty headed the ball wide of goal from close range.

There was con­tro­versy in the 50th minute as Phinn (right) was taken down by McMaster as he drib­bled round him, but the as­sis­tant ref called for off­side.

The frus­tra­tion was clearly grow­ing in the Bar­rhead dugout, and their man­ager was sent to the stand for an out­burst at the fourth official. Glens striker Jor­dan David­son pulled his shot across goal and then Phinn’s chip also went wide. Bar­rhead had a huge chance to equalise in the 72nd minute as the ball came across the face of goal and bounced off McCorry into the path of Eas­ton. But he could not con­trol the ball. Bar­rhead pushed every­thing to­wards an equaliser and nearly got it in the 94th minute as a long throw ended in the ball break­ing to sub La­mont who drilled his shot inches over the cross­bar. Sec­onds later, though, the ref­eree blew for full-time, spark­ing scenes of un­re­strained joy in the young Glens camp.

Pic: Peter Fer­gu­son

Sweet sil­ver Cap­tain Euan Con­roy is help aloft with the tro­phy

Men at the helm (left-right) Coaches Ge­orge McKen­drick, Alex McArthur, Andy McFadyen, Jamie McGall and Chris Divers

Sup­port­The Glens and Bar­rhead brought a healthy sup­port to Air­drieo­ni­ans’ Ex­cel­sior Sta­dium Party time Glens coach­ing staff and play­ers cel­e­brate as the ref­eree blows for full-time

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