Young Glens’ cup joy
Glencairn under 21s lift SYFA Scottish Cup
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.
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