|x||2||Blair Bateman (u20)|
|x||3||Ryan Milne (u20)|
|x||4||Danny McAlistair (u20)|
|82||x||5||Ciaran Struthers (u20)|
|x||6||Michael McGaraghan (u20)|
|x||7||Dylan O’Hagan (u20)|
|76||x||10||Conor McAteer (u20)|
|79||x||11||Cammy McKay (u20)|
|76||12||Josh Devine (u20)|
|82||14||Robbie Sneddon (u20)|
|79||15||Adam Beirne (u20)|
SFA Scottish Youth Cup 3rd Round
1st November 2015 KO 2pm
Princess Royal Park stadium, Banff
The young Colts travelled North to Banff to meet Highland League side Deveronvale in the third round of the SFA Scottish Youth Cup. The youngsters in there debut season in the tournament looked forward to the tie after defeating Edinburgh City and Stirling Albion in the previous rounds. Deveronvale themselves came into the game in a confident mood having beaten Huntly 4-1 in the previous round. Princess Royal Park itself was in fine setting for the match and with the weather bright and sunny, the scene was set for an attractive cup tie.
The youngsters buoyed by the first teams recent Scottish Cup win over Auchinleck Talbot were determined to keep the clubs splendid cup runs going and started the game full of enthusiasm and running. The looked strong at the back, industrious in the middle and sharp up front. Deveronvale themselves also looked like a well organised and balanced side and the early exchanges were even as both sides probed, sizing up their opponents. The youngsters gradually took the upperhand in the game and began to open up the Deveronvale defence and create openings which found the home keeper in good form.
After 25 mins the break through finally came. Good work released Cammy McKay who controlled the ball on the left wing, turned and delivered a fine cross into the box which found his strike partner McAtear. The little striker controlled the ball with his left before firing home with his right from 8 yards. A great finish that was wildly celebrated.
This gave the youngsters a real impetus in the game and they proceeded to put the home side under some pressure. A corner from the left found Bateman at the near post and the tall defenders neat flick seemed net bound until the Deveronvale full back somehow managed to scoop it off the goal line and away to safety. Midfielder Fergus then ran onto a though ball and although he outpaced the home defence, the advancing goalkeeper made a fantastic save and got the faintest of touches to push the ball away for a corner. Moments later, Fergus was again unlucky as his back post header was touched over for a corner.
Deveronvale to their credit kept battling and worked their way back into the cup tie and tightened the game up to see the half finish with no further scoring.
Half time 0 -1
The young Colts came out in the second half knowing Deveronvale would put them under some pressure in an attempt to claw their way back into the game. But by the same token, they knew a second goal would pile the pressure on the home side. The second half started with both teams having possession in the midfield area and rarely troubling either defence. In 52mins, the Colts were awarded a free kick just inside the Deveronvale half. Sheridan subsequently play a lovely driven ball to the back post and once more Fergus escaped his marker to head the ball back across the goal leaving Danny McAllistair with the simplest of tasks to head the youngsters into a two goal lead.
Deveronvale centered the ball and immediately pushed forward. However as inevitably happens, they left spaces at the back and the Colts capatilised. Some slick passing caught the home side square and Sheridan burst through their defence and onto the ball. As he drove in on goal the Deveronvale defender pulled him down as he approached the cusp of the penalty area. The referee pointed to the spot much to the disgust of the home side who vigorously disputed that it was outside the box. However worse was to follow for the home side as the referee produced the red card for the offending full back.
Captain Ryan Milne stepped up and put the visitors three up.
Despite this, Deveronvale immediately hit back. Moments after taking the resulting centre, they worked their way deep into the Colts half and the midfielder ran onto a nice pass in the Colts box. Keeper Giles raced from his goal and dived at his feet, knocking the ball away and the Deveronvale player to ground. Despite the referee being only yards away from the incident and apparently thinking nothing untoward, the linesman called him over and subsequently a penalty was awarded. The referee then called Giles over and the Colts coaching staff nervously waited to see the colour of the following card which was fortunately yellow. The home side centre forward ultimately tucked the spot kick home and give the home side a lifeline.
This incident unsettled the Colts youngsters and they lost both their composure and control of the game. Deveronvale became more direct in their play and although the 10 men enjoyed a period of possession, they rarely troubled the Colts defence. The youngsters gradually played their way back into control and make the extra man count. As the home side tired, Struthers, Fergus, McKay and McAteer failed to capatilise on good chances as the visitors pushed forward. With time running out, substitute Beirne done well to control the ball, turn and slide a neat pass between the full back and centre half to find O'Hagan powering forward. The midfielder took the ball in his stride and from 15 yards drilled it across the goalkeeper and into the net. No more than the youngsters deserved at this stage of the game.
Full Time 1 - 1
Great result for both the team and the club as the youngsters progress into the last 16 and are rewarded by direct entry into the 3rd of next years competition. The lads are now the Lowland Leagues sole survivors in the competition as it reaches the final stages. The long trip home gave them plenty of time to speculate and debate the merits or otherwise of a potential trip to Ibrox or Celtic Park.