Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club

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Rutherglen Glencairn u21s 1 Antonine BC u21s 1 (3-5 on penalties)

Sunday 22nd May 2016 - Under 21 Golden Goals Cup Final

(Report by Peter Ferguson)

Antonine BC u21s 2

Anton Phinn links with Jason McArthur as Glencairn launch a second half attack.

Glencairn Under 21s were left disappointed for the second week in a row as another chance of silverware slipped away with defeat in a penalty shoot-out to Antonine BC u21s in the final of the Golden Goals Cup. It leaves the team with one more chance of bringing a trophy back to Rutherglen this season, with the West of Scotland Cup Final to come in a couple of weeks' time.

Glencairn u21 squad

Glencairn u21s' cup final matchday squad.

The young Glens were the first to threaten, with captain Ryan Bennett springing the offside trap but firing over the crossbar under pressure from a covering defender. Anton Phinn pulled an excellent save out of Antonine goalkeeper Nathan Bogle with a shot and turn which the stopper blocked away at close range in the 7th minute.

Antonine were playing a very high defensive line, and Glencairn exposed that on several occasions early in the match. Jason McArthur was next to get clear, but Fraser Murray came over to make an important defensive block. Bennett pounced on a slack pass in the 15th minute to release McArthur into the penalty area again, but the striker tried to set up Bennett instead of shooting himself and cut the ball back behind his skipper.

There hadn't been much in the way of threat from Antonine in the opening quarter of the match, but Glens no.1 Chris Truesdale produced a terrific save in the 22nd minute to palm a goal-bound shot by Kieran O'Brien round the post at full stretch.

Some delightful dribbling by Anton Phinn in the 29th minute saw him leave three defenders in his shadow, but he scuffed his shot straight at Bogle. Another ball over the top saw McArthur beat the offside trap this time, but he didn't have the pace to get away from his marker and fired over the crossbar under pressure.

Antonine took the lead in the 38th minute with a really well executed goal. A diagonal pass in behind right back Peter Copland saw Scott Cameron win the race, before turning back past Copland again and firing past Truesdale at his near post.

Glencairn tried to respond immediately as Bennett forced a corner, and the cross was punched off the head of Njabulo Ndlovu by Bogle underneath his crossbar. Antonine had the final effort of the first half as David Murray drilled a shot from distance which flew a yard over the bar.

Half time : 0-1

Antonine BC u21s 1

Jason McArthur almost equalises for Glencairn at the start of the second half.

McArthur almost gave Glencairn the perfect start to the second half as he ran clean through on goal, but Bogle got a vital touch to the ball to deny the striker as he tried to dribble round the goalkeeper (pictured above). McArthur was denied again in the 51st minute by some determined defending, Antonine players throwing themselves in front of the ball in front of goal. Glencairn had Antonine penned in and Craig Young's shot was deflected over the bar.

Glencairn had to change the shape slightly to get back into the match, and Jordan Davidson was brought on up front to replace right back Copland, with Young pulled back into a more defensive role and Bennett now supporting the two strikers. More delightful footwork by Phinn created a chance to shoot in the 57th minute, but once again Fraser Murray made an important block to keep his side ahead.

Paul Ross Caughey replaced the tiring McArthur just after the hour mark. Antonine had a great chance to double their lead when Daniel Finnigan outpaced Anthony Dempsey on the right and cut back inside before skipping past Ross McConville as well, but Truesdale made another excellent block to keep The Glens in contention. A minute later a drilled free kick by O'Brien was palmed away at full stretch down low by Truesdale.

Those two save proved to be crucial as Glencairn equalised right on the mid point of the second half. A long ball over the top saw Njabulo Ndlovu spring the offside trap, and he took a superb first touch before firing past Bogle to make it 1-1.

Finningan almost re-established Antonine's lead two minutes later with a half-volley which whistled inches past the post. Glencairn freshened up the midfield with David Quinn replacing Connor McGuiness, and then Mark McHendry was a straight replacement at left back for the  injured Dempsey. Antonine made their first change with Gavin Miller replacing James Kerr.

As the match moved into its closing stages it was clear that one goal would win the cup, and O'Brien went close for Antonine but snatched at his shot and pulled it wide of the target. Finnigan headed into the side netting from a deep corner in the 88th minute. Glencairn's last chance came as Ndlovu got free from his marker and tried to pick out Caughey in the centre, but sliced his cross over the crossbar.

And so it was on to a penalty shoot-out to decide who lifted the silverware. Scott Cameron scored Antonine's first penalty, and Anton Phinn sent Bogle the wrong way to equalise at 1-1. It was agony for Glencairn when Truesdale got a hand to Daniel Finnigan's shot, but the ball trickled over the line into the corner of the net. That was a pivotal moment, as Bogle saved Jason McArthur's next kick to give Antonine the edge.

Andrew Campbell made it 3-1, only for Paul Ross Caughey to convert Glencairn's next effort. Fraser Murray scored to pile the pressure on David Quinn, but he also converted well, leaving Antoning just one strike away from winning. Kieran O'Brien stepped up to fire past Truesdale for a 5-3 shoot-out win, leaving the young Glens holding their heads in despair again.

Rutherglen Glencairn u21s ;- Truesdale, Roberts, Dempsey (McHendry), Ndlovu, McConville, Young, McArthur (Caughey), McGuiness (Quinn), Bennett, Phinn, Copland (Davidson). (Subs not used - Conroy, Chrystal, Dallas, Salah, McCorry, Sproull.)

Antonine BC u21s :- Bogle, David Murray, Smith, Fraser Murray, Manley, Crerand, Finnigan, Campbell, Kerr (Miller), Cameron, O'Brien. (Subs not used - Carslaw, Adamson, Forrester, Harkins.)

Man of the match - (chosen by Danny Taylor) (joint award) Chris Truesdale and Njabulo Ndlovu.

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