Sunday 24th May 2015 - Golden Goals Cup Final
(Report by Peter Ferguson)
Andy Quial in first half midfield action.
Glencairn Under 21s missed out on a double cup triumph as they were well beaten in the Golden Goals Cup Final by West of Scotland Under 21 Premier League champions Goldenhill. The young Glens were looking to add to bring another trophy back to Rutherglen after claiming the Lady Darling Cup a week ago, but Goldenhill showed just why they are so far out in front of the league table as they looked sharper and physically stronger throughout the match.
There were three changes to the starting line-up from the previous cup final, with Anthony Dempsey and Dale Wallace unavailable and replaced by Danny Salah and Andy Quial respectively. Kyle Chrystal came in to the left side of the defence, with Martin McCann dropping to the bench.
After a cagey start, The Glens were first to go close as Tam Robertson's volley from 18 yards was heading for the postage stamp corner of the net, till the Goldenhill goalkeeper stretched full length to palm the ball away. Goldenhill responded a couple of minutes later with a curling free kick which flew a couple of yards wide of the far post.
Goldenhill's no.9 was showing pace and strength, and he out-stripped Chrystal on the right before working his way into the penalty area in the 14th minute, Chrystal recovering well to get in a block tackle as the striker pulled the trigger.
The pressure was building on the Glencairn rearguard, however, and Goldenhill took the lead in the 19th minute, a corner from the right picking out the free head of Goldenhill's no.6 at the back post, and his header just about crossed the line before goalkeeper Chris Truesdale knocked it back out.
Truesdale came to the rescue in the 24th minute when he parried away a shot by Goldenill's no.4 after he had beaten Euan Conroy for pace.
Glencairn had a sustained period of pressure around the half hour mark without seriously looking like breaking down the strong Goldenhill defence. The Glens were awarded a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area in the 38th minute, and Craig Dallas drilled a shot half a yard over the crossbar (pictured below).
Craig Dallas drills his free kick over the bar from 19 yards out.
There was disaster in the 40th minute for Glencairn goalkeeper Truesdale as he scuffed his goal kick straight to Goldenhill's no.9, who took an excellent first touch before racing in and firing under Truesdale to make it 2-0.
Half time : 0-2
Goldenhill started the second half on the front foot and no.9 took a fresh air swipe in front of goal only 23 seconds after the restart after possession had been conceded cheaply on the edge of the penalty area.
Influential defender Conroy took a sore blow to the ankle in a late challenge by no.9, and needed a long spell of treatment before limping off and then returning, clearly still feeling the effects.
The game was effectively over as a contest in the 54th minute when Goldenhill's no.9 showed strength and pace again to get in behind the defence, and he drilled his shot into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
Conroy was immediately withdrawn and replaced by Martin McCann, with Craig Young dropping back into the central defence.
The pattern of the game continued, however, with Glencairn unable to make any impact on the Goldenhill back line, and Truesdale worked hard, saving twice in as many minutes from close range headers.
Goldenhill were comfortable as the match moved to a close, and should have increased their lead in stoppage time when no.8 fired wildly over the bar from 16 yards right in front of goal.
Rutherglen Glencairn u21s :- Truesdale, Salah, McHendry, Conroy (McCann), Chrystal, Dallas, Young, McGuiness, Quial, Robertson, Bennett. (Subs not used - McBride, Mallon, McCorry, Lamont.)
Man of the match - (chosen by Ann Marie McArthur) Danny Salah.