Youth football: Tynecastle blast into final

TYNECASTLE 14s defeated SERYFA rivals Spartans Reds 3-0 to advance to the Scottish Youth Challenge Cup final after a composed display by the boys in maroon at Dalkeith Thistle’s ground.

The Edinburgh outfit will now face Aberdeen-based Albion Boys Club in May’s final at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie.

Tynecastle looked the more assured early on and carved out the first opportunity when Matthew Brady was clear through on goal, but the No.11 could only strike his shot into the arms of Spartans’ goalkeeper Ewan Page.

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Tynecastle’s Liam Willis, nicknamed “Fellaini” in reference to his extravagant hairstyle that resembles that of Everton player Marouane, then rattled the underside of the Spartans crossbar from 12 yards before the ball was eventually cleared to safety.

Spartans’ Blake Rutherford then caught out a hesitant Bruce McCrorie deep within his own territory, but there were no takers on the end of the little striker’s cross as Tynecastle survived a rare Spartans attack.

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Spartans eventually succumbed to Tynecastle’s pressure with the opening goal after 25 minutes. With the ball bobbling about in the Spartans penalty area, striker Cameron Dawson was the fortunate recipient as he adjusted his body before cracking a fierce left-footed drive into the far right corner.

Ten minutes into the second half, Tynecastle doubled their advantage.

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A handball conceded by Ogulcan Yildirim gave Tynecastle a free kick 30 yards from goal and Dawson rose to meet Murray Rose’s perfect delivery to head past Page from ten yards. Yildirim then tried his luck from 25 yards with a rasping effort which forced Fraser Briton into a great left-handed save, as the youngster managed to tip the ball around the post.

Dawson was close to securing his hat-trick when he was inches away from connecting with Callum Crawford’s low drive across the six-yard box before a third strike dispelled any hopes of a Spartans comeback.

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Dawson was again involved as he laid off a neat pass into the path of Robbie McPherson, whose angled shot came cannoning off the underside of the crossbar. Crawford was on hand to turn the ball in from close range, securing his side’s passage into the final.

Tynecastle coach Alan Smart said his players are already relishing this year’s national final but reinforces the fact that there are some important fixtures to contend with in the meantime.

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Smart added: “It was a very hard-fought victory, but we are delighted to be through to the final and are looking forward to it already.

“I thought it was a bit scrappy out there. We played in spells in the first half, but we’re through so that’s the main thing. The Scottish Cup is the big one, but we’ve got a few important games before then.”

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Spartans Reds: Ewan Page, Daniel Healey, Steven McGovern, Keiran Pirie, Blake Rutherford, Michael Allan, Eric McIntosh, Ross Thomson, Calum O’Neil, Ogulcan Yildirim, Oran Hodey, Jack Dughan, Jack Hunter.

Tynecastle FC: Fraser Briton, Brok Robertson, Bruce McCrorie, Ben Voy, Murray Rose, Callum Crawford, Liam Willis, Cameron Dawson, Murray Hand, Matthew Brady, Robbie McPherson, Tod Rowell, Lewis Docker, Jay Kilboy, Cameron Liddell.