Ochilview, Stenhousemuir, on Thursday 26th October saw the meeting of Forth Valley SFA and Lanarkshire SFA in a group section game for the SSFA National Cup at senior level.
The result was a Forth Valley win but as in the U15 game played the day earlier between the two associations it was a game that could have gone either way.
Despite being warned that their 1-0 halftime lead was precarious, the Forth Valley team found themselves under real pressure when Lanarkshire equalised after 55 minutes. The home team had deservedly taken the lead when midfielder Jamie Maxwell (Larbert HS) made a lovely turn in the box and dispatched a well-placed shot past keeper Chris Smith (St.Ambrose HS). Sloppy play at the start of the second period and a much more active approach saw Lanarkshire take command and after their equaliser from Jack Stewart they looked the more likelier to score again.
Forth Valley keeper Jack Wills (McLaren HS) made an important blocking save to keep the game level and this proved vital as Forth Valley were in fact the team to score next. A deep corner from Laurie Devine (Graeme HS) was headed back across goal by Sean Fagan (St.Mungo’s HS) and Aidan McKeown (St.Modan’s HS) hammered home from 6 yards out.
Only minutes later Laurie Devine scored a goal with a spectacular finish. He made space for himself 16 yards out in the centre of the box and smashed an unsaveable shot past Smith high into the top corner.
Both teams made multiple substitutions in the second period and second half home subs, Gavin Campbell (McLaren HS) and Connor Preston (Stirling HS) both scored before Jamie Maxwell notched his second and Forth Valley’s sixth goal towards the end, as Forth Valley ran out 6-1 winners.
Lanarkshire have already beaten West Lothian in the first match played in the section – a thrilling 5-4 victory but it was the home team who were on top in this match.
Forth Valley will play Ayrshire on Thursday 9th November at Dam Park, Ayr, with a 3.00pm kick off. The West Lothian game will likely be on Thursday 23rd November and will be a home fixture for Forth Valley SFA.
Forth Valley – Jack Wills (McLaren HS), George Stanger (Dunblane HS), Sean Fagan (St.Mungo’s HS), Aidan McKeown (St.Modan’s HS), Leighton Wardrope (Wallace HS), Jamie Maxwell (Larbert HS), Aidan Kemp (Wallace HS), Jack Hodge (Graeme HS), Laurie Devine (Graeme HS), Callum
Murray (Dunblane HS), Paul Gillespie (Stirling HS).
Used subs – Andy Johnston (Graeme HS), Robbie Davis (Alva Ac.), Connor Preston (Stirling HS), Gavin Campbell (McLaren HS), Mitchell Reid (Bannockburn HS). Unused sub Chris O’May (Stirling HS).