Senior National Trophy – Group Stage.
Ochilview , home of Stenhousemuir FC, was the venue for a ‘ winner takes all’ group stage game on Wednesday 14th November between Forth Valley Schools FA and Lanarkshire Schools FA in the SSFA’s Senior national Trophy competition.
It was the home team, Forth Valley who, on a wet and windy afternoon, produced a decisive performance to win the game 4 – 0 and secure qualification to the knock out stages of this prestigious competition.
An unfortunate, ‘ last man challenge’ ordering off early in the second half saw the visitors challenge fade but Forth Valley had certainly been the team dominating possession and making the chances.
Down 1 – 0 at the time Lanarkshire always had a chance to draw level but when referee Paul Taylor had no option but to send off centre half Aiden McDonald the visitors were left with too much to do.
The home team started brightly and centre half William Greenhorn went close with a header.
The standard of play was very good with both teams playing attractive football.
It was the same player, Greenhorn, who netted the first goal of the game after 35 minutes when a deep cross was headed back across goal and Greenhorn was on hand to head home.
Against ten men Forth Valley had much of the ball but it was not apparent that Lanarkshire were a man down.
A second goal for the home team was vital and it came eventually from Jack Hodge. His well placed free kick from wide left evaded all the players and ended up in the far corner to give Forth Valley the vital two goal cushion.
Substitute Steven Buchanan scored quickly after coming on when he strolled on to Ryan Fleming’s clever chipped cross.
Fellow sub Gavin Campbell went close with a curling effort before Fleming added a fourth goal when a great mid field run saw him through on goal to slot home.
Both teams were able to use all their subs in a match played in good, sporting fashion and refereed by an excellent team of match officials.
Forth Valley’s win secures a runners up group spot to the Independent Schools FA which means they will have an away tie in the quarter final.
The draw for the knock out stage will be made on Friday 16th November .