Culter take Castle title after end-to-end thriller

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Deveronvale 16s met Culter Boys on Sunday afternoon in the first ever Castle Trophies Cup final.

Deveronvale are 16s SoccerWorld League A champions while Culter look likely to finish runners-up. The home team won on both occasions the sides met in the league this season so it looked like a cracker was in store at the neutral venue of Ian Mair Park, Dyce.

Both teams had chances in a fairly even start to the game. Deveronvale’s Aaron Garden would have been through on goal after four minutes but for a great challenge from Stuart Charleton. Duncan Craig then saw his shot from 25 yards fly over the bar for Culter.

The ever-lively Aidan Combe jinked past a couple of Vale defenders in the box after 17 minutes, but keeper Gavin Still saved the low shot.

Culter were now turning up the pressure and Combe drew another save from Still a minute later with a close-range header.

The deadlock was broken in the 20th minute as Culter’s Stuart McNicholas rattled a shot in off the underside of the bar from inside the box. Four minutes later, Culter went close to doubling their advantage when a Declan Milne cross found Zack Griffiths at the back post who headed just wide.

In the 28th minute, Michael Holland was inches away from getting the 
vital touch at the back post to put Culter two up. Vale went straight up to the other end, though, and Paul Sutherland’s shot from wide on the right had to be tipped around the post by the keeper.

Sutherland had an almost identical chance on the half hour mark, but this time David Dey managed to hold on to the shot. There was controversy in the 36th minute when Deveronvale had a penalty claim. The linesman’s flag seemed to go up and then go down again, and the Vale bench’s protests fell on deaf ears.

The final chance of the half fell to Deveronvale’s Rory Davidson, but his shot from the edge of the box went just over the bar.

Sutherland was put through one-on-one at the start of the second half, but didn’t catch his shot properly, resulting in an easy save for Dey. Two minutes later, a Combe effort from close range flashed wide.

Dey produced a decent stop from a Garden free kick on the 53rd minute before Jody Munro’s shot went just the wrong side of the post.

Deveronvale’s Nikki Milne looked to be clean through on goal, but Greg Smith came out of nowhere to shepherd him wide.

The leveller eventually came in the 62nd minute. A ball into the box broke to Kieran Cowie a few yards out and he rifled it home high into the net. Just one minute later, Gavin Still had to tip a shot onto the bar to stop Vale going behind again straight away.

The league champions were clearly lifted by the goal, though, and they snatched the lead on the 66th minute. A terrific run down the right by Rory Davidson culminated in a cut-back across goal. The Culter defender missed the ball, leaving Sutherland time to take a touch before coolly slotting past Dey to put his side in front.

Cowie headed just wide with 10 minutes remaining as Vale looked to kill Culter off, but they were not having any of it. The final 10 minutes were a frantic end-to-end affair but, with three minutes left, Culter grabbed an equaliser afterAidan Combe got the goal at the back post with a superb looping header across the goalkeeper.

It looked as though extra time was looming, but Culter weren’t finished. With 79 minutes on the clock, Declan Milne, who had had to go off earlier with a head knock but had returned in the second half, sneaked in behind the Vale defence. The striker managed to poke the ball past the on-rushing keeper and just inside the post, sparking wild celebrations.

There were a few minutes of stoppage time but Culter managed to hold on and become the first ever winners of the Castle Trophies Cup in spectacular fashion.