Final blow for Boys

Leslie makes a save
Leslie makes a save

Banchory Boys just missed out on winning the Under 17’s Scottish Cup in a tight affair at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie.

Banchory can be proud of their performance with the whole squad doing their best to win the cup and had the backing of cheering supporters who’d travelled down.

The game, being on a synthetic surface was played a fast pace and in the early stages the better chances fell to Bellfield but the efforts did not trouble Leslie in goal.

The game started to settle down with Banchory starting to make an impact on the game and a shot from Henderson just went past the post.

Rowett and Reid at the back had to be alert on a couple of occasions when play did enter their half but dealt with it effectively.

Rowett then released Smith on the right and his cross was headed just over the bar.

Banchory then created their first real opportunity when from a Rennie corner on the right was flicked on only for Davies header to be cleared off the line.

Bellfield then had a great chance at the other end when the striker was played through but again his shot was well over the bar.

As the first half drew to a close Banchory should have opened the scoring when Buchan broke clear of down the right.

His cross was met by Henderson that eluded the keeper. The ball then fell to Smith but the midfielder directed his shot just over the bar.

The second half saw the Banchory team step up the pace and Christie and Nicoll where starting to get a strangle hold in the middle of the park.

A great pass by Christie found Buchan and his resultant cross was cleared for a corner.

The corner was then floated in and went just past the post.

Bellfield then hit the Deesiders on the counter attack and a sweeping move should have resulted in a goal only for the player to lob Leslie and hit the bar.

Time was now wearing down and with fifteen minutes to go Banchory opened the scoring.

Another piercing ball down the right found Buchan, he jinked past a couple of defenders and crossed the ball into the centre. The keeper looked to have it but fumbled under his cross bar whereupon SMITH pounced and headed the ball over the line.

Bellfield upped their game and a great tackle from Reid prevented the striker from firing off a shot. Next Sadler intercepted a pass and turned it around and played in Henderson. His shot hit the post but there were no takers for the follow up.

With under ten minutes to go Bellfield equalised.

A long ball up field was controlled by the striker with his chest and arm, he then squared the ball and the goal was awarded.

This hurt the Banchory team but they dug in and saw the game out for extra time.

The game was opening up with tired legs evident as players pulled up with cramp.

A slack pass in midfield saw Bellfield break upfield at pace. The covering defender then slipped which allowed the striker to cross to the far past where the ball was headed home from close range.

Banchory needed to dig deep and at the break made another couple of changes. McPherson then had a shot that the keeper saved. With ten minutes remaining a controversial decision was made by the referee. Henderson had found himself clear through inside the box. As he was away to shoot he was pushed to the ground and a penalty was duly awarded. However the referee produced a yellow card when he was clearly last man - much to the dismay of the travelling support and management.

This was confounded more when the penalty hit the bar and was cleared.

Banchory kept pushing for the equalising goal but it was not to be.

As the final whistle went the Ayrshire team celebrated however the Banchory boys can hold their heads up high having given everything they could to try and win the cup and be the first Aberdeenshire team to play in any of the Scottish Cup finals.

Darren Reid from Banchory was named man of the match where he collected a trophy and pair of boots from sponsor Joma.

The management and players meanwhile thanked all associated with the club and sponsors for the fantastic support they have received over the past eight months which has seen then make it all the way to the final.

There is still plenty to play for, with the boys in another final and this coming Saturday,they take on Peterhead in another semi-final.

Squad: Leslie, Sadler, Rennie, Reid, Rowett, Christie, Smith, Nicoll, Buchan, Henderson, Davies, McRae, McPherson, Iason, Tubby and Findlay.