After two previous attempts to play the match were called off due to frozen pitches, Torphins Tornados U14s resorted to moving their last 32 Scottish YFA Challenge Cup match to Garioch’s all-weather pitch in Inverurie, where they faced Calderbraes Boys Club.
The match nearly never started, and it took a big effort from some of the parents to shift enough snow to clear the lines and make the game playable. The match did however kick off with the majority of the pitch still covered in snow, which made it difficult for both teams to get any sort of passing game started.
Calderbraes started the brighter and deservedly took the lead mid-way through the first half when a long range effort sneaked in above Owen Findlater, although the keeper was unlucky after getting a hand on to it.
The visiting team from Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, continued to push forward, and Torphins had a couple of lucky escapes, especially when one of the Calderbraes strikers fluffed a chance with the goal gaping from 4 yards out, as well as the referee missing a very good penalty claim.
Torphins kept trying to get their passing game going and eventually equalised late in the first half.
The ball was played down the wing to Kurt Grant, who got past the full back, only to be scythed down, Micauly Ewen took the resulting free kick and rifled a fantastic shot in to the top corner from 20 Yards out.
Calderbraes must have felt aggrieved to go in level at Half Time having had most of the chances in the first half, however, some good defending and goalkeeping had kept Torphins in it.
The second half kicked off, and after a rallying team talk at halftime from Manager George, Torphins started to play with much more belief and looked determined to continue their Scottish Cup dream, with Micauly Ewen and Tom Andrews dominating the midfield and the back four led by James Cooper sweeping up everything Calderbraes did with ease.
Torphins continued to press as they had at the end of the first half and started to look like the team to score the next goal, and this goal soon arrived when mid-way through the second half, after the ball had been passed around in centre midfield it was played through to striker Owen Griffiths, who used his pace to take the ball by the Calderbraes Centre half and put himself clean through on goal, a covering defender got a touch at the vital moment to stop Owen shooting and the chance looked lost, but his determination saw him rescue the attack and slot the ball home from 8 yards.
Torphins continued to attack with good passing and movement in all areas of the pitch and had a couple of good chances, and with 10 minutes to go a good cross from Michael Mitchell found Kurt Grant free in the box. After scuffing his shot he chased down the ball and was flattened by the Calderbraes goalkeeper, a penalty should of been given, but on this occasion the referee gave the goalkeeper the benefit of the doubt and waved play on.
The Tornados were not to be denied though and it was sub Liam Cameron who was next to be clean through on the Calderbraes goal when he was knocked over by the defender, and this time the referee did point to the spot. Joel George stepped up and smashed the ball high into the net to complete a great team performance and a very well deserved 3-1 victory.
The Torphins Tornados are now in the last 16 of the U14s Scottish YFA Challenge Cup, and have another home tie against Townhill FC from Fife on Sunday (December 9).