Alloa Athletic u20 vs Livingston u20

Knox stars in dominant Livingston win

Alloa Athletic: Chris Smith, Greg Forrest, Steven Smith, Dylan Monaghan, Jack Crumlish, Kieren Allison, Callum Hutchison, Aiden McNeill, Scott Hynd, John Cunningham, Mark Greene

Substitutes: Caleb Harari, Paul Carrick, Declan McDonald, Scott Sinclair, Sam Fisher, Niall Burns, Jamie Brown

Goalscorers: Cunningham, Hynd (Pen)
Livingston: Conor Quinn, Ryan Currie, Cameron White, Craig Reid, Morgyn Neill, Liam Watt, Darren Smith, Jack Ogilvie, Kyle Sampson, Jordan Sinclair, Matthew Knox

Substitutes: Jason Gregory, Dale Carrick, Ryan Day

Goals: Currie, Ogilvie, Knox (2)

Livingston, playing tonight in purple, got the game underway on a dreary autumnal evening at the Indodrill Stadium.

Having featured for Livingston first team at the weekend from the bench, Dale Carrick was named as a substitute. It wasn’t long though before we’d see Carrick on the pitch. After a series of robust challenges on Kyle Sampson, he was carried off by Livingston medical staff replaced by the under-20s top scorer Carrick and immediately the twenty-two year old could have scored. Matthew Knox hit the byline, his cross met by a Carrick diving header which went a whisker wide of the post.

Livingston were having more of the ball and looking more threatening early on. So then to some surprise it was Alloa who would provide opening goal. A cross from the left by Matthew Greene, after some good work to beat his man, found John Cunningham free in the box who drilled the ball under Conor Quinn.

The boys in purple soon replied. Carrick beat his man on the right hand side and found Knox in the box for an almost identical goal to the one scored at the other end five minutes prior.

Both teams continued to try and get forward making for an entertain game for the fifty of so spectators. Alloa defender Kierin Allison was stretchered off injured in an innocuous looking challenge. Allison replaced by Caleb Harari as Alloa had to reschuffle their back four.

Half Time: Alloa Athletic 1-1 Livingston FC

Livingston continued to press and their second goal never seemed far away. They would though have to wait until the second half to take the lead. Knox beat the offside trap after a long ball over the top by Ryan Currie and drilled past the Chris Smith. It was a baptism of fire for the fifteen year old debutant goalkeeper for Alloa as he was soon picking the ball out of the net for a third time. This time Currie was reward for his hard work as he was the focal point of a wonderful executed and seamless counter attacking move. He drove the ball past Smith into the bottom corner of the net.

The game was beginning to look like this could be a rout for Livingston, though Alloa weren’t without their chances. Had it not been for Quinn’s excellent save Cunningham might have gotten Alloa back into the game.

Livingston were soon out of sight. Another ball over the top by the Livingston midfield found Jack Ogilvie who cut the ball back smashing the ball low into the bottom corner.

Alloa netted a consolation goal from the spot after Greene was brought down following a powerful run into the box. Scott Hynd made no mistake sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. It would be too little too late though as Livingston recorded a thorough deserved their win.

Full Time: Alloa Athletic 2-4 Livingston FC



Dunfermline u20 vs Aberdeen u20

Dunfermline claim narrow win to climb the table

Dunfermline: Cammy Gill, Reece Duncan, Connor Duthie, Stuart Morrison, Callum Fordyce, Johnny Galloway, Robbie Crawford, Evan Horne, Callum Smith, Scott Lochhead, Brandon Luke.
Un-used subs: Paul Allan, Gregor Jordan, Owen Andrew, Liam Newton, Josh Dunn

Aberdeen: David Craddock, Sam Robertson (Christian Antoniazzi), Toby Wells, Dylan Thomas, Sam Roscoe, Kesi Omolokun, Bruce Anderson, Craig Storie, David Dangana, Frank Ross (Terry Taylor), Aaron Norris (Lewis Hutchison)
Un-used subs: Joe MacPherson, Dean Campbell, Archie Mair.

A first half Scott Lochhead goal for Dunfermline was enough to seal a win in a game of precious few chances between two youthful sides.

For much of the first half the game was fought in the middle of the park. Dunfermline broke the deadlock with their first meaningful attack. Johnny Galloway was played in down the right hand side, the forward reaching the byline and cutting the ball back to an unmarked Lochhead who was left with a tap-in.

The goal failed to really galvanise Aberdeen and it was The Pars who would go close before half time. Connor Duthie, today in his new role at left back, reminded us of his attacking prowess as his directness and speed earned a corner. Fordyce headed the resulting corner goalward but it was cleared off the line by Dylan Thomas.

Half Time: Dunfermline FC 1-0 Aberdeen FC

The second half continued in a similar vein to the first.

Aberdeen began to find some Rhythm but were mostly limited to shots from range. Bruce Anderson came closest with a shot from outside of the box. It was closer than Cameron Gill made it look but summed up Aberdeen’s day.

The best chance of the half again fell to Dunfermline and it was again Duthie who was the architect. He linked up well with Crawford on the right side and found the head of Smith who could only hit the side netting.

Dunfermline weathered a late Aberdeen storm to take the win. There were stand out performance from Fordyce, Duthie and Crawford.

The win lifts Dunfermline above Aberdeen into 6th.

Full Time: Dunfermline FC 1-0 Aberdeen FC


St. Johnstone u20 v Hibernian u20

The Late Late Ollie Shaw Show puts young Hibees top



1 Virtanen
4 Porteous
5 Stirling
3 Crane
2 Donaldson
6 Martin
7 I.Murray
11 Mackie
8 Breen
9 Allan
10 Shaw

St. Johnstone:
1 MacKenzie
2 Corrie
3 Jardine
4 Watson
5 Thomson
6 Gordon
7 Lumsden
8 McCann
9 McLaren
10 Johnson
11 Simpson

A chilly night welcomed the two young sides out at Excelsior for this Development League tie between 11th placed St Johsnstone and 3rd in the table Hibernian. Both St Johnstone, a home game for them despite being played at the home of Airdrie FC, and Hibs fielded youthful starting line ups.

It was a tentative start from both sides with Hibs probably edging the early exchanges. Hibs’ Donaldson was getting a good amount of joy down the right flank and beat Jardine before hitting his shot straight at MacKenzie.

But it was St. Johnstone who took the lead against the run of play on 11 minutes when a long ball forward from Jardine eluded the Hibs backline and McLaren slotted home from 12 yards out. 1-0 St. Johnstone.

St. Johnstone nearly added a second on 15 minutes when Watson picked up the ball from a Hibs headed clearance and tried his luck from 20 yards out. His shot rattled the post and it was further evidence that St. Johnstone were going to be anything but a pushover as their league position might have suggested.

Hibs responded well and Donaldson continued to cause Jardine some problems down the right. Two excellent crosses in quick succession found failed to find a green shirt in the box, despite being in the right areas.

On 23 minutes Hibs found themselves deservedly lever after a driving run forward and cutely cut back ball from Innes Murray allowed Breen to slot home with a left footed volley. 1-1.

The game began to settle down from then on with both defences tightening things up after a fairly shaky start. Hibs did nearly take a one goal lead into the hutch at halftime though when on 45 minutes Allan’s long shot was well held by MacKenzie.

St Johnstone 1-1 Hibernian

The second half produced far fewer chances than the first as both sides struggled to take a hold of the game. However it was Hibs who edged the possession and had a number of half-chances to take the lead. They went close on 55 minutes when Murray’s free-kick slipped past the wrong side of the post. On 69 minutes Hibs went close again when Shaw was quick to turn and shoot from 12 yards out, but his effort didn’t find the target.

There was little action until the 81st minute when St Johnstone’s Watson took a knock in a midfield tussle and was unable to continue. Having made all their subs, they had to survive the final 10 minutes with just ten men. On the 88th minute their tenacious defences were breached. Hibs made the most of the extra space and built up possession well before Donaldsons cross this time found Shaw at the back post. As is so often the case with the u19 Scottish international, he didn’t miss the opportunity the slot it home. 2-1 Hibernian.

St Johnstone 1-2 Hibernian

Greenock Morton u20 vs Airdrieonians u20

Morton look sharp as they saunter past a youthful Diamonds

Greenock Morton:
1 McNeil
2 Pepper
3 Strapp
4 Tennent
5 Anderson
6 Mitchell
7 McAleer
8 Langan
9 Purdue
11 McWaters
12 Armour

1 Kerr
2 Higgins
3 Ross
4 Cairns
5 Bell
6 Cowie
7 Louden
8 Leighton
9 Reilly
10 McLaughlin

Hugged by a railway line on one side and the River Clyde on the other, Parklea Playing Fields played host to Greenock Morton u20s v Airdrie u20s. The young Tons would run out comfortable winners here, but a very youthful Diamonds side would be able to take some positives back to Excelsior, despite conceding three.

In-form Morton went into the game 2nd in the league with an opportunity to leapfrog Queen of South who sat top before kick off. The young Diamonds haven’t quite found their rhythm since turning pro for the first time this season, however there were bright sparks in Louden and McLaughlin as they pushed for a consolation late on.

Greenock had the better of the early exchanges and enjoyed a good spell of early long distance strikes from Strapp and Armour. No clear-cut chances were created until the 12th minute when Airdries Louden delivered an excellent cross and found Reilly unmarked in the area, but his header was tipped over the bar. Airdrie enjoyed a decent spell and a string of corners before momentum swung back in favour of the hosts. McAleer, Langan and Mitchell had shots well saved by Kerr between the Airdrie sticks.

The deadlock was broken in the 40th minute when neat footwork from Greenock’s Armour drew the foul in the box. McWaters sent Kerr the wrong way and converted the spot kick. 1-0 Greenock.

Greenock Morton 1-0 Airdrie

Greenock looked the hungrier in the opening few minutes of the 2nd half. Halftime sub Hynes had his cross-come-shot tipped round the post before McAleer made it 2-0 on 47 minutes. McAleer’s weaving run was capped off with a rocket into the top corner. 2-0 Greenock.

Soon after, Louden created a similar chance for himself at the opposite end, but his shot was dragged wide. Airdrie were to be no pushover here, Louden and McLaughlin were the key players as they worked tirelessly to get their side back in the game. But it was mainly McAleer for Greenock who was getting a lot of joy down the right flank and he had a handful of shots well saved throughout the half before he was subbed off on 70 mins for Docherty.

It wasn’t until the 85th minute when Greenock could comfortably take their foot off the gas. Purdue’s through ball met a well-timed run from substitute Miller who calmly slotted past the onrushing Kerr. 3-0 Greenock.

Greenock had one final chance to make it 4-0 as Miller was given the opportunity to grab a brace from the bench on 88 minutes, but his header drifted wide of the upright.

Greenock Morton 3-0 Airdrie

Hearts u20 vs St. Mirren u20

McLear helps young Buddies snatch all 3 points

1. Kelly Mason
2. Yves Vladislav
3. Aaron Reid
4. Leon Jones
5. Kyle Smith
6. Harry Paton
7. Callum Morrison
8. Andy Irving
9. Rory Currie
10. Russell McLean
11. Trialist

St Mirren:
1. Reece Willison
2. Cameron Macpherson
3. Jordon Stewart
4. Lee Fawkes
5. Dylan McKendry
6. Andrew MacDonald
7. Calum Gallagher
8. Lews McLear
9. Kalvin Orsi
10. Conor O’Keefe
11. Nathan Flanagan

A drenched Ochilview, home of Stenhousemuir FC, welcomed the two sides in this Development League clash between 14th placed Hearts and 10th placed St Mirren. The conditions would make the game a difficult one for both teams, however the level of entertainment was certainly enhanced by the skiddy surface and swirling wind.

St Mirren brought a tad more experience to this fixture, whilst Hearts fielded a fairly young side, plus a Trialist. Chances were aplenty throughout the first half and St Mirren’s Nathan Flanagan was the bright spark from the 1st to the 90th minute. On 8 minutes though we saw the first real chance of the game when O’Keefe’s deflected the cross from the right wing found Lewis McClear at the near post, but his half volley dipped over the crossbar.

Flanagan continued to cause problems from open play early on, but on 12mins it was a Flanagan set piece that found McClear at the back post. He headed back across the goal and found the back of the net only to be adjudged offside. The score remained 0-0.

It wasn’t until the 16th minute when the young Hearts side carved out their first chance. Harry Paton pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the box, but his half volley was well saved by Willison between the sticks.

Soon after, Hearts had a penalty appeal turned away as Russell McClean hit the deck on the penalty spot. Chances were coming think and fast at either end now as both sides grappled with getting on top of the conditions. The 22nd minute saw another Hearts penalty appeal turned away. A firm shoulder to shoulder battle between McKendry and McLean again resulted with the young striker on the sodden plastic turf. Again, nothing from the referee.

A healthy congregation in the Norway Stand, made up of mainly Hearts supporters, continued to witness chance after chance at either end, a goal seemed destined to come. On the 32nd minute St Mirren’s Stewart found a channel of space down the left flank and delivered a well placed cross to Flanagan at the near post. He couldn’t quite steer his left footed flick inside the near post and found the upright. Orsi was the quickest to react, but his shot sailed past the wrong side of the post. It remained 0-0.

On 38 minutes we saw the first booking of the game when St Mirren’s McDonald appeared to trip Rory Currie who was on a clear pathway to goal. A straight red might have seemed harsh, but it was certainly borderline. Morrison’s resulting right footed bending free-kick sailed just past the upright.

Given the abundance of chances thus far, its was surprising that the opening goal didn’t come until the 40th minute. It was arguably against the run of play when the Hearts trialist, who 5 minutes earlier had switched from left midfield to right, found himself clear through on goal after a well timed through ball from Rory Currie. Trialist was clear of a napping Saints back line and calmly slotted the ball past Willison with a powerful finish at the near post. The Wee Jambos were 1-0 up at halftime.

Hearts 1-0 St Mirren

The 2nd half started with yet another penalty appeal at the same end of Ochilview, only this time it was for St Mirren. But as he did in the first half, the referee waved away appeals from Flanagan and co.

It was far less frantic throughout most of the 2nd half as chances were few and far between compared to the 1st as St Mirren began to get a handle of the game. St Mirren’s McClear appeared to be playing in a slightly more advanced role this half and this definitely began to have an impact from the hour mark onwards. On 57 minutes, substitute McBreirty popped up 6 yards out from a Flanaghan corner. He did everything right and headed low and hard, but he found young Jambo keeper Kelby Mason in the way, he made himself big and blocked excellently from point blank range.

McLear and Flanagan continued to be the prominent creators for St Mirren and on 65 minutes it was their involvement again that got St Mirren level. In the same way the Hearts trialist position change resulted in the opening goal, the same was to be true for McClear whose 2nd half role up front got the Saints level . A sensible through ball fro Orsi gave McLear the opportunity to cooly slot home, and that he did, 1-1.

Less than 2 minutes later St Mirren found themselves ahead. Gallaghers right footed in-swinging corner met the left foot of McClear who arrived late in the 6 yard box, unmarked. McClear’s close range volley rattled the top corner on its way in. No chance for goalkeeper Mason. 2-1 St Mirren.

St Mirren settled into the 2nd half very comfortably after their two goals and we saw very little in the way of clear chances for the remainder of the game. Stalwart defending from Fawkes and McKendry at the heart of the Saints defence ensured their deserved lead was protected. A good all round team performance from St Mirren in difficult conditions. Flashes of brilliance from Flanagan throughout caught the eye, but this was McLear’s night. A performance well beyond his years.

Hearts 1-2 St Mirren