After reaching the last eight of the competition last season, West Lothian’s James Young High School ran out 5-1 winners in this season’s under-14 Scottish Schools Shield second-round tie away to Capital side Royal High School.
The visitors were the more energetic side throughout, with their hosts only managing to exert any real authority towards the end of the second period. However, the match remained in the balance at 2-1 until the final stages due to some poor finishing from James Young’s strikers.
The first 15 minutes lacked any real openings with both sides appearing to find the artificial surface something of a hazard. Gradually, however, James Young began to show their supremacy and some neat wing play from Craig Wright created the first opportunity.
The striker, not prepared to give up on the chase of a loose ball, somehow found his way edging in on goal from the right before unleashing a powerful drive which Royal High goalkeeper Reece Docherty did well to parry away to safety.
The visitors then grew in confidence and the industrious Wright attempted an audacious chip from the tightest of angles which had Docherty well beaten and was destined for the far corner only for Matthew McKenzie to intervene and clear the ball off the line.
Royal High created their first goal scoring opportunity after 25 minutes. A neat interchange between Cameron Paton and Aiden Quinn presented Cameron Chapman with a clear sight on goal but the striker chose to delay his shot and defender Stewart Mellon managed to block.
James Young’s more attacking approach, however, was rewarded shortly before the break. Whether or not the ball ending up in the net was goalscorer Andrew Patterson’s intention, only he will know. The teenager’s charge down the right looked relatively harmless with his opponent not giving him an inch, but the full back managed to swing the ball over and it flew over a crowded penalty area and into the top corner.
Royal High suffered a further blow early in the second half hwen James Young doubled their lead. A searching ball over the top wasn’t dealt with by Royal’s central pairing and Kieran McColgan nipped in ahead of Docherty to head the ball into an empty net.
Royal High responded in appropriate fashion and reduced the deficit soon after with an astute finish. With James Young’s Luke Williams off his line, Kieran Pirie took full advantage and dispatched an accurate finish from 20 yards.
But the additional pressure of a slender lead appeared to inspire the students of James Young who went on a goal crusade in the closing ten minutes. Firstly, after being put through on goal by McColgan, Wright showed great composure in tucking the ball past Docherty to effectively seal the victory. However, both Wright and Patterson proved that one goal apiece was not enough and added to their respective goal accounts with two further strikes.
Royal High coach Stuart Brown said “We pressed them a bit harder towards the end of the second half and maybe pushed too many forward but we had to go for it.”
Royal High: Reece Docherty, Calum Hattersley, Finlay Hart, Calum Brown, Cameron Paton, Matthew McKenzie, Mario Falsone, Aiden Quinn, Connor Millar, Cameron Wanstall, Cameron Chapman, Kieran Pirie, Ronan Harrison, Sean Harrison, Scott Bottomley, Leo MacNeill.
James Young: Luke Williams, Kyle Scott, Andrew Patterson, Stewart Mellon, Callum Scott, Dominic Foulkes, Sean Strachan, Rhys Lochhead, Aaron Anderson, Craig Wright, Calum Dunn, Kieran McColgan, Kieran Armstrong, Hugh Hardie.