Youths: Currie Star fight back to claim cup win

Currie Star 16s
Currie Star 16s
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Ten-man Currie Star came from a goal down to win 2-1 against Spartans under-16s in the group stage of the Division 2 League Cup.

After a first half in which Star had the better of the chances, visitors Spartans took a second-half lead only for Currie to find their feet in front of goal and fire themselves to the top of their section.

Currie had to play the last 15 minutes of the cup tie with only ten men, but it was in this late period that they rallied to find a winner.

The hosts had started brighter than their league rivals and, but for an excellent intervention by Spartans goalkeeper Keith Hogg, they appeared close to taking the lead on ten minutes.

Cameron Ross did well to outsmart his marker with an exquisite Cruyff turn on the byeline, before whipping in a low cross to the front post which a confident Hogg smothered, with Star striker Mark McGovern ready to pounce.

McGovern should have done much better two minutes later when played one-on-one with Hogg, but he rushed his strike and blazed well clear of the bar.

His opposite number, Osayamen Idemudia, was also doing his best to cause trouble for the Star defence. The striker was impressive on the ball as he strode down the left wing, but with little support, a chance for Spartans to get the opener petered out.

Lewis Connor was just inches away from putting Star in front ahead of the interval when the midfielder curled a strike towards the top-right corner, but the effort had just a little too much power behind it as it clipped the bar and over.

Into the second half and Currie were eager to get on the front foot once more, with Ross close to opening the scoring, only for Hogg to tip it wide with an excellent stop.

Just minutes after reappearing from a slight knock, Idemudia fired Spartans into the lead. The striker had taken a hit on his ankle midway through the first half and it wasn’t until 15 minutes after the interval that he returned. However, the knock did not appear to have caused too much damage. After latching on to a long ball upfield, he took it round Star goalkeeper Callum Thomson before sliding the ball goalwards and, despite a Currie defender trying his best to keep it out, the ball rolled into the net.

Currie midfielder Calum McDonald had shown glimpses of his quality with some neat touches and he stamped his authority on this tie with a pile-driver of a strike from the edge of the box with 20 minutes remaining to bring his side level. The ball had broken out from a corner and, with McDonald vocal in his intentions that he wanted it for himself, he rifled it through a packed penalty box and into the net with Hogg unsighted.

McDonald was then close to firing his side in front with another powerful strike from around 25 yards that Hogg did well to stretch and flick it over.

Currie’s Donnie Campbell was shown two yellow cards within the space of two minutes after two reckless tackles but, despite their disadvantage, Star were relentless in pursuit of the win.

And, with ten minutes remaining, Ross was left with the simplest of finishes to secure the win for Star after Spartans had thrown away possession deep inside their own half.

Currie Star: Callum Thomson, Donnie Campbell, Jackson Barker, Lewis Connor, Jack Blaney, Marc McCall, Ross Howarth, Mark McGovern, Jack Harkness, PhIlip Blaney, Connor Holleran, Sam Millar, Cameron Ross, Calum McDonald, Thomas Wedgwood, Murray Drew.

Spartans: Keith Hogg, Blair Dodds, Danny Wilson, Daniel Mullins, Jason Scott, Stephane Murray, Osayamen Idemudia, Callum Wales, Chris Williamson, Nile Falconer, Lewis Shortel, Gabriel Hill.