Girls knocked out of the Cup

Queens U15 Girls Blues took on Kilmarnock U15 Girls at the North West Community Campus on Saturday in the Christie Murray League Cup semi-final.  Both teams have a 100% record in the league and had been due to play each other in the league, but that fixture was postponed to allow the cup game to go ahead.  A close game was expected and both teams delivered a terrific game of football in front of a large crowd.

Kilmarnock started strongly but Queens, playing a 4-5-1 formation, defended well and quickly came into the game, with the bulk of the early play being in the Kilmarnock half.  Kilmarnock's defence prevented any clear chances, and the Queens defence remained solid and well organised when Killie broke upfield, with sweeper-keeper Sophie Ingram quick to come out her area to clear any dangerous through balls.  Maisie Copland came close when she beat several players and raced in on goal but her shot from was parried away by the keeper.  Although there were no goals, the first half was an engrossing and entertaining spectacle.

At half time, Queens changed to a 4-4-2 formation to make use of Summer Wells' pace up front, and immediately Queens started to put the Killie defence under more pressure, with several good chances being created, but the Killie keeper made a number of good saves to keep Queens out.  Queens took the lead after 51 minutes when they were awarded a free kick just outside the area and substitute Eve Jackson, with her first touch of the ball, floated a superb free kick over the keeper and into the far corner of the net.  Queens had their tails up and nearly scored a second when Eve's long range effort hit the underside of the bar and bounced down on (or possibly behind) the line before being grabbed by the Killie keeper.  That near thing proved to be crucial as a goal at that stage would have allowed Queens to see the game out, but Killie fought desperately to get an equaliser and with only 3 minutes to go, they got their breakthrough with a long range shot.  The full time whistle blew with both teams desperate to grab a winner, but the game went to extra time. 

Seven minutes into the first period of extra time, Killie scored, but Queens stepped up their effort in an attempt to save the tie.  They pushed players forward but Killie's defence gave nothing away, and when Killie grabbed a third goal they were able to run the clock down.  Result:  Queens 1 Killie 3 AET. 

Although disappointed not to progress to the final, the coaches could not fault the girls' effort and attitude and they can be very proud of their team performance.  Lessons were learned that will be taken into the league fixtures between the teams, and it is clear that Queens U15 Blues are serious title contenders this season.

Report by Alastair Barron.