Nicolsonunder-14s go loco

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The Nicolson U14 boys team came through a third round Scottish Cup thriller against Inverurie last Tuesday morning.

Captain Fantastic Calum Maclennan kept his composure when all around were losing theirs and slotted the ball into the corner for the winning penalty, ending up at the bottom of a huge pile up as a thankyou!

It was a particularly sweet triumph for the Island lads given that Inverurie had knocked them out of the North of Scotland Cup this time last year. Indeed, it was a jubilant bunch who headed up the A96 and not even an extra long ferry journey could dampen the boys’ spirits.

After staying in Huntly at the very hospitable Highlanders Bunkhouse on Monday night, the boys were very quiet on the way to the game.

They were nervous, knowing that only their very best would be good enough to beat Inverurie, the team with the giant striker and the curly haired midfielder, who the boys had dubbed “David Luiz”. I was hoping he was playing in defence!

It was a perfect morning for the game as the Nicolson kicked off at the impressive 3G Astro pitch. The boys started well in the game, passing it about and showing good confidence, but it wasn’t long before the Aberdeenshire lads took the lead.

It was a poor goal from the Nicolson’s point of view as the defence conspired to gift possession to an Inverurie striker who played his teammate Taylor Masson through on the inside left channel.

The striker did well to slide the ball under Murdo Morrison in the Nicolson goal. Inverurie 1 v 0 Nicolson (6 mins). It was a very disappointing goal to lose but the boys didn’t let their heads go down and equalised within 5 minutes.

A long free kick by Sam Mackay evaded the home defence and ended up at the feet of Cammy Nicolson, 10 yards out on the left hand side. Cammy showed good composure to fire home left footed and not even the covering defender on the line could stop it going in.

It was just what the lads needed, a confidence shot in the arm, whilst letting Inverurie know they were in for a tough match. 1 v 1 (11 mins).

Things were to get better for the Nicolson boys when, following a great move involving Mikey Jones and Cammy, Euan Anderson was sent through in the inside right channel. Euan rifled the ball across the keeper into the far corner from 20 yards and the crowd went wild, well his dad Iain (a nervous wreck) did anyway! Great goal! Inverurie 1 v 2 Nicolson (20 mins).

Minutes later Mikey Jones had a great chance to make it 3 but his close range shot, following a fantastic pass by Stevie Mutch, was blocked by the keeper’s legs. As the half wore on the game raged from end to end. Chance after chance came and went as the ref was doing a good job of keeping the game flowing. With half an hour gone Inverurie equalised when Andy “David Luiz” Simmond rose highest at a corner to head beyond Murdo and high in to the goals.

It was poor marking by the Nicolson boys who were seemingly star struck by the playmaker’s buffon! 2 v 2 (30 mins) Soon after the half time whistle blew and the lads jogged in for the team talk.

Coach Macaulay’s message was to keep playing as we were and to try their very hardest, even if they had to come off shattered, as we had really good subs to come on and help the team. Dad Iain was so engrossed he forgot to give the boys the special sweets he’d bought for a half time boost.

Into the second half and the game settled down somewhat with both teams having their moments without really threatening.

The Nicolson made some subs to freshen things up, with Ross Maciver coming on for Kyle Cunningham and Scott Macleod replacing Cammy. The centre back pairing of Sean Macmillan and Josh Smith were coping well with the Inverurie forwards as the game progressed.

With 10 minutes left Ruairidh Maclennan replaced Euan on the right wing as Coach Macaulay rolled the dice. Ruairidh was immediately rampaging down the right, creating havoc with his power and pace.

One such run caused panic in the Inverurie defence, leading to a poor pass out from defence which Stevie Mutch latched onto. Stevie played it through to hot shot striker Matthew Wright in the inside right channel, who took one touch before hammering the ball into the far corner. Ya beauty. Inverurie 2 v 3 Nicolson (64).

Dad Anderson and Coach Macaulay high fived before looking at their watches, “How long left?” A quick text to Coach Stoodie back at the Nicolson and focus back on the game. Come on lads.

Minutes later Ruairidh got the ball on the right and started to charge again, but wait, his boot had come off. Ruairidh picked up his boot before passing it down the line.

The ref blew for a foul, “you’re not allowed to play without boots on”. Oh no, who knew?

The ball was crossed in, Josh defended desperately but following a scramble, the big centre forward Adam Harper flicked it beyond Murdo and in to the net. Inverurie 3 v 3 Nicolson (67 mins).

There was still time for another heart in mouth moment as Murdo let one through his legs before diving on the ball just short of the line. Phew, this was too much. Full time.

Extra time began with Inverurie pushing forward. Josh got booked for tripping the Reds centre forward as he threatened to break away. Up stepped David Luiz to float a cracker of a free kick over the wall and into the top corner, giving Murdo no chance. Inverurie 4 v 3 Nicolson. (74 mins)

The next five minutes were tough for the Nicolson as Inverurie spurned a couple of great chances to seal the win. This Nicolson team is made of stern stuff though and a cracking move down the left ended with Matthew laying the ball back to Stevie, who curled a cracker of a left footer into the corner of the net. 4 v 4.

In the second half of extra time both teams began to look a bit tired, and there was no more major scares before the final whistle was blown. What a match.

Penalties. Inverurie went first and scored their first three penalties which were matched by Matthew, Euan (with Pogba run up) and Josh. Inverurie then missed their fourth penalty (post) before Ross scored and celebrated with the Drogba move ( looked like the birdy song to me).

All this meant that if Inverurie missed, then the Nicolson were through. If they scored, then Captain Maclennan would have a pen to win it for the Leosachs.

The Inverurie centre back stepped up and put it right in the top corner, hitting the goal rigging and coming flying back out. Half the Nicolson team though he’d missed and went charging forward to celebrate.

They were mid pile up before realising the error of their ways, he’d scored.

Poor Calum still had to take his penalty! All credit to the skipper though, as he placed the ball down before firing the ball beautifully into the corner and starting the celebrations for real. Well done lads.

Next round is a home tie but we don’t yet know the opposition.

Squad: Murdo Morrison, Kyle Cunningham, Josh Smith, Sean Macmillan, Calum Maclennan, Sam Mackay, Cammy Nicolson, Stevie Mutch, Euan Anderson, Matthew Wright, Mikey Jones, Ross Maciver, Joseph Stewart, Ruairidh Maclennan, Scott Macleod

Nicolson under 14-boys go Loco in Inverurie thriller

The Nicolson U14 boys team came through a third round Scottish Cup thriller against Inverurie last Tuesday morning.

Captain Fantastic Calum Maclennan kept his composure when all around were losing theirs and slotted the ball into the corner for the winning penalty, ending up at the bottom of a huge pile up as a thankyou!

It was a particularly sweet triumph for the Island lads given that Inverurie had knocked them out of the North of Scotland Cup this time last year. Indeed, it was a jubilant bunch who headed up the A96 and not even an extra long ferry journey could dampen the boys’ spirits.

After staying in Huntly at the very hospitable Highlanders Bunkhouse on Monday night, the boys were very quiet on the way to the game.

They were nervous, knowing that only their very best would be good enough to beat Inverurie, the team with the giant striker and the curly haired midfielder, who the boys had dubbed “David Luiz”. I was hoping he was playing in defence!

It was a perfect morning for the game as the Nicolson kicked off at the impressive 3G Astro pitch. The boys started well in the game, passing it about and showing good confidence, but it wasn’t long before the Aberdeenshire lads took the lead.

It was a poor goal from the Nicolson’s point of view as the defence conspired to gift possession to an Inverurie striker who played his teammate Taylor Masson through on the inside left channel.

The striker did well to slide the ball under Murdo Morrison in the Nicolson goal. Inverurie 1 v 0 Nicolson (6 mins). It was a very disappointing goal to lose but the boys didn’t let their heads go down and equalised within 5 minutes.

A long free kick by Sam Mackay evaded the home defence and ended up at the feet of Cammy Nicolson, 10 yards out on the left hand side. Cammy showed good composure to fire home left footed and not even the covering defender on the line could stop it going in.

It was just what the lads needed, a confidence shot in the arm, whilst letting Inverurie know they were in for a tough match. 1 v 1 (11 mins).

Things were to get better for the Nicolson boys when, following a great move involving Mikey Jones and Cammy, Euan Anderson was sent through in the inside right channel. Euan rifled the ball across the keeper into the far corner from 20 yards and the crowd went wild, well his dad Iain (a nervous wreck) did anyway! Great goal! Inverurie 1 v 2 Nicolson (20 mins).

Minutes later Mikey Jones had a great chance to make it 3 but his close range shot, following a fantastic pass by Stevie Mutch, was blocked by the keeper’s legs. As the half wore on the game raged from end to end. Chance after chance came and went as the ref was doing a good job of keeping the game flowing. With half an hour gone Inverurie equalised when Andy “David Luiz” Simmond rose highest at a corner to head beyond Murdo and high in to the goals.

It was poor marking by the Nicolson boys who were seemingly star struck by the playmaker’s buffon! 2 v 2 (30 mins) Soon after the half time whistle blew and the lads jogged in for the team talk.

Coach Macaulay’s message was to keep playing as we were and to try their very hardest, even if they had to come off shattered, as we had really good subs to come on and help the team. Dad Iain was so engrossed he forgot to give the boys the special sweets he’d bought for a half time boost.

Into the second half and the game settled down somewhat with both teams having their moments without really threatening.

The Nicolson made some subs to freshen things up, with Ross Maciver coming on for Kyle Cunningham and Scott Macleod replacing Cammy. The centre back pairing of Sean Macmillan and Josh Smith were coping well with the Inverurie forwards as the game progressed.

With 10 minutes left Ruairidh Maclennan replaced Euan on the right wing as Coach Macaulay rolled the dice. Ruairidh was immediately rampaging down the right, creating havoc with his power and pace.

One such run caused panic in the Inverurie defence, leading to a poor pass out from defence which Stevie Mutch latched onto. Stevie played it through to hot shot striker Matthew Wright in the inside right channel, who took one touch before hammering the ball into the far corner. Ya beauty. Inverurie 2 v 3 Nicolson (64).

Dad Anderson and Coach Macaulay high fived before looking at their watches, “How long left?” A quick text to Coach Stoodie back at the Nicolson and focus back on the game. Come on lads.

Minutes later Ruairidh got the ball on the right and started to charge again, but wait, his boot had come off. Ruairidh picked up his boot before passing it down the line.

The ref blew for a foul, “you’re not allowed to play without boots on”. Oh no, who knew?

The ball was crossed in, Josh defended desperately but following a scramble, the big centre forward Adam Harper flicked it beyond Murdo and in to the net. Inverurie 3 v 3 Nicolson (67 mins).

There was still time for another heart in mouth moment as Murdo let one through his legs before diving on the ball just short of the line. Phew, this was too much. Full time.

Extra time began with Inverurie pushing forward. Josh got booked for tripping the Reds centre forward as he threatened to break away. Up stepped David Luiz to float a cracker of a free kick over the wall and into the top corner, giving Murdo no chance. Inverurie 4 v 3 Nicolson. (74 mins)

The next five minutes were tough for the Nicolson as Inverurie spurned a couple of great chances to seal the win. This Nicolson team is made of stern stuff though and a cracking move down the left ended with Matthew laying the ball back to Stevie, who curled a cracker of a left footer into the corner of the net. 4 v 4.

In the second half of extra time both teams began to look a bit tired, and there was no more major scares before the final whistle was blown. What a match.

Penalties. Inverurie went first and scored their first three penalties which were matched by Matthew, Euan (with Pogba run up) and Josh. Inverurie then missed their fourth penalty (post) before Ross scored and celebrated with the Drogba move ( looked like the birdy song to me).

All this meant that if Inverurie missed, then the Nicolson were through. If they scored, then Captain Maclennan would have a pen to win it for the Leosachs.

The Inverurie centre back stepped up and put it right in the top corner, hitting the goal rigging and coming flying back out. Half the Nicolson team though he’d missed and went charging forward to celebrate.

They were mid pile up before realising the error of their ways, he’d scored.

Poor Calum still had to take his penalty! All credit to the skipper though, as he placed the ball down before firing the ball beautifully into the corner and starting the celebrations for real. Well done lads.

Next round is a home tie but we don’t yet know the opposition.