LAST Thursday saw a return of community football cup finals to Pittodrie as part of a plan by Aberdeen Football Club to have more community engagement, and Inverurie Academy 14s faced Harlaw Academy in the AFC Trophy in the first of a series that will see the Dons stadium become a field of dreams for many young players. Other amateur and juvenile cup finals will be hosted there over the coming weeks.
Inverurie won 3-0 after goals from Ali Naysmith and Finlay Watson in front of small band of supporters who witnessed two cracking goals and no shortage of individual skill and some excellent passing football in an exciting match.
All of the Garioch sides starting line up play A league football in the ADJFA with Colony Park, Dyce and Albion and in the early stages Harlaw were chasing shadows as they flooded towards the Merkland Road goal with good passing movement and some fine running off the ball. After a couple of shots off target and one goalmouth incident Inverurie took the lead in the 12th minute. An attack which appeared to have broken down saw a the ball only reach as far as Ali NAYSMITH and from outside the box he crashed a high looping shot into the top right hand corner giving the Harlaw keeper no chance.
Harlaw were on the back foot and Inverurie sought to capitalise pushing forward and pinning the city side in their own half. Inevitably, less than ten minutes later it was 2-0 after some good skills by Cammy McArthur set up Finlay WATSON inside the box and he sent a rasping shot which bulged the corner of the net for a deserved second goal.
Mitchell Cheyne was dominating play in midfield using his strength to win numerous challenges and setting up a string of attacks supported ably by McArthur who looked poised to grab a third ten minutes before the interval but saw his powerful 25 effort from the edge of the box go over the bar.
Harlaw started the second half in positive mood and Koshoedo created an early chance but failed to hit the target. Inverurie seemed to have a quiet spell as the battle for midfield control continued to ebb and flow but their keeper Morgan Cook had relatively little to do. Cheyne sent a 25 yard free kick just over and Finlay Watson grabbed the next free kick from distance it went straight to Finlay Johnson in the Harlaw goal but a couple of minutes later it was NAYSMITH who was credited with the third goal which seemed to be an error from the keeper who failed to deal with an unconvincing hit from the determined winger. That effort effectively ended the game as a contest with neither side looking like altering the score line. Inverurie, deserved winners, will have many happy memories of their visit to Pittodrie
Inverurie Academy: Cook, Marr, Scott, Robertson, Hay, Cheyne, Cochrane, Cooper, Naysmith, McArthur, Watson
Subs: Smith, Wilson, Forbes, Moir, Cameron, Bailey, Grant