3 - 2
3 - 2
Richard Macadie (4)
Gary Weir (67)
Richard Macadie (92)
Mark Chisholm (66)
Franny More (75)
Ian Munro & Richard Hughes
Andrew MacLeod for Alex Lamb (88)
Murray Coghill for David Cowie (88)
Stuart Sinclair for Gary Weir (93)
Franny More for Paul Urquhart (43)
Paul Munro for Mark Cowie (60)
Gary Farquhar (32)
Gary Clark (32)
Scott Fraser (76)
Allan Stephen (80)
Franny More (89)
Jason Hasson (Referee)
Deveronvale came to the Harmsworth Park today with a slim chance of taking the title, or put up a good fight for 2nd place in the league. This gave them lots to play for as finishing in the top two would have given them a bye in the first round of next years Scottish Cup. Both teams served up a cracker with Academy winning by the odd goal in five.
It's been over 8 years since Academy last beat Deveronvale at home, that game taking place on the 12th Feb 2000 when we won 3 - 0 with Jamie MacKenzie and a Stevie Murray Double securing the points.
Weir and Macadie supplied the goals on this occasion, with Macadie scoring the winner in the 2nd minute of injury time, but the whole team today deserved the plaudits for an excellent performance.
Deveronvale launched the first real attack of the game within the first few minutes when Mark Cowie managed to evade a challenge from Alan Sinclair and get a shot on target that keeper Don MacMillan managed to smother.
It was Academy however that opened the scoring in the 4th minute. Weir darted inside the left hand side of the Vale box, got around the defence and squared the ball across goal. Macadie got a foot to it at the near post and the ball seemed to get a deflection and snuck inside Blanchard's right hand post.
1 - 0
Academy were play attractive flowing football and their next chance came 2 minutes later, Macadie sent Manson on a run up the left wing and he crossed into the box for Weir who had a first time effort on target that Blanchard saved.
Weir again came close in the 14th minute, Cowie this time supplying the cross as he drove up the right wing, but Weirs first time strike whistled just past the post.
Controversy and some degree of confusion came in the 24th minute of the game. Mark Chisholm drove at the Academy defence and from the edge of the penalty box he fired a shot on target that MacMillan did brilliantly to save, diving to his right and palming the ball around the post. With the players turning to run back up the park referee Hasson blew for a free kick, as he adjudged Chisholm to have been fouled as he took his shot. Steve Dolan took the free kick and fired it over the wall and into the top left hand corner. The players and most of the crowd though that the goal stood and the players returned to the centre circle to kick-off, but referee Hasson disallowed the goal, as the free-kick was indirect and Dolan had scored without the ball touching another player, although it did look as if Macmillan may have just got finger-tips to the ball as it past him.
The Bannfers attacked again 2 minutes later and MacMillan again foiled a headed attempt by Chisholm, with Lamb clearing the ball for a corner as it bounced off MacMillan's chest. The resulting corner was fired into the box and Scott Fraser rose above Lamb to head towards the right corner of the net, but MacMillan was on-hand again to turn it round the post.
The play raged from one end to the other, and minutes later Cowie sent in another great cross from the right wing and the crowd were on their feet as Macadie's glancing header flashed inches wide of the post with Blanchard rooted to the spot.
Good attacking play was complimented by solid Academy defending, and this was typified on the half hour mark as Alan Sinclair made a perfectly time tackle in the box as Mark Cowie homed in on goal.
2 minutes later Gary Clark and Gary Farquhar had a minor tangle in the middle of the park and referee Hasson booked them both, which seemed a bit harsh.
In an incident that was not in the spirit of the game the Vale number 11 Paul Urquhart had a clash with Shearer. Urquhart seemed aggrieved not to have been awarded a free-kick, and in what can only be described as an instance of "red mist" he chased after Shearer and as Shearer received a pass he went straight through the back of him in what could be described as a very dangerous tackle with intent. Referee Hasson surprisingly saw fit to just award a free-kick, keeping his cards on this occasion in his pocket.
With seven minutes of the half remaining Scott Fraser again managed to get above Lamb in the box from a corner kick, but his header went wide of MacMillan's right hand post.
Urquhart must have been injured in his earlier encounter with Shearer and he was replaced by Franny More with two minutes of the half remaining.
In the final action of the half Farquhar came close to scoring on two further occasions. His first attempt was from a free kick that he curled to the far post and Dollan cleared for a corner and the final attack of the half saw Farquhar whip a wicked cross into the box and with Weir waiting to accept a turn-in Dolan stuck out a foot and again cleared the danger.
Half time 1 - 0
It took 11 minutes after the re-start for the fist scoring opportunity, with Farquhar starting where he had left off in the first half, this time getting a shot on the half-volley from a Cowie cross on target that Blanchard scrambled across his line to save.
Four minute later MacMillan pulled off the save of the game as Mike Ewan was sent though the middle of the Academy defence. MacMillan came to meet him and narrowed the angle and got his feet to Ewan's goal-bound shot turning it over the cross-bar for a corner.
Vale made another change in an attempt to come back into the game with an hour played, Paul Munro coming on for Mark Cowie.
Substitute Franny More came close for that Banff side three minutes later but his shot went just wide of MacMillan's right hand post.
Vale levelled the scores in the 66th minute. Referee Hasson awarded a free-kick just outside the box for a Lamb challenge on Grant Noble. Free kick specialist Nolan almost repeated his first-half effort as he curled the ball over the top of the wall but it smashed off the cross bar and Chisholm followed in to head home the re-bound.
1 - 1
Academy showed their character as from the re-start they went straight back on the attack and Weir was played into the edge of the box from where he weaved past the Vale defence and sent his right foot shot past an out-stretched Blanchard bringing the Harmsworth crowd to their feet in appreciation.
2 - 1
Minutes later Academy had a great chance to increase their lead, Weir again darting inside the Vale box with the ball at feet and as it looked to open up for him he decided to square to Shearer but he scuffed his shot wide of target with only Blanchard to beat.
By this stage it was getting hard to keep-up with play but Farquhar was the next in line to have another crack, this time smacking a 30 yard dipping half-volley on target that Blanchard did brilliantly well to tip over the bar.
Vale started to apply some concerted pressure forcing several corners and their attempts paid off with 15 minutes of the game left as they scored their equaliser. It was almost a carbon-copy of their first, this time Mark Chisholm rattled a great shot off the cross-bar with Franny More following up to drill home.
2 - 2
This set-up a tense finish, and Vale danger-man Mark Chisholm almost gave his team the lead with a header from another corner-kick, but MacMillan tipped it over the top of the cross-bar.
With two minutes of injury time on the clock and seconds of the game left to play Craig Shearer threaded a pass through the heart of the Vale back-line for Macadie to latch onto beating the off-side trap and he ran in one-on-one with Blanchard and kept his head to slot the ball under him for the winner.
3 - 2
As Referee Hasson blew for full-time the management team and supporters cheered the players off the park. Gary Weir was named as the sponsors man of the match, but in truth the whole team deserved that award today as they produced arguably one of the best all-round performances seen at the Harmsworth Park for a long time.
Full time 3 -2
Match report written by John Briskham
|Don MacMillan (GK)||-||4||-||111||-|
|Stuart Sinclair (sub)||-||19||-||33||-|
|Andrew MacLeod (sub)||-||29||-||207||5|
|Murray Coghill (sub)||-||13||1||34||2|