Glasgow Girls score injury-time winner to lift 18s ScottishPower Youth Challenge Cup

Glasgow Girls have won the ScottishPower 18s Youth Challenge Cup after a close-fought final against Penicuik Athletic, a 93rd-minute winner from Bailey Cooper securing the trophy.

The match was competitive and lively from the starting whistle, and Emily Hussey in the Glasgow goals did well to smother a stinging low shot from Penicuik’s Farrah Robb in the opening minutes of the game.

Penicuik’s Emily Reid did well to run through one-on-one on fifteen minutes, but again the Glasgow keeper was in command. Then at the other end Penicuik goalie Ella Marr dove acrobatically to her left to deny a great Glasgow goal.

Although Penicuik had shaded possession, Glasgow Girls were battling for every ball, and it would be they who opened the scoring, Amelia Barton sending a low diagonal ball across the goal for Torrance Allan to finish into the bottom corner.

Penicuik had Marr to thank again for keeping out Glasgow’s Emma Black with another brilliant save. Then on the 31-minute mark Penicuik defender Emily Brown smashed an unbelievable free kick into the top corner from over 40 yards out, a feat which echoed her goal from last year’s 16s final and animated the Penicuik supporters.

Glasgow Girls were full of running, but Penicuik’s back three held firm to see out the half, Naomi Ratunaceva showing excellent composure to snuff out a clever one-two between Torrence Allan and Amelia Barton.

It would be Penicuik who would get a stroke fortune at the start of the second half. Emily Reid pounced on a mix-up at the back and bundled into Hussey who dove bravely at her feet. The ball ended up in the net from the collision and the referee awarded the goal to give Penicuik the advantage.

But Glasgow equalised from a corner on 53 minutes, Laurie McCormack rising to nod it into the corner.

Then six minutes later Glasgow were awarded a free kick near the byline just outside the box, but Penicuik had reorganised to deny another free header in the box.

With 25 minutes to go, Emily Reid made a stunning run up the right to set up Farrah Robb who produced a great strike into the roof of the net and restore Penicuik’s lead.

There were claims for a penalty to Glasgow Girls on 82 minutes after the ball appeared to rebound off Emily Brown’s arm from another great floated corner from Katrina Schneeweiss, but both the referee and his assistant were sure it was accidental. There was no mistake two minutes later however, when Brown’s hand raised up to meet the ball and she received a red card as a result. McCormick made no mistake from the spot to equalise again.

There would be a dramatic ending in injury time for Glasgow Girls, as a uncharacteristic slip-up by the Penicuik defence allowed Glasgow’s Bailey Cooper through on goal and she struck it early into the bottom corner. Penicuik almost forced extra time when Emily Reid made a chance for herself but sliced it wide.

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