Aberdeenshire AFA

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Glendale Youth 1 – 3 Northern United

1st Touch Football Division Two (North) at Lads Club on Saturday 4th May

Report by Andy McLaren

Northern United’s Ross Moncrieff today hailed the arrival of new players from Shetland as the reason behind their recent silverware success.

The Aberdeen outfit clinched their first trophy in amateur football with a 1-0 win over Torry United in the Castle Rovers Cup final.

The Northern squad formed in 2009 and have five players from Shetland.

And Ross, who scored the winning goal in the cup final, admits he will continue to look North in search of new talent coming to the city.

He said: “The arrival of the Shetlanders have definitely improved the squad and made us far more consistent in the league.

“We started off with only one or two boys from Shetland but that seems to be growing.

“Winning the Castle Rovers Cup has exceeded our expectations.

“The team was originally made up of students and friends from Aberdeen University but we are now drafting in players from various parts of the city.”

The Division Two (North) side played its first year of football in the Sunday Welfare League before joining the amateur fold in 2010.

United are five points behind league leaders Dee Amateurs after only losing three matches this season.

But Ross, who is from Lerwick and plays in midfield, believes Dee are “clear favourites” in the race to become league champions.

“Dee are a very good side so I can’t see them dropping anymore points this season,” he said.

“We are guaranteed promotion so hopefully we can win our games in hand in case they do drop points.

“Last season we were only mid-table so the improvement throughout the squad has been remarkable.

“The main aim of the club is to make sure everyone associated with us enjoys the game, whether they are playing or watching.”

United play their home games at Inverdee and were awarded amateur football’s fair play award in 2011.

And Northern striker Steve Munro, who has been with the club since it formed, admits he wasn’t surprised when the club clinched their first ever trophy.

He said: “I would probably say we have actually overachieved in some ways this season.

“We never thought we would win a cup but in my opinion it didn’t really come as a shock.

“We have a lot of boys who could easily play football at higher level, whether it’s junior or Highland League.

“I think we will have to bring in a few fresh faces if we are going to achieve the same level of success as we have managed this year.

“Since the club formed, this is definitely the strongest it has been and I think we have bright future ahead of us.”

United confirmed promotion to Division One with a 3-1 victory over Glendale Youth in this league encounter.

Glendale, who occupy a relegation spot in Division Two (North), started the brighter of the two teams and went ahead on 10 minutes.

Steven Matthew’s looping cross was met by Anton Reilly who expertly volleyed the ball past Mark Mackay, giving him no chance.

The dangerous Reilly brought a low diving save from Mackay before United’s stopper had to be alert to palm Callum Saunders’ shot around the post.

Against the run of play, Northern equalised when Glendale’s Stuart Tocher could only bundle Ross Maclennan’s powerful low cross into his own net.

Glendale continued to push and were almost rewarded when Reilly’s audacious shot from 20 yards was tipped over the bar by Mackay.

Half-time: 1 – 1

Shaun McGarva eased the visiting side’s nerves when he placed the ball past goalkeeper Bryan Merchant from 5 yards to make it 2-1.

A lacklustre second-half performance from Glendale was almost made worse when John Kane’s skilful backheel shot was saved by Merchant.

On 80 minutes, Northern secured their 18th win in the league this season when Scott Henderson side-footed the ball home from the penalty spot to make it 3-1.

Full Time: 1 – 3