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Aberdeen secondary schools football: Cults Academy pip Lochside to third year title with final-game victory over rivals

Aberdeen schools football between Cults Academy and Lochside third year. Nicky Valentine and Harvey Greig (Lochside), surrounded by Cults players, left to right, Matthew Jack, Alex Tough, Olisa Anyaegbunam and Martin Thompson.
Aberdeen schools football between Cults Academy and Lochside third year. Nicky Valentine and Harvey Greig (Lochside), surrounded by Cults players, left to right, Matthew Jack, Alex Tough, Olisa Anyaegbunam and Martin Thompson.

Cults Academy won the third year CNR International League after a barnstorming encounter with Lochside Academy, which ended 3-1 to the home side.

The meeting at Cults was crucial to the destination of the title as both teams were sitting on 13 points from five outings before kick-off.

An earlier clash at Lochside finished a goal apiece and a close match was expected.

Lochside had a hold of the game early doors and Nicky Valentine scraped the Cults post with a curling shot as they looked to take the lead.

However, it was Cults who went in front on 26 minutes, when a cross from the left struck a defender’s arm in the box and the referee had no alternative but to award a spot-kick.

Martin Thompson took the kick and found the net in fine style.

A second home goal came on 34 minutes. Good work down the centre from Olisa  Anyaegbunam and  Daniel Salnibakhsh put the latter through on goal. He appeared to have lost the ball, but managed to pass it on to Chibudom S’Onu on the left-hand side of the box.

S’Onu moved in and sent a shot from 16 yards beyond Lochside goalie Bryan Zukowski and into the corner of the net.

Corey McDonald (Lochside) sets up an attack.

Lochside started the second period knowing they would need to score early if they were to get back into the game.

They did just that within 10 minutes. Nicky Valentine made progress down the left and sent in an early cross. It was met on the run by Harvey Greig, who slotted beyond Skinner.

The visitors had the bit between their teeth and pushed for an equaliser.

Nine minutes from time came another penalty appeal from Cults. Salanibakhsh was sent clear and shot. Zukowski got a hand to it to bring off a great save – but collided with the striker who was still on the move.

Things became heated at this point to the extent Cults found themselves reduced to 10 men.

It was backs to the wall for the homesters, and they did extremely well to keep Lochside at bay before a third clinching-title goal arrived for them in the final seconds.

Mitchell Smith noticed slight hesitation in the Lochside defence and nipped in to win the ball, before sending it beyond Zukowski’s left hand and spark wild celebrations in the home ranks.

The final whistle went soon after and Cults were the league champions.

Cults Academy Third Year

Brodie Skinner, Matthew Jack, Jack Craigie, Alexander Ramseyer, Mitchell Smith, Alex Tough, Olisa Anyaegbunam, Chibudom S’Onu, Martin Thomson, Nathan Ross, Daniel Salanibakhsh, Lachlan Sutherland, Evan Reid, Finlay Shand and David Otete.

Lochside Academy Third Year

Bryan Zukowski, Gregor Binns, Fraser Adams, Corey McDonald, Lewis Bell, Andrew Cutler, Jack Wood, Harvey Greig, Aiden Robertson, David Hale, Nicky Valentine, Layton Gabriel, Oskar Hacia and Antonia Adams.

Referee B. Eden

Controversial penalty puts Portlethen back on track for title

Portlethen Academy saw off a stubborn Westhill 5-2 to clinch the first year CNR International League title.

Portlethen Academy v Westhill Academy first year.

After their outstanding win over Bucksburn on Saturday, Portlethen went into their home match with Westhill knowing a win would secure the crown.

With more than one game still to play, the visitors were still in with a chance of the title at kick-off, but needed a victory.

However, on six minutes, Codi Hughes slammed the ball home from 10 yards to get Portlethen up and running.

It was the midway point in the half when the home side deservedly scored again. Jake Bonner sent another fine through ball to Aaron Fraser, who moved into the area before sending a low drive just inside Joe Huntington’s near post to make it 2-0.

Having been pushing, Westhill eventually managed to get a goal back in the 21st minute. Gabe White found Samuel Dennis again wide on the right. He outran a defender and shot into the corner of the goal, leaving Porty keeper Ross Kerr with no chance.

Five minutes from the break an equaliser arrived from the same source, with Dennis keeping his cool to finish low after a 30-yard run.

The game was now evenly poised, but a controversial moment 90 seconds from the break had a major bearing on the outcome, with the referee awarding Portlethen a penalty for a foul which appeared to take place outside the area.

Fraser stepped up and placed it in the corner to put the home side back in front at 3-2.

Aggrieved Westhill kicked off the second half determined to restore parity, however Portlethen soon scored again. A fine run down the left by Kayden Watson saw him square the ball to the back post from where it was side-footed home by Aston Rodriguez.

The sides would exchange blows in the period which followed, and the last action of the match was a fifth Portlethen goal. The ball bounced about in the Westhill box before falling for PJ McBain, who moved towards goal and slotted a left-foot drive beyond the advancing keeper.

The final whistle went moments later and Portlethen were the champions and able to celebrate their success.


Portlethen Academy First Year

Ross Kerr, Logan McDonald, Cody Duncan, Archie Robertson, Jake Bonner, Nico Perry, Aaron Fraser, Kaden Watson, Codi Hughes, Logan Irvine and Aiden Smith. Subs Robert Malcolmson, PJ McBain, Lilly Brechenser, Emily Brechenser, Aston Rodriquez, Alex Craig and Nairn Maders.

Westhill Academy First Year

Joe Huntington, Owen Forbes, Riley Slessor, Gabe White, Robbie Mitchell, Callum Bell, Samuel Dennis, Seif Fahmy Mahmoud, Keir Robson, Matthew Grassick and Matthew Rangel. Subs Hussein Hassan, Alex Ferrier, Ewan McLeish and Jack Taylor.

Referee B. Eden


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