Thistle Lift the SFL Youth Cup

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This afternoon Ian Cameron's under 19 side did Partick Thistle proud by lifting the SFL League Cup with a 3-2 2in over league champions Livingston.

Against a side that had won the league with ease Thistle fell behind as early as the third minute when Cummings turned sharply inside the box and the Jags' prospects didn't look good.

Thistle were level though just ten minutes later. Kieran Burns put pressure on the Livingston goalkeeper and when he lost the ball Scott Tully was on hand to roll the ball into the empty net.

Three minutes later and Thistle were in front. Kieran Burns again put the Livingston keeper under pressure and this time he was to benefit from his own hard work as he knocked the ball home to put Thistle ahead.

Thistle we paying little heed to their tag as outsiders and Stuart Bannigan tested a jittery looking Livi keeper with a shot after 21 minutes.

At the other end Ryan Scully was looking anything but jittery producing two excellent saves as Thistle preserved their advantage to the break.

Thistle had been under a fair bit of pressure during stages of the first half and the early exchanges of the second half followed a similar pattern. Inside the first minute of the half it took two further fine saves from the impressive Scully and then a block by a defender to keep the score at 2-1.

It wasn't all one way traffic though and a Kieran Burns snap shot in the 50th minute nearly caught out the Livingston keeper and a minute later Burns set up substitute Shaun Fraser who saw his shot turned round the post for a corner.

Ryan Scully again under lined his obvious potential with a fine stop in the 55th minute but he had to admit defeat less than a minute later when a shot from Malone from fully 25 yards out left Scully with absolutely no chance.

For awhile it looked as if Livi might push on from that and Scully was again called into action to keep out a free kick from the corner of the box out.

Thistle continued to look a threat on the counter attack and when Kieran Burns slipped a pass through to Shaun Fraser, Fraser's chip very nearly went over the keeper's head.

The game's decisive moment arrived in the 77th minute. A Livingston defender was a little harshly adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box with the result a Thistle penalty. Kieran Burns was the man entrusted to take the kick and after a lengthy delay he despatched the ball into the back of the net (pictured below) despite the Livi keeper managing to get his hands to the ball.

Thistle had to withstand some late pressure from Livingston but they clung on to lift the cup.

Teams;

Livi: Jamieson, Welsh, D Jacobs, Fordyce, Hastings, Cummings, Gray, K Jacobs, Malone, McNulty, S Jacobs.

Thistle: Scully, McGeough, Baxter (Dunbar), Stevenson, McDermott, Campbell, Lochhead, Bannigan (Pearce), Tully (Fraser), Burns, MacBeth.

After the match coach Ian Cameron was clearly a happy man.

"I thought the boys were fantastic today and I'm very proud of them. Livingston are a fantastic team. From 20 league games they won 18 and drew one. In their 4 League Cup tie they scored no fewer than 24 goals and have about 6 or 7 players in their first team. We knew, therefore, that we would need a bit of luck to win this afternoon and we did get a wee break with the penalty. That said the attitude of players was brilliant and you can see from their reaction how much it means to them. In many respects developing as a footballer is learning about how to play and win cup finals and deal with pressurised occasions and they certainly did that this afternoon"

" It means a lot to the players but it means a lot to the Club as well and in my opinion this is the way forward for Partick Thistle Football Club."

"It has taken Livingston about ten years to produce the youth system that they have and we have to try and make sure that we push on from this ourselves. We can't afford to stop and start with youth development but keep progressing from year to year. Winning the cup today will hopefully give inspiration to the players we have at under 16 and under 17 level as we aim to do just that."

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