Possil Boss Hails Goalkeeping Scottish Cup Heroics

Player- Manager Kevin McDonnell reckons goalkeeper Frank Roy deserves all the plaudits for making breath-taking last-minute saves amid the remarkable Possil YM FC run of three successive Central Scottish Over-35s National Trophy victories, writes Tom Scott.

The Glasgow club, under the guidance of McDonnell and Assistant Derek Rhodden, have lifted the Scottish Cup in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Only the current pandemic has denied them the opportunity of attempting four-in-a-row.

Kevin, who has scored five of their six Cup Final goals, revealed “In the first Final against Eastercraigs, they’ve had two players through on our goal right at the death and somehow Frank has stopped them from scoring, and we have gone on to win the Scottish Cup via penalties.”

“A year later, it’s Cumbernauld Colts FC in the Final, and a sweetly- struck 25-yard volley is heading for the top corner. Frank has made one unbelievable save to keep the ball out and we go to retain the Cup on penalty kicks!”

Two years ago, first-season Hamilton Accies stood between Possil and the hat-trick.

Kevin admitted “Without a doubt that was the hardest one to win We seemed to draw all the top -form teams in the competition – including Eastercraigs (yes,again) and the week before we met them in the Semi-Finals, we lost 4-3 against Corkerhill in the League Cup. It was probably the best thing that could happen to us.”

Hamilton Accies had been defeating just about everyone. They were very good and took a few goals off Corkerhill in the Scottish Cup Semi-Final on the next park adjacent to us at Dalziel, while we went through 1-0 against Eastercraigs.

“I just knew our boys would turn up and perform on the night because it was them (Hamilton), and we won the Cup 3-0 at Broadwood, Cumbernauld.”

Kevin McDonnell was playing in the Possil team just about every other week when Andy Robson (then boss) asked him to take over in 2017.

He said “I wanted somebody on the touchline during games making decisions while I was playing. Derek Rhodden had been struggling with an injury and he assumed the role. He is there most weeks and it’s a good partnership. We have a good spine to the team, and currently have a better-balanced squad.”

“In the Scottish Cup we are a different animal compared to other games. These are guys I played with in Amateur Football. The good thing is with Over-35s Football you don’t switch off the competitive level.”

“That is probably just as well because our lads have gone up against players with plenty of Senior Football experience – ex- Motherwell and Scotland star James McFadden, Stevie Murray. (Kilmarnock), and current SFA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell.”

“For the time being, we are all disappointed football has been stopped. The lads are keeping themselves as fit as they can in their own way, and looking forward to getting back on the park again.”

Photograph kindly provided by Mr Kevin McDonnell

The Road To A Scottish Cup Final For Anyone Over-35

Central Scottish AFL Over-35s Match Secretary Chris Wilson gives Scottish Amateur Football News followers the lowdown on his appointment and how the 2018 Scottish Cup campaign unfolded, writes Tom Scott.

The Competition started 15-17th June, and ended on Friday, 12th October 2018. Possil YM have made the Cup their pride and joy. The 2018 Final saw them retain the Cup, and overall they have been three-time winners.

Chris Wilson takes up the Story……..

The Road to a Scottish Cup Final for everyone Over 35

I knew little about the over 35s Scottish Cup set up other than it had been set up by Alex McDowell from the Friday Night Football Central and he was stepping down from the role of Match Secretary at the end of the 2017 competition. I was approached by the Scottish Amateur FA to see if I wanted to take over from Alex and as I had been involved in the 35s set up in the Central Scottish AFL I thought why not. I knew I had big shoes to fill by taking over from Alex but I would give it a go.

Applications for the tournament went out and that season we had 63 clubs from across six Leagues. The bulk of which were from the Friday Night Central with 47 entries and the rest of the entries made up from the Central Scottish AFL, Ayrshire AFL, South East and Lothian and Edinburgh Leagues.

The first round was scheduled to be played over the weekend of 15th to 17th June as teams either played on a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon.

Early favourites were Cup Holders Possil YM from the Friday night Central League, who had came through with a 1st round away victory over fellow Friday night Northside FC. Also in with a good shot were Cumbernauld Colts from the Central Scottish AFL who had a good few ex professionals on their books. Colts came through the 1st round home win against St Peters Paisley.

The 2nd round would keep both clubs apart with Possil YM again away to a very strong Corkerhill FC and Cumbernauld Colts at home again to Clyde Valley Vets FC.

It would take penalties to separate Corkerhill and Possil YM with YM winning 2 – 3 in a penalty shootout. Cumbernauld Colts however had a slightly easier win through to the third round winning 6 – 3 however I know the game was tighter than the score looks.

The 3rd round draw for the Cup would see Possil YM with their first home tie of the competition and they would ultimately play Eastercraigs FC who were waiting on the outcome of an appeal as Glasgow Bar had player an underage outfield player, allowed in the Friday Night Central League but against the rules of this competition. Cumbernauld would have another home tie against Veiwfield FC.

With both clubs coming through the 3rd round they are in the pot for the Quarter Final draw, with Possil YM drawn away yet again to Easthall Star FC and Cumbernauld Colts also away to Bishopton FC. Both clubs come through their ties with good victories which sees them join Penileee FC and Stenhousemuir FC in the Semi Final Draw.

Both Semi Final ties were scheduled for the same night Friday 28th September 2018 at Dalziel Park 7.30 KO. The draw was as follows.

Penilee FC v Possil YM FC

Penilee AFC
Possil YM AFC

Stenhousemuir FC v Cumbernauld Colts FC

Stenhousemuir AFC
Cumbernauld Colts AFC

Both Semi Finals were hard fought but fair games, it is never easy to come so far and then lose out in the Semi Final of any competition but both Possil and Cumbernauld took the spoils on the night and progressed through to the final which would be held at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium on Friday 12th October 2018. On the night it was a close affair and after 90 minutes both side could not be separated with a goal apiece.

With no extra time due to dare I say age the dreaded penalties loomed. It was not to be Cumbernauld’s evening as they were beaten in the end by some fine goal keeping. Possil YM were victorious in the end and lifted the cup for the 2nd time.

I have to say that my first season as match secretary of this competition was an enjoyable experience and the football was played at a very high and passionate manner, and I was already looking forward to next season’s competition and hope for more entries.

I would like to end with thanking all the clubs, and officials for their help and also to the match officials who helped me throughout all the rounds. Like them or loath them, but without them we would have no football.

Photographs also kindly provided by Mr Chris Wilson.