After a win and a defeat and knowing that only a win would secure control over their qualification to the quarterfinal stage of the U15 National Trophy, Forth Valley SFA went into their final section game against West Lothian at Forthbank on 22nd November in determined mood.
They found the visitors in equally determined mood and, with the goalkeepers at each end playing very solidly, the score remained at 0-0 with thirty minutes remaining. Thirty minutes left – but what a thirty minutes in which Forth Valley pressed home their possession and territorial advantage to run out 6-1 winners.
Liam Fagan rose in a crowded penalty box to glance home a header to open the scoring ten minutes into the second half. This goal came minutes after home keeper Evan Taylor had made an important block at the other end.
The home team quickly increased their lead in a matter of minutes when Steven Buchanan diverted a Lewis Hutchison shot past the helpless keeper.
Lucas Williamson, a halftime substitute returning from injury, then put his name on the scoresheet with a well-placed shot before heading home the best goal of the game following a good move and cross from Steven Buchanan.
Liam Fagan chipped in with a fifth goal, cleverly lobbing the keeper following a great dribbling run. West Lothian kept fighting hard and scored with ten minutes remaining as both teams made multiple substitutions, giving their full squad a playing chance.
Lucas Williamson netted the last goal of the game to secure an impressive hat-trick on his first showing of the campaign and confirm that Forth Valley will be in the quarterfinal stage.
Who Forth Valley's opponents will be is not yet known. Lanarkshire secured a 5-3 win against Ayrshire meaning that next week's game between West Lothian and Lanarkshire could impact not only on who qualifies but also who tops the section and therefore gets a home tie at the quarterfinal stage.
Forth Valley are definitely through but it is not yet certain whether they will win the group or finish as runners-up. The result of West Lothian v. Lanarkshire may bring head-to-head results and goal difference into consideration to decide the places.