Loanhead Miners YFC 1999s were in Spain representing Scotland in the Costa Blanca Cup recently, one of Europe’s largest football tournaments with 239 teams from 25 countries taking part.
Loanhead were in Group F alongside Spanish sides C.F La Nucia and EFUD Albacer but the opening match came against Swedish outfit, IF Lodde. The match was played in a sweltering 33 degree heat and a composed finish from Lewis Marshall gave Loanhead a well earned 1-0 victory.
The second group game saw Loanhead come up against EFUD Albacer. The team from Valencia saw a lot of the ball but a superb defensive display together with a composed volley from Jack Gold and a rocket from Joshua Fital gave The Miners a 2-0 victory and sealed their qualification.
The final group game was against C.F La Nucia. The match was played in an almost unbearable 36 degree heat but Michael Lennie’s second half header was enough to ensure a 1-0 victory for Loanhead and saw them qualify as group winners, scoring four goals and conceding zero.
On to the Section A knockout stages and things began to get tough as Loanhead travelled through the mountains to take on Calpe in their hometown. After playing much of the second half with 10 men, Loanhead battled to a 0-0 draw and won 3-2 on penalties,with goalkeeper Ross Jardine upsetting the hundreds of Calpe supporters by making three penalty saves.
However, at the quarter final stage, Loanhead were put out by Provimad, a team with players from the Madrid region of Spain. Despite non-stop working, Loanhead were defeated 3-0 but had nothing to be ashamed of as Provimad went on to become the Costa Blanca Cup winners.
Raymond Dunbar, secretary of Loanhead Miners YFC said: “In the end, after only having 13 players and playing in conditions like never before, Loanhead exited the tournament with a smile on each and every face, proud of what they had achieved. Special thanks to Loanhead Miners 1999s tracksuit sponsors for season 2015-2016 Taylor Wimpey.”