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George Heriot's won the Lothian Senior Division 2 title with a 3-2 win over second-placed Newbattle at St Augustine's 3G. Lewis Cockburn and John Pearson put the team in blue and white into a two goal lead, before Andy Watson scored either side of half time to level the match. Matt Underhill ensured there would be no upset and the league would be settled.
The game started with Newbattle on the front foot, and Thomas Thomson was heavily involved in their attacking play. He received the ball from Watson and drilled a low shot from an angle which was well-saved by Finn Donaldson who would have ultimately a title-winning performance between the sticks. The Newbattle number 10 then executed a perfect backheel to play in Ben Smith whose shot was stopped by the goalkeeper's feet.
Heriot's grew into the game from there and as most of their threat came from Lewis Cockburn, it was no surprise to see the winger produce the magic that sparked this league decider into life. On sixteen minutes, he was first to the through ball and glided past two Newbattle defenders before sliding a shot into the bottom corner.
Newbattle could perhaps have felt aggrieved at going a goal down and Thomson's long range effort was easily saved as they looked for an immediate response. However, it was Heriot's who were in the ascendancy and they always looked a danger from set pieces with the height advantage they possessed. On the half hour mark, a free kick was floated into the box by Euan Lannon. John Pearson was the first to react and the big defender stabbed the ball into the net from eight yards to double their advantage (click here to watch video).
The score looked to be staying at 2-0 until half time but Newbattle immediately got the goal their performance deserved. Andy Watson found space just inside the box and struck an early shot which beat the goalkeeper at his near post to give his side a lifeline.
Half Time: Newbattle HS 1-2 George Heriot's HS
Newbattle enjoyed the lionshare of possession early in the second half but failed to create many clear cut chances due to a resolute defence. Heriot's playmaker Max Todd looked lively but his team seemed content to sit back and soak up the pressure. Watson shot over the bar and James Rogers-Jones saw a point-blank strike saved as the pressure intensified.
Twenty minutes into the half, Newbattle were level. Again it was Watson who received the ball just inside the box, and the number 7 turned away from his marker to blast a shot past Donaldson. The Dalkeith side certainly merited the equaliser on the balance of play and this time Donaldson was unable to keep his team in front.
A winner for Newbattle would ensure that the title race goes on to next week, but the momentum swung to Heriot's once more. Isaac Thomson weaved past a number of challenges before being brought down, but nothing would come of the resultant free kick.
Minutes later, Heriot's were back in front. Matt Underhill drove into the box and cracked a shot off which bounced off both posts and out into goalkeeper Fleming's grateful arms. The referee, however, controversially awarded the goal and left Newbattle with a mountain to climb once more.
There was no time for another Newbattle comeback and frustrations got the better of Rogers-Jones who was booked for dissent.
This was a day for Heriot's though as they celebrated being crowned league champions with an organised, clinical, title-winning performance.
Full Time: Newbattle 2-3 George Heriot's