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A superb attacking display from Edina Hibs saw them break down a determined Rangers outfit to win the Under 13’s TWS SYFA Cup Final. The Edinburgh outfit were on the front foot from the start and scored the goals to earn a well deserved victory. Hibs used the 3G surface to their advantage to move the ball about diligently with Rangers just unable to respond.
There was a real cup final atmosphere at the Airdrie Excelsior Stadium as two of the form teams in under 13 football prepared to kick off. The rain had cleared and a big crowd had gathered in anticipation of a great contest. Both sides had scored freely on route to the final and would be looking to continue in this vein on a dull Airdrie afternoon.
Rangers kicked off and instantly set about passing the ball about their back three. As ever on these occasions the opening exchanges were somewhat cagey as each team looked to settle into the game. Both sides were being roared on by vocal supports that had travelled to back their respective teams. Rangers had some early pressure without being able to properly penetrate the Hibs back line. There was a steely focus to each team which meant space was at a premium. In the sixth minute Hibs Mitchell Robertson had a shot that was easily gathered by Robbie Walker in the Rangers goal.
Hibs were knocking the ball about well with Robertson and Alassan Jones starting to have an influence in midfield. Rangers run to the cup final proved they do not give away goals easily however with just one goal lost over seven games and that not until the semi final against Harmony Row. Jones produced a terrific driving run down the left but just lacked the final pass to allow a teammate to capitalise. Hibs were on top at this stage with fifteen minutes played.
Jones drew a free kick in the nineteenth minute. Dean Burgess took it from the left hand side but as was becoming increasingly common it was dealy with easily by the Rangers defence. It was clear that it was going to take a moment of inspiration for Hibs to be able to break them down.
John Gilmour and John Balsillie appeared a bit isolated in the forward positions for Rangers but would be looking to capitalise on any chance offered to them. The Rangers back three whilst under pressure from Hibs appeared relaxed and happy to defend anything that was thrown at them led by Zach Brown in the centre. Leno De Gaetano earned a free kick on the left for Hibs in the twenty fifth minute Nicholas Aitchison flighted in an enticing cross but it was once again cleared. This led to a long range shot from Dean Burgess which lacked any power or precision to fade wide.
Hibs did eventually break the deadlock just before half time and it was no surprise to see Jones as the scorer. Aitchison once again delivered a terrific cross this time from a corner. It was met terrifically by Jones who nodded emphatically into the top corner. Hibs deservedly ahead and Rangers would now have to open up in order to try and get back into the match. The goal eased some of the frustration Hibs had been feeling at being unable to break their opponents down. Jones had won the corner himself with threatening run down left and this allowed the influential Aitchison to provide the delivery.
The half time whistle blew and this would allow Rangers the chance to regroup and consider how they might get back into this game. Hibs were definitely on top and well worthy of their lead at the break.