On a beautiful summer night at Redhall Park, the local under-13 side staged a thrilling second half fighback to beat Cramond BC 4-2. It was a game of total enjoyment and these two sides from division four of the South East Region Youth Leagues put on a show that brought smiles to the faces of all those on both touchlines. Cramond lead 2-0 in to the second half but the determined attacks of the home side brought about a real change of fortunes.
I had the feeling it was going to be a good night when I stepped out of my car and a young player in the Cramond colours, sitting on the edge of the open boot of his dad’s vehichle, said: “Hi!” We had a wee conversation and in that short time, I gathered this was an intelligent young man who had spoken to me. Not only that, but he looked so alive and bright as well. I never looked back, as ‘they’ say from that moment on.
A great welcome awaited in the changing room corridor and I was in every sense ‘up and running’! Copies of the names of both teams were made available and, in turn, I took team pics of both clubs. It was warm and sunny when referee, good referee, Gordon Bain, got the game underway and it was non-stop action from then on. The excellent encouraging attitude of both sets of coaches got through to the players and they went at it with really tremendous enthusiasm and commitment. As usual, some players came to the fore and Charlie Conway and Dean Geddes Jamie Jennings were very prominent in the early stages for Cramond. Blair Salvona and Nathan Robertson lead the charge at the other end and it was really good to watch. There was not one single word out of place from anyone, and indeed, it was football the way we all want to see it played.
It got even better for the visiting side when a superb free kick from the left corner of the 18 yard box, taken by the very good Brodie McDiarmid, landed perfectly on the head of Dean Geddes and the Cramond No 10 headed the ball in to the net at the right-hand post. Redhall looked a wee bit confused as it dawned on them they were 1-0 down and the player who scored with a header was not very tall compared to the big home defenders. Prior to that opener for Cramond, Redhall had a claim for a penalty waved aside by the referee after Nathan Robertson went down in the box from a dubious challenge. Redhall went close on several occasions early on and it took some great/lucky defending by Cramond to stop the ball going in to the net.
I think it would be fair to say, the fans on the home touchlines thought it just a matter of time before their team got back on level terms. Certainly, Redhall mounted attacks galore on the Cramond goal. But, as the game progressed, so too did Brodie McDiarmid become more influential for Cramond. And free-running No 9, Alfie Torbet, looked every inch an athlete! Well, the hopes of parents of the home side’s players had another shock in store when McDiarmid scored a superb goal to put the visiting side 2-0 up! Eh, was this in the script, at this fascinating wee game that could easily have featured in the Festival Fringe? I think not! Home fans groaned once again when Nathan Robertson let fly with a great shot that looked net-bound, until Cramond keeper, Charlie Forsyth (what a super game he had), threw himself at the ball to divert it away from goal. Charlie, Charlie, you had some Redhall parents ’dong their nut’ at your heroics in keeping the sheet clean for Cramond!
Then came the awakening for all in the Redhall Star colours and that included the dogs on the home touchline! Blair Salvona, remember him, created the chance for big Ryan Greig to side foot a cross from the left past Charlie boy in the Cramond goal and as they say ’the writing was on the wall’ for the visitors from that moment on. But, in another anxious moment, Brodie McDiarmid set up Kyle Cranston to score off the left hand post but - hold on there - the goal was disallowed for offside and Redhall breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Another roar went up when Nathan Robertson was brought down in the box and big ref Gordon Bain was right up with play and he dramatically poined to the penalty spot. Robertson took the spot-kick himself and was he and everyone else connected with Redhall was more than relieved when the ball managed to slither under the diving Charlie Forsyth. That made it 2-2 and shortly after, Blair Salvona set up Lorenzo Parente to score a third goal for Redhall. All that was missing then were fireworks and music from the massed brass bands. Oh, sorry, I am getting carried away at this stage!
The tiring Cramond side were made to suffer again when a poor clearance landed right at the feet of - guess who - Nathan Robertson and this good young player piled on the agony for Charlie Forsyth when he grabbed the chance to make it 4-2. The Cramond goalie, however, did exceptionally well before the final whistle when, in a one-to-one with Adam Robertson, he managed to knock the Redhall player’s shot away from goal.
4-2 it was at the finish and the wonderful sportsmanship that marked this game continued, with both sets of players lining up to shake each other’s hands. And it was still warm and balmy as we all walked back to the changing rooms. It was a great night, indeed, for the image of football, thanks to both Redhall Star and Cramond BC.
Redhall Star YFC Under 13's 4-2 Cramond BC Under 13's