Discuss the Match | Buy Photos and Souvenirs
In a game which on paper at least promised to be a close contest, North Merchiston emphatically brushed aside league rivals Tynecastle with a 5-0 scoreline to progress to the final of the Victor Paris Cup.
The stage was set at Meggetland; the sky was clear without a cloud in sight and the sun was shining down upon the turf, the conditions were perfect. Spectators for both teams were out in force, and the game began.
With a place in the final at stake both teams were keen to grab the initiative in the opening 10 minutes. There was a very competitive nature about the way each side approached the game and the players certainly looked up for the 90 minutes ahead. The first blow however went the way of the home side as they broke the deadlock 8 minutes in. After battling for possession in midfield, Merchie had the ball and it was played through to Jake MacDonald. The entire Tynecastle back-line froze and appealed for off-side, but in vain, leaving Macdonald to finish the move in style with a cool finish past the onrushing Cameron Tulloch.
Merchiston looked determined to extend their lead and were spraying the ball about nicely, the ever present Calum Baptie in midfield looked to play some smart early balls to release his teammates. It was the turn of the away side to assert themselves on the game however and Tynie had a good chance to level the game 10 minutes later. After good work on the ball, Connor Brydon was chopped down 25 yards from goal, resulting in a free-kick. James Redpath was the man to take it, but could only find the wall. The ball then broke to Sean Williamson who had a great opportunity to score, but somehow managed to scuff his shot straight at keeper Darren Mitchell.
It wasn’t long before Merchiston capitalised on the wasted opportunity, and they doubled their lead in neat fashion soon after. A long ball forward by the defence ended up on the head of Baptie, who put through Fraser Eddington. One on one with the keeper, he struck the ball fiercely past Tulloch.
Merchiston were playing some great football and could have easily extended their lead just before half time. Baptie played the ball to the right flank where he found Nathan Evans, with one man to beat and Hamish Law unmarked in the 18 yard box he chose to go for glory and spooned the ball over the bar.
Half Time: North Merchiston 2-0 Tynecastle FC
The second half began. So far Tynecastle had struggled to get into the game at all and looked vulnerable defensively, they had been played off the park and had to grab a goal to get back in the tie. Whatever was said at half time seemed to have an impact and they began to play some more positive football. Williamson’s cross-come-shot flew narrowly past the frame of Mitchell’s goal, and they began to get back into the tie, winning more balls and passing the ball with more confidence.
5 minutes later Tynie had another chance to get a foothold in the game. After good play in midfield from Euan Lannon to get the ball back, Williamson held up the ball well just outside the area. He then set up Lannon who struck the ball well but straight at Mitchell who held it comfortably.
Merchiston were to make their opposition pay for not making the most of their second half momentum, and in the 60th minute it was 3-0. Law did very well down the right flank to get past his man with a turn of pace, and fed the ball along the deck to the unmarked Baptie who couldn’t miss.
The home side weren’t done there though and wanted more goals. After some fantastic intricate passing in midfield, another chance came their way. Joe Turner-Law did well to keep the ball from going out of play on the right wing and then played a great through ball to Law who was in the right place in the right time to prod the ball past the onrushing keeper. It was 4-0, and with 15 minutes to go the result was now beyond any doubt.
Despite the score line Tynecastle were determined to make some sort of mark on the game, and came close in the 83rd minute. As Williamson did well to hold the ball up deep in the opposition half he was brought down. Lannon did better on this occasion, and the ball would have ended up in the bottom corner if not for the reactions of Mitchell who did well to palm the ball wide.
Merchie kept on piling pressure on despite the scoreline and minutes later they made it 5-0. A long ball forward by the defence caused problems for the Tynecastle rearguard, with defender and goalkeeper unsure as to who was claiming the ball. After falling over one another Eddington was left with the simple task of putting the ball into an empty net, his second of the game.
And in what was to be the last action of the game, Merchiston could have made the result even more resounding if Evans had done better with his shot after good work by Eddington to create space for his teammate.
It was a very impressive performance for the league leaders who now go on to face Spartans in the final of the competition.
Full Time: North Merchiston 5-0 Tynecastle FC
Andrew Young, coach of North Merchiston, said: "I think it was one of our best performances of the season. I thought Jake McDonald in centre midfield was outstanding today, but really so were the whole team."
David Lapping, coach of Tynecastle FC, said: "It was one of those days, Merchie were the better team and deserved to win. It was a bad day at the office, I know the lads will put this right in the other competitions we're left in."