Two of the league’s top sides locked horns as Spartans Reds U16s hosted Hutchison Vale U16s in the Division 1 League Cup. Hutchie took home the spoils in what was as at times a game adversely effected by poor weather conditions, meaning neither side could produce their usual brand of attractive football.
With the game in its infancy it was Spartans who looked the more dangerous of the two sides. Michael Allen tested Hutchie goalkeeper Martin with a close range shot on around the 3 minute mark, the forward making space in the box after a decent delivery from a corner, but Allen was to be denied by a smart reflex save from Martin on this occasion.
Allen would be at the forefront of the Spartans attack again soon after as he took responsibility of a dangerous free kick just outside the visitor’s box on 4 minutes. A great ball in was once again well stopped by Martin in the Hutchie goal, the keeper this time rising highest to bring the ball in to his chest and stop what looked like a dangerous chance from forming.
As Spartans continued to press Murray Hand showed he was not afraid of having a go. The midfielder picked up the ball with a good 25 yards between him and attempted a long drive, this was comfortably saved by the Hutchie goalkeeper. Hand was not to be deterred from his long range shooting however, as just minutes later he attempted a similar effort, this time drawing out the best in Martin who turned the ball behind for a corner.
Its fair to say that with 18 minutes gone it was Spartans who had the lion’s share of possession. It was Fareid Yassein for Hutchie who would look to change that. The central midfielder looked composed as he took hold of the ball playing neat passes to his teammates and looking to form an attack. Indeed it was Yassein who linked with Callum Mackie and sparked what seemed to be a turning of the tide for Hutchie. Yassein found Mackie who produced a sweet through ball down the wing for Kyle Hunter who did well to produce a good cross however this was well cleared by Oran Hosey of Spartans who was very alert to the threat and dealt with the ball in well.
Hutchie pressure would continue in to the latter stages of the first half. Yassein was imposing again, this time producing a great ball on the edge of the box for Hunter who found himself face to face with Jamie Mitchell in the Spartans goal. Hunter’s low drive well saved by Mitchell however as the goalie got down low and threw his body over the shot to keep the score level.
With 30 minutes played it was evident that it was now Hutchie who were in the ascendancy. Yassein may well have been cursing the weather has he produced a great 20 yard ball from deep that saw the ball caught by the wind and taken out rather than finding Ross Waters who was the intended target and in yards of space, ready to strike.
With 36 minutes on the clock despite the recent domination by Hutchie it was very nearly Spartans who opened the scoring. A brilliant free kick by Yilidirm zipped just over Martins bar drawing a gasp from a nervous crowd. Just two minutes later however Hutchie would get their reward for their domination. A short corner on 38 minutes saw Waters find himself with time in the box and he knocked the ball to the awaiting Hunter who finished well, low in to the corner to give the visitors the lead going in to the half time interval.