Leith Athletic lifted the Prison Officers Cup with a 4-3 victory over Hutchison Vale at New Countess Park, Dunbar.
Hutchison Vale FC got the game underway but it was Leith that started slightly the better side. An early attack from the kick off saw Brandon Archibald travel towards goal but Byron Gibb read the situation and came off his line to collect the ball after the Leith man's touch allowed the ball to get away from him. McBride then saw his shot from the edge of the box saved by Gibb with two minutes gone.
Leith kept coming forward and Sam Laverty tried his luck with a rather ambitious shot from distance on the half volley which went high and wide. Archibald then had the next opportunity for Leith when he picked up the ball and drove into the right side of the box and rounded the keeper as he came out but Gibb made a good reaction save to parry the ball. The ball fell for Archibald to have another strike from the right side of the box and with his shot beating Gibb, Adrian Shala was on hand to help his keeper and head clear.
Hutchie’s first real chance came 16 minutes in when a Lewis Swaney corner in from the right was helped on its way to the back post by Fox, finding Cameron Milne who passed up a great opportunity when he put his header over the bar from close range.
The men from Saughton then forced a couple of corners. Swaney whipped in the corner which was met by Thomas Prior who saw Aaron King produce a good one-handed stop. The ball fell to Prior who saw his shot on target deflected behind for another corner. Swaney got his head onto the ball this time but he was denied the opener by Leith’s Laverty who cleared off the line.
Leith opened the scoring on 22 minutes when a ball back to Gibb’s in the Hutchie goal saw him slip as he attempted to clear the ball which then fell beautifully for Archibald. The Leith man saw Gibbs coming out to try and close him down and played a delightful lob over the Hutchie keeper into the net to give his side a deserved lead.
The Hutchie men dusted themselves down and came back at Leith. Currie produced a good run then cut inside but his shot was blocked. Then Milne went on a wee jaunt with the ball but his ball into the box was cleared. Now it was Fox’s turn to try and see if he could unlock the Leith defence when he drove into the box but the Leith back line stood firm and crowded him out before he could get a shot away.
The men in yellow and black were having a real go winning a free kick on the right side. Swaney stepped up and fired the ball in from 25 yards out which saw King take at his right post. The swirling wind was causing real problems as far as any ball played into the air was concerned.
A real chance came on 36 minutes for Hutchie to get level when Swaney played in a great ball finding Jack Cowan but he put his side-foot finish high over the bar.
Into the final five minutes and Hutchie did get back on level terms when Leith’s Sam McLaren took out Hutchie’s Currie as he made his way into the box. Currie placed the ball on the spot and tucked away the penalty, low into the bottom-left corner to get his side right back into the final.
The game looked like it would end all square going into the break but that was until 60 seconds to go. Gibb took Leith’s Harry Davis inside the box to give them a great chance to regain the lead on half time. Davis took the spot kick himself and did not let anyone down as he rifled the ball home finding the left corner to bring a cracking first half to an end.