Having successfully navigated the first 2 rounds, Edinburgh City Jaguars and North Merchiston FC braved the cold weather to meet in the semi-final of the Persevere Cup. The two teams lie 5th and 6th in the league, level on points, so this game was bound to be an evenly matched tie and so it proved to be with both teams enjoying dominating spells throughout the game.
North Merchiston had most possession of the ball during the opening encounters but it was Edinburgh City with the first shot on target after 6 minutes. Following this however, North Merchiston quickly counter attacked with a long ball into the channel from the full back. Kai Bailey latched onto the bouncing ball after the Edinburgh City defence failed to clear and drove towards the goal with speed. He then proceeded to calmly slot the ball underneath the keeper to give North Merchiston the lead early on.
North Merchiston continued to control the football following the goal, appearing too strong for the Edinburgh City players. Loose passes were constantly picked off by the North Merchiston midfield and powerful attacking midfielder, Arin Tuncay, was causing all kinds of problems for the home side, Edinburgh City.
On the 14th minute, against the run of play, Edinburgh City equalised through Matthew Young. Picking the ball up on the left wing, Lewis Flint played an excellent pass in between centre back and right back to Young who ran onto the pass and smashed the ball into the far bottom corner. After their goal, Edinburgh City appeared to be on top with James Farrell finding space in the middle of the pitch and spreading passes around to his teammates.
After 23 minutes, momentum switched in favour of North Merchiston who went ahead again after an Arin Tuncay corner was turned in at the near post by the Edinburgh City goalkeeper. With the score line 1-2, neither team managed to wrestle control of the game however North Merchiston had the better of the chances. Kai Bailey nearly got his second of the game after he burst though the Edinburgh City defence, only to be denied by a fantastic last ditch tackle by Jack Lance. With 2 minutes to half time, North Merchiston doubled their advantage after another Tuncay corner was whipped into the near post and deflected in.