A magnificent four-goal haul from Joao Balde saw Broughton overcome Preston Lodge to win the Lothian Schools FA Cup final, on an eventful afternoon at Ainslie Park.
The first chance of the cup final fell the way of Broughton when Balde floated a teasing ball towards the back post, where Robbie Ashdown-Adams was arriving into the area, but his effort flew over the bar.
They didn’t have to wait too long to open the scoring on the evening, as Balde grabbed his first goal of four in the 15th minute.
A clinical counter attacked sliced open the Preston Lodge defence as Matty Combe switched the ball over to Balde, who took a touch on his chest and slotted the ball underneath the goalkeeper; a deserved goal after a dominant opening.
Within barely a blink of the eye Broughton extended their lead to two goals, and Balde was on hand to score again. It was nearly a carbon copy of the first goal as once again Combe was the provider, sliding in Balde into the same position as before, and as before, he despatched beyond the keeper’ and gave his side a two-goal cushion.
After assisting the first two goals it was nearly Combe’s turn to get on the scoresheet himself, as an inswinging free-kick fell to him at the back post, but despite stretching, he was unable to convert it into the net.
A Preston goal didn’t look likely at that stage, as Broughton piled forward time after time and the result seemed a potential formality. However, their lead was cut on 25 minutes after a defensive mix-up. Broughton failed to clear a corner successfully and Ellis Grieve capitalised from inside the area to score. It may have been against the run of play, but suddenly the cup final was back in the balance.
Broughton really should have added a third just before the half-time interval, as Balde hung up an inviting ball into the centre after a storming run, Fynlay Connor managed to reach it but he spurned the chance and put it well over the bar from close range.