It was a set piece show in the SYFA Cup as East Kilbride saw off a strong Edinburgh City side to progress to the final. Two goals in five first half minutes were enough for the Blues who, despite a second half reply from City, battled well to set up a mouth watering final with Hurlford Boys Club.
New Dundas Park, home to junior side Bonyrigg Rose Athletic, played host to this crunch game between two well established youth sides. Both teams were full of confidence before kick-off but it was Edinburgh City who dominated early on. Just four minutes in and City left back Blair Short came close as his free-kick from the left hand side of the box hit the side-netting.
City’s good opening spell continued over the first 20 minutes, as Jonathan Sedstrem fired just over from the edge of the box before Cai MacDonald stung the palms of EK goalkeeper Adam Haynes.
For the next 15 minutes, the game descended into a midfield battle. Both sides tried to play football, however the pitch, which wasn't conducive to good football, had an impact on the quality of play.
However, on the hour mark, it was the Blues who came closest to scoring. A corner was not properly cleared by the City defence and, as EK returned the ball to the penalty area, Dominic McLaughlin’s flicked header clipped the outside of the post. This was a sign of things to come from EK, who dominated the final 15 minutes of the first half.
East Kilbride’s Ross Smith then began to pull the strings for his side. Smith picked up the ball at the edge of the box and engineered space well, before unleashing a powerful shot, which was gathered at the second attempt by City shot stopper Thomas McLean.
The Blues were not finished there and 10 minutes before the interval they won a penalty. Zak Lindsay’s low shot was parried and the incoming attacker was bundled over by a combination of McLean and Lennie. Ross Taylor placed the ball on the spot and remained calm to send the keeper the wrong way and put EK in front.
East Kilbride, cheered on by a large travelling support, continued their dominance and a few minutes later they were two in front. Ross Smith, who began at left back before being moved up front by his manager, placed a free kick low, in off the right post to put EK in full control of the cup tie.
East Kilbride held firm for the remainder of the first half and went in at the break the happier of the two sides.