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Hutchison Vale victorious in Craig Gowan Memorial Trophy

Hutchison Vale FC 3

Reilly 27, 66, Dillon 86

Spartans FC Youth 2

Tait 9, Campbell 80

Ainslie Park, home to Lowland League side Spartans, played host to the Craig Gowan Memorial Trophy Final between Hutchison Vale and Spartans. Both sides were confident before kick-off; however, it was Vale who managed to edge the close encounter to lift the silverware.

Hutchison Vale’s route to the final was reasonably comfortable, winning four rounds, with big wins against Currie Star, Arniston Rangers and Dalkeith Thistle and a hard fought victory over Tynecastle in the second round. Spartans, on the other hand, received a bye in the first round before defeating Edinburgh City, Salvesen and Longniddry Villa and it was Spartans who began brightest.

Spartans won the ball in the middle of the park and broke quickly. Joe Tait was played in on goal; he beat one defender before slotting the ball under Shea Dowie to give Spartans the lead.

Spartans began to take control of proceedings, and after 25 minutes they were close to doubling their leads. Dan McKinlay delivered a brilliant corner which was met by Owen Barnes but his header went just wide of the far post, and the score remained 1-0.

Spartans lived to rue this miss, and only two minutes later Hutchison Vale were level.  The ball fell to Michael Reilly about 30 yards out, and he smashed the ball over Ciaran Cairns and into the back of the net.

With this equaliser, Vale began to dominate with a couple of excellent chances before half-time. Firstly, Owen Bryce made space at the edge of the box and fired a low shot towards goal which was well held by Cairns. Bryce came close five minutes later when he was played through but shot straight at the keeper as the scores remained level.

There was time before half-time for Spartans to have another chance. Again, Tait broke into the box, and his pass was initially intercepted by the Vale defender however his clearance came off Matteo Crolla, and it spun onto the crossbar before Dowie cleared.

With this effort, the first-half came to a close with both sides going into the break on level terms.

After half-time Hutchison Vale began to take control of the game. In the first 20 minutes of the second half Vale had some good chances, with Fynlay Connor coming close with a free-kick before Tyler O’Neill had a powerful effort tipped around the post.

Finally, just before the 70-minute mark, Vale made their pressure count. A corner came into the box which was flicked on at the near post, and Michael Reilly was waiting at the back post to tap into the empty net for his and Hutchison Vale’s second.

Only two minutes after the goal, Vale came close to doubling their lead. De Gaetano played a one-two with O’Neill, and his effort hit the crossbar before going over.

Despite the prolonged Hutchison Vale pressure, they couldn’t put the game to bed and, after 80 minutes, Spartans struck back.

Spartans won a free-kick on the edge of the box; from which Rory Campbell curled a wonderful effort over the wall and into the net to level up the game.

Scoring an equaliser so late in the game should have seen Spartans through to extra-time. However, Vale were not finished, and three minutes from time, they scored the winner.

An excellent solo run by Matthew Combe got him to the by-line, and he steadied himself to deliver a cross for Matthew Dillon who nodded into the back of the net to win the game for Hutchison Vale.

Lineups

Hutchison Vale FC
Spartans FC Youth
1. Shea Dowie
2. Nicholas Aitchison
3. Seamus Russell
4. Michael Reilly
5. Leno De Gaetano
6. Fynlay Connor
7. Owen Bryce
8. Matthew Combe
9. Tyler O'Neill
10. Matthew Dillon
11. Aidan MacKenzie
12. Steven King
14. Kieran Sommerville
16. Arran Bathgate
17. Brandon Blair
18. Blair Ross
19. Aidan Cross
22. Craig Richardson
1. Ben Ritchie
2. Charlie Green
3. James Henderson
4. Calum Page
5. Owen Barnes
7. Luke Cormack
8. Rory Campbell
9. Rhys Campbell
10. Craig Turnbull
11. Joe Tait
14. Alex Hamilton
15. Dan McKinlay
16. John Rea
17. Isaac Mackie
18. Matteo Crolla
19. Lucas Anderson
21. Ciaran Cairns
22. Luke Cunningham
Star Player
Hutchison Vale FC
Spartans FC Youth
The star man for Hutchison Vale was Michael Reilly. He scored twice on the day and pulled the strings in the middle of the park. A real captain's performance by Reilly and he thoroughly deserves the award.
Joe Tait is Spartans' star player as he scored the opening goal for his side. Tait always looked dangerous on the ball and was unlucky not to add to his goal later in the match.
Magic Moment
Hutchison Vale FC
Spartans FC Youth
The magic moment for Hutchison Vale has to be Michael Reilly's first goal. His shot from almost 30 yards was a brilliant piece of skill and, of course, it got Vale level.
Spartan's magic moment is Rory Campbell's free-kick. Similar to Reilly's goal, Campbell showed wonderful technique to manoeuvre the ball over the wall and into the back of the net. A special moment on an otherwise disappointing day for Spartans.

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