On one of the coldest weekends of the year so far Meggetland played host to the South East Region Cup quarter-final clash between AC Oxgangs and Loanhead Miners Youth FC. Before the game many saw Loanhead as favourites after comfortably beating Oxgangs earlier in the season, but in cup games there are always upsets.
The game kicked off as the sun gleamed down on the turf, but the temperature still remained a bitter four degrees. This was to be a frosty encounter. As the game began a very physical encounter started as both sides look to assert themselves and take control.
Up until the fifth minute it had been a very scrappy affair, and then the first chance of the game came. It was to be a very significant one. A long ball forward by the Oxgangs defence looped over the midfield and fell to Lewis Temple who controlled the ball well, outpaced the defender and coolly slotted home to make it one nil in the sixth minute.
The visitors were keen to respond though and immediately launched an attack from kick off. Ryan Weston held the ball up well before laying off Samuel Jones who tried a long range effort from 25 yards. The ball scraped the top of the bar with keeper Robbie Brown stranded.
Oxgangs were defending well at the back and were restricting Loanhead to shots from distance. Right back Fraser Shearer took aim from a long way out but it was all too easy for Brown.
Weston continued to cause the backline problems however. In the 23rd minute he received the ball at the halfway line before running towards goal. Again he was forced to hold the ball up just outside the opposition box as the Oxgangs backline stood firm. After creating some space however he passed the ball into McKelvey who hit a powerful shot just over the crossbar. Loanhead were determined to get on the scoresheet but the leaders were looking good at the back.
The visitors were pressing higher up the field, which was a dangerous strategy to employ with the pacey Temple and Bishop looking to counter for Oxgangs. Loanhead continued to have most of the possession in the first half, but just lacked penetration in the final third of the pitch.
Their gamble almost paid off just before half time however as Andrew McNeill found himself some space in the area after a good ball in from out wide by Liam Higgins. He could only hit a tame shot at the goalkeeper however, in what was Loanhead’s best chance so far.
Half Time: AC Oxgangs 1 Loanhead Miners Youth FC 0