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Clinical Hutchie bring Merchi down to earth to lift cup

Hutchison Vale 3

Moore 55, Combe 70, 87

North Merchiston 0

  • Sunday, 13 April 2014
  • New Dundas Park, Bonnyrigg
  • Under 19´s
  • Cruden Bowl - Final
Hutchison Vale met North Merchiston in the second South East Region Under 19 cup final at Bonnyrigg Rose's New Dundas Park, in as many weeks. After a deadlocked first half, a devastating second period showing by the boys in black and gold secured the trophy. Dylan Moore's opener was added to by a Jordan Combe double, to give Vale their first trophy of the season.
North Merchiston entered the match high on confidence. They had convincingly beaten Musselburgh Windsor 96' 7-1 in the previous weekend's final, but knew they were likely to receive a sterner test on a blustery afternoon in Midlothian. Hutchison Vale hadn't been beaten in the league and this was the first of three cup finals they have to look forward to, with the South East Region Cup final against North Merchiston one of those. The sides could both meet in another final too, if they both win their ties in the Federation of Hibs Supporters Cup. Both sides had beaten each other once to date and form would suggest that these sides will guzzle up the majority of the eight local trophies to play for at this age group.
The match kicked off at the high tempo you come to expect at this level. The pitch was in good condition and both teams showed a desire to get the ball down and play in the early spells. Both sets of full backs were enjoying a lot of the ball, as central midfields battled for possession, before spraying the ball out wide and building from the back.
Merchi were the first to threaten, forcing a series of corner kicks, all invitingly delivered by Nathan Evans. Jake MacDonald saw his header cleared off the line, Calum Baptie struck an effort off the post and Anton Dowds thought he had put his side in front, only for his half volley to be blocked by some last ditch defending.
Jordan Combe was Vale's most likely source for danger in the opening exchanges. His non stop running off the ball were keeping the Merchi defenders on their toes and also giving them little time on the ball. His first chance came when the striker beat the offside trap, but just as he prepared to pull the trigger, North Merchiston goalkeeper Ryan Forsyth stole the ball from his feet and clutched onto it at the second attempt. Brave goalkeeping, which would become a common sight.
Another player starting to make his mark for Vale was Dylan Moore. He had a half hearted appeal for a penalty waved away, as he clashed with a Merchi defender inside the box. Moore appeared favourite to reach the loose ball with the goal gaping, but Ryan Clarke made a timely intervention.
More body on the line Merchi defending prevented Moore from opening his account minutes later. A shot bound for the bottom left hand corner was crucially deflected wide by Calum Windram. Not to be outdone, Hutchie's Matthew Joint showed his side's defending was equally effective, standing up strong to half a surging James Redpath run.
That proved to be the last action of an entertaining and very even first half. It was anybody's game at this stage and too close to call.
  • Half Time:
  • Hutchison Vale
  • 0-0
  • North Merchiston
The second half kicked off with the wind even fiercer, making it tough conditions to play football in and credit must be given to both sets of players to how they went about their business.
Once again the first chance fell to North Merchiston by way of a corner kick. A back post corner by Evans was headed into the side netting by Fraser Thomson, when an effort back across goal might just have found its way past Thomas Cordery.
However, unlike the previous half, this wasn't followed by a spell of Merchi pressure - quite the opposite. Hutchie began to take the game by the scruff of the neck and it wasn't long before they were rewarded. Liam Henderson picked the ball up on the edge of the box and with most expecting him to shoot, he subtly played the ball into the path of Dylan Moore, who placed the ball perfectly inside the bottom left hand corner to open the scoring.
The pressure continued to mount on the North Merchiston goal, with Henderson seeing a shot deflected narrowly past the right hand post. Combe was then denied by a point blank save from Forsyth, after he had powered his way past his marker.
At the other end the boys in black and white were struggling to break down the Hutchie defence, perhaps suffering from the absence of injured talisman Hamish Law. They did have a half chance after Evans' long throw was flicked on by Dowds, but Baptie's header was gratefully clutched by Cordery.
With 70 minutes on the clock, Hutchison Vale grabbed the decisive second goal. It was no great surprise to see that man Combe on target. The prolific striker was sharp to latch onto a ball inside the Merchi penalty box and he calmly lofted the ball over Forsyth to double his side's advantage.
A player who had been quietly but effectively going about his business was Vale skipper Connor McGregor. The long serving player kept his side's midfield ticking, doing the simple thing more often than not and ensuring every ball was competed for. He did make a rare burst forward as Hutchie counter attacked, latching onto a through pass but seeing his effort blocked by another brave Forsyth save.
One final chance for North Merchiston came after a set piece was only half cleared and found its way to Gavin Birrell. His lofted shot nearly found the top right hand corner, but scraped past the wrong side of the post from Merchi's perspective.
With the final whistle approaching, Hutchie put the icing on the cake. An excellent pass from Ryan Malcolm found Combe, who wasted no time finishing emphatically to score his second and his team's third. 
Vale celebrated upon the final whistle, clearly delighted with their cup win and a victory over their rivals. However, it was only chapter one of what proves to be an exciting series between these two sides over the coming weeks.
  • Full Time:
  • Hutchison Vale
  • 3-0
  • North Merchiston


Hutchison Vale
North Merchiston
1. Thomas Cordery
2. Zach Szemis
3. Kevin Lee-Keane
4. Matthew Joint
5. Lewis Todd
6. Connor McGregor
8. Dylan Moore
9. Jordan Combe
10. Jason Coyle
11. Liam Henderson
14. Ross Anderson
15. Matthew McGuire
16. Declan Moffat
17. Ryan Malcolm
18. Matthew Sampson
19. Scott Siegel
1. Ryan Forsyth
2. Fraser Thomson
3. Gavin Birrell
5. Nick Mortimer
6. Calum Windram
7. Anton Dowds
8. Calum Young
9. Joe Turner-Law
10. Calum Baptie
11. Nathan Evans
12. Sam Tulloch
15. Fraser Eddington
17. Jake MacDonald
18. Greig Brown
19. Ryan Clarke
20. James Redpath
21. Andrew McBride
Star Player
Hutchison Vale
North Merchiston
A number of fine performers took to the field in black and gold, but it's hard to see past Jordan Combe. It wasn't until later in the game he made the breakthrough, but it always seemed like a matter of time with his energy and quality on the ball.
Ryan Forsyth didn't put a foot (or hand) wrong. Made a number of fine saves, showing great bravery to fling himself at the feet of strikers time and again.
Magic Moment
Hutchison Vale
North Merchiston
Jordan Combe's second goal was a touch of class and it all but secured the cup for Hutchison Vale.
Take your pick from a number of Ryan Forsyth's saves.
Club Views
Hutchison Vale
North Merchiston
Norrie Kerr, Hutchison Vale secretary, said: "It was a game of two halves. Both sides can play better and would have under better weather conditions. We got the goal through Dylan and kicked on from there and can be pleased with the result."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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