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Merchiston defeat Hutchie in enthralling South East final

Hutchison Vale 2

Moore 8, Own Goal 79

North Merchiston 3

Dowds 39, Law (pen) 68, MacDonald 111
  • Final Result: Hutchison Vale 2-3 North Merchiston (AET)
  • Saturday, 31 May 2014
  • New Countess Park, Dunbar
  • Under 19´s
  • South East Region Cup - Final
 
Hutchison Vale and North Merchiston  met in the South East Region Cup final, at a sun soaked Countess Park. Both teams have enjoyed positive seasons, and a 3-3 draw during the last outing set the scene for an intriguing encounter . Hutchison Vale had prevailed 4-2 against Musselburgh Windsor 96 in their semi final, while North Merchiston needed extra time to see off a battling Bathgate Rose 3-1. 
 
The game kicked of down in Dunbar basked in sunshine, with the pitch in marvellous condition providing the optimum setting for a Cup final. After an unremarkable opening few minutes, the game was suddenly lit up in quite spectacular fashion. A corner was headed clear by the Merchiston defence, landing in the path of on rushing Hutchison  Vale midfielder Dylan Moore, at least 30 yards from goal. Even the most optimistic of spectators would have agreed it was a speculative distance to attempt to find the net from, however Moore demonstrated great technique, striking across the ball resulting in a powerful, swerving effort that gradually rose until it crashed into the top right hand corner; a simply breathtaking strike. Moore and co wheeled away to celebrate, while Merchiston were left to to regroup after the shock of conceding an early goal, delivered in such style. 
 
It was Hutchie who had the next effort on goal. After winning a throw in the attacking half, Ryan Malcolm received the ball and played it into the box successfully finding Jordan Burrows however his strike curled narrowly over Ryan Forsyth's bar. Subsequent to this attack North Merchiston grew in confidence, and began asserting themselves on the final.
 
Merchiston were pressing all over the pitch, especially on Hutchie’s back line causing clearances and passes to become inaccurate inviting more pressure from the energised Merchiston outfit. Merchistons James Redpath turned wonderfully in the opposition half before releasing a ball to the left, there was a foul on Redpath as he executed the pass but the referee correctly played advantage. The recipient of Redpath's ball was Nathan Evans, who proceeded down the left flank and managed to put in a cross, which somehow evaded everyone in both attack and defence rolling along the 6 yard box before being cleared to safety.
 
The pressure continued from Merchiston as Hutchie struggled to settle into the game, this time the ball came in from the right hand side before sitting up nicely for Joe Turner-Law to unleash a volley from around 25 yards. The technique was exemplary, however the strikers shot flashed just wide of Thomas Cordery's left hand post. 
 
It was  Hutchison Vale turn to exert some pressure next though, and they could have doubled their advantage. A long ball from Hutchie keeper Cordery, delivered with precision found Jason Coyle in behind, however the Merchiston back line recovered to clear for a corner. There was soon to be another opportunity for Hutchie, Jordan Burrows had started a move on the halfway line, before the ball broke to him again later in the move on the edge of the box. He fed striker Jordan Combe, however his strike was deflected narrowly wide of the right hand post 
 
Merchiston continued  to play with energy and industry, and not long after a through ball for Hamish Law was smothered by Cordery, they equalised. The ball was fed inside to number 7 Anton Dowds, who by all accounts was having a good game in midfield alongside the imposing Callum Baptie. Dowds  received the ball around 25 yards from goal, looked up and rifled a an untoppable left footed drive into the right hand corner, levelling the match in superb style around 5 minutes prior to half time. It was Merchiston’s turn to celebrate.  
 
The game did not simply meander towards halftime however, and it was Merchiston who could have grabbed a half time lead. After having a few passages of short sharp passing, they earned a free kick on the edge of the box in a dangerous position. Law stood over the free kick, and sent a stinging effort goalwards. It was pushed away by Cordery into the path of Evans, who delivered it back into the 6 yard area where it deflected of a Hutchie defender toward goal before being cleared to safety, narrowly avoiding an own goal  and ensuring the teams went in level at the interval.
  • Half Time:
  • Hutchison Vale
  • 1-1
  • North Merchiston
The second half kicked off with Countess Park still bathing in sunshine. It was Hutchie to threaten first, when a great chance to regain the lead was spurned. Liam Henderson  made good progress down the right hand side of the pitch driving into box, he had the awareness to look up and pick out striker  Jordan Combe with the cut back, yards from goal. Unfortunately for Combe when sliding to divert the ball goalwards, the ball somehow squirmed underneath him hindering the resulting effort, which bobbled wide. 
 
The second half continued with a similar flow to the first 45, with tackles flying in from all angles. This resulted in Liam Henderson being booked for a late challenge on Merchiston attacker  Nathan Evans. The next chance at goal then fell to Merchiston. James Redpath whipped in a great ball from a freekick, which found the head of striker Joe Turner-Law, who expertly angled a header towards the bottom corner. However, the ball tantalizingly came off the inside of the post and out, with many Merchiston fans already cheering a second goal.
 
It was Hutchie's turn to try and regain the lead next. Ryan Malcolm drove with purpose up the left hand side, demonstrating great pace, before bursting into the box and firing an effort at goal, which was palmed away for a corner. Merchiston defended the corner routinely  and minutes later had the lead for the first time in the match. 
 
After staving off a Merchiston attack, Hutchie attempted to clear their lines,  only for the clearance to ricochet of one of their own men and into the path of Turner-Law. The striker progressed towards goal, but his effort was saved, the impressive Baptie was quickly on to the loose ball however rounding Cordery before being felled by the vocal Hutchie keeper. The referee had no hesitation in correctly pointing to the spot. Law stepped up confidently and dispatched the effort with authority, as if it was the most rudimentary of task's,  powered high into the roof of the net. The celebrations ensued and Merchiston led the Cup final for the first time. 
 
Hutchie seemed determined to restore parity, and came close shortly afterwards. Matthew McGuire played an exquisite crossfield ball, which released Malcolm, who drove into box only for the ball to be smothered at his feet, halting the attack.  
 
Hutched were on the front foot again shortly after with, Zach Szemis making the most of some rare space on the right flank, and delivering a ball into the danger area. The cross was headed out to the edge of the area where Henderson connected purely with a right footed drive, Forsyth though was equal to it and made an impressive save to his right.
 
Hutchie’s next attack was to prove more prosperous however. Coyle produced a cute turn in the box to deceive his man, allowing him the time to size up and strike a left footed effort which was initially saved by Forsyth, before the ball squirmed underneath him causing havoc in the 6 yard box. Redpath tried to eliminate any danger but inadvertently thumped the ball into his own net from close range. It was  a cruel blow for Merchiston to concede in such circumstances, but Hutchie were level and the relief was evident in the celebrations. 
 
Hutchie looked the more likely team to go on and win the game, galvanised by their equaliser with momentum now firmly behind them. There was to be a golden chance to win the game within the 90 minutes, Coyle got on the end of a pass in the box, and intelligently squared for Combe, and just as it looked like Hutchie would snatch the winner the ball managed to evade the striker and went harmlessly across the penalty area. 
 
The whistle sounded with the teams level after an enthralling 90 minutes. Both sides had performed tirelessly, in a game where both teams had spells on top. The players tried to absorb the coaching staff's words into their weary mind before returning to the pitch for a fatigue inducing 30 minutes.
  • Full Time:
  • Hutchison Vale
  • 2-2
  • North Merchiston

Extra time became a more turgid affair, with the fatigue apparent in both sides. The first goal scoring chance of the half fell to Hutchie, a long ball over the top looped over the Merchiston defence Combe raced onto it, but the ball sat up awkwardly and the striker could only lash it over the bar from the edge of the box,

Merchiston then threatened from a corner, however the resulting header was nodded wide by Dowds. Sub Jake MacDonald was next to threaten for Merchiston, utilising his fresh legs, he ran with purpose and pace into the box, unleashing a left foot effort across goal, which whistled wide.

The game was balanced with no one dominating possession or chances as the game grew scrappier, with both teams desperately striving for the elusive winning goal. There was wasn’t any clear cut chances of note and it looked like the game may be have to be decided by dreaded penalty kicks. That was until the aforementioned MacDonald a substitute in the second half of regulation time, provided a moment of inspiration to grab the lead with just under 10 minutes to go. The attacker trapped the ball perfectly on the edge of the box, before turning his man delightfully and striking a fine effort across goal into the bottom left hand corner. The Merchiston players celebrated wildly, while some of the Hutchie lads sank to their knees in a combination of exasperation and exhaustion.

Hutchie tried desperately to fight the fatigue and snatch another equaliser, rallied by captain Connor McGregor. However the captain became frustrated at a decision that went against his team, and his overzealous protest earned him a caution.

Hutchie were now asserting all the pressure, as Merchiston dropped deeper. McGregor had been pushed up up the pitch in the hope of snatching an equaliser, and the move almost paid off. He latched onto a long ball from Cordery, and hit the byline. He drove an effort across goal, which nicked off a Merchiston defender diverting it goalbound at the near post. However there wasn't to be a second own goal of the afternoon, and Forsyth gathered gratefully at the fornt post.

This proved to be the last goal mouth action of the game, as the full time whistle sounded. This evoked contrasting emotion from both sets of players. The Hutchie boys sank to the ground in an exhausted realisation the game was lost. Merchiston players celebrated jubilantly, roaring and hugging each other in delight at becoming the South East Region Cup winners. It was perhaps harsh on Hutchie, but North Merchiston had done just enough to deserve the victory.

Final Result: Final Result: Hutchison Vale 2-3 North Merchiston (AET)

Lineups

Hutchison Vale
North Merchiston

1. Thomas Cordery
2. Zach Szemis
3. Kevin Lee-Keane
4. Matthew Joint
5. Lewis Todd
6. Connor McGregor
7. Jordon Burrows
8. Dylan Moore
9. Jordan Combe
10. Jason Coyle
11. Liam Henderson
12. Brendan Edwards
14. Ross Anderson
15. Matthew McGuire
16. Declan Moffat
17. Ryan Malcolm
18. Matthew Sampson
19. Scott Siegel

1. Darren Mitchell
2. Fraser Thompson
3. Gavin Birrel
4. Cameron Stokes
5. Nick Mortimer
6. Calum Windram
7. Anton Dowds
8. Calum Young
9. Joe Turner-Law
10. Callum Baptie
11. Nathan Evans
12. Sam Tulloch
15. Fraser Eddington
16. Ryan Forsyth
17. Jake MacDonald
18. Greig Brown
19. Ryan Clarke
20. James Repdath
21. Andrew McBride
23. Hamish Law

Star Player
Hutchison Vale
North Merchiston
Jason Coyle's trickery in the box created the space for Hutchie's equaliser. He always looked threatening with the ball at his feet, and if some of the chances Hutchie missed fell to him, it could have been a different result.
Despite scoring at the wrong end, James Redpath had a brilliant game. He defended stoutly, his distribution was excellent, be it a ball up the line or a cross into the box. Redpath was also vocal throughout and helped marshal a well organised defence. Evans & MacDonald also played well during their respective times on the pitch.
Magic Moment
Hutchison Vale
North Merchiston
Dylan Moore's opening goal was right out of the top drawer. He couldn't have hit it any sweeter.
MacDonald's crucial extra time goal sealed the cup for Merchi, to their delight. It also notched Jake the YFS Magic Moment honour for the second time in under 24 hours, after his superb strike for Lothian Schools the night prior. We're sure this is a record.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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