Newcraighall Leith Vics U14’s secured their position at the top of the South East Region Lothian Buses League for this week after securing a huge three points against rivals Hutchison Vale. The result looked secure after 50 minutes with a 4-1 lead thanks to Fynlay Connor and Yrick Gallantes. However, Hutchison Vale gave the home side a scare in the final minutes fighting back to make it 4-3, but it was a case of too little, too late.
As expected the early stages were slightly tentative, but Newcraighall were quicker out of the blocks. Their early pressure also nearly paid off from a corner with five minutes played. A great ball in from the left found the head of Arran Bathgate, but the tall defender couldn’t find the target and ended up knocking it wide of the post.
The first real test for either keeper came with 21 minutes on the clock. A scrambled shot towards goal from Newcraighall forced Ciaran Cairns down low to his left to save. He couldn’t hold the shot, but no one in black and white was able to capitalise and Hutchie eventually cleared.
Despite Newcraighall edging the early play, it was Hutchie who took the lead. Ryan Shanley receiving the ball inside the box before rifling a shot low into the bottom right hand corner and out of the reach of Tyler McGee. A good finish and a fantastic start for the visitors considering they had enjoyed very limited opportunities on goal.
However, five minutes later and Newcraighall finally got a goal. A ball crossed in from the right by John Robertson found its way past the numerous bodies in the box and found Gallantes. Seemingly surprised that the ball reached him, Gallantes didn’t get much power behind the effort, but it had just enough to slip under the body of Cairns and into the net.
The momentum was now with Newcraighall as they looked to take the lead. Another cross in caused issues for Hutchison Vale, but Josh Sharkey’s ball in was headed narrowly wide by the incoming run of midfielder Mark Tenant. A hands on the head moment for Tenant as it seemingly skimmed the post on the way out.
The final minutes of the half did see Newcraighall put the ball into the back of the net, only for it to be disallowed. A free-kick played in by Robertson found Gallantes who headed home well, but to no avail as the referee blew for offside.