South East Region (400)
With the clocks having now gone forward and the business end of the season fast approaching, Tynecastle FC and Cavalry Park FC went head to head at New Dundas Park, Bonnyrigg in a memorable final of the Tom Wilson Memorial Cup to kick things off with the seasons first trophy up for grabs.
In testing conditions with a wet and heavy surface underfoot, Tynecastle started the game with some early pressure on the Cavalry Park goal. After just three minutes, the towering Ivan Alapiki took the ball under control well and after holding off his man put a nice cross in to the danger area which Aaron Smith was only able to partially clear. Steven Shores latched on to the loose ball but his low right footed effort was blocked and diverted behind for a Tynecastle corner.
A few moments later and the ball was again clipped in to Alapiki once more which he brought down expertly with the outside of his foot, holding off two defenders on this occasion, before smashing an effort off the Cavalry Park crossbar despite the angle being against him. With only seven minutes on the clock it was clear that Cavalry Park had to stifle the supply to the powerful front man.
Tynecastle continued to probe forwards with William Scott beginning to impose himself more and more on the game. The strong Tynecastle number nine protected the ball brilliantly under pressure before passing it on to Alapiki who laid off Shore to hit once more. Although his second effort was not blocked, the effort was a comfortable save for Ryan Kidd in the Cavalry goal who gathered it well despite a little zip off the surface.
Cavalry Park then turned the flashes of good football they had shown in the opening 15 minutes in to the best move of the match so far. Harris Mackintosh and Tom Davies exchanged a wonderful one-two on the left hand side of the Tynecastle box which sent Mackintosh racing towards the byline. His low driven cross was on a plate to be tapped in however a Tynecastle shirt was first to it and the ball was hammered clear.
Not to be outdone down the other end, Tynecastle created a lovely move of their own. Alapiki chested the ball down to Scott around 25 yards from goal, the Tynecastle playmaker then shifted the ball on to his left foot and hit a superb curling effort towards the top corner which Kidd was equal to and held well.
The ever lively Robbie Cole began to influence the game for Cavalry Park and his corner in the 25th minute caused panic in the Tynecastle six yard box when goalkeeper Aaron Heap failed to hold his cross. The ball fell to the feet of Robbie Walker but Tynecastle keeper Heap was quick to atone for his error and made himself as big as possible to block what was a certain goal before the ball was hacked clear by Shores.
Cavalry Park continued to put Tynecastle on the back foot and began to enjoy a good spell of their own with the pace and trickery of Cole and Davies in particular causing the side in Maroon problems each time the two linked up.
Tynecastle began to fight back and create chances of their own as we approached the last 10 minutes of an evenly matched first half. Scott again picked the ball up wide right for the men in Maroon and drifted infield before teeing up team mate Kieran Moyles who's driven effort was again well saved by Kidd in the Cavalry goal.
Mackintosh picked the ball up in a central position for Cavalry and sprayed a brilliant ball out wide to Robbie Walker on the right. He held the ball in awaiting support before checking on to his left and swinging in a great ball that caught out all of the Tynecastle defence, however luckily for them it was just beyond the reach of Davies who's outstretched touch could only drop kindly at the feet of Heap for him to collect with ease.
With Mackintosh becoming more dangerous with each passing minute, the Cavalry Park midfielder lays inside for Cole to test Heap however his low drive was right down the throat of the Tynie Keeper.
With the first half just about to draw to a close there was time for one last attack and Cavalry Park made it count. A long freekick from Makintosh was hoisted high in to the Tynecastle box which they failed to deal with. The ball fell kindly at the feet of Davies who needed no invitation to hammer the ball home hard and low beyond the helpless Heap in the Tynecastle goal.
Craigroyston CYFC came out 6-3 winners over Edinburgh City Whites in a thoroughly entertaining Persevere Cup final
Craigroyston opened the game well creating many chances and getting shots that trouble the keeper on several occasions such as a decent free kick effort from Joe Monaghan that was well saved by Billy Milne for a corner that came to nothing. Monaghan got a chance to grab a second as Kyle Shepard Thomson played him in but his shot was sent just over the bar.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 17th minute as Humphrey Scott powered a low effort from the corner of the box into Monaghan who timed his run perfectly and slides the ball under the keeper to give Craigroyston the well deserved lead.
Edinburgh City try and retain possession following the goal but can't breakdown the solid Craigroyston defence to score an important equaliser. Sean Coyle gets himself involved for Craigroyston after he beats his man and fractionally sends his shot wide of the post, making a second look likely for the leaders.
In the 23rd minute a free kick on the half way line was won by Craigroyston and taken by Kyle Barnett Brown who launches the ball into the opposition goalies arms but he could not catch it and the ball fell perfectly for Emanuel Rotibel who converted from close range to double Craigroyston's advantage.
Edinburgh City immediately reply through Jamie Hook who dispossesses a Craigroyston defender and powers the ball in, out of nothing to half the deficit just one minute after conceding the second, which gave City a crucial lifeline.
However, a corner from Monaghan that managed to cross the line despite the catch from the goalkeeper regained Craigroyston's two goal lead. Craigroyston further punished the slack defending from Edinburgh City as Coyle picked the ball up from 20 yards, beat two players before burying the chance to score Craigroyston's fourth of the game just before half time.
New Dundas Park played host to a tight Edinburgh Cup final between Gala Fairydean Rovers and Tynecastle FC Whites U13s in a tie that took extra time to decide a winner, which was eventually Gala, winning the game 5-4.
The game started brightly for Gala who dominated the opening five minutes, with Addison Bell and Harris Fairgrieve combining nicely in the final third but they couldn’t find the finishing touch. Their early dominance finally made Tynecastle pay in the eighth minute when Regan Stisi’s cross was blocked into the path of Oliver McClymont who placed his low effort beyond the keeper from the edge of the box to give Gala a deserved lead.
Tynecastle saw a resurgence in their play around 20 minutes into the game as they chased an equaliser, with many chances being created by Leon Byrne and Aidan O’Malley who came close with a powerful effort going just over. They eventually got back into the game courtesy of a through ball from Byrne into the path of Andrei Samoila, whose initial shot was blocked, but found the net with the rebound as Tynecastle drew even with Gala at the half hour mark.
Tynecastle looked to double their lead before the break with more chances created by Byrne that couldn’t be finished. Gala made Tynie pay as Sam Ostle went on a clever run down the left flank before powering the ball, too powerful for the keeper to catch as Gala regained their lead before half-time.
A fast start for Gala proved to be vital in retaining their lead into half time despite great counter attacking football on display from Tynecastle and a revival later in the half that led to them scoring the equaliser.
Edinburgh City Colts weathered both a proverbial and literal storm to defeat Longniddry Villa Colts 1-0 and reach the final of the Division 3 League Cup on Sunday. Sean McLean’s goal five minutes from time settled a tight tie in which Longniddry were arguably the better team before falling to the league leaders.
The opening twenty minutes of this match were a write-off as an abject weather system drove freezing rain and sleet across the pitch. Bar a long range shot by Villa’s James Lithgow and City striker Ryan McElhinney being sharply closed down by keeper Steven Nisbet, the primary objective for the players during this time was to stay warm and not loathe seasonal football.
Eventually conditions improved, slightly, and the game could properly commence. Lithgow was fed a chance on an overlap but found his side-footed effort lacked sufficient power, while McElhinney too tried again: his deflected shot from the edge of the area wrong-footed everyone but fell wide left.
Yet it was four minutes before half-time when the serious opportunities arrived, and they did so in a flurry for Longniddry. The first saw Lithgow roll the ball a sliver wide after a long free kick drifted through the City defence and to his feet. Hearts may well have been in defenders’ mouths as the effort evaded the target in slow motion.
This was followed by Tommy Hughes being sent clear to face City keeper Saul Nelson one-on-one twice within a minute. The first was lost to a slightly heavy touch that enabled Nelson to close within centimetres, and the second required a good save. However Villa were outplaying the leaders, epitomised by how Ross Montgomery created the first Hughes chance by winning the ball in his own half, marching through midfield, and finding the pass behind the left back.
Lochend Youth and Earlston Rhymers managed a goal and red card each as they drew 1-1 in their Division 3 contest in Portobello. On an early Spring day the shared spoils were a fair reflection of a game in which the defences were generally in control.
Matters started slowly, with no meaningful attempts until a snapshot from Rhymers Gavin Dickson went just wide in the 9th minute. Despite significant space occasionally presenting itself on the wings, neither team could connect their approaches into dangerous moves in these early stages.
The match heated up across three minutes midway through the first half. After a Cammy Robertson shot from 20 yards was tipped wide by Lochend’s Zak Eunson, the resulting corner created a frantic goal line scramble. The ball was eventually cleared, but the mood for wild swiping had obviously not been wholly abated: a minute later a violent clash near the Lochend box provoked the referee to reduce both teams to ten.
Lochend’s response to the new numbers was positive, as Jay Stewart had two chances, both set up by fine work by Matthew Hudson. On the first occasion, Hudson embarked on a long run down the left wing before centring; the second was the fruit of a beautiful ball from halfway that Stewart, under pressure, could only toe-poke wide.
But as the interval approached, so Rhymers awoke. In the 34th minute Charlie Haetzman nudged the ball past the last defender but could not beat Eunson when 1-on-1. It did not matter: a minute later a corner was not sufficiently cleared, allowing captain Dickson to win a 50/50 on the edge of the box. With players in every direction, he jabbed the ball high at goal and was delighted to see it fly over the reach on Eunson to give Earlston the lead.
Edinburgh City Whites overcame underdogs Cavalry Park 4-1 to move on in the Colin Greenhill Memorial Cup on Sunday. However, the match between Division 2 frontrunners Whites and Division 3 Park was a closer affair than the scoreline suggests as two late goals punctured the visitor’s gusto.
Indeed, with Edinburgh City somewhat disjointed for the first ten minutes, the favourites were initially on the back foot. The first three efforts all were Cavalry Park’s, two of which came from uneasy clearances. Yet Whites located their calm and by midway through the half were making the better opportunities. A neat ball by Owen Irvine played Charlie Cameron down the right channel, but his shot slide past the far post, and Cavalry Park’s own wayward clearance nearly presented Tucker Smith a one-on-one.
Matters remained even when Park captain Thomas Ritch’s cross gave Nathaniel Beech-Brandt a volleying chance against a curious lack of defenders, but in the 25th minute the stalemate was broken. The goal came from left winger James Jackson, and came like an electric shock. Previously quiet, Jackson received the ball 25 yards from goal, suddenly scorched past his fullback, and poked the ball past keeper Callum Manson.
One became two in the 29th minute when a lofted ball by Irvine dropped behind the defence and eight yards out. Striker Smith, keeper Manson, and a covering defender all converged, with Smith able to nod the ball goalwards before they all crashed. The ball crept over the line to reward his bravery.
2-0 was a harsh half-time score for Cavalry Park, for whom captain Ritch was working relentlessly in central midfield. The final three shots of the half were also theirs, but without a goal they were in trouble.
Robbie Peffers netted a hat-trick as Portobello racked up nine against fellow division one high-flyers West Lothian FC at Portobello High School.
The result sees them into the last four of the Stewart Brien Cup, where they will play whoever is victorious between Longniddry Villa and Currie Star FC.
The hosts were dominant from the first whistle onwards, and their pressing from the front was key to this. West Lothian made their best attempt to play out of it but throughout the first half they struggled to get out and up the other end of the park.
It set a tone for the way the game was going to be played. Taylor Hamill went close to scoring as he slid in at the back post, only for his effort to come back off the foot of the post. It was only a matter of time.
Their pressure was made to count just moments later. Alfie Smith danced into the area, and although his shot was blocked, it fell perfectly to Peffers who pounced from a few yards out to open the scoring.
Portobello’s wide men were influential in the outcome of the game and the width they provided caused all kinds of problems for the visitors. Whilst Hamill got himself into goalscoring positions on the right, Reynolds had a field day getting beyond his man and to the byline down the left.
They also had the creative Josh Crolla in the heart of midfield. He might have been the tallest player on the park, but midfielder showed a classy range of passing and netted a superb second for his side on 19 minutes from outside the box, leaving goalkeeper Noah Young helpless.
West Lothian looked to have held out until half time with the deficit at just two. That was until Smith stepped up to hit a free kick from well outside the area in the final minute of the half. He had no right to score, but the strike was of the highest order, giving Young no chance once again. The game had a different feel now going into the break; the visitors with a mountain to climb.
Currie Star Yellows picked up an important win thanks to a Luke Westmoreland double, as fellow Division 4 strugglers Edinburgh South succumbed to a tenth defeat of the season at Balerno High School.
The first half was a cagey affair where tactics played a big part. Currie Star, despite having the lions share of possession, failed to unsettle the visitors, who were looking to stifle them with a defensive 4-1-4-1 approach.
However goals either side of the interval from Westmoreland gave the hosts a firm grip on proceedings - and a further two goals put the game beyond the reach of the Patriots.
On a chilly winters morning, the game started with a flurry of good chances. Josh Boyle fired a clever cut-back over the crossbar for the away side before Westmoreland failed to guide the ball into an empty net, from a tight angle albeit, following a mix-up at the back.
The Currie striker continued to threaten however, and he slashed an effort narrowly off target a few minutes later.
The quality level took somewhat of a dip after the first five minutes, and the game settled into a slower tempo, where first half chances came few and far between.
It was the Yellows who continued to create what few chances there were - Sam Watson and Max Neary both trying their luck from distance; but needless to say the game remained goalless.
Henry Millar created his side’s best opportunity of the half with a clever turn into the box - and his goanward strike had to be cleared behind by Watson, somewhat unorthodoxly. It was a good spell for South, and Jack Mackintosh hit a low strike sweetly following the resultant corner, but off target.
The breakthrough would come, just minutes before the interval, thanks to Westmoreland. The ball in behind was well-weighted for the forward but it was the miscommunication between goalkeeper and defence that let him latch on to it. From that point onwards, with keeper Dylan Simm stranded, he did the rest - executing a deft chip to to give his side a deserved lead at the break.
Edinburgh City Reds broke Earlston Rhymers resistance with nine minutes to play in their Division 2 League Cup contest. The hosts' 1-0 victory, in a match they controlled but struggled to find shots, was deserved but not easy on a cold Edinburgh day.
The game began with a curious misunderstanding in the fourth minute. Ryan Ironside’s deflected right wing cross looped over Rhymers keeper Finlay Dodds, struck the back post, bounced perilously close to in and ended back within Dodds’ hands. Amidst claims the ball had crossed the line, it appeared a goal had been given and Reds began to celebrate. Yet something was amiss. The signal, the referee stated, had been play on. It was a big call, under pressure, but the correct decision.
After that mini-drama, the game hit a steady rhythm of Reds in possession and Rhymers looking out of sorts. Finlay Purdie was the pick of midfield, but efforts at goal were scarce and seldom on target. When Purdie had to be removed for a worrying issue after 25 minutes - he was treated on the sideline beneath coats for substantial time, but eventually left the ground on his own feet - the spark and impetus became subdued.
Reds continued to manage the game, and one free kick drew a good save by Dodds, but by half time only two of the half dozen shots had been worthy of saves, and none had been by Earlston. Unsurprisingly, the game was goalless.
A single goal, scored seven minutes from the end of an otherwise evenly contested tie, ensured Hutchison Vale progressed in the Federation of Hibs Supporters Cup at Edinburgh South’s expense. With chances hard to fashion, Luke McMahon’s left boot did the damage, and stout defence did the rest.
With both sides holding similar positions in the league, this was likely to be a close match-up. Thus it proved, with a first twenty in which South started stronger, Vale grew, and each side had one serviceable opportunity. Had a third minute centre by South’s Ryan O’Donnell found the boot of Misu El Boghady, or Hutchison’s Kye Hutchison’s free kick not been tipped over, the flavour of the game may have changed.
As it was, most attacking was conducted outside the box. For South, Alastair McWhirter - playing as a deep-lying striker - showed touch and vision that was alas too far from goal. Vale’s McMahon, meanwhile, preferred driving at the defence from halfway, which caused consternation and, on the half hour, a chance for Kieran Somerville. Ciaran Pugh, with his knees, made another strong save.
As the half ticked down, South suddenly found some shooting boots. A beautiful free kick from El Boghdady nearly located the top right corner, but thudded the crossbar instead. A deflected cross nearly looped over keeper Bryce, who did wonderfully to fall backwards and claw the ball out. McWhirter attempted to neatly bend the ball into the bottom corner from 25 yards, but Bryce was again alert to parry. We reached the interval goalless.
Edinburgh City Star progressed in the U19s David Murray Cup after a wafer-thin 1-0 win over Spartans Reds at Forrester High School. In a match between two even teams eyeing the top of League One, it was apt that only a rebound from a saved penalty could distinguish a victor.
It was a game that started with a lot of kinetic energy but little momentum; fifteen minutes in there had been as many bookings as shots (one). Both teams hurried the ball forward with such haste that strikers and midfielders were chasing in hope, and the defenders could sweep up, play back, or clear out any ball.
Possession was even but the style of play better suited Star. Captain Ryan Foggo and defensive shield Joseph McGinty are a stout combination, while striker Kieran Richmond doesn’t mind being offside three times if he escapes on the fourth. He had put the ball in the net once already - albeit offside - before he got loose in the 21st minute. Only the right boot of keeper Craig Wylie kept parity, an excellent save.
Reds’ best chances in the opening half came within a minute of each other not long after that reprieve. A cute dink over the centre backs by Glen Aitken nearly got Angus O’Connor in. A strike from 20 yards by David Whalen was whipped only a yard over the bar.
Yet Star still offered a threat by beating offside. A stroke of fortune had midfielder Jordan Mackie clear from halfway, but he hit well over on the run. A nice turn by Cameron Burns fed Richmond, who took the long way round before crossing inches beyond partner Owen McGreevy. However, the half ended without a goal.
Portobello put eight past Currie Star in the space of 29 minutes as they turned on the second half style and romped to victory at Meggetland.
In what was to be a closely contested cup tie on paper, the first half was lacking a great deal of quality, and there wasn’t much between the sides. However Portobello came out after the break and showed a desire, and an energy level that Currie Star couldn’t match - and in fact they were blown away.
The away side, who have scored more than seven goals in each round of the competition, set up an intriguing tie at Salvesen, who sit fifth in the league - with a place in the South East Region Cup final up for grabs.
The only goal of the first period came just two minutes in. Josh Crolla was the architect, a common theme, as he worked a yard and fired a dangerous low ball to the back post, where Taylor Hamill was on hand to tap in from close range.
From that point onwards however, there wasn’t an awful lot to shout about, as the sides fought for scraps in a toughly contested midfield battle. Chances came few and far between; making it crucial that when they came about - the finishing was ruthless.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case as the only other meaningful chance of the half fell to the goalscorer Hamill, following some neat footwork from Declan Bryne. The wide man, from about eight yards, was leaning back as he fired over the crossbar. Luckily it wouldn’t have too much of an impact on the final outcome.
Something that may well have had an impact on proceedings were the conditions. Just a few degrees above freezing and not helped by the fact the rain began to lash down - the game moved into the second half with just the one goal in it.