South East Region (402)
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.
A dominant second half performance and a hat-trick from Sam Gormley ensured Cavalry Park strolled to victory over Earlston Rhymers in the Craig Gowans Memorial Cup at Portobello High.
The first half remained goalless until the death when Gormley pounced and from that point onwards, there was only going to be one winner, as Cavalry Park began to rack up the goals after the interval, and advance to the next round.
In the early stages, Tom Davies proved to be a real handful for Earlston, firstly forcing the keeper to tip behind, before he fizzed a ball across the face - to which there were no takers.
Andrew Mackenzie fired over from distance before Murray Lockhart missed the target when the ball dropped to him from a corner.
They continued to spurn chances, although none clear-cut. James Stewart was next following a cross in from the right, and then Mackenzie lashed the rebound goalwards, only for it to be cleared off the line.
One of the better chances of the half fell to Davies on 23 minutes, who got on the end of an inviting delivery from the left and nodded the bar down into the ground - however keeper Finlay Dodds was alert to it and managed to claw off the line.
Despite their ascendancy in the first period, half an hour in the home side still had nothing to show for it. Rhymers managed to play some decent stuff out from the back, with Alisdair Buchanan and Jack Bell linking up well on the left side, but for the most part, they struggled to negotiate the Cavalry Park high-press.
Cavalry turned it up a notch in the closing five minutes of the half, increasing the tempo in search of an opener. Davies again found himself in scoring positions, but again was denied by Dodds - whose heroics kept his side in it in the first half. Scrambles and goal-line clearances followed, but the score remained level.
That was until Rhymers lost possession at the back and Cavalry Park took full advantage. Davies turned provider, running the channel and picking out Gormley with a pinpoint cross. The skipper did the rest as he adjusted to loop the bouncing ball into the far corner in the dying seconds of the first half.
Five goals in sixteen decisive minutes helped Spartans Youth see off Division 2’s AC Oxgangs 6-1 at Ainslie Park, advancing them to the next round of the Craig Gowans Memorial Cup. In a display involving some great one and two-touch passing, the home team combined aesthetics with goals as they seek to return to the final.
Matters did not begin smoothly for last season's runners-up, however, with passes the wrong side of runs and Oxgangs offering dangerous pace on the resulting breaks. Rory Ferguson and Leo Neil both nearly got beyond the last man as the visitors threatened, their endeavours coming either side of a Spartans shot by Keir Russell that keeper Lachlan Bradford saved with his legs.
Yet by the quarter hour the Division 1 team had their shape. Midfielders Adam Dodds, Jack Crombie and Rory Hamilton made a fluid central three, with forward Reece Mason dropping to give another give-and-go option. When things got congested, the ball went wide to Russell on the right, or Joseph Evenden out left.
It was Evenden who set-up the opening goal in the 17th minute, getting beyond the fullback and crossing for Kieran McCallum to conclude his near post run with a neat flick home. Spartans were one up and quickly after two via Evenden, left back Luke Morris, and Mason. Offering mirth amongst the flurry of efforts, the referee accidentally waved a red card instead of a yellow, inspiring some good-humoured chuckles.
Possession, and the high defence it allows, can be a team’s downfall. Ten minutes before half time an Oxgangs through ball suddenly split Spartans’ centre backs, sending Ferguson roaring through. Keeper Josh Scoon spread himself to save with his shins. When a Joe McGowan free kick evaded everyone and bounced just past Scoon’s right post a minute late, it was a reminder this was still game on.
A single goal, scored in the first minute of the second half, separated the teams as Edinburgh City withstood Dalkeith Thistle’s pressure to claim a tough 1-0 victory in the South East U15’s Division Two. Featuring even teams and occasionally uneven tempers, it was a match in which fortitude was prevalent but a moment of skill was decisive.
The first half nearly began with a bang when City’s Finley Pattman was played through seconds into the game. His shot went wide left, but it was indicative of a start in which the home side pinned Thistle back. Clearances were calmly picked up and the encampment continued. Possession was liberally one-sided.
Nonetheless, chances were rare, and the opening twenty minutes raised few efforts on goal. Indeed, Dalkeith had the best opportunities, with Ryan Wilkinson beating keeper Danny Smith to a long ball but subsequently running out of pitch, and Jamie Kennedy unable to make full contact on a free kick to the far post. Edinburgh City’s two shots were from Patryk Zawislak and James Mullen, and both from a distance too far to properly stretch Thistle’s Mackenzie Ewing.
A quarter of the game had thus passed when a true chance came. With play evening out, Thistle’s Kennedy sent in a cloud-grazing cross from the right that caused problems, leading to Wilkinson and Adam Cairns both eventually having goes in the scramble. There was no way through, but the game was beginning to suggest a goal was imminent.
That opener could have come for City twice in the last ten minutes of the half. First Pattman, and then Luke Taylor, found himself running clear at goal. But whereas the scramble at one end had ended under a blanket defence, Ewing now proved himself a one-man wall. Staying big even as he saw the whites of the strikers eyes allowed him to repel both forwards, and half-time arrived goalless.
Musselburgh Windsor defeated Calvary Park for the second time in a week, scoring three times from set pieces in a 4-2 win, to advance into the third round of the South East Region Cup.
The two revved up sides began the game at a frantic pace, with both passing presentable chances wide within the first three minutes. It thus came as no surprise that by the sixth minute the game had a goal. Cavalry’s Robbie Walker was deemed to have been tripped in the box, and Tom Davies duly pummelled the penalty unstoppably into the top right corner.
Matters were soon level, however, as a dead ball at the other end provided an equaliser in the 14th minute. Ciaran Young’s free kick was too bold to handle, ending up over the line, bringing very different emotions to the respective teams.
A second nearly came immediately, with Kacper Michalak sliding Ben Tracey through, but a covering boot deflected that effort towards the side-netting. Calvary, and Andrew Mackenzie in particular, were then denied twice by Windsor keeper Ross McRae, first from a close-range header and then after a run clear from halfway.
Goals seemed due, and arrived as two corners in quick succession swung the game in Musselburgh’s favour. In the 31st minute Young’s ball from the right fell to captain Robbie Wilson to turn home for 2-1.
Two minutes later, Tracey’s winding run and shot forced another set piece, which was met with a meaty header from Connor Fitzpatrick for Windsor’s third.
The contest between Division 1’s last unbeaten teams concluded with Edinburgh City Blacks victorious, overcoming an early deficit to defeat Leith Athletic 2-1. Gavin Mabon’s second half goal, slotted home just after the hour, was the difference in a match of thin margins.
It was not a result that had looked overly likely in an opening twenty minutes in which Leith were on top. Three early strikes at goal - from Cameron Kerr, Rory Hunter, and Robbie King - produced just a single save from Blacks keeper Alistair Corbet, but Leith were not in the mood to be denied. In the 13th minute King lined up another shot, left-footed and from 20 yards, that found the top left corner.
With wide forwards Kerr and Sulaiman Ashraf supporting Hunter, and midfielders King and Cameron Stewart pushed up to block any out balls, Athletic had Blacks pinned back. However, a move in the 20th minute suggested Blacks were devising a solution. A stretch from Keiran Miller suddenly put the ball beyond the Leith press, with Jack Mathison free down the left. He in turn found Evan Gillespie in the box, but his effort rolled wide of the right hand post.
This was a catalyst for a more even affair. For Leith, King shot over and Kerr drove a ball across the six yard box; Mathison’s snap shot for Blacks was held by Athletic’s Jamie Smith. Then, in an instant, Blacks were level. Mathison did well on the left to get the ball in towards the six yard line, to where Max Clark had crept completely unnoticed. One touch, 1-1, and half-time approaching.
Edinburgh City were left stunned as Currie Star came from two down to snatch a late winner and to progress to the second round of the Peter O’Neill Cup at Forrester High School.
City, without a point in the league at this stage, started brightly raced into an early two goal lead; although the away side grabbed one back before the break Shane Majekodunmi.
The signs were there at the end of the first half that the second period was to be a different story - and it was, as Currie turned what was a 3-1 deficit at one point into a victory.
Billy Birks took a high foot to the face a few minutes in, as the wind blew heavily during the first half. From the resulting free kick, Ethan Johnston bent the ball around the wall and forced keeper Danny Hyslop to parry. A goal-line scrap followed before the ball was eventually turned over the line, with Georgie Jackson claiming it.
The second came on 14 minutes when a cross came over from the left was misjudged, perhaps due to the wind, by Hyslop and as a result, gifted Jack Stewart the chance: who swivelled to convert from close range.
The visitors managed to claw one back nine minutes later though. James Hunt turned smartly and found Max MacKay on the edge of the box. His shot was parried out by goalkeeper Ethan McCarthy and the ball was tappedin, despite appeals for offside, by Majekodunmi.
Bar the three goals, there wasn’t a great deal of quality in the first half. There were a few wayward efforts from distance from both sides but none to trouble the goalkeeper as the game came to half time.
Portobello got off to a dream start in their division one campaign with a narrow victory over Lasswade Thistle to earn a hard fought three points at Portobello High.
The conditions were grim from the get-go but that didn’t hamper the football in the first half. Thistle took the early lead but yet found themselves trailing by the break. Farrell Bain sealed the deal in a not-so-exciting second period as the home side hung on to claim victory.
The game started as a relatively open encounter: Thistle were looking to play from the back, but had to negotiate through the Portobello press. It only took five minutes for the opener to come, throught the source of Bayley Klimionek, who swept home with his left foot after Bailey Mckenzie had his initial effort saved.
It very nearly became two for the visitors as Mckenzie again raced in on goal after a tidy stepover, but Josh Ingles managed to throw his body in the way of it. At the other end, Max Evans headed Stevie Renton’s corner back across to Finlay Yule, but the forward could only hit the goalkeeper with his strike.
The equaliser came on 19 minutes as Renton sliced open the Thistle backline to pick out Evans. The wideman did the rest as he controlled with his first touch before firing across the body of Joshua Lothian and into the far corner.
Seven minutes later and Porty had turned the score on its head as Yule picked out Renton on a breakaway. The midfielder opted to hit it early – which turned out to be the right call as the ball squirmed underneath Lothian before dribbling over the line.
Yet Lasswade refused to lie down and a nice pass found its way to the feet of Ben Richardson, who did the rest as he slotted underneath Rory Comerford to level the score once more.
Less than a minute later Yule was in behind the Thistle backline but his touch was heavy which gave Lothian the chance to rush out and win the ball. However his challenge only made it as far as Renton, who only had on thing in his mind as he cracked the ball home from the edge of the area.
One final chance fell to the visitors before the interval, and perhaps one that Mckenzie would have taken if it wasn’t for Paul Serpenskas, who managed to get his body in and ease the forward out. That was to be the final action in an enthralling first half.
Two first half goals were enough for Hutchison Vale to survive a second half onslaught from Musselburgh Windsor and hold on to lift the Kenny McLean Cup.
A goal at the start of the half from Jake Houten and a stunner a few minutes before half time from Jacob Comerford put Vale in the driving seat, but the second period was a different story and saw Windsor give them a real run for their money.
Bruno Davidson won the ball in his own half and strode forwards, before feeding the ball into the path of Houten. The striker kept his cool from close range to stab past Lennon Flood and give Vale an early lead.
Taylor Steven went close with a couple of efforts for Vale, Lewis Foster headed wide from a set piece before Davidson dragged wide across the face.
The second was a thing of beauty on 32 minutes. Malik Zaid’s initial strike was blocked but the ball sat up nicely for Comerford, who couldn’t have struck the ball any sweeter as it flew off his left foot and nestled perfectly into the corner ot double the score.
There was a half chance for Windsor as Ross Montgomery found Murray Gilfillan but the attcker lashed wide on the half volley, just before the half time whistle sounded.
Lanarkshire Hibs ran out deserved winners in a game of few chances in the SWF South East League Cup Final. The game was played at Ainslie Park where a passionate crowd watched the encounter unfold.
There were some special moments throughout the match, including Hibs' Jenna Woods' storming run through the defence to calmly finish, and Freyja Bjarnason's incredible lob late on in the second half.
The first half went as many would have expected from a cup final, with both teams just getting to terms with the other. It was a very scrappy opening 25 minutes as Hibs lead the way by way of possession and attacking intent.
The first real chance did fall the way of Lanarkshire Hibs after 12 minutes as tricky Midfielder Caitlin Moran was found in acres of space after an inswinging Hibs corner, however the No.19 failed to hit the target.
Hibs continued to dominate procedings and continued to pile on the pressure, with No.7 Rachael Graham the next to have an attempt, her shot was smartly saved by Windsor 'keeper Alicia Burns.
Hibs eventually found their deserved breakthrough after a killer ball from Caitlin Moran found the feet of Jenna Woods, who calmly slotted home to give Hibs the lead.
Musselburgh Windsor knew they needed to respond and very nearly did so through Zuzia Olesiejuk, after a misplaced backpass from Hibs defender Nikki Simonette, Olesiejuk chased down the loose ball which was just about gathered by Hibs No.1 Ellie Dickson.
Going into the Half-Time period Hibs lead the Cup Final tie 0-1 thanks to that goal from Jenna Woods.
A late goal from Taylor Steven was enough for Hutchison Vale to secure the John Crawford cup against Tynecastle, in a hotly contested affair.
Hutchison were the first to threaten in the final when talented winger Bruno Davidson showed some terrific skill down the left-wing and managed to find Lewis Foster whose low driven shot struck the post and went out of play in the first minute of the match. Hutchison continued their pressure, this time in the form of a long-ranged Jacob Comerford strike in the second minute of the match which sailed over the bar.
Tynecastle had their first real chance of the game when Corin Brown managed to get on the end of a Samuel Nicolson cross, but saw his header go just over the bar in the 10th minute. Tynecastle had another great chance to go ahead in the 13th minute when Brown was played in again but was denied by a superb stop from close-range by Hutchison keeper Ruairidh Adams.
Tynecastle threatened again in this end-to-end affair when Brown once again created another chance but saw his half-volley fly over the bar in the 18th minute. Hutchison were the next to go forward when defender Rhyad Jelly had his header denied by a fantastic save from Tynecastle keeper Josh Philip in the 26th minute.
Steven had a great chance to put Hutchison ahead in the 32nd minute when his powerful effort was once again denied by the strong hands of Philip who parried the effort out for a corner. The deadlock was finally broken from the resulting corner when after a series of unsuccessful clearances from the Tynecastle defence, Jelly found the ball fall to his fight and proceeded to rifle the ball into the top-right corner putting his team in a winning position going into the second half.
Penalty practice paid off for Newtongrange Star as they won the Division 4 League Cup final. Both sides battled exceptionally well, however it was Star who managed to edge a close game and lift the silverware.
Both teams were confident ahead of kick-off, however Cavalry Park had the best of the opening spell. Firstly, ten minutes in, Robertson-Walker found Eddie Bain at the edge of the box. Bain controlled and his low effort was well saved by Rian Young. Then, a few minutes later, Jordan Dobbie drove forward and fired a shot inches wide of the left-hand post.
The next 20 minutes did not produce much in the way of chances, as the game descended into a midfield battle. However, just before half-time Newtongrange Star hit the woodwork twice in five minutes.
Ben Whitecross delivered a free-kick to into the box which was met by Jordan Dobbie. His volley then clipped the outside of the post before going behind. Then, five minutes later, it was Lochlann Bernard’s turn to come close. Bernard’s cross was clipped into the box, but he over-hit his delivery, as the ball flew onto the crossbar before bouncing out.
With this effort, the first half drew to a close, with the scores level at 0-0.