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South East Region (401)

Ross high battled back from behind to triumph over Royal High in extra time and lift the Edinburgh Secondary Schools FA cup at Meggetland.

In the initial phases, the game was played at a high tempo and both sides were looking to create chances with Athan Barry going close for Royal High, and soon after Tyler Pryde almost latched onto a ball over the top.

Esosa Osemwegie had a crack from distance but he cut across the ball and sliced off target, and Lennon Garrick had a couple of attempts from wide right; the first was blocked and the second dribbled of target.

Barry nicked the ball from the toes of a defender but couldn’t pull the trigger in time as Lennon Rafferty raced back to put him off. Soon after, the Tranent side began to build their own spell of pressure.

Mackenzie Scott had a few chances, the latter of which he lashed over the crossbar from the edge of the area. Pryde managed to get in behind on 25 minutes but Jack Roy was down well to turn behind.

As Ross continuted to turn the screw, the next chance fell to Callum Anderson, but he couldn’t connect to Pryde’s cross from close range.

The final chance of the half fell to Barry, who was slipped in by Gregor Fordyce, but the attacker couldn’t prod the ball beyond the onrushing goalkeeper, as the sides went into the break, goalless.

Strathy McKay's wondergoal, moments before the final whistle, was all there was to separate Leith Athletic and Edinburgh City, and see the former lift the Federation of Hearts Supporters cup.

The game started out at a high tempo: Leith looking to play out through City’s high press; and although quality chances were at a premium, there were plenty willing to try their luck from range.

That is, after James Farrell glanced a header a few inches wide of the far post from a corner in the opening minute. Charlie Craig blazed over on the half volley before Leith’s Ethan Wynne had a pop on the counter; but a deflection took the sting out of the strike.

And that’s just to name a few chances that went begging.

Leith began to turn the screw and and Rory Hunter went near with his head: diverting Thomas Ramage’s tempting cross goalward – but it narrowly evaded the far post.

He would soon have a second chance as Wynne raced forward on the counter. The ball fell to Hunter’s feet but Jonathan Steel was quick to block his effort.

More wayward efforts and crunching challenges were to follow and these were becoming somewhat reccurring themes as the half developed.

Cameron Stewart and Euan Howie of Leith both saw efforts rise over the crossbar from the edge of the area before Strathy McKay dragged a shot past the near post from the right.

In the midst of this, another half-chance fell the way of Hunter – but from close range he could only head wide.

The last action of the half was to be provided by a corner that evaded Leith Goalkeeper. There was a scramble for the ball, with a city player on the deck as Leith ushered the ball to safety. They weren’t to know the referee had already blown for a freekick on their favour – as the sides went in goalless at the break.

Saturday, 02 June 2018 11:46

Muireston United add to trophy haul

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Oriam’s Outdoor Synthetic hosted the U21 William Johnston Cup final between Bonnyrigg Rose and Murieston. Despite the closeness of the scoreline, Murieston always looked in control of the game as Bonnyrigg didn’t hit their stride. Murieston, on the other hand, will be delighted with their performance as they dominated long periods of the match, and as a result, lifted the silverware.

Despite both sides quality, there was very little in the way of chances in the first 20 minutes, however, with the first real chance of the game, Murieston took the lead.

Angus McGregor broke into the box, and his low effort was initially saved by Tommy McArthur, but the rebound fell to Jack Napier who poked the ball in from close range.

Bonnyrigg Rose hit back after this opener and were close to equalising five minutes later. Harry McGill delivered a free-kick to Chris Drummond. His header was bound for the top corner, but Ewan Stewart pulled off an excellent acrobatic save to keep his side in front.

Stewart was powerless, however, just after the half-hour mark as Bonnyrigg Rose scored a controversial equaliser. A long ball from Harry McGill was only cleared to Jonathon Crutcher on the edge of the box. Crutcher fired a low effort which sneaked into the bottom corner, however; Chris Drummond looked to be offside and in the keeper’s eye line, therefore interfering with play. Nonetheless, the goal was allowed to stand, and Bonnyrigg drew level.

Despite feeling aggrieved about the Bonnyrigg equaliser, Murieston retook the lead almost immediately. Cameron Stokes skipped past the full back and drove into the box before composing himself to tuck the ball into the bottom corner and make it 2-1 to Murieston.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, Muireston went further in front. Jack Napier was played through on goal and expertly lifted the ball over the keeper to claim his second goal and put Murieston 3-1 ahead.

Thursday, 31 May 2018 14:39

Terrific Tynecastle complete cup double

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St. Mark’s Park, home to Craigroyston, hosted this Jackie Faichney Memorial Cup Final where Tynecastle edged a very exciting, nine-goal thriller to lift the silverware and complete a cup double.

Both sides entered the cup final full of confidence. Spartans have enjoyed a brilliant season and know that if they win their games in hand, they will clinch the league title. Tynecastle, on the other hand, currently top the league and were victorious in the South East Region Cup on Sunday and it was they who started the brightest.

Only six minutes on the clock and a free-kick from Robbie Neave caused a mix-up between the Spartans defence and keeper. The ball fell to Sami El Yamani and he nodded the ball into the empty net to put Tynecastle in front.

The first-half proved to be an end-to-end affair and, as a result, Spartans responded immediately. A Spartans corner was delivered but the Tynecastle defence could only clear to the edge of the box. The ball was returned into the box by Michael Mbewe and Nicholas Reid was on hand to volley into the back of the net to level-up the score.

Then, just before the 20 minute mark, Tynecastle retook the lead. Liam Miller played an excellent through ball to Kieran Ngwenya who controlled and passed the ball into the back of the net.

Tynecastle would have hoped to hold onto the lead for longer this time; however, seven minutes later, they were pegged back again. The referee awarded a penalty for an apparent push on a Spartans attacker. Nicholas Reid took responsibility from the spot and stepped up and smashed the ball into the top corner to equalise yet again for Spartans.

Just before half-time, Tynecastle went in front for a third time. There didn’t seem to be much danger when Spartans’ Kieran Moyles had possession in his own half. He played the ball back to his keeper, Niall McFadden, but the ball hit a massive bobble and bounced over McFadden’s foot and the ball went into the net.

It was a very lucky goal to put Tynecaslte into the lead. Nonetheless, they held on to go in at the break 3-2 up.

A professional performance from a well-drilled Leith Athletic side secured them South East Region Cup as they kept their treble dreams alive. 

Both sides enjoyed impressive runs in this competition with Longniddry Villa scoring 26 over the previous five rounds and Leith Athletic keeping four clean sheets on their way to final. 

The game suffered a scrappy start as both teams struggled to keep the ball. However, in the eighth minute, Villa’s Matthew McMillian looked to put his side ahead with his snapshot from the edge of the box, but his effort drifted just inches over the bar.

As the first half went on, Leith began to impose themselves and knocked the ball around well in the middle of the park however their momentum suffered a blow when their captain Ethan Wynne was forced off injured following a challenge by Lewis Inglis which saw him receive Villa’s second booking of the match.

Both sides continued to struggle to create opportunities, however, in the 20th minute, Leith broke the deadlock when a Leith goal kick was picked up by Ben Murray deep inside the Villa half who turned and drove at the defence before taking a powerful strike which sailed into the bottom right corner of Sam Capes goal.

Villa desperately searched for an equaliser before half-time, however, they were reduced to tame long-range efforts as a result of good defensive play by Leith with Ryan Campbell doing particularly well to break up play in midfield.

With seconds to go in the first half, Villa came close to a leveller when Jack MacDonald used his chest to control a long ball forward before taking his shot on the half volley. Macdonald’s effort looked to be goal bound, but to the agony of the Longniddry side, it clipped the inside of the post and was grabbed by Jason Meikle in the Leith net ensuring the score remained 1-0 going into the break.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 13:38

Courageous Cumbernauld lift Knockout Cup

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Oriam’s outdoor synthetic pitch hosted the Knockout Cup Final. Cumbernauld Colts edged this eight-goal thriller in extra time to lift the silverware. Colts were reduced to 10 men, but despite this disadvantage, they proved too strong for Spartans and were able to score twice in extra time to finish the season on a high.

Both sides entered this game full of confidence. Cumbernauld Colts came from four goals down to beat Bonnyton on Friday night and, with this win, they secured a second place finish in the league. Spartans, on the other hand, had defeated eventual league champions Heriot-Watt University in the semi-final of this competition and it was they who started brightest.

Spartans' Singh collected the ball on the wing and crossed for Hetherington, but his header was straight at Cumbernauld keeper Harry Purves.

Cumbernauld took this early warning and began to grow into this game. Firstly Craig Shields broke into the box and cut the ball back for Nash, but his effort went wide of the post.

Then, on 16 minutes, Colts took the lead. Nash found the influential Michael McGarahan and he crossed for Shields who smashed the ball into the net from the edge of the box.

Spartans then took full control of the remainder of the half, creating several excellent opportunities. Firstly, Singh came close from a volley before O’Neill’s header went narrowly past the post.

Spartans came closest to equalising on the half-hour mark. Laing’s free-kick was met by Wishart whose header cracked the crossbar from 6 yards out.

With this effort, the first-half came to an end with Cumbernauld Colts one goal up at the break.

Bruno Davidson starred, scoring two goals and playing a pivotal role as Hutchison Vale defeated Linlithgow Rose to lift the South East region cup.

Hutchie were keen to play out from the back and in the initial stages, it seemed as if Linlithgow could cause them a few problems with their pace and power.

The chances came at both ends of the park: Kamil Spalony raced in behind the Hutchie defence to the byline but there were no takers for his ball across.

Up the other end, Davidson went close on a few occasions, mainly from distance but none too troublesome for the keeper, Matthew Wallace.

Taylor Steven had two good chances early on for Vale. The first of which was denied by a last ditch block by Callum Brown before Steven again was shut out by Wallace, who made a terrific save to keep the score level.

However the deadlock didn’t last much longer and on 14 minutes, Davidson slid Danny Chisholm in on the overlap, who in turn, squared to Sam Kilboy who fired the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

Steven went near with another long range effort and Harry McMartin had a specukative half volley caught by Ruairidh Adams before the next big chance fell. It was Lucas McGarry with the acrobatic effort but once again, Vale were denied by Wallace, who scurried across his goal to beat away.

Steven had another three or four decent chances but just agonisingly couldn’t find the net whilst Keir Brown and Aaron Waller both tried their luck but in the end with relatively tame efforts – by this point, Hutchie were firmly in the driving seat.

Vale’s control was furthered when they added their second goal on the stroke of half time. Jake Houton managed to get to the byline on the right and his pull-back evaded the goalkeeper, leaving Davidson an empty net to sweep into and double Hutchie’s lead going into the break.

Three second half goals from Hutchison Vale were enough to see them past runners up Lasswade Thistle to lift the South East region cup in Dunbar.

The game started of a tight contest, with both sides aiming to play from the back and a couple of half chances falling the way of Vale in the opening minutes.

Thistle created their first meaningful chance on ten minutes when Bailey McKenzie was rolled in behind. The forward opted to cut back inside to get onto his rightside, where he fired a strike into the arms of the grateful Dean Brownlee.

Hutchie were next to go close as the impressive Bryan Mwangi very nearly picked out Tyrone Core at the backpost with a tempting cross, which just evaded the winger.

Soon after, David Malloy had a strike bocked for Lasswade before Core was brought down in the penalty area up the other end.

The winger stepped up and made no mistake as he cooly dispatched the spot-kick into the bottom left corner, despite the keeper going the right way.

Hutchie continud to push for a second as both Mason Renton and Ryan Findlay tried their luck from distance, however neither really troubled Joshua Lothian as the half came to a close.

Portobello HS defeated 10 man Lasswade HS in a close Edinburgh Schools Cup final. Despite only being able to field a side of ten players, Lasswade actually took the lead and, were very close to winning the cup, however, the fitness of Portobello proved to be the difference as they prevailed after extra time to lift the silverware.

It was a cup final to remember for both sides however as category one official Kevin Clancy was in charge. Clancy was officiating at Hampden in last weekend’s Scottish Cup final and has also featured in the Europa League; however, he was officiating at Meggetland as a favour for a friend.

The first-half was fairly quiet in the way of chances, with the 10 men of Lasswade defending resolutely, however, Portobello did manage to create a couple of decent opportunities. Firstly, Darren Scally was found by Olly Rudge but Scally shot straight at the keeper.

Two minutes later Portobello came close again. Aidan McFarlane played in Sulaiman Ashraf and he forced Harris Spent into an excellent save.

On the 25 minute mark, Harris Spent was called into action again. Robbie King raced through on goal but his effort, which was bound for the top corner, was tipped over the crossbar.

With this effort, the first-half drew to a close with both sides going in level.

Saturday, 26 May 2018 14:02

10 Man Spartans win Division 2 League Cup

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St. Mark’s Park, home to Craigroyston FC, played host to the U17s Division 2 League Cup final between Currie Star Colts and Spartans Reds. Despite being reduced to ten men, Spartans were triumphant, scoring seven goals against a hard-working Currie Star side, as they lifted the silverware.

Spartans, who could complete the double next weekend, started very brightly and less than five minutes in, they were in front. Zion Dixon was played through on goal, and he composed himself to slot the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper to put the Reds in front.

Reds continued their pressure, and on 18 minutes they were two goals ahead. Right-back Kayode Fatunmbi-Randall picked up the ball about 25 yards out, and his speculative effort bounced in off the post to double Spartans lead.

Fatunmbi-Randall’s goal was the beginning of a crazy 25 minutes which would see another five goals.

Firstly, Spartans would extend their lead further. A counter-attack from a Currie corner allowed Callum Simpson to pass to Will Tweedie who stroked the ball into the bottom corner.

Spartans were ruthless and three minutes later they scored again. Struan Maclean collected possession on the right wing and crossed for Jude Zietara, who was perfectly placed to nod into the back of the net to put Spartans 4-0 up.

Ten minutes from half-time, Spartans added another. Afalabe Osibanjo controlled the ball from a through-in and turned, raced through on goal and calmly put the ball into the bottom right corner for Spartans fifth.

Finally, after 35 minutes of Spartans pressure, Currie Star created a chance and got on the scoresheet themselves. There was a mix up between Luca Scarpa and Kayode Fatunmbi-Randall which allowed Oliver Couts to win possession and stab the ball beyond the covering defender on the line.

The first-half drama continued towards the end of the half. After winning a free-kick in the middle of the park, the red mist descended on Osibanjo as he was dismissed for an apparent headbutt on the Currie midfielder.

Despite going down to 10 men, Spartans continued to pressure their opponents and on the stroke of half-time, they scored a sixth goal. Will Tweedie drove into the box and was hauled to the ground. From the penalty, Struan Maclean stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 6-1 to Spartans.

After the spot-kick, the referee brought the first-half to an end, with the score at 6-1.