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South East Region (402)

The University of Stirling scored three unanswered second half goals to come from behind and stun Tynecastle and lift the SLFL Under 20s challenge cup.

The first period was a fiesty one – although plenty of attacking intent, it wasn’t until the later stages of the half that real action kicked in.

Chances fell at both ends in the ealry stages: a couple of volleys wide of the target from Stirling and a header from Tynecastle attacker Robert Polson but none too troublesome for either keeper.

The first save of note came on 13 minutes when Craig Brown hit a low effort from the edge towards the far corner; but keeper Kyle Wilson was equal to it to turn behind at the expense of a corner.

Uni began to keep ahold of the ball well, comfortably playing out from the back past the Tynecastle press, and let the edinburgh side play more on the break.

And it was Tynie who were next to come close following a brillaint diagonal pass that sent Polson in behind; but the striker was denied by Alex Webb, who raced back to snuff out the danger.

Again it was Polson causing the problems for Stirling. The forward was breaking quickly on what looked to be a dangerous counter attack before he was brought down cynicaly by Callum Downie: and it’s fair to say it wasn’t the only time the referee had to dip into his pocket.

It was inside the final ten minutes of the first period when Tyler Huxford picked out Thomas Purves with a delicate pass over the top – and in the end a penalty was awarded for a handball by Webb, who was on the floor.

Huxford was the man to step up for Tynie, and the penalty was good: low, hard and towards the corner; but Owen Klijsen was down extremely quickly to beat the ball behind and keep the scores even.

However it didn’t take long for Tynecastle to create another chance and as the ball was slid into the path of Laurie Devine – he wasn’t going to miss. The attacker took his time with the chance to compse himself before guiding the ball past Klijsen with his left foot from close range to open the scoring on the stroke of half time.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018 17:44

Musselburgh Windsor do the double

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St Mark’s Park, home to Craigroyston FC, played host to the U19 Cruden Bowl Final, which saw Musselburgh Windsor complete a league and cup double. Despite Leith’s first-half dominance, Windsor battled well and scored twice in the second period to lift the silverware.

Both sides entered this cup final full of confidence, with Windsor having won the league title recently and Leith progressing to every cup final in the region. However, it was to be Windsor who would strike first.

There were 15 minutes on the clock when Windsor won a throw-in in the final third. Laurie Cunningham found Brok Robertson on the wing, he lifted his head and cut the ball across to Liam Gregory who was composed to find the bottom corner and give Windsor an early lead.

Leith took this wake-up call and went on to dominate the remainder of the first-half, creating numerous clear-cut opportunities.

Just before the half-hour mark, a long ball from the keeper was flicked on by Leith’s Craig Ferrier. He found Andrew Dempster, who drove into the box but fired over the bar from close range.

Only a minute later and it was Ferrier’s turn to come close. He picked up the ball at the edge of the box and turned quickly, but his snap shot went inches wide of the far post.

Then, five minutes before the interval, Leith got the goal that their performance deserved. Michael Shaw won a tackle on the edge of the box and bundled his way into shooting range. His effort was stopped by Jack Stewart, but the rebound fell to Ryan Farrall, who tapped the ball into the empty net.

Leith Athletic’s equaliser brought the first half to a close, with Windsor fortunate still to be level.

Ainslie Park, home to Lowland League side Spartans, played host to the Craig Gowan Memorial Trophy Final between Hutchison Vale and Spartans. Both sides were confident before kick-off; however, it was Vale who managed to edge the close encounter to lift the silverware.

Hutchison Vale’s route to the final was reasonably comfortable, winning four rounds, with big wins against Currie Star, Arniston Rangers and Dalkeith Thistle and a hard fought victory over Tynecastle in the second round. Spartans, on the other hand, received a bye in the first round before defeating Edinburgh City, Salvesen and Longniddry Villa and it was Spartans who began brightest.

Spartans won the ball in the middle of the park and broke quickly. Joe Tait was played in on goal; he beat one defender before slotting the ball under Shea Dowie to give Spartans the lead.

Spartans began to take control of proceedings, and after 25 minutes they were close to doubling their leads. Dan McKinlay delivered a brilliant corner which was met by Owen Barnes but his header went just wide of the far post, and the score remained 1-0.

Spartans lived to rue this miss, and only two minutes later Hutchison Vale were level.  The ball fell to Michael Reilly about 30 yards out, and he smashed the ball over Ciaran Cairns and into the back of the net.

With this equaliser, Vale began to dominate with a couple of excellent chances before half-time. Firstly, Owen Bryce made space at the edge of the box and fired a low shot towards goal which was well held by Cairns. Bryce came close five minutes later when he was played through but shot straight at the keeper as the scores remained level.

There was time before half-time for Spartans to have another chance. Again, Tait broke into the box, and his pass was initially intercepted by the Vale defender however his clearance came off Matteo Crolla, and it spun onto the crossbar before Dowie cleared.

With this effort, the first-half came to a close with both sides going into the break on level terms.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 11:05

Quickfire double wins cup for Hillfield Swifts

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East Peffermill, home to Edinburgh University FC, played host to the final of the prestigious Willie Bauld Cup. Two goals in as many minutes was enough for Hillfield Swifts who battled well to lift the silverware.

The first half was extremely close with both sides fighting hard in the middle of the park. However, Swifts were very unlucky not to take an early lead.

A free-kick was only half cleared by the Vale defence, and the ball was picked up on the edge of the box by Austen Wood. His powerful effort was parried into the path of Nathan Morrice who tapped the rebound into the back of the net. However, the celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag, and the score remained 0-0.

Fifteen minutes later and it was Vale’s turn to have a goal disallowed. A free-kick from the wing was played in, and when Lewis Foster challenged the keeper, the ball fell to Lucas McGarry who smashed the ball into the net from close range. However, the referee deemed Foster’s challenge to be unfair, and the goal was chalked off.

Just before the half-hour mark and Vale had another great chance. A free-kick was played in by Ciaran Heeps and keeper Liam Campbell was caught under the ball, but Taylor Steven could only nod wide from close range.

With Steven’s miss, the first half came to an end with the game still tied up at 0-0.

Ainslie Park, home to Lowland League side Spartans, played host to this U18 Lothian Schools Cup Final. In all truth, it was a game which Broughton dominated, and they were well worth their victory on the day.

Broughton began much the better of the two sides and took the lead within the first minute.

Straight from kick-off, Broughton worked the ball out to Dan McKinlay on the right wing. He composed himself to deliver a cross, which Firrhill could only clear to the edge of the box. Influential playmaker Kris Gaff stepped onto the ball and blasted it beyond the keeper to give Broughton an early lead.

Broughton’s early dominance continued, and only seven minutes later they doubled their lead. Some good build-up play resulted in the ball being played to Matthew Combe, who turned the defender, steadied himself and stroked the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper Jordan Brown.

Broughton began to control possession of the ball, simply passing between the midfield and defence, without creating too many opportunities. However, after 26 minutes, they were three goals in front.

They initially won a corner after good work from David Whelan. Striker Washe Manyathelo took responsibility and whipped in an excellent corner, and Michael Reilly nodded in from close range.

Firrhill could not deal with Broughton’s strength and spent the remainder of the first half chasing Broughton’s shadows. Again, Broughton continued to retain possession without offering much in front of goal; however, Jude Zitara did come close five minutes before half-time.

Firrhill didn’t deal with the initial cross, and when the ball was returned to Zitara, he rose above the goalkeeper, but his header went just wide of the post.

Broughton were able to see out the remainder of the first half fairly easily and went in at the break 3-0 in front.

Saturday, 12 May 2018 10:36

Preston Lodge lift Lothian Schools Cup

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Ainslie Park, home to Lowland League side Spartans, played host to this U16 Lothian Schools Cup Final and in an end to end affair it was Preston Lodge HS who prevailed on spot kicks to lift the silverware.

Both sides seemed confident before kick-off; however, it was Preston Lodge who began brightest. After some good build-up play, Preston’s Jack Main was allowed time to slip in Nathan Muir, but his shot was straight at Watson’s keeper Euan Burgess.

After this early opportunity for Preston Lodge, George Watson’s began to grow into the game and, only a few minutes later, they had their first opportunity. Jamie Richmond was given space on the edge of the box and he managed to find Rory Stephen, who found space and stung the palms of Connor Currie in the Preston goal.

George Watson’s continued to press and on the 12-minute mark, they opened the scoring. Jack Carr found himself on the wide left and his first effort was blocked but when the rebound fell back to him, he made no mistake in curling the ball over the keeper and into the top corner. A wonderful goal to put Watson’s in front.

Despite taking the lead, Watson’s began to sit deeper and allow Preston Lodge back into the game. In the next 15 minutes Preston had a flurry of good chances but, ultimately, could not take advantage.

Firstly, some good build-up play in midfield resulted in Lewis Fitzpatrick being played through on goal but his low effort was well saved by Euan Burgess. Preston continued their good spell and won a free kick in the middle of the park. Watson’s couldn’t clear the initial cross and when the ball was collected by Finn Higgins he crossed back into the box but Ben Tracey could only stab the ball into the goalkeeper’s arms.

George Watson’s had another opportunity before the break, however, and they so nearly doubled their lead. Rory Stephen created space excellently, beating three men, before unleashing a powerful effort which was expertly turned around the post by Connor Currie.

Watson’s managed to see out the remainder of the first period to go in at the break one goal in front.

Saturday, 28 April 2018 18:00

Currie Star score late to lift Ian MacKay Cup

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Currie Star scored a late extra time goal to win the Ian MacKay cup final. Having trailed for the majority of the game, Currie Star came from two goals behind in what was an excellent spectacle and they, of course, were happiest as they lifted the silverware.

St Mark’s Park, home to Craigroyston JFC, hosted this cup final and it was Craigroyston who started the brighter of the two sides.

Only eleven minutes in and Craigy had the ball on the wing. A rather tame cross was delivered, however Currie keeper Daniel Barclay couldn’t deal with it and he dropped the ball at the feet of Rahman who forced the ball over the line to put Craigroyston ahead.

Currie responded very well and only ten minutes after they fell behind, they scored an equaliser. Nelson Egbule rose highest to knock the ball down to Adebayo who tucked the ball into the bottom corner.

Currie’s equaliser was the beginning of a crazy 15 minutes which saw three more goals.

After Currie scored, Craigroyston went straight up and raced into a two goal lead. Firstly, on the 25 minute mark, Finlayson picked the ball in the middle of the park and delivered a great through ball for Rahman and his initial effort was stopped by Currie’s substitute keeper Fraser Mill but the rebound hit the helpless Luff who diverted the ball into his own net, to put Craigy in front.

Two minutes later and Craigy doubled their lead. Finlayson, who picked up an assist for the second goal, claimed possession about 25 yards out and engineered space well before lobbing Mill expertly to put Craigy two in front.

Currie were not phased by conceding and responded yet again. They took kick-off and went straight up the park to pull a goal back. A good through ball from Thomas Luff found its way to Adebayo who chipped the goalkeeper to score his second and bring Currie Star back into the game.

The referee’s whistle brought to an end an exhilarating first half in which Craigroyston went in 3-2 up at the break.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018 19:01

Superior Spartans lift League Cup

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New Dundas Park, home to junior side Bonyrigg Rose Athletic, played host to the Division 2 League Cup Final, which saw Spartans FC Colts lift the silverware. They put in a very commanding performance to see off Pumas who, in truth, did not have enough about them to combat a strong Spartans side.

The opening half hour saw very few chances, with the best opportunity falling to Sean Roberts. Some good work in the middle of the park resulted in a through ball to Roberts, who created space for himself, before curling an effort towards goal. His effort was initially stopped by Spartans keeper Jamie Henderson, but the rebound fell to Evan Skelton who turned the ball goal wards, however his effort was cleared off the line.

Five minutes before half-time, Spartans had their first opportunity of the game, and with it came the opening goal.

A long free-kick from Max Sneddon wasn’t dealt with by the Pumas defender, who could only head the ball up in the air. The falling ball was met by Sam Tait who bulleted his volley into the bottom corner to put Spartans in front.

Spartans, clearly full of confidence after taking the lead, continued to push forward and on the stroke of half-time they doubled their lead.

Again it came from a long ball Spartans and Sam Tait won the initial header, he turned and chased his flick on and held off Lawrie Wilson before slipping the ball into the bottom corner to put Spartans in full control of the cup tie.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018 18:30

Loanhead lift Persevere Cup

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Loanhead edged an enthralling encounter in the Persevere Cup Final. In an end to end game, Loanhead were clinical with their chances and as a result lifted the silverware.

New Dundas Park, home to Bonyrigg Rose Athletic, hosted this U13 cup final, which began with sustained Loanhead pressure.

Only five minutes in and Loanhead had their first opportunity. Good work down the left wing by Joe Dunlop got him to the byline and he squared it for Jack Peacock however his effort went just wide.

Ten minutes later and again Peacock came close. He was slipped in by the influential Daniel McKenna but he could only drag his shot wide of the left post.

Loanhead didn’t have to wait long to make their pressure count. On the seventeen minute mark a corner came into the box and Archie Stephen collected the ball and laid it off to Ross Kay and from 25 yards he unleashed a rasping effort which flew into the top left corner. An unbelievable strike to put Loanhead in front.

Kirkliston South Queensferry responded very well and only a couple of minutes later they were so nearly level. The dangerous Zac Burns broke into the box and his cut back was deflected towards goal by Innes Campbell but keeper Matthew Tait made a wonderful acrobatic save to turn the ball around the post.

Loanhead responded themselves and on 25 minutes they could have doubled their lead. Archie Stephen’s shot from the edge of the box was held at the second attempt by Dylan Kelly, however Kelly’s poor kick fell to Peacock and his cross was met by Jack Somerville but his volley went just wide.

A few minutes later, Stephen was unlucky again. This time his stronger effort was spilled by Kelly and Joe Dunlop made some space and his shot was well saved by Kelly, who made up for his earlier mistake.

On the half hour mark, Kirkliston South Queensferry were so unlucky not to be level. This time Zac Burns dribbled past four Loanhead defenders and fired the ball towards goal but his powerful shot came back off the bar and Loanhead cleared.

Kirkliston didn’t need to wait too long to equalise and on the stroke of half-time, they finally scored. A good corner in fell to Ben Redpath whose first effort was blocked by keeper Tait but the rebound came back to Redpath and he tucked the ball into the bottom corner.

This equaliser from Kirkliston South Queensferry brought an end to a breathtaking first half, with the scores tied up at one-a-piece.

Monday, 16 April 2018 16:37

Villa victorious in David Innes Cup

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Two second half goals proved to be enough for Longniddry Villa as they defeated Gala Fairydean Rovers in the David Innes Cup Final. In a hard fought encounter, numerous chances were created, however Gala lived to rue missed opportunities as Villa were clinical to lift the silverware.

New Dundas Park, home to junior outfit Bonyrigg Rose Athletic, played host to the U14 David Innes Cup Final. Both sides knew they would have to fight hard if they were to win the trophy and it was Gala who were strongest in the first fifteen minutes. 

Firstly, Gala’s influential playmaker Sam McClymont picked up the ball at the edge of the box, but his shot was too weak to trouble Villa keeper Aaron Thompson. 

Moments later, Gala had another opportunity from a McClymont free-kick. The midfielder crossed the ball into the box and it was brought down well by Finlay Wheelans, but his snap shot on the turn was well held by Thomson. 

Gala didn’t have long to wait for their next opportunity and it again came from McClymont. He drove into the Villa box, engineered space well and unleashed a venomous shot which was collected at the second attempt by Thomson.

Gala failed to capitalise on their early pressure and then allowed Villa back into the game. Villa’s first chance came from Thierry Murray who was played through on goal, however his low effort was initially saved by Ryan Gibson and Gala cleared the loose ball.

Ten minutes later, Murray had the best chance of the opening half. A long kick up the park found its way to Murray and his powerful half-volley crashed off the crossbar and away from goal.

On the stroke of half-time Gala should have been in front. Some good work by McClymont in the middle of the park allowed him to slip in Kerr Johnston. His first effort came of the right hand post and rebounded back to him; he then rounded the goalie and fired a shot towards the goal however it was expertly cleared off the line by the Villa defender.