Cavalry Park signed off a glorious season with a thumping 5-1 win against a young Lochend side in their league cup final at Bonnyrigg. This was the last game of a long season for Cavalry and they looked to be in danger of going down to a shock defeat at one stage of the very good game. Kris McLoughlin it was who opened the scoring for Cavalry with a very good strike from the left of the 18yd box in to the opposite corner of the Lochend net. Big Fraser Lawson, in charge of the music and public announcements at this lovely venue, could possibly have put on ‘we are cruising (sailing)’ when McLoughlin’s goal zipped in to the back of the net. Or, indeed, ‘it’s all over now!’ Despite some wonderfully enterprising play from the Lochend players, particularly up the left led by Selos Sfris, Kevin Hamilton and Jonathon Robertson, the more powerful and ‘streetwise’ Cavalry Park looked to be on their way to another cup success.
But Lochend refused to roll over and battled away in midfield to stem the flow of passes from the CP rearguard up to McLoughlin, Stewart Adams and Co. Then the final took a dramatic turn in the 32min when Cavalry goalkeeper, Andrew Mackay, made a complete balls-up when he came off his line to gather a cross from the right. Unknown to Andrew, a defender got his head to the ball and the goalie was in ‘no man’s land’ as the ball sailed over his head. Johnny Malcolm was back on the goal-line to clear the bouncing ball but Andrew got back and appeared to grab the jersey of Conor Scott as he tried to put the loose ball in the net and excellent referee, Kevin Ferguson (where did he get his tan), pointed to the spot.
After quite a hold up in play (time for wee bit music over the PA? NO!), Fraser Andrews took over in the Cavalry goal and his first job was to pick Conor Scott’s brilliant spot-kick out of the back of the net and it was 1-1. I wondered if that goal would spur Lochend on to even greater action? I think it did, but only until the remaining Cavalry Park players roused themselves to the possibility of losing. With inspiration from Fraser Andrews in goal, Kevin Douglas’ side went on to achieve the status of ‘superstars’!
Fraser, not the one who would not put on suitable music on the PA system, but the stand-in keeper for Cavalry was sensational in goal. He had two reflex saves in one Lochend raid and generally bossed his area. Lochend No 4, Alan Murray, tried his best to upset his mate in the Cavalry goal, including bundling Andrews (ball and all) in to the back of the net! Fraser, the one in the Cavalry goal that is, came up for air with a big smile on his face.
Cavalry Park took control of the game after Lochend’s bright spell and they scored again before the break to make it 2-1 and then Stewart Andrews hit the target again for Cavalry to make it 3-1 at the interval. I waited for ‘it’s all over now’ to belt out of the PA sytem, but no, that big Fraser Lawson was too busy announcing the winning numbers of the raffle. I wondered if Kevin Douglas had any of the winning tickets? The Cavalry team boss had plenty winners on the pitch in the second half.
Lochend to their lasting credit competed for every ball - just as you would expect from a team from this part of Edinburgh, another real hot-bed of good footballers and great community minded-people. But true grit was not just good enough to halt the Cavalry Park bandwagon and two further goals from Adams ensured a comfortable win for this very good under-19 squad.
The next stop for many of the Cavalry Park players is Magaluf - and a chance to soak up some sunshine - and certain liquid refreshments I assume!
Right big Fraser, get it on now, ‘the minute I walked in the joint, you could tell I was a man of distinction, a real big winner’ etc etc. Bonnyrigg’s New Dundas Park will enjoy its own peace and quiet until it starts up all over again when real football returns to our country.
Thank you Bonnyrigg Rose JFC on behalf of players and spectators alike for the use of the lovely pitch and civilised facilities for finals at New Dundas Park. And thanks also to the South East Region Youth FA for staging all their finals so successfully at various venues, although they may consider getting a DJ the next time they use New Dundas Park.