Edinburgh United progress to the second round of the Tom Wilson Memorial Cup after beating Edinburgh City 5-3 on a windy Saturday afternoon. With both teams languishing in the bottom half of the league, today’s cup match was an opportunity for a win to see them kick on in second half of the season.
The home side, Edinburgh City, had the wind against them in the first half and it showed in the opening exchanges as they struggled to get out of their own half.
The first significant chance of the game came in the 7th minute. A long punt across field found Ryan O’donnell who sprinted to the byline before producing a cross which found Euan Watson. Despite a fantastic cross, Watson could only direct his header wide.
In the following 10 minutes both teams found most success in the wide areas. Mohamed Dukuray, produced a cross after beating his marker, only for the cross to be collected by the City goalkeeper. At the other end of the pitch, Sean Ehsani unlocked the United defence twice with two through balls which both led to unsuccessful crosses.
The first goal went to Edinburgh United in the 18th minute following a good set piece, the first of six set pieces which led to goals during the game. Watson’s corner was whipped high into the penalty area and met by towering skipper, Liam McDaid, who headed it into the back of the net.
Edinburgh United’s lead lasted only 3 minutes however. Following an unsuccessful attack from City down the left wing, the ball bounced into the path of Ethan Rae, 25 yards from goal. On the half-volley, Rae struck the ball towards goal with real power and found the top right hand corner, lobbing the keeper, to make the score level.
The remainder of the half played out with neither side dominating possession, but United proving to be the dominant attacking force. Despite being unable to find the back of the net from open play, United’s persistence in attack was fruitful as they were awarded two penalties, one in the 26th minute and the second in the 33rd.
The first penalty came after excellent individual play by Dukuray who drove across field looking for a pass and eventually played a one-two with Lewis Adjodani and found himself in the box. With his back to goal, Dukuray performed a majestic Cruyff turn, drawing a foul from a City defender. The second penalty came when striker, Mark Mooney, drew a foul from the keeper after drawing him away from goal. Both penalties were converted calmly into the bottom right corner by Euan Lee.
A minute before half time, Russell Drummond’s corner was flicked towards goal. However, a diving save from United keeper, Thomas McArthur, prevented City going in at half time only one goal behind. Having won the midfield battle and providing a constant attacking threat, Edinburgh United deservedly went in ahead at half time 3-1.