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.