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Post-half time fizz and a bucket of will help Edinburgh City past Dalkeith Thistle

Edinburgh City 1

Mellis 41

Dalkeith Thistle 0

  • Sunday, 14 October 2018
  • Forrester High School
  • Under 15´s
  • SERYFA Division 2

A single goal, scored in the first minute of the second half, separated the teams as Edinburgh City withstood Dalkeith Thistle’s pressure to claim a tough 1-0 victory in the South East U15’s Division Two. Featuring even teams and occasionally uneven tempers, it was a match in which fortitude was prevalent but a moment of skill was decisive.

The first half nearly began with a bang when City’s Finley Pattman was played through seconds into the game. His shot went wide left, but it was indicative of a start in which the home side pinned Thistle back. Clearances were calmly picked up and the encampment continued. Possession was liberally one-sided.

Nonetheless, chances were rare, and the opening twenty minutes raised few efforts on goal. Indeed, Dalkeith had the best opportunities, with Ryan Wilkinson beating keeper Danny Smith to a long ball but subsequently running out of pitch, and Jamie Kennedy unable to make full contact on a free kick to the far post. Edinburgh City’s two shots were from Patryk Zawislak and James Mullen, and both from a distance too far to properly stretch Thistle’s Mackenzie Ewing.

A quarter of the game had thus passed when a true chance came. With play evening out, Thistle’s Kennedy sent in a cloud-grazing cross from the right that caused problems, leading to Wilkinson and Adam Cairns both eventually having goes in the scramble. There was no way through, but the game was beginning to suggest a goal was imminent.

That opener could have come for City twice in the last ten minutes of the half. First Pattman, and then Luke Taylor, found himself running clear at goal. But whereas the scramble at one end had ended under a blanket defence, Ewing now proved himself a one-man wall. Staying big even as he saw the whites of the strikers eyes allowed him to repel both forwards, and half-time arrived goalless.

  • Half Time:
  • Edinburgh City
  • 0-0
  • Dalkeith Thistle

At half-time Dalkeith made five substitutions. Their opponents, with a match-day squad of only 11, immediately went ahead. Yet the goal was not about changes, or mismatches, or tactics; it was about Finlay Halton. He drifted in from the left, 30 yards from goal. He stopped. He squeezed between two defenders, and threaded the ball behind the left back for Pattman. Pattman reached it, cut back, and Daniel Mellis put the ball into the net.

One incisive move, and the second half had a new path: Dalkeith’s search for parity. It began with Frazer Sutherland lobbing an onrushing Smith but clearing the bar. It continued with a corner from which Connor Gorman and Sutherland both had strikes. It almost met resolution when a Bailey Forbes free kick slid in Gorman, rather than offer the expected cross, but Smith saved.

City were not being overrun, but resistance was tiring for a young team. A Dalkeith break looked to be fracturing, only for Aiden Bryson to walk though two challenges and again find Smith’s gloves. Then a cross from the right, almost ludicrously, bounced all the way onto Smith’s far post. Next, Wilkinson couldn’t shoot through from 6 yards after a palmed cross fell to him. There were still fifteen minutes to play.

However, as Halton and Callum Taylor utilised the stretched game to slow matters, or launch counter attacks via Pattman, time ticked on. With six minutes to go Dalkeith’s best footballing move put Kennedy in, but his shot was straight. Three minutes left, and Kennedy lobbed a cross over the keeper but inches too high for the waiting Charlie Morrant. Two minutes from the whistle, and tempers began to fray. As one last shot went wide left, Edinburgh City's job was done. It hadn't been easy.

  • Full Time:
  • Edinburgh City
  • 1-0
  • Dalkeith Thistle

Lineups

Edinburgh City
Dalkeith Thistle
1. Danny Smith
2. Daniel Burton
3. Luke McGrevy
4. Patryk Zawislak
6. Callum Taylor
7. Finley Pattman
11. Luke Taylor
12. Daniel Mellis
13. Finlay Halton
14. James Mullen
15. Evan Watson
1. Mackenzie Ewing
2. Luke Gorman
3. Bailey Forbes
4. Robbie Melrose
5. Connor Gorman
6. Adam Cairns
7. Ryan Wilkinson
8. Frazer Sutherland
10. Ashley Nyaith
11. Charlie Morrant
12. Corey Lee Jack
14. Jack Thomson
15. Jamie Kennedy
16. Aiden Bryson
17. Rhys Williams
18. Peter Wightman
Star Player
Edinburgh City
Dalkeith Thistle
Patryk Zawislak: In the first half there was no better player on the pitch than Zawislak. A defender who steps up to calmly meet loose balls, recognises when he needs to cover full backs, and generally sees the game in front of him, he was the intelligent centre-half that coaches love to have controlling half a field.
Mackenzie Ewing: Although chasing the game meant much of the second half unfolded at the opposite end, Ewing made some clutch saves in the earlier period. He also took command of his box, and distributed well through some booming clearances to his wings.
Magic Moment
Edinburgh City
Dalkeith Thistle
The goal, which was just good football. Halton was composed and comfortable enough in possession to wait; Pattman made a smart run to make the dissecting pass an option; Mellis followed play as a striker must. Coming straight after half-time, it was delivered with the calmness of a training session, before the match intensity took hold again.
The move with six minutes left in which Ashley Nyaith, Frazer Sutherland, and Adam Cairns conducted one-touch passing to set Jamie Kennedy free down the inside right. Whilst the game had plenty of energy, slick passing was rare. This was a fine piece of ball movement that showed promise.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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