Edinburgh City Whites overcame underdogs Cavalry Park 4-1 to move on in the Colin Greenhill Memorial Cup on Sunday. However, the match between Division 2 frontrunners Whites and Division 3 Park was a closer affair than the scoreline suggests as two late goals punctured the visitor’s gusto.
Indeed, with Edinburgh City somewhat disjointed for the first ten minutes, the favourites were initially on the back foot. The first three efforts all were Cavalry Park’s, two of which came from uneasy clearances. Yet Whites located their calm and by midway through the half were making the better opportunities. A neat ball by Owen Irvine played Charlie Cameron down the right channel, but his shot slide past the far post, and Cavalry Park’s own wayward clearance nearly presented Tucker Smith a one-on-one.
Matters remained even when Park captain Thomas Ritch’s cross gave Nathaniel Beech-Brandt a volleying chance against a curious lack of defenders, but in the 25th minute the stalemate was broken. The goal came from left winger James Jackson, and came like an electric shock. Previously quiet, Jackson received the ball 25 yards from goal, suddenly scorched past his fullback, and poked the ball past keeper Callum Manson.
One became two in the 29th minute when a lofted ball by Irvine dropped behind the defence and eight yards out. Striker Smith, keeper Manson, and a covering defender all converged, with Smith able to nod the ball goalwards before they all crashed. The ball crept over the line to reward his bravery.
2-0 was a harsh half-time score for Cavalry Park, for whom captain Ritch was working relentlessly in central midfield. The final three shots of the half were also theirs, but without a goal they were in trouble.