South East Region (311)
Peebles came out on top of a rip-roaring semi-final, beating Tranent Colts 7-5 to book their place in the final of the Belmont Vauxhall Cup, where they will face Spartans Whites.
Peebles had control at 3-0 at half time and 6-1 after 57 minutes but they lost their grip slightly as Tranent managed to pull it back to 6-4. They clinched it with Keith Kitching’s fifth of the day before Tranent scored again with the last kick, making it an incredible 5 goals scored in the final 13 minutes.
The home side started like a train and opened the scoring after three minutes having already missed two glorious chances.
Fraser Whyte was unfortunate after Rory MacDonald had won the ball and fed him – Jamie Archibald parried his first effort and the ball would not sit nicely for him afterwards.
They came close again when Jordan Sykes’ corner was turned just wide by Kitching.
But the breakthrough was on acquired when Frey MacIver drove down the left flank and what looked like an intended cross ended up in the far corner of the net.
Logan Ritchie could have levelled it up when he beat the keeper but his low effort trickled agonisingly wide.
That was all the more galling for Tranent as they fell further behind on nine minutes. Kitching got off the mark when he collected Lewis Scrimger’s throw in the inside right channel, got into the box and fired a shot across Archibald and in.
Liam Henderson was impressive for Colts and he was almost in after good combination play from Mackenzie Scott and Cameron Sharp but was stopped by an offside call.
It was 3-0 after 20 minutes, Thomas Pickburn finishing well with his left foot after Kitching had slipped him in.
The game opened up and became a real end to end battle, with Tranent desperate to find a lifeline and Peebles still pushing to get another.
Kitching fired wide after a good run forward and at the other end Henderson’s effort from the edge of the box went just wide.
The Tranent push continued in the second half and Henderson remained central to it, a surging run down the left ended with a strike which was held by Oliver Gray.
Lasswade High School played host in this Colin Campbell Sports Division 1 League Cup affair one a freezing winter’s day, as Hutchison Vale managed to see off a late Bonnyrigg Rose fightback in a fiery affair.
Bonnyrigg made a promising start to the game, seeing most of the ball in the opening five minutes and pinning Vale back into their own, despite being unable to really create anything of note in this early spell.
Despite their start, the first goalkeeper to be forced into a save was Rose’s Mackenzie Watson after seven minutes. However, he never looked in much trouble from Fletcher Hendry’s shot, which was easily collected. The same player tested the goalkeeper’s palms just a minute later, as he struck a solid volley after being teed up by Brandon Hunter, although it was the same outcome as before and the score remained goalless.
With eight minutes on the clock Hutchie’s pressure paid dividends, when they took the lead through Luke McLean. Although it was Hunter who looked likely to score from his great free-kick, it was McLean who tapped in the rebound from close range, despite Watson’s best efforts to keep it out.
Vale looked to be in control after the goal, pinning Bonnyrigg back and restricting them to creating very little. When Rose did create a chance on 20 minutes, Cameron Quinn had a decent effort after a corner was worked to him, but the shot was rising ever since it left his boot and didn’t harm Beveridge’s goal.
It was the goalscorer Mclean who came close to doubling his side’s lead on the half-hour mark, when he managed to guide a header towards the far corner after a good ball in, but the goalkeeper dived low and got enough power to parry it away from goal.
Bonnyrigg weren’t just lying down without a fight though, and their best effort on goal came just before the half-time whistle. A throw-in was worked into Ryan Hodge, who let fly from 20 yards with his shot looking destined for the top corner.
Beveridge produced a stunning save to claw away the ball and tip it onto the bar and over. An enormous save in a crucial period of the cup-tie.
An efficient performance in Galashiels ensured that Spartans FC Youth maintained their five point lead at the top of Division 1B.
They were in control from as early as the 12th minute when a Sean Burrell rocket opened the scoring, and Cole McKay added another with a similar strike eight minutes later.
Ryan Turner tapped in a third early in the second half, and Elliot Miller rounded it off with a penalty.
Gala goalkeeper Paddy Beatty was kept busy and he had already denied Keir Foster before Burrell emphatically broke the deadlock. The striker picked up the ball to the right of the box and unleashed a fierce, dipping left foot drive high into the net.
Beatty kept out another Foster effort but was unable to do anything about McKay’s shot from 20 yards.
Further saves from Foster, Craig McBay and Miller kept the score at 2-0 at half time. Foster’s was the best of the chances, Beatty saving from point blank range after Miller had cleverly passed to Foster in front of goal.
A resounding victory over Peebles saw Leith Athletic into the semi-final of the SPORTSassist South East Region Cup, where they will face Tynecastle for a shot at glory.
They were worthy of it and always looked like winning, but Peebles hung in well before the Leithers ran away with it in the final 20 minutes.
It only took them seven minutes to register thanks to Brodie Watt, but Thomas Pickburn pegged them back nine minutes later with a well worked goal.
Leon McDonald reinstated the lead almost immediately, and Leith racked up the goals in the second half.
Watt scored again on 46 minutes, and they bagged another 6 in the final 18 minutes through an own goal, Ben Aitchison and Connor Young with two each, and finally Jordan Young.
Peebles managed to snatch a consolation when Rhys MacDonald scored with a great strike.
The opener came after a clever attempted lob by Leon McDonald was repelled by Oliver Gray, but Watt followed up sharply.
Gray prevented a two goal deficit by denying Watt from getting a second after Connor Young’s flick on.
Peebles were industrious and they managed to level when Keith Kitching carried the ball down the left and crossed for Rory MacDonald. There was no angle for a shot but the winger intelligently set the ball off for Pickburn who controlled his shot well.
But two minutes later that good work was undone when they found themselves trailing again. Leon McDonald went one better this time by finding the net from Daniel Fennell’s cross.
A series of saves by Gray kept Leith at bay and Peebles only a goal behind. Fennell was busy on the right flank and he played in Connor Young who was thwarted by the Peebles goalie.
The winger had a go by himself after a switch of play by Jordan Young but Gray kept up his good form.
The pick of the bunch came just before the half when the keeper scrambled across to tip a low drive by Jordan Young round the post.
Gala Fairydean Rovers shocked top of the table Musselburgh Athletic in a thrilling Division 1 encounter and in doing so moved themselves further away from the bottom.
It was a thoroughly deserved victory from a display which was built on hard work and had the moments of quality to make the difference.
With none of the chasing pack in action Musselburgh keep hold of their first place, while Gala’s win takes them ahead of Cavalry Park and level on points with Bonnyrigg Rose in seventh.
After falling behind to an early Liam Millar goal Gala came out fighting and were 3-1 up by the break. Owen Renton scored two of them, including a well taken free kick, with Jamie Whitehead having levelled the scoring.
Musselburgh scored a free kick of their own through Ben Tracey, but Renton’s third pulled the home side away again. Things were made interesting near the end with Dominic McLagan making it 4-3 from the spot but Gala held out for a monumental win.
It had looked ominous when Millar pounced on five minutes after Rhys Tait had gotten a hand to Liam Demarco’s deep cross.
Many would expect a top of the table side to go on to dominate against second bottom, but Gala had not read the script.
After Tom Fowler had gone close with a header, Whitehead equalised on 12 minutes. High pressing forced a mistake in the away defence and Whitehead was left with a tap in.
Millar could have put Athletic back in front when he intercepted Tait’s pass out from goals but the keeper recovered to save with his feet.
The remainder of the half belonged to Gala with Renton putting them in control with a double.
Whitehead had hit the post after some good skill on 26 minutes before his team-mate hit the net four minutes later. Fraser Falconer tickled a pass through which Renton seized upon before rounding the keeper and rolling in.
Falconer was involved again for the third when he was pushed to win a free kick just outside the box. Renton stepped up and cleverly bent a side footer round the wall and in off the post.
With Spartans Whites out of action, Edinburgh South took the opportunity to go top of Division 3 with a narrow win over fellow challengers Gala Fairydean Rovers.
Gala could have gone level with Spartans themselves had they taken the points and it really could have gone either way.
In fact they could probably lay claim to having been the better side in the first half, with South then taking over in the second.
It was the away side who struck first, Andrew Buameh’s goal coming after only 4 minutes. Lee Macrae brought it level with some individual brilliance and both teams had chances to go on and win the game but it was Edinburgh who took one of theirs with a James Wilson penalty. Gala gave everything they had towards the end but it was not to be.
Front man Buameh was alert early on to pounce on a bouncing ball and knock it past Kyle Cockburn.
Fairydean Rovers responded and Josh Lamb’s shot from the edge was deflected wide after he was fed by Declan Bell.
The equaliser came in 19 minutes and it was courtesy of lovely skill by Macrae. The winger tricked his way to the byline before cutting in and squeezing a cute effort in at the near post.
Jack Noble was growing in influentiality and he had a low shot saved by Dillon Wilson after playing a one-two with Bell.
It was nip and tuck and Conor Stewart had two efforts on the other goal. He managed to work space for himself in the first instance but Cockburn held his shot and then he hit a curler over the bar.
Easter Road hosted the third-oldest cup competition in world football on Thursday night; the East of Scotland shield; on a freezing cold night in Leith, as the mini-Edinburgh Derby finished with the Jambos retaining the trophy with a 2-1 victory. After a much quiet first-half, the match really came into life in a frantic second 45, with the Wee Jambos winning the competition for the second year on the bounce, after a long wait to bring it back to Gorgie was ended last year.
The first half started in rather slow pace, as both sides tried to become suited to the large pitch in Leith. The first opening came from a corner five minutes in, as Fraser Murray floated the ball all the way to the back, meeting the head of Ryan Porteous, who’s header was straight into the arms of Kelby Mason.
Jambos skipper Alex Pektov was first to try his luck at Patrick Martin’s goal after 15 minutes, but his chest and volley was dragged wide of the post. Callumn Morrison was the first to make Martin work though, as he cut inside from the right after Andy Irving’s nice lay-off, but the Hibs keeper was equal to it.
The only other moment of note before the half-time whistle was in the final minutes of the first 45, when Hearts played a quick corner into Anthony McDonald, and his cutback found Jack Gillan outside the box, but his curling effort was never convincing enough to test Martin in goals.
Going into this cup final you perhaps would have found it difficult to separate these two teams, with both performing well in their league campaigns this season. However, a clinical Spartans side were able to breeze past a hardworking Loanhead on a scorching hot day in Bonnyrigg.
You would think the conditions may have left the players of both sides feeling somewhat lethargic, but the match started at an electric pace from the first whistle, as neither team wanted to give their opponents a split second on the ball and, as a result, chances were few and far between in the opening stages.
The towering Cameron Dawson created the first real chance of danger in the seventh minute with a low driven ball across the box, but Mark Mackay just couldn’t reach it in time to convert. He went one step closer to opening the scoring five minutes later, when he latched onto the through ball and attempted a cheeky dink over the onrushing keeper. It may have beat Ross Jardine, in goal, but it didn’t find the back of the net and it was cleared before anybody could apply a finish.
Loanhead, and particularly Aidan McMillan, were working hard to get themselves the first goal as his first thought was always to take his man on, but they just couldn’t create anything clear-cut. Joshua Fital also threatened, with a series of inviting deliveries being flung into the box from set pieces, with the right back also trying his luck from range on a few occasions.
The opening goal was always going to be difficult to create in a frantic match like this, but it came in the 19th minute of the match for Spartans. Although there was a large degree of luck when a defensive clearance went completely wrong after an unfortunate bobble and Mackay found himself one-on-one. Whilst the goal had a hint of fortune about it, the finish that followed was sheer composure, as Mackay stroked the ball into the far corner and Jardine could only get a hand to it.
Loanhead then had a series of threatening corners which caused problems, but ultimately failed to result in a clear cut chance. Calum Crawford also went close with a good first time effort on 22 minutes, but his shot was always rising.
Set pieces also posed a goal-scoring opportunity for Spartans as well, as Josh Williamson rose highest to connect with Lewis Hall’s inviting delivery on 27 minutes, but his low header was well held by the alert Jardine, who got down low to cover his far post.
Jardine was called into action only a few minutes later, and this time, produced an even more impressive save. The ball was played up to Mackay, who turned provider this time, chesting the ball down for Dawson who hit a fierce first-time effort, but Jardine threw himself at the ball and tipped it over the bar with barely a second to set himself. Dawson then had another crack from the resulting corner, but he was only able to divert his effort wide as the ball came in with such pace.
McMillan looked hell-bent on dragging his side level and was so unlucky to hit the post ten minutes from half time. He drove at the defence, went inside and outside, struck a low effort and it cannoned off the woodwork and behind for a goal kick, his team’s best chance up until that point.
Spartans FC Reds made the South East Region Cup their third piece of silverware of the season with a 3-2 win over Musselburgh Windsor in an engrossing match. They added to the Prison Officer’s Cup and the Victor Paris Bathrooms Cup with a glorious comeback. Musselburgh had been in front twice but lost the decisive third with 19 minutes to play.
Ross Greig struck first with a fabulous free kick to give them the lead, against the run of play, but Matthew Brady volleyed Reds level three minutes later. Lewis Kynoch restored Windsor’s advantage 12 minutes into the second half before Cameron Dawson headed another equaliser.
The eventual victors took the lead for the first and last time thanks to a composed finish from substitute centre back Jake McCreadie, and he and his team-mates saw off some late Windsor pressure to hold on.
Dawson had an early opportunity but was foiled by Jack Stewart, while Greig took advantage of some hesitant defending at the other end but sent his shot over the bar.
Spartans began to dominate the ball, and always looked to build through Lewis Hall and James Pringle in the middle of the park. Hall in particular was making things tick.
Dawson had a header blocked near the line before the same player had the ball in the net, only to be ruled offside when he tapped in at the far post.
Ross McLaren had a clear sight at goal for Musselburgh but his volley was held by Jamie Mitchell.
Greig earned his side the lead in spectacular fashion after 35 minutes. His Beckham-esque free kick bent over the wall from the right hand side and onto the opposite stanchion before ending up in the net.
The joy was short lived though when striker Brady evened it up. Oran Hosey crossed from the left and Brady met it first time on the volley which he buried past Stewart.
A very close, taut affair ended with Bonnyrigg Rose Colts beating Tynecastle, after extra time, to lift the South East Region Cup.
Tynie took an early lead through a Josh Winnik header but Bonnyrigg fought back well and had enough chances to win in 90 minutes, although it took until the 49th minute for them to equalise.
Jack Solway and Arran Laidlaw were big players for them on the day and the two combined to set up Calum Glen to level with another header.
Winnik’s opener, coming in the 7th minute, was the first action of note after a tense and scrappy beginning to the match. The centre back rose to meet James Scobie’s corner to clinch a dream start.
Solway made some surging runs from his advanced central midfield position but did not find a way to goal.
In fact it was the men in maroon who threatened again through Scobie. He smacked a free kick, from 35 yards, but Mackenzie Watson matched it.
Rose stepped it up near half time and had two chances. An exchange of passes between Ryan Hodge and Jack Solway presented William Scott with a slight sight of goal. He was quite wide though and he could not get his shot on target.
Laidlaw’s pace saw him make headway down the right several times. On one such occasion he won a free kick, which he took himself and picked out Solway, but he headed over.
At the other end, Kieran Ngwenya fired in a teasing cross but there were no takers.
Leith Athletic A Team secured the Under 13 South East Region Cup with a 2-0 win over Edinburgh City Blacks. A goal in each half was enough to secure yet another trophy for the east end of the capital, 8 days after Hibs had finally brought the Scottish Cup home. Impressive wingers Cameron Kerr and Strathy Mackay scored them and both had very lively games. City worked hard to stay in the game but the two-goal deficit deflated them when it came with 21 minutes to play.
City had the first shot on target when Ben Henderson guided a side footer towards goal but Jamie Smith held it.
Kerr started to have a big influence down Leith’s right hand side, and he won the ball high up the pitch before crossing to Thomas Ramage who was denied by Fraser Taylor.
The winger then created an opportunity for himself by dribbling through several bodies, but Taylor was in the way again.
The keeper was not the only one keeping them at bay with a hard working bunch in front of him doing all they could to close down and harry. Kieran Millar was at the heart of it and he organised, and made tackles, blocks and clearances.
Louie Clark had his work cut out against Kerr, who never stopped running, but the full back stuck to his task manfully.
Leith did find a way past the keeper, after 28 minutes, and it was largely down to a surging run by Mackay after he had intercepted a clearance. The ball broke loose to Kerr who slid it into an unguarded net.
Taylor produced another fine save to keep it at 1-0 a minute just before half time. Kerr was the supplier again and Cameron Stewart’s strike was kept out.