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Monday, 16 April 2018 16:37

Villa victorious in David Innes Cup

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Two second half goals proved to be enough for Longniddry Villa as they defeated Gala Fairydean Rovers in the David Innes Cup Final. In a hard fought encounter, numerous chances were created, however Gala lived to rue missed opportunities as Villa were clinical to lift the silverware.

New Dundas Park, home to junior outfit Bonyrigg Rose Athletic, played host to the U14 David Innes Cup Final. Both sides knew they would have to fight hard if they were to win the trophy and it was Gala who were strongest in the first fifteen minutes. 

Firstly, Gala’s influential playmaker Sam McClymont picked up the ball at the edge of the box, but his shot was too weak to trouble Villa keeper Aaron Thompson. 

Moments later, Gala had another opportunity from a McClymont free-kick. The midfielder crossed the ball into the box and it was brought down well by Finlay Wheelans, but his snap shot on the turn was well held by Thomson. 

Gala didn’t have long to wait for their next opportunity and it again came from McClymont. He drove into the Villa box, engineered space well and unleashed a venomous shot which was collected at the second attempt by Thomson.

Gala failed to capitalise on their early pressure and then allowed Villa back into the game. Villa’s first chance came from Thierry Murray who was played through on goal, however his low effort was initially saved by Ryan Gibson and Gala cleared the loose ball.

Ten minutes later, Murray had the best chance of the opening half. A long kick up the park found its way to Murray and his powerful half-volley crashed off the crossbar and away from goal.

On the stroke of half-time Gala should have been in front. Some good work by McClymont in the middle of the park allowed him to slip in Kerr Johnston. His first effort came of the right hand post and rebounded back to him; he then rounded the goalie and fired a shot towards the goal however it was expertly cleared off the line by the Villa defender.

Sunday, 15 April 2018 17:14

Super South lift Edinburgh Cup

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Edinburgh South were victorious in the Edinburgh Cup Final, as they battled well to defeat Longniddry Villa. In a game of few chances, it was South who were clinical, scoring three well-taken goals. Villa did manage to pull a goal back, however it was too little to late as South took home the silverware. 

New Dundas Park, home to junior side Bonyrigg Rose Athletic, played host to the U13 Edinburgh Cup Final. The game was very much a battle between two powerful sides and not many chances were created in the first 20 minutes. 

The best of the limited chances fell to South’s number 2 David Thomson who, after some neat one-touch passing in the midfield, was played through on goal, however his chipped effort was held well by Villa keeper Ben Taylor.

Longniddry Villa responded immediately and within a minute had an opportunity of their own. Some good play down the right hand side led to a cross, which wasn’t cleared by the Edinburgh South defence, and a massive scramble ensued, eventually leading to Villa having a shot cleared from the line and South breathed a sigh of relief.

The large crowd inside New Dundas Park didn’t have to wait much longer for the opening goal and it came from a wonderful passage of play from Edinburgh South. They worked the ball out from the back and Louis Conlon picked up possession in the middle of the park. His through ball to Samuel Doig was inch perfect and he found some space in the box to unleash a powerful shot which crashed of the bar and the rebound fell to David Thomson, who made no mistake from close range to put Edinburgh South in front.

Towards the end of the first half, it was all Edinburgh South and on the stroke of half-time they doubled their lead. Again it was neat play in the midfield before Finlayson played in the influential Doig. He remained composed and picked out Thomson in the middle and the striker side footed the ball into the net to claim his and Edinburgh South’s second goal just before the break.

 

Thursday, 05 April 2018 20:15

Clinical City Seal Place in the Semi-Final

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A disciplined defensive performance from Edinburgh City secured their spot in the semi-final of the Ken Ritchie Cup following a smash and grab a 2-1 victory over Spartans FC Youth. Goals from Jamie Elliott and Lewis Munro cancelled out Jake Morrison’s late strike as City secured their second semi-final of the season.
 
The teams are battling it out for fifth place in the Southeast Region 1st Division with only 3 points splitting the sides as City currently edge their opposition.
 
Spartans began the tie the brighter of the two sides and were unlucky to not be ahead in the sixth minute as Finlay Croall evaded two challenges inside the box, however, a great last-ditch block from Connor Leask ensured the score remained 0-0.
 
This seemed to act as a wake-up call to the Meadowbank side as they slowly began to come into the game with Munro doing well in the middle of the park to link defence and attack. The game carried on like this with both sides cancelling each other out in midfield before a long ball over the top released Spartans’ Edward Murray who beat his man and played it across to Morrison who thought he’d given his side the lead but was judged to be in an offside position by the referee.
 
As the half went on, Spartans began to start dominating again but despite having the ball in the City final third for long spells, they struggled to create any clear chances until in the 24th minute Murray was once again freed down the left wing and cut it back to Morrison who played a backheel into the path of Croall whose low shot was saved well by Bruce Mackenzie in the City net.
 
City were doing well to hold out the Spartans attack and in the 30th minute, Mackenzie’s long clearance fell into the path Elliott who struck it past the helpless Adam Cooper into the bottom right corner to give his side 1-0 lead albeit against the run of play.
 
As the half drew to a close, Spartans launched one final attack and following some good team play, Murray crossed the ball in towards the front post where it was judged to have struck a City hand and Spartans were awarded a penalty.
 
Morrison stepped up to take the spot kick but his effort was expertly saved by Mackenzie and the rebound from Hamish Tully sailed over the bar.

Tidy finishes from Nathan Kay and Callum Hall were enough to lead Edinburgh City to victory over Spartans FC in a game of few chances.

City were the first to threaten at Ainslie Park, when Kay made room for himself at the edge of the box and struck it on the half volley but was smartly denied by keeper Jordon Pettigrew in the 4th minute.

Hall was the next City forward to cause problems for the Spartans backline when the tricky winger managed to have a crack at goal in the 14th minute, but once again Pettigrew was there to collect.

Spartans got their first real chance of the game in the 21st minute when Ollie Hetherington was unlucky to have his close ranged shot blocked off the line after numerous scrappy clearances from the City defence failed to leave the box.

However, it was Edinburgh City who broke the deadlock in the final after Hall picked up a stray defensive pass out on the left wing and charged towards the goal before dispatching a powerful low-driven shot into the bottom corner, not giving Pettigrew a chance in the 33rd minute.

Spartans struggled to get in the flow for the remainder of the first half with City piling on the pressure, but unable to finish the half with a reward of a second goal.

A goal either side of the interval was enough for Haddington Athletic to see off Penicuik Athletic and lift the Polar Foods Cup at Millfield. 
 
Luke Cowan opened the scoring on 30 minutes before Leo Harrison doubled the lead six minutes after the break. Ben McManus netted with five minutes to go; but it was too little too late. 
 
The game started in a lively fashion, with Penicuik winning a couple of corners and Haddington threatening on the break with the ball in behind the back four, with early chances falling to Jackson Marrins and Harrison respectively. 
 
Owen Terris tested Ben McIntosh with a long range effort before Harrison once again found himself in on goal, only to be judged offside after rounding the Penicuik keeper. 
 
Penicuik’s first big chance came through McManus. The striker found a yard in the box as the ball sat up kindly to him, but Cameron Bell was equal to it as the shotstopper knocked the ball away to his left. 
 
Luke Cowan fired in a dangerous looking freekick in from the left wing which goalkeeper, McIntosh parried away.  
 
Just moments later, Haddington would win a freekick on the opposite side. This time Cowan made no mistake with the dead ball as he looped the strike over the keeper and into the far corner.  
 
This time it was Penicuik’s turn to try their luck from a set piece. Rory Scott struck the ball extremely sweetly and although it was heading goal-wards; it arrowed straight into the palms of Bell. 
 
A goal worthy of the occasion was the difference between the sides as they went in with Haddington one goal to the good. 
A convincing victory from Lasswade Thistle in the quarter-final of the Peter O’Neill Cup helped keep their quadruple dream alive. Goals from Ritchie, Purdie, Mckenzie, Galloway and a Max Dowling double, consigned Civil Service Strollers to a second defeat in two weeks to the Lasswade side following a 4-0 victory in the South East Cup the week before.
 
Lasswade Thistle are currently sitting three points clear at the top of the South East Region First Division having only lost one match all season and will have been looking to replicate this form heading into the quarter-final tie. Civil Service Strollers, on the other hand, knew they had to win to keep their hopes of achieving silverware this season alive.
 
Lasswade started the better of the two sides with Dowling testing the Strollers keeper from the edge of the box early on, but Louis Aris was down well to collect the strike. There was little Aris could do two minutes later however when Millar Ritchie’s bullet header sailed past him following a good cross from David Malloy from the right wing to make the score 1-0.
 
The Lasswade side continued to control the game as they searched for a second goal and in the eighth-minute, they could have had a penalty following Finlay Aitken’s tackle on Ritchie, however, the referee judged the challenge to be a fair one.
 
Civil Service Strollers were beginning to come into the match with Leo Murray bringing the ball forward well from right-back. However, the strollers side were struggling to execute the final ball.
 
Thistle came close to doubling their advantage when an under-hit pass back to Aris was intercepted by Ritchie who tried to slot the ball past the onrushing keeper. However, an extended leg from the Strollers stopper was enough to put the ball onto the post and out for a corner.
 
Strollers were almost equal in the 15th minute when Dylan Mckeller’s shot from the edge of the box looked goal-bound if not for a great save by Joshua Lothian in the Lasswade goal.
 
Despite a promising spell for Strollers, five minutes later following some pressure from Max Purdie, Thistle were 2-0 after Purdie won possession and slotted in past Aris to double his side's advantage.
 
The Civil Service side began to pile on the pressure in search of a comeback and Michael Leslie looked to have released Connon Pettigrew, however, brave goalkeeping from Lothian ensured the score remained 2-0 going into the break
Elijah Anukam came off the bench to score a second half hat-trick as Portobello edged out an injury depleted St Bernards in what proved to be a tight battle at Portobello High School. 
 
With a place in the last 16 of the Kenny McLean cup up for grabs, chances were a plenty at both ends of the field. On the balance of play, St Bernards were marginally on top, although the sides went in level at the interval. 
 
However, the second half was a different story and even though the visitors continued to create opportunities, it was always Portobello in the ascendancy. 
 
It was a bright start for Saints, as Callum Lumsden early ball was dealt with by Dylin Izatt before Ryan Kerr scrambled the ball off the line at the other end following Ewan McKinaly’s strike. 
 
McKinaly would be at the heart of the Portobello attack once again, surging through the middle on the break before fizzing an effort from the edge of the area just wide of the left hand post. 
 
Jack Fall tested Jamie Stables with a free kick well outside the area but it was a fairly routine save for the St Bernards stopper. Up the other end, Lumsden saw another effort at goal caught following a ball over the top from Daniel Suala. 
 
Chances continued to rain at both ends as Ricky Waugh sliced a speculative volley wide of target and Finlay Halton looped an effort just wide of the top corner.  
 
Ewan Mcleannan failed to connect with an inviting cross into the middle before Saints had a penalty claim waved away by the referee. 
 
A key moment came when St Bernards' Kerr had to come off injured and couldn't continue. The visitiors didn't have any subsitutes on the bench and therefore had to play the lengthy remainder of the match with ten men. 
 
The ten men would end the first period with a succession of corners, the final of which saw Mcleannan's strike blocked from close range and the ball was eventually scrambled to safety as the half came to a close goalless. 

A flurry of goals, late in each half, aided Glenrothes Strollers in their clinical performance against Real Fife Blues in the Fife football development League.

Strollers could not have asked for a better start in the fixture when Dylan Ritchie showed some brilliant pace down the right-wing to eventually cut-in and strike one into the top left corner in the second minute, giving the hosts an early lead.

Strollers were unlucky not to double their lead straight away, but a strong hand from Real Fife Blues keeper Hamish Rankie denied the powerful effort from Harvey Christie in the sixth minute. Unexpectedly, after absorbing a good amount of pressure, Real Fife Blue’s went on a dangerous counter-attack which resulted in a close ranged finish from target man Craig Meston, levelling things in Glenrothes in the seventh minute of the match.

Christie was once again denied by a brilliant stop from Rankie in the 15th minute, who was undoubtedly going to have a very busy match between the sticks. Bailey Patterson was up next to test Rankie, but once again the keeper won this duel, in the 27th minute.

The long period of pressure from the hosts eventually paid off when a perfectly weighted cross from captain Innes Roberts found the head of the tall Ellis Davie who expertly headed home and put the home side deservedly in front, in the 34th minute. Strollers instantly got themselves a third when Robbie Westwaters latched onto a loose ball out on the left-wing and comfortably slotted it in the far-right corner in the 37th minute. The momentum continued late in the half when Mitchell Sharp created space for himself and got the Strollers their fourth of the match in the 38th minute and being the climax of the half.

An inventive half volley from Ben Smith proved to be the winner for Currie as they edged out Edinburgh South by a goal, in a dogged battle at Double Hedges. 
 
The visitors raced into an early lead on nine minutes as Fergus Wright pounced, but only to find themselves trialling a further seven minutes later. 
 
Well-worked goals either side of half time from Wright and Smith sealed the deal for Currie, who as a result, will move level on points with Edinburgh South, with a further three games in hand. 
 
Terry Innes stung the palms of Sonny Boyle early on with a low drive from outside the area and the Edinburgh South keeper could only parry behind at the expense of a corner. 
 
From the resulting kick, the ball found a way through to the back post via Finn McKay, and when it fell to the feet of Wright there was only one thing on his mind as he deftly lifted to ball over the helpless Boyle to open the scoring. 
 
It was only a matter of five minutes until the home side were back on level terms, all thanks to Aidan Blair’s curling free kick, which bent away from goalkeeper Fraser Mooney, who was left clutching at thin air. 
 
Moments later and the score line had been turned on its head. The ball fell kindly to midfield runner Charlie Cowdy, who set himself with the first touch before firing low and hard across Mooney with the second, to put Edinburgh South in control for the first time in the match. 
 
Wright struck his second of the day on 23 minutes as he collected the ball on the left wing, before stepping inside his man and calmly rolling the ball underneath Boyle and into the far corner, to equal the score at two. 
 
It was Edinburgh South who were in the ascendancy in the lead up to the interval. Callum Gilchrist and Ailsa Boyle both put efforts straight at Mooney in goal, before Ciaran Leslie blazed wide from long distance. 
 
The final chance also fell the way of the home side, as a powerful low cross was parried out by Mooney to Cowdy, who surely would’ve scored if it wasn’t for a fantastic last ditch challenge from Josh Baird, as the sides went in tied at the break. 

Reuben Flapan stood his ground to save the crucial penalty from Igor Sobiesiek in a dramatic Charles Kelvin Cup semi final on a blustery winters morning at Balerno High School.

Currie Star Colts raced into an early lead on 13 minutes but found themselves going into the break down by two goals.

However the home side fought back twice in the second half to force a penalty shoot-out, including a last minute equaliser from Ben Smyth.

Civil Service Strollers started the brighter of the two, as Marc Shortel guided a loose ball onto the foot of a post before Jamie Kerr curled over the crossbar from the edge of the area.

Currie Star were at their best on the counter attack in the early stages, goalkeeper Rory James came to smother a few crosses, as well as Smyth and Santosh Rowe both going close.

The breakthrough for Currie Star came through the impressive Rowe, who picked the ball up from Patrick Milne on the left wing before drifting inside and rifling a shot into the top left corner past the helpless James in goal. 

The equaliser came almost moments later, Shortel showed some nimble footwork to reach the byline, before looking up and rolling to Sobiesiek inside the area. The midfielder sidestepped a challenge before drilling the ball across goalkeeper Flapan and into the bottom right corner.

The visitors then turned the score on its head on the 20 minute mark as Calvin Paterson got the run on his marker to prod home at the near post from a corner.

Chances followed at both ends in the lead up to halftime, Flapan swiped away to clear a bobbling strike from Kerr and then Smyth passed up two reasonable chances to equalise at the other end, the second of which - a towering header from a corner which was held onto by James.

With the half coming to a close, Sobiesiek picked out Adam Smith with an inch-perfect diagonal free kick. Smith then brought the ball down for teammate Shortel, but the striker saw his attempt smartly stopped as Flapan parried behind.

A corner followed, and as the ball fell to Smith, he still had a great deal to do. The winger spun with a neat dragback before bending the ball perfectly into the top right corner from the edge of the area to double his side’s lead on the stroke of halftime.

 

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