South East Region (314)
As the sun beamed down on a beautiful Spring afternoon at New Victoria Park, it was Tynecastle FC who emerged victorious over Portobello CFA to reach the 2017 SYFA Scottish Cup final, thanks to a brace from striker John Robertson.
It was a cagey start from both sides, the magnitude of the occasion clearly not lost on the players. In the early stages, neither teams' midfield could take control of the game, and it was Portobello who had the best of the minimal chances.
Space opened up in the middle of the park for Diste Camara Silva, but his strike from distance went wide of the Tynecastle goal. Moments later, winger Tadgh Flanagan-Woodhead found striker Aidan MacKenzie with a smart pass, but Tynie 'keeper Kyle Wilson was quick off his line to quell any possible danger.
Tynecastle's first chance came from a dead ball situation, as Alassan Jones' free kick went just wide of the post. Robertson's considerable skill helped Tynecastle take a foothold in the game. The striker glided past several Portobello players, although he was unable to create any clear cut chances.
However, it wasn't just Robertson's skill that stood out. As MacKenzie attempted to break through the Tynecastle defence, goalkeeper Wilson received a high back pass from his backline, which he took down exquisetly onto his chest, evoking a large round of applause from the crowd.
The tempo of the game picked up following a Tynecastle penalty claim that was initially awarded by the referee. Robertson once again showed off his quick feet in the box before falling to the ground, with the referee subsequently pointing to the spot, before changing his mind after talking to his assistant.
Tynecastle ended the half with another chance, with Portobello centre half Jordan Keenan doing well to block the shot of Charlie Green.
Craigroyston BC bagged five as they came back from two goals down against a tough Edinburgh South CFC Reds side in the final of the Charles Kilvin Cup.
Edinburgh South obtained a two-goal lead by the 20th minute thanks to strikes by Corner and Moran. However, Craigroyston’s impressive comeback saw them take the lead in the 49th minute thanks to goals by Forbes, Smith and Stoddart. With Hanratty adding another two more to secure victory in the cup final tie.
The scoring got underway in the 14th minute with Edinburgh South taking the lead. Robbie Corner dipping free kick 15 yards out on the left-hand side arrived high of the centre of goal leaving keeper, Roy Robertson no chance to save the effort as his side went behind.
Edinburgh South doubled their lead just six minutes later thanks to James Moran’s effort. Prion Khokn flicked in a ball from outside the penalty box to Moran who was inside the box on the right. The Edinburgh South player then slotted the ball into the left-hand side of goal giving his team the upper hand in this cup final.
Having a two-goal deficit to climb back from, Craigroyston managed to get one back before the half time break.
Dean Forbes was played a ball in over the top in the 29th minute, he pushed through the defensive line and calmly slotted the ball low under the keeper to get his side back into the match.
Edinburgh South CFC came back from a goal down at half time to score three of their own in the second half to beat St Bernards BC Midlothian. This non-stop match displayed great performances from both sides and had several highly impressive strikes by the goal scorers. However, it was Edinburgh South who triumphed and left New Dundas Park with the George Salmon Cup.
The scoring got underway early on as St Bernards took the lead in the 3rd minute. Louie Crawford played the ball from outside the penalty area into Ryan Sim on the left-hand side of the box who shot near post to beat the Edinburgh South keeper, Evan Hawkins and put his team ahead.
Edinburgh South were quick to bounce back from the early goal as they equalised in the 10th minute. Haseeb Saleem squared the ball from the right side of the penalty box to Arham Saleem at the opposite end who had an easy tap into an empty net.
The red side doubled their scoring moments later in the 12th minute. Daniel Thomson linked up well with Haseeb Saleem who set up their first goal to gain their second as he thundered in a strike high into the centre of the goal from the right flank.
Edinburgh South had a chance to add a third goal to their tally as their star player, Haseeb Saleem was brought down in the box and the referee awarded the penalty.
Michael Ward stepped up in the 23rd minute to sink away the strike into the goal but the effort was not on target as the ball flew over the crossbar.
As a result, St Benards took the opportunity to level the score thanks to great team created counter attack in the 30th minute. Robbie McCormack sent in a great ball from the left-hand side to Jake Smith outside the penalty area who subsequently sent in Sim a ball in the box who shot home to bring the scoring to two apiece.
On the stroke of half time St Benards went ahead thanks to easily the goal of the game if not for their season. McCormack dribbled the ball in the 35th minute until he was central of the goal about 15 yards out to then fire in a bullet of a strike that arrived perfectly into the top right hand corner of the goal leaving the keeper no chance of saving the magnificent effort.
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.