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South East Region (337)

Templehall Rovers hold on to a vital victory, that send them level on points with top of the league, after seeing their captain dismissed against a resilient East Fife side. 

Coming into the match Templehall had mixed results, however they were unbeaten in their last three matches and were unbeaten in their last two home games.  On the other hand East Fife were looking to make it three away wins from three as they travelled to Kirkcaldy.

Templehall Rovers started off the better of the two sides with some impressive passing moves falling apart in the final third.  However the Kirkcaldy side finally made the breakthrough after Louix Cumming pounced on a loose ball from a corner whipped in by team mate Scott Graves in the 18th minute. 

Graves would have scored himself later in the first half if it wasn’t for a vital block from East Fife defender Robbie Lumsden.  Moments later Graves was denied again, this time his attempted dink finish was tipped behind for a corner by East Fife goalkeeper Tyler Wilson. 

Going into the half time break it was certain that Templehall Rovers would be the happier of the two sides.  The instructions from the Templehall Rovers coach must have been to put away more chances and continue to creatively pass through the midfield.  For East Fife on the other hand they had to put more of a threat on the Templehall Rovers defence after only creating very few chances.

 

Euan Bryce netted four times in the Kenny McLean cup which was enough for Cramond to see off Edinburgh United in a hard fought tie at Royal High.
 
It was a grim day with the weather ever changing - showers and high winds made it difficult for both sides.
 
The first ten minutes were fairly even although Cramond created the better of the chances, with Leon Cook having two early chances, the first of which agonisingly rolled across the face of goal.
 
After 13 minutes, the hosts took the lead through Euan Bryce. The ball fell to the forward inside the box following a long free kick, who still had a lot to do as he guided the ball in on the half volley.
 
Cramond doubled their lead with 22 minutes gone, the ball coming in from the left hand side and a brilliant dummy from Bryce gave him space in the box and once again he found the bottom right corner with a cool finish.
 
A clash of heads between United's Luke Ramage and Eesa Iqbal saw both players go to ground but luckily both were fine, although Ramage did have to leave the park briefly.
 
It was only a matter of minutes until the hat-trick came. A low finish from Bryce from a tight angle, this time on the right hand side of the penalty area, put the hosts three up inside 25 minutes.
 
Coming towards the end of the half, United began to build some pressure, Sonny Flexen worked an opening with John Young well on the right but Cramond keeper Euan Knight was left untested as Flexen's effort was always going wide.
 
Knight would be tested right on the stroke of half time, when Flexen's whipped cross was too far away from the keeper, who couldn't get enough on the ball to clear it from safety, and sat up nicely for Eesa Iqbal who slotted the ball away well to cut the deficit with the last kick of the first period.

A flurry goals in either half without return helped a clinical Edinburgh City side progress with ease into the 4th round of the South East Region cup. Hat-tricks from James Clare and Luke Rathie were accompanied by goals from McNamara, Elliot, Gilmour and Turnbull to finish off the rout.

The outcome of the match seemed difficult to predict, with City experiencing a mixed start to their league campaign with 3 wins being matched with 2 losses, whereas Thistle tasted victory in both of their fixtures so far.

Despite the even predictions in the build-up to the cup tie, the gulf in class was evident very early from kick-off. Cai McNamara was first to get his name on the scoresheet for City with just a minute on the clock. His determination to break beyond the defence set the tone early on as he raced through and slotted the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

Bathgate barely had any time to register what had unfolded before the ball was in the back of the net again, this time through one of their own players, but at the wrong end. Elliot raced down the wing – a sight that would become familiar – and crossed a ball into the path of Clare who attempted to get a flick, but the final touch appeared to come via a defender. 

City – who could only name one substitute due to a shortage of numbers – showed their ruthlessness again as the notched up another two goals before the tenth minute. Clare took the ball in the centre and drove beyond the defence with scorching pace, rounding the goalkeeper and slotting in, with his second goal an exact carbon copy of his first, with the same outcome.

McNamara, one of many attacking forces for the Edinburgh side, looked capable of scoring whenever he burst forward, and added a second goal to his tally on 15 minutes. On this occasion, it was a simple tap in from just yards out as Elliot’s searching cross into the area left him with an easy finish.

Clare turned provider when put through on goal, lifting a ball over the head of the onrushing goalkeeper and leaving Elliot with a header from 3 yards out which he duly converted. Composed strikes inside the penalty area from the towering Rathie, and his diminutive midfield partner Danny Turnbull took City into the break with an impressive-lead. 

When Lewis McClure, Broxburn born and bred, steps foot onto the campus of Delta State University as a student for the first time, he’ll be over 4,000 miles from home. He’ll go from living beside the banks of the Union Canal to residing with driving distance of the Mississippi River. He’ll walk on sidewalks instead of pavements, to the store instead of the shop, to buy twizzlers instead of strawberry laces and enjoy Mississippi Mud Pie over Sticky Toffee Pudding (Okay, you can definitely find Mississippi Mud Pie in the UK. Anyway...)
 
All of these changes exemplify the America McClure imagines is “ten times bigger than anything over here”, and the challenges he says he’s ready for. The former Broxburn Academy pupil will go to Delta State in Cleveland, Mississppi on a soccer scholarship courtesy of Future Pro USA. He’ll meet up with fellow Scot Andrew Robertson, the head coach of the Delta State Statesmen, as he splits his time between studying a business degree, playing football and watching the institution’s other teams. McClure says he’s looking forward to taking in the basketball team’s games in particular, having had a taste for it during a campus visit earlier this year.
 
McClure first realised he wanted to experience life across the pond just before the onset of his teenage years. “I think I first had the idea of going to America when I was about 12 years old, but it was just a dream,” he said.
 
“It wasn’t until recent, this last year, that I saw the opportunity through YFS and with Future Pro for the scholarship and it took off from there, and now my dream is realised.”
 
A composed central midfielder who can also play centre back, McClure puts an extreme focus on training hard and doing the “extra bit”, a trait that has helped him throughout his football life so far. The first club he played for was Broxburn Athletic, before spells with Tynecastle, Broxburn once more, and Bathgate Thistle, who merged with Fauldhouse. “I’ve been quite lucky to play with so many successful teams,” he says, and points to a Blackpool Cup win with Tynecastle and an undefeated season that led to a treble while with his last club. McClure singles out former coach Steven Sharpe for his help in assisting where he finds himself now. Sharpe worked extensively with McClure during his recovery from a pelvic injury that kept him out for almost eight months. It was here the importance on training hard intensified, with McClure’s recovery entailing early training sessions and extra hours in the gym. On Sharpe, McClure says: “He’s probably been the biggest help in football, and without doubt the biggest character. What he did when I was injured helped me a lot, and now he’s like more of a friend than a coach.” Sharpe’s dealing with Chron’s and Colitis and the associated charities led to McClure running the Edinburgh Marathon for that same charity, raising a massive £1600 in the process.
 
McClure’s return from injury and his marathon highlight a determined and ambitious individual, two qualities one needs to make a decision like going to the US. Especially when such a decision involves leaving behind your family and girlfriend for eight months at a time. “It’s tough,” begins McClure. “Me and my girlfriend for example, we’ve been together for just over two years. It’s going to be hard but she’s been really good, she’s very proud and she’s happy for me. She realises this is just something I have to do.
 
“It’s a dream come true for me and I’m going to be living that dream, but we’ll make it work.”
 
If you are interested in a Scholarship in the USA, Click Here to sign up for an Assessment Day.
 

Portobello CFA’s double meant they were crowned champions of the South East Regional Cup after beating Tynecastle FC at New Countess Park. Despite having their chances, Tynecastle were unable to stick the ball past star player Thomas McLean as Russell Bowers and Josh Sharkey netted one a piece to win the cup.

Portobello started the game well with various chances coming in quick succession, arguably one of their best came in the 15th minute.

Russell Bowers pass to Tadgh Flanagan-Woodhead inside the area on the right allowed the player to get a shot away. However, the effort was saved at the near post by keeper, Kyle Wilson.

They had another good chance moments later, this time from a free kick in the 18th minute.

Portobello’s Dean Coyle stepped up at the edge of the left side of the box with his shot going towards the left-hand side of the net. However, Tynecastle keeper, Wilson made himself known once more as he dived to save the effort.

Tynecastle then began to grow into the game in the last 15 minutes of the half with a ranged effort coming in the 29th minute.

Charlie Green decided to challenge the keeper with a shot from 15 yards out but the ball arrived straight at the keeper.

Despite Tynecastle looking like they were getting a grip of the game, they conceded their first of the match in the 37th minute. Portobello’s Flanagan-Woodhead and Bowers linked up once more with the former sending the player through on the right side of the area.

Bowers then sunk the ball into the bottom left hand corner giving his side the advantage going in for half time. 

A late treble of goals from Edinburgh City Blacks saw the side win the South East Regional Cup against Hutchison Vale FC, despite trailing behind for half an hour. Ben Wardlaw opened the scoring for Hutchie but within 11 minutes near the end of the fixture, Ewen Gillespie netted twice with James Farrell also on the score sheet for City. Hutchie player, Matthew McCormack also netted into the seventh minute of injury time.

Chances were few and far between in the first half but Hutchison Vale’s effort in the 17th minute almost broke the deadlock. Aiden Walsh long distance effort from the right side struck the top corner of the near post but the effort did not deflect in but instead go out of play.

Inspired by this effort, Edinburgh City tried one of their own in the 27th minute. Keiran Millar controlled the ball in the centre of the field before firing the ball with his left foot from 20 yards towards goal. However, the ball flew wide to the left of the goal.

Hutchison Vale broke the deadlock soon after when Ben Wardlaw netted in the 33rd minute. Good link up play between Josh Ferguson and Laurence Linklater allowed Ferguson to unleash a strike from the right side, forcing the City keeper to make a save. However, Wardlaw got onto the end of the rebound and sent the effort home to put his side up at half time. 

The first clear-cut opportunity resulted in the first goal when Fauldhouse opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Ben Magee’s trike deflected into the path of Guy Sim who had already timed a run into the box. He outraced the Tynie defender to the ball and slotted beyond the goalkeeper from yards out. 

Tynecastle had a chance to score in the 21st minute when Callum Bremner played a short-free kick into the path of Owen Winnik who was waiting just inside the box, but he couldn’t direct it onto target and he side footed the ball well over the bar.

Fauldhouse’s advantage was nearly doubled in the 25th minute when a free-kick was cushioned into his path, his powerful half-volley looked destined for the back of the net but a Tynie defender just managed to get a touch and deflect the ball out for a corner.

It was a very back-and-forth cup final and Tynecastle were next to try their luck in the 32nd minute when Gary Tickle floated a ball into the path of Nicky Weir, but his first-time volley on the edge of the box lacked placement and flew wide of the goal.

Dan Purves then tried to curl an effort into the bottom corner from just outside the box on 34 minutes, but Matthew Craig was quick to get down low and save the shot at his near post.

Tynecastle had a flurry of opportunities to level the scores minutes before half-time. The first came when Purves floated a lovely pall into the unmarked Winnik, who opted not to take a touch and volleyed a first-time effort. Unfortunately for him though, his strike sailed over the crossbar.

Barely a minute later Bremner took the ball down brilliantly on the edge of the box, swivelled and hit a strike which flew narrowly wide of the near post.

Matty Brown then tried his luck after a good run saw him reach the edge of the box, his strike had power but like the one before him, wasn’t quite precise enough to hit the target. 

Gala Fairyden Colts winner in extra time crowned them champions of the Division 3 League Cup in a thrilling game against Gorebridge United at New Dundas Park on Sunday. Goals from Josh Lamb and Declan Bell meant the Colts led by two at the break. However, strikes from Liam Spencer and Lewis Brannan levelled the scoring. Colts went ahead again with Cammy Finlayson’s strike before Gorebridge put things level once again with Jay McCallion’s goal. Finlayson netted again in extra time putting his side ahead for the third and final time, winning the game and the cup itself.

Gorebridge United put the pressure on first in this cup tie with their first chance of the game coming two minutes in. A corner taken on the left side of goal by Byron McKinley was met by the on target headed effort of Bari Collins. The shot was saved by the keeper; however, the referee blew for offside regardless.

Gala Fairden Colts grew into the game, unfazed by the opposition’s pressure they had a chance to go ahead in the 13th minute. Josh Lamb’s shot from outside the area was arriving at the bottom right hand corner of goal if not for the services of goalkeeper, Reiss Trench to stop the effort.

Moments later, Gorebridge had the opportunity to net from a clinical position. Lewis Brannan’s pass to Arron Cockburn which was subsequently flicked onto Byron McKinley in the 17th minute put the player on goal with only the keeper to beat, however, the towering presence of Max Logan meant the shot was saved.

Another chance came soon after for the blue and yellow side in the 28th minute. The solo effort from Gorebridge’s Lewis Brannan meant the player tucked his way past defenders to arrive in the right-hand side of the penalty area. His shot on goal that followed struck the near post and proceeded to go out of play.

Colts then secured the first of the match with a remarkable effort in the 34th minute. Lee MacRae’s run past defenders on the right side meant the ball was laid off to Josh Lamb outside area. Lamb’s dipping shot struck the left post and into the net putting his side ahead.

On the stroke of half time, Colts managed to double the lead. Following Jordan Hogarth’s headed effort coming off the woodwork in the 40+1st minute, the ball dropped to Declan Bell whose initial rebound shot was blocked. The player struck the ball on the rebound once more, driving it low into the net. 

Two well-worked set pieces were the difference between Broxburn Athletic and Musselburgh Windsor at New Countess Park, as strikes from Ryan Robertson and Lewis Cole ensured Athletic’s grasp on the South East Region Cup.

The first chance of the game fell the way of Broxburn as Callum Heath fired a low cross across the face of the goal, Cole was on hand to time his run into the box and side foot an effort towards goal, which was deflected out for a corner.

Broxburn had another chance to open the scoring ten minutes in when Campbell Anthony spread a lovely pass out wide to Liam Magee who was unmarked in the wing, he spotted the run of Ryan Robertson and crossed it into him. However, Robertson managed to get his feet stuck and failed to get a proper shot away, giving Musselburgh the chance to clear.

In the 14th minute Nathan Donnelly-Kay was next to come close for Athletic, by taking advantage of some slack defending he was able to close down the Windsor defence and get his shot away, although it wasn’t the most powerful of efforts and Jack Stewart was able to deny him at the near post.

Musselburgh created their first opening with 17 minutes on the clock via an incisive counter attack, as Jack Morgan raced down the wing and fired a ball into the feet of Murray McDougal, who turned and fired a low powerful shot at goal, but it lacked precision and James Davidson in the Broxburn goal was able to hold firmly onto the strike.

Windsor started to come into the came after 20 minutes, and Ross McLaren came close to taking the lead when Sean Brown crossed towards the near post. Mclaren angled his run in front of the defender and tried to divert his effort in from a tight angle by stretching a foot towards the ball, which trickled across the face of the goal and left Broxburn with a sigh of relief.

They had another attempt at goal in the 32nd minute as a long throw-in was only cleared into the feet of Liam Gregory who was waiting on the edge of the box, his curling effort lacked precision though as it flew over the bar.

Depsite the continued pressure from their opponents, Broxburn took the lead in the 34th minute by a smartly-worked free-kick. Nobody in Windsor blue spotted the run of Robertson, who was found with a deceptive pass from Heath. Robertson continued his run into the area, advanced on goal and slotted the ball to the right of Stewart, giving his side the lead in the final. It was a quick piece of thinking which proved to pick the lock in the Musselburgh defence.

If that opportunity was clever, their next shot on goal was audacious. Donnelly Kay’s lovely clipped-in delivery was only half-cleared to Jamie Brown on the edge of the box. Instead of simply controlling the ball or heading it back in, he caught the surprise of everybody at New Countess Park by producing an overhead kick which left Stewart scrambling, but his acrobatic effort only found the side netting. It could have been the perfect end to the half for Broxburn.

In a tight cup final between Spartans and Tynecastle BC, it required a piece of brilliance from Jonathan Jarron to separate the two teams, as Spartans ran out winners in a tense match at New Countess Park.

Nicholas Reid was the first to create a chance of note in the 12th minute when a series of deflections helped the ball land at his feet inside the box, but his first-time effort sailed over the bar.

Reid was in the centre of the action again a few minutes later as he fed the ball through to Jack Crombie, he raced onto the through ball with only Aaron Heap in the Tynecastle goals to beat, but the goalkeeper came out on top on this occasion, reaching the ball just before it could be fired at goal.

Jack Gammie was the first player to test the reflexes of Niall McFadden in Spartans goal with a good free-kick in the 16th minute, it looked destined for the top corner, but Gammie was equal to the effort and prevented both a goal and a corner.

Reid then set up a chance for Lorcan Gray on 19 minutes. Reid fired a ball across the box and Gray was arriving late into the box to meet it, however, the pace on the ball seemed to work against him as he scuffed his effort and saw it trickle wide of the goal.

Reece Mason was next to try his luck for Spartans, who were well on top at this stage, when he struck a curling effort from the edge of the box, but Heap was able to stretch just far enough to tip the ball over the bar for a corner, which came to nothing.

In the 23rd minute Spartans produced an incisive passing move which saw Gray and Jarron interchanging passes, before sliding in Reid who had a great chance to open the scoring, but dragged his effort wide of the post.

The pressure from Spartans only continued and they came close to scoring a few minutes before half-time, as Reid, once again at the heart of the attack, nipped his way around the defence and managed to place his shot past the keeper, but Aaron Matheson was on hand to deny him on the goal-line.

Tynecastle had a chance to grab a goal just before the interval, as Jack Carr showed brilliant strength to see off a defender in the box and get a shot away, unfortunately for him though, that shot was off target. 

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