On a brisk sunny afternoon in the capital, the away side of Haddington Athletic CFC travelled to Meggetland Sports Complex for their match against Edinburgh South Athletico in the South East Region YFA U17 Division 1. Edinburgh South Athletico came out fighting at the start of the game, trying to gain their first win this season. But unfortunately, with the three goals Haddington put past them, it secured a place at the top of the table for Haddington Athletic.
There was good pressure from both sides, with Edinburgh South Athletico securing a free kick two minutes into the game. Still, Haddington’s were defending well, with midfielder Kyle Connolly from Edinburgh South trying to pressure Haddington and creating chances for Athletico.
But Haddington moved up the pitch and secured a corner in the ninth minute of the game. Athletico did enough to keep the score line 0-0 though. As the game continued, Haddington won a free kick outside Athletico’s box, but the strike flew over the bar.
There was some good battling between Connolly and Aidan Grosse from Haddington down the left side of the pitch trying to win the ball, but Harry Cessford from Haddington defended well as these two headed towards him.
A few fouls from Edinburgh South Athletico rewarded Haddington with two free kicks, but nothing that changed the score line. Haddington crept closer to scoring by securing a corner but it was headed away.
The referee let the game run freely, with teams arguing about tackles on each other. But on the 29-minute mark, the deadlock was broken with a great goal by Haddington’s Hunter Crooks, who blasted into the top right-hand corner.
A couple of minutes after the goal goes in, Athletico is rewarded with the first yellow card of the game. There is some good play from Haddington. That goal has given them more confidence on the ball and excellent passing play.
Then, just ten minutes before the referee blew the whistle for halftime, a smashing goal from Jayden Stewart for Haddington to make it 0-2.
That was all the first half activity. Edinburgh South Athletico came out strong at the start of the game, but Haddington Athletic played fantastic attacking football and secured themselves two goals.
As half-time ended, Athletico made two substitutions, and then the referee blew his whistle to commence the second half. The Edinburgh South players had determination and had a strike at goal, but Haddington’s goalie did enough and made a great save.
It felt like at the start of the game, Edinburgh South Athletico had many shots on target, but unfortunately for them, nothing hit the back of the net. Carson Loy and Connolly tried to make chances for Athletico by working together with excellent passing.
Then suddenly, Haddington’s Ben Mcrae came out of nowhere with a great goal that went into the left bottom corner of the net. With three goals behind Haddington, the players gained more confidence and possession.
With a couple of substitutions made by Haddington’s coaching staff, they gave their players all a chance to see if they could score another.
But Edinburgh South Athletico were still fighting and encouraged by their coaches to keep going from the sidelines. They won a free kick outside the box, and Ruairidh Fairweather stepped up. What a strike, but it bounces off the post.
With Athletico still battling with shots on target and a couple of corners, Haddington’s defence and goalie were strong enough to hold on to that clean sheet. Haddington’s midfielders came back to help with Hayden Smith and Zack Armstrong working well and keeping the ball away from Athletico.
That was all the battling in the South East Region U17 Division One game. Both teams had good defending and attacking football moments, but Haddington were critical and secured three goals to take them to the top of the table in Division One.
Edinburgh South Athletico Player of the Match: Kyle Connolly
Connolly showed great movement on the ball by creating chances for his team and made it harder for the opposition to move the ball in midfield.
Haddington Athletic CFC Player of the Match: Aidan Grosse
Grosse displayed good skills down the left wing, making stunning passes, then running back to defend for his team and assisting in the second goal.
Edinburgh South Athletico Magic Moment: Cannon off the post.
Ruairidh Fairweather took a tremendous free kick from outside of Haddington’s box. The power of his strike of the ball was magnificent but unfortunately, it hit the side post and bounced back onto the pitch.
Haddington Athletic CFC Magic Moment: Top corner strike
Just before half-time, Hunter Crooks scored an absolute screamer of a goal with a powerful finish into the right-hand corner of the net, and it was going to be a hard one to save.
Edinburgh South Athletico U17s:
1. Jim Archibald
2. Macaully Baxter
3. Liam Beech-Brandt
4. Kyle Connolly
5. Ruairidh Fairweather
6. Sorley Harrold
7. Shane Hoffmann
8. Sam Hunter
9. Bobby Lind
10. Ewan Logan
11. Carson Loy
12. Patrick Manson
13. Harry McLaren
14. Rio Yavruturk
Haddington Athletic CFC U17s:
1. Zack Armstrong
2. Louie Arnold
3. Rhys Calder
4. Harry Cessford
5. Fraser Chisholm
6. Hunter Crooks
7. Aidan Grosse
8. Sam Holmes
9. Ruari Home
10. Jamie McLaren
11. Ben Mcrae
12. Callum Moises
13. Darius Ahdrei Raduta
14. Luc Ross
15. Owen Shaw
16. Hayden Smith
17. Jayden Stewart
18. Rory Thomson
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