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John Murphy glory for Edinburgh United after intense penalty shootout

On a grey day in Saughton, Edinburgh, Spartans and Edinburgh United went toe-to-toe to see who would take the glory in the John Murphy Trophy final.

The two sides have met before in this season, in the Bob Bankier Semi-Final, Edinburgh United came out on top 4-2 on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw in 90 minutes.

Only one point separates the teams in the SERYFA U18 First Division as Spartans sit on 31 points in third place, Edinburgh United on 30 in fourth.

Spartans FC Route to the Final

An opening-fixture 4-1 win at Arniston set Spartans up with another trip away, this time to Longniddry Villa where they won 3-2 to send them to the semi-finals where they would beat Linton Hotspur Colts 6-5 on penalties.

Edinburgh United Route to the Final

The final wasn’t the only win Edinburgh United had against a Spartans team in this tournament as they beat Spartans FC Whites 9-0 to kick off their run. A 4-3 nail-biter against Haddington Athletic CFC booked their place in the semi-final as they went on to beat Currie Star Blues 4-2.

The Match

Edinburgh United got us kicked off and, to the tune of their ultras for all of ten minutes, played the better football and got the first opportunity as Joe Whitley received the ball after a nice bit of link-up play but failed to hit the target.

Fifteen minutes in, Spartans got their first chance of the game as they got a free kick in a dangerous position, it was swung into the box but was dealt with by defenders to concede a corner. Spartans then had another free kick in a similar position but it was hit out for a goal kick.

There wasn’t much more action in the first half so the score going into the interval remained 0-0.

The Edinburgh United coaches must’ve had a legendary team talk as, mere moments into the second half, Jamie Hook played a lovely ball to captain Harrison Mutch who hit the ball with power and opened the scoring.

A few minutes later, James Miller could’ve got his team back in the game as he found himself in a brilliant position but Ryan Barlas made a strong save.

With ten minutes left in the game, Fraser Livingstone managed to find himself in a position to pounce on a loose ball and then found the back of the net.

Straight from kick-off, Edinburgh United almost found the back of the net to peg Spartans back instantly but the volley went wide of the post.

The last two minutes were manic, both teams had a plethora of chances to take home the glory from corners, free kicks and mistakes but neither team capitalised – penalties it was.

Both teams stepped up for their opening spot kicks but both were saved in the bottom left corner, Spartans’ next one went over the bar before Charlie Mitchell and Nathan Dennis slotted theirs home. Finlay Sneddoj buried his to give his team a chance. This chance was heightened when the next Edinburgh United penalty crashed off the bar and Lewis Harrison buried his home but, to break Spartans hearts, Lewis Marshall scored and Edinburgh won the shootout.

Spartans Magic Moment & Player of the Match: Finlay Livingstone

Livingstone had the magic moment and was the player of the match, having a strong performance all game-willed his team to get him the opportunity to take the game to penalties.

Logan Gordon-Lovell also had a strong performance in between the sticks, kept his team in it continually throughout the 90 minutes – and also saved the first spot kick.

Edinburgh United Player of the Game

Captain Harrison Mutch had a strong game and is in contention for the player of the match with his goal and performance all over the pitch but the player of the match has to be Ryan Barlas, two great penalty saves as well as a few during the game.

Edinburgh United Magic Moment

Edinburgh United’s magic moment has to be Lewis Marshall’s trophy-clinching penalty kick, sending the team into mayhem after a challenging fixture.

Spartans U18s

1. Logan Gordon-Lovell

3. Markos Koufakis-Mercer

4. Christopher McNamara

6. Sam Ketley

7. Grant Daly

11. Jay Anderson

12. Lewis Harrison

13. Alexander Moir

15. Oliver Milne

19. Finlay Sneddon

20. James Miller

21. Cian Gunn

25. Dillon Turley

30. Fraser Livingstone

31. Daniel Harcus

43. James Kenneth

Edinburgh United U18s

1. Ryan Barlas

2. Andrew Thomson

4. Ruaridh McQueenie

5. Charlie Martin

7. Harrison Mutch

8. Nathan Dennis

9. Jamie Hook

10. Ryan Mackay

11. Lewis Marshall

12. Ciaran Bridges

13. Daniel Kelly

14. James Fox

16. Alex Mason

17. Liam Greenslade

18. Joe Whitley



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