Local heores: Oxgangs’ progression into the last eight of Cup is seven sent

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AC Oxgangs overcame Edinburgh United in the third round of the under-15 Federation of Hearts Supporters Clubs’ Cup at Paties Road.

First Division team Oxgangs were always favourites to proceed to the quarter-finals, however no-one would have predicted that they would win 7-0 against their mid-table Second Division counterparts.

They will enjoy a home match in the quarter-finals against either Edinburgh South Reds or Hutchison Vale Colts.

Despite the scoreline, Edinburgh United felt they matched Oxgangs for long periods of the match. United coach Chalmers Smith said: “A score of 1-0 would have been a fairer reflection on the match than 7-0.”

The seven Oxgangs goals were shared between six players and Paul Macari netted twice for the team in blue and black.

The match started at a frantic pace and United created a chance after 30 seconds. Billy Greenslade’s long-range shot flew narrowly wide and Callum Sutherland’s shot was saved by Oxgangs goalkeeper Sean Gilligan a minute later, after a skilful dribble down the left wing by Calum MacGowan.

Oxgangs opened the scoring after four minutes when Euan Everett headed into the left of the goal from close range, Murray Cockburn supplying the cross. In the fifth minute, United’s Callum Sutherland appeared to be tripped in the penalty area but referee Doyle waved the penalty appeals away.

The lead was doubled after ten minutes when the ball was launched into the penalty area from a deep Oxgangs free-kick and Macari smashed it into the net from close range.

United’s Khalid Al-Ani almost scored a magical solo goal a minute later. He dribbled across half the pitch, going round Oxgangs defender Kerr Stoddart, but his shot went past the left post.

The hammer blow for United came after 25 minutes, when Oxgangs were able to score two goals in succession. Macari hit the post with a shot from seven yards and his follow-up effort fell to Finlay Sheach who netted from inside the six-yard box.

Three minutes later, a Sheach free-kick from the right by-line was headed into the bottom left corner by Stoddart.

United started the second half in the ascendancy. Ben Smyth shot over the bar after his skilful dribble into the penalty area and Greenslade’s long-range shot also went over.

Murray McDermott scored the best goal of the match after 45 minutes. His 25-yard shot left United goalkeeper Nicol Brydon helpless, as it soared into the top of the net, and, one minute later, Cockburn got his name on the scoresheet with a lobbed effort from outside the penalty area.

Brydon helped to keep the score down with a superb diving save after Elliot Skad’s attempt from 20 yards.

Macari completed the scoring for Oxgangs with ten minutes remaining. He received the ball in the penalty area and dispatched it into the centre of the goal, but he was denied a chance to complete his hat-trick two minutes later when Brydon bravely stopped his one-on-one attempt.

United tried to grab a consolation in the closing stages but Ben Smyth’s shot was saved and Tom Embleton’s shot was blocked.

United coach Smith said: “I thought that for long periods of the match we matched AC Oxgangs in every department, but we have a habit of shipping soft goals.

“We shipped a few soft goals in the first half and if we had not have done that we would still have been in the game at the end.

“That was our last cup game and we are sitting mid-table in the Second Division.”

Oxgangs coach Andrew Stephen is hoping his side can gain further progress in cup competitions. “The game was played in difficult conditions but I thought both teams applied themselves well. Our guys killed the game off in the first half with four goals. In the second half it was tough at the start but we got a few more at the end. Cup games are always tough. We are aiming to reach one cup final and finish in the top four or five in the league.”

AC Oxgangs: Sean Gilligan, Campbell Stephen, Finlay Sheach, Euan Everett, Tom Embleton, Murray Cockburn, Paul Macari, James Bishop, Murray McDermott, Rob Speirs, Kerr Stoddart, Shaun Marshall, Elliot Skad, Ewen Gillie.

Edinburgh United: Nicol Brydon, Finlay Glidden, Calum MacGowan, Mario Falsone, Callum Sutherland, Nick Faulkner, Billy Greenslade, Ruari MacPherson, Max Michie, Crawford Smith, Khalid Al-Ani, Zach Finney, Michael Lafferty, Ben Smyth, Andrew Henry.