LOTHIAN ATHLETIC are through to the final of the Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur FA Sunday Section’s Premier Division One League Cup final after beating LBC 3-0 at the Jack Kane Centre.
League leaders LBC were considered to be favourites to proceed but goals from Mark Glasgow, Robert McKenzie and Grahame Mole ensured that Lothian Athletic will participate in the showpiece match in May against either The Jolly or Cramond.
Glasgow gave Athletic the lead in the opening 15 minutes, leaving LBC goalkeeper Chris Robertson helpless by launching the ball into the top left-hand corner of the net from the right angle of the penalty area.
LBC had a chance to equalise after 22 minutes, but Scott Coventry’s header from a Simon Riley cross was deflected wide.
With 37 minutes played, Craig Rankin dribbled skilfully down the left wing, before passing to Coventry, who shot wide of the goal from eight yards.
In the second half, LBC continued to press the Athletic defence and a Kevin Milne shot from 15 yards flew narrowly over the crossbar.
A few minutes later, Athletic were nearly gifted a goal when LBC goalkeeper Robertson failed to connect properly with a goal-kick and the ball landed kindly for Glasgow but he was unable to direct the ball into the net.
On the hour mark, LBC once again failed to take their chance when Colin Waddell and Simon Riley combined on the right-hand side of the penalty area, but Waddell’s shot went over the crossbar.
Four minutes later, Craig Hume’s header was tipped round the post by Athletic’s goalkeeper David Courtney. LBC kept up the pressure and earned a corner where Milne nearly found the net with an acrobatic scissor-kick which went over the crossbar.
But it was not all one-way traffic as Athletic’s McKenzie scored a spectacular solo goal after dribbling past four LBC defenders, rounding goalkeeper Robertson before stroking the ball into the net.
After 71 minutes, Milne had another chance to score for LBC but his free-kick was tipped over the bar by Courtney.
With eight minutes remaining, Athletic added their third goal. McKenzie’s cross from the left fell to Mole on the right side of the six-yard box, who headed the ball against the post but Mole made no mistake with the rebound, hammering it into the centre of the net.
Milne tried to pull a goal back for the Lochend-based team but his free-kick in the final minute was smashed into the wall.
David Aitchison, the Lothian Athletic coach was delighted with his team’s performance, saying: “It was a good game today. We’ve had a few matches against LBC which have been close, and we expected to step up and give them a game today. Every player did what was asked of them and they played well.
“We’ve lost a few silly points at home this season. We now have a cup final to look forward to and we want to stay in the Premier Division one and build on that next season.”
LBC coach Fraser Ogilvie felt that the 3-0 score line was unfair and he hopes to win the league this season and said: “Conditions were poor and the pitch was not great. It was not a 3-0 game but we need to bounce back. We’re still in a lot of cups and it’s up to ourselves to get back to how we usually play. It was just a bad day for us today.
“We now want to win the league and win as much silverware as possible.”
Lothian Athletic: David Courtney, James Clarkson, Stephen Davidson, Darryl Coll, Kevin McNulty, Mark Glasgow, Grahame Mole, Thomas Crease, Robert McKenzie, Derek Forbes, Martin Mya, Gareth Manson, Jordan Mein, Hughie Meenan.
LBC: Chris Robertson, Colin Waddell, Simon Riley, David Buchan, Robert Young, James Spence, Kevin Milne, Craig Hume, Scott Coventry, Craig Rankin, Mark Boggie, Kevin Mackie.