Edinburgh CITY are through to the Victor Paris Bathrooms Cup final after overcoming Haddington Athletic 5-1 at Meggetland.
With City lying two places behind top-of-the-table Haddington in the South East Region YFA Under-17s Division 1, their comprehensive victory was entirely unexpected.
The Capital team took the lead after 17 minutes when Mark Osborne’s 20-yard free-kick went into the bottom right corner of the net, after a deflection off the wall.
City were completely dominant in the first half and continued to attack, Tinashie Rowana’s shot after 28 minutes bouncing a yard wide of the left post.
The lead was doubled six minutes later. Ntando Ntshangase shot into the bottom-left corner from 16 yards after Osborne had laid the ball off to him.
Osborne had another chance before half-time but shot over the bar from 12 yards after Daniel Brigain had launched a free-kick deep into the danger zone.
Haddington nearly pulled a goal back in the 49th minute as Anes Subasic received the ball inside the area. He dribbled round City goalkeeper Craig Moffat but his shot rebounded off the right post.
Moffat was called into action three minutes later, pulling off a diving save to keep Johnny Edmond’s header out of the net.
The lead was extended further after 56 minutes, when Rowana’s cross found the unmarked Lewis Cockburn, who dispatched his volley into the bottom-eft corner of the goal.
Ryan Smith had an opportunity to pull a goal back. His free kick beat the City defensive wall but went into the side netting.
With 64 minutes played, City substitute Ewan Castle put his name on the scoresheet, heading into the net after a free-kick swung into the box.
Haddington kept searching for a goal, and Subasic thought he scored from a volley headed towards the top-right corner, but Moffat’s diving save deflected the ball wide.
With ten minutes remaining, City scored their fifth goal. Stuart Donaldson’s powerful shot went past goalkeeper Thomas Cordery, after Jaxon Wishart’s pass found him in the penalty area.
There could have been a sixth just four minutes later, but Wishart’s shot from 18 yards was superbly diverted over the bar by Cordery.
Haddington grabbed a consolation goal after 88 minutes when Adam Young intercepted a stray pass in the centre of the pitch. He dribbled into the penalty area and placed his shot into the bottom-right corner.
Haddington coach Gary McFarlane feels his team needs to improve their current form if they are to challenge for silverware. He said: “It was a disaster for us. I think Edinburgh City were hungrier than us. We’ve had good results against them in the past so it was really disappointing. We’re at the top of the league and we still have a couple of cups. We’ve had some poor results in the last few weeks and we need to start playing like we were at the start of the season.”
Edinburgh City coach Derek Turkington was pleased with the team’s defensive efforts. He said: “We didn’t expect to win 5-1. Haddington are a good team but we know that when we play we are one of the best footballing teams in the league. We played well and worked hard as a team. We defended strongly and had to man mark one of their players which worked well for us. We still have a chance of getting through to another final and we’re joint second in the league so there is plenty for us to play for. We’ve won nine games in a row now so we’re doing really well.”
Edinburgh City: Craig Moffat, Kieran McGraw, Ruairirdh Waddell, Rory McIver, Mark Osborne, Lewis sCockburn, Stuart Donaldson, Jaxon Wishart, Tinashie Rowana, Daniel Brigain, Ntando Ntshangase.
Haddington Athletic: Thomas Cordery, Daniel Thomson, Sean Campbell, Murray Strachan, Christopher Kirkwood, Anes Subasic, Arron Robertson, Johnny Edmond, Adam Young, Michael Spence, Ryan Smith, Mark Samson, Ryan Sneddon.