North Merchiston under-17s are through to the SPORTSassist South East Region Cup semi-finals after a 5-2 victory over Leith Athletic at Meggetland – despite playing the majority of the second half with ten men.
The home side had keeper Darren Mitchell sent off for impeding one of Leith’s strikers, but the visitors failed to make their numerical advantage count.
Joe Turner-Law put Merchiston ahead with a composed finish before Shaun Miller equalised for Leith. Turner-Law notched his second with a similar finish to his first effort to make it 2-1 going in at the break. Nathan Evans then capitalised on a goalkeeping error to make it 3-1 with a close-range finish with Merchiston still in the ascendancy despite the loss of Mitchell.
Then Cameron Stokes got in on the action, picking up on a loose ball and skipping his way through the Leith defence to finish off a fine solo effort by the teenager.
Daniel Brennan reduced the deficit to two when he got his name on the scoresheet for Leith but Gavin Birrell knocked in a rebound after his initial shot had come back off the post to make it 5-2.
Merchiston’s Donald MacDonald was delighted to see his side progress to the penultimate stage of the competition. He said: “We got knocked out by Tynecastle last week in the Scottish Cup so we’ll either meet them or Hutchie Vale in the semi-final and will be looking for revenge. We played well despite going down to ten men.”
Miners dig for victory
Loanhead Miners Youth 16s were convincing 4-1 winners over Spartans Reds in their Division 1 encounter at Ainslie Park.
Patrick McKelvey started and finished the move that led to the visitors’ opener when he switched the ball out to winger Lawrence Naismith, who drove down the line at pace before cutting the ball back to McKelvey, who slotted in from three yards.
Spartans Reds responded and Bradley Mercer equalised for the home side when he converted after the half-time break.
Loanhead then made it 2-1 when Harry McGill’s strike stung the hands of the Spartans goalkeeper and Stephen Scott was on hand to knock the ball into the net with relative ease.
Scott then added his second and Loanhead’s third shortly after when his strike from outside the box looped high into the net to edge the Midlothian side closer to victory.
With just five minutes remaining, Naismith completed the scoring when he added a fourth to add some gloss to the scoreline. Loanhead coach Peter Kay said: “We lost five players in the summer to other teams so we had to make a few changes. We’re doing well though and have a big Scottish Cup game with Hutchie Vale this weekend to look forward to.”
Currie Star 15s leapfrogged their opponents and moved to within one point of league leaders Fernieside as they edged out AC Oxgangs 3-2 in their Division 2 clash at Meggetland.
With both sides failing to find the breakthrough in the opening 40 minutes of play, all five goals arrived in a lively second period. Currie were awarded a penalty for handball and James Summers stepped up to coolly make it 1-0.
AC, however, were soon back on level terms when Cammy Combe knocked in from close range after superb build-up play from Charlie Waddell. Murray Wells then restored Currie’s lead when he fired in at the far post from just inside the box and Sam Millar made it 3-1 when he struck Currie’s second penalty of the day after a foul was committed inside the area.
AC did, however, set up a tense finale for the home side as Alexander Lee threaded a neat pass through to Raymond Law who ran on and scored, but Currie stood firm to see out the match.
AC’s Brian Lee felt his side warranted at least a draw from the match and questioned the two penalties Currie were awarded.
Lee said: “I think we deserved more than we got if I am being honest. We like to get the ball down and pass it but it wasn’t enough for us. They were awarded two really dubious penalties but you have to stick the ball in the net.”