Amateurs: Vittoria Group serve victory on a plate

Vittoria Group AFC knew a victory would provide precious points in Division 2
Vittoria Group AFC knew a victory would provide precious points in Division 2
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Vittoria Group AFC maintained their lead at the top of The Sunday Morning Amateur Division 2 with a 6-1 victory over Edinburgh South at Peffermill 3G.

The last time the two sides met at the end of October, Vittoria shaded a hard fought encounter 4-2 at Seafield.

However, with fellow title challengers Edinburgh Caledonian closing to within six points of Vittoria following their 9-3 win over Gotham FC on the opposite Peffermill Grass Pitch, the pressure was on Vittoria.

They only had to wait two minutes to take the lead from the penalty spot when Edinburgh defender William Richardson impeded Lliyan Mirchev as he burst through on goal and the spot-kick was perfectly taken by Jarek Butryn.

Five minutes later, Edinburgh had Jamie Bell to thank as he made a miraculous goal line clearance to prevent Gordon Allan from doubling the advantage.

Edinburgh had an opportunity to level the scores when a John Storrie effort went wide, but Vittoria looked the more likelier side to score with James Hewitt and Saif Qadir going close.

They did double their lead on 27 minutes when Marc Hunter rose unchallenged to head in from a corner, and Edinburgh were again caught out from a set-piece seven minutes later when Hunter headed in his second goal of the game.

Mirchev and Butryn combined well up-front on 40 minutes, with Mirchev firing narrowly wide from the cutback as Vittoria finished the half in a commanding position.

Edinburgh were looking for only their third league win of the season and they began the second half brightly as they started to take the game to their opponents a little more. But Alberto Crolla’s side possessed that extra cutting edge in attack, and they netted their fourth goal of the match on 70 minutes when Mirchev angled a low drive into the bottom corner.

Mario Simeonou spurned a great chance when he shot wide from close range, but Edinburgh grabbed a deserved consolation on 75 minutes when Peter Nowak tapped in at the back post from a Bell cross.

The best move of the match happened on 81 minutes when Jack O’Donnell weaved his way through the Edinburgh defence only to watch his effort cannon back off the crossbar.

But that was only after Simenou had made it five for Vittoria following a defence splitting pass from Butryn.

O’Donnell completed the scoring in the dying minutes after his initial shot was spilled by the keeper, which ensured that Vittoria went five points clear at the top of the division after second placed Macmerry Miners Athletic dropped two points against Meadowbank Wednesday.

The result also means that Vittoria have lost just one match in their last ten league fixtures in what is their debut season in the Sunday Amateur League.

“It was a confident performance from us on a day when the three points was all that really counted” said Vittoria’s James Clark afterwards.

“We scored some great goals and played some incisive attacking football, which was great to see. Edinburgh tried to get the ball down and pass and credit to them because they’ve improved since we last played them.

“It’s been a memorable debut season for us but whatever happens in the next few league games, our ambition is to try and push on and win the title.”

Vittoria Group AFC: Sergio Mendoza, Charles Burke, Jarek Butryn, James Clark, Luca Cortellessa, Armando Crolla, Claudio Crolla, Nicola Fiorella, Marc Hunter, Mario Simeonou, Lliyan Mirchev, James Hewitt, Jack O’Donnell, Luigi Pia, Saif Qadir, Paolo Scarano, Gordon Allan.

Edinburgh South: Jamie Bell, Ryan Shand-Bell, Dale Churchmichael, Sam Goodwin, Darren Haining, William Lambert, Peter Nowak, William Richardson, Robert Smith, John Storrie, Reece Taylor, Steven Aitken, David Burns.