Blackridge Vale of Craig won a close encounter at Saughton 3G in the Victory Cup quarter-final to march on to the last four at the expense of Dunalba, winning 3-2.
In a dull first half, Dunalba were showing more attacking intent than the visitors but couldn’t yield a significant effort on goal. They were made to pay when Blackridge opened the deadlock after 34 minutes.
Good work down the right side led to Zach Cockburn having the ball in a dangerous area. He passed on the edge of the box to Liam Healy who tried to get a shot away, but the ball was blocked and landed at the feet of Cockburn. There was a hint of offside but Cockburn didn’t hesitate, firing high first time into the net.
After the interval, the game picked up.
Firstly, Dunalba’s Jordan Hopkinson brushed the outside of the post with his lofted free-kick from around 20 yards out. David Gallagher then went narrowly close, drifting in from the left flank and into the box before dragging his shot across the goal and inches wide.
Dunalba were rewarded for their pressure as they finally got their goal after 73 minutes. An attack formed down the right side and Hopkinson was played into space, shunning the chance to score himself by cutting it back to Cameron McKenzie who couldn’t miss from ten yards with the goalkeeper out of the picture.
However, Dunalba were left stunned with what happened next. Within two minutes of that equaliser, they were 3-1 down. Firstly, Tommy Lees collected a slick inside pass to the left of the goals, taking a few small touches before curling the ball past the goalkeeper for 2-1. Then straight from the restart, Blackridge regained possession. A long ball from the halfway line on the right was sent to striker Healy, who then struck a composed finish past the oncoming Dunalba stopper Michael Quinn.
Four minutes passed before Dunalba reduced the lead back to just one goal. Left-back Kenneth McKenzie played a quality through ball from around the halfway line and Hopkinson was rewarded for his tireless performance as he found the net with a sweet half volley from the edge of box.
The last ten minutes were frantic and despite losing goalscorer Healy to a second yellow card, Blackridge held on to advance to the last four.
Vics stay in the cup mix
Newcraighall Leith Vics will face Heriot Vale as they narrowly overcame Bathgate Thistle 1-0 to reach the Challenge Cup final.
The game, at Bathgate SC 4G, was a tight contest throughout as Premier 1 met Premier 2 in the last-four cup clash.
Bathgate forced a few decent saves from the Newcraighall goalkeeper as they pushed at their higher division opponents, creating chances but being unable to convert.
Ten minutes from time Newcraighall got the winner. A well-worked move involving several of their players was impressively finished off by Graeme Mills, his 18-yard drive sending the Premier 1 outfit to the final on April 12.
Pencaitland rout Dunedin
Pencaitland swept away fellow Edinburgh East side Dunedin Athletic 5-0 at Park View to reach the Robertson Cup final, Dean Woods scoring his 45th, 46th and 47th goals of the season.
He opened the scoring after 15 minutes, chipping the oncoming goalkeeper fantastically. It wasn’t long before he got his brace, a corner being delivered straight to the striker who headed in off the crossbar for 2-0.
George Cunningham then threaded a ball through to the prolific Woods, who sealed his hat-trick just before half-time by slotting calmly past the goalkeeper.
The game was running away from Dunedin and their miserable afternoon was compounded further after 80 minutes, Cunningham producing another fine assist, this time to Liam Skinner who finished well.
There was time for Cunningham himself to get on the score sheet, Scott Allan finding him in space before he calmly tucked the ball into the net for 5-0.