Edinburgh CITY finally broke their run of 13 cup final defeats as a Robbie Ross hat-trick clinched the Image Printers Cup.
Delighted manager Garry Jardine said: “I thought we deserved our win and for the neutrals it was a fantastic game with both teams creating great chances. The Ainslie Park surface went a long way towards helping good football.
“We changed our system to counter Whitehill who are a great team. We played well except losing a goal in the first minute.
“Although we were behind it didn’t knock the players off their stride; we started passing the ball well and we created a couple of chances and the longer the game went we grew into the game and we dominated. We did ride our luck in the last ten minutes but who can knock us, this was our 14th cup final so its great to win.”
Whitehill took the lead in the first minute when Steven Manson broke into the City box and his powerful shot nestled low in the corner of the net.
City then had several chances and started to control the game. They were rewarded on the half hour when a corner was whipped in and Ross pounced to fire the ball into the net after Whitehill keeper Darren Walker spilled it.
Wayne McIntosh then had a chance to give Whitehill the lead again when he was played in at the back door but his header from close range missed the target. City went on the attack from the goal kick, the ball was crossed in and Walker again didn’t deal with it, leaving Ross with the simple task of prodding the ball into the net.
Whitehill had a great chance when Wayne Sproule got on the end of a McIntosh cross but his powerful shot crashed off the woodwork and their hopes were dealt a hammer blow when Michael Bruce was sent off for a reckless tackle. As if to compound the loss, Paul Devlin then went on a great run down the wing and his cross found Ross who smashed the ball home from close range.
City then lost Mark Torrance who was sent off with ten minutes to play for his second caution. Whitehill did pull one back after a City defender handled the ball in the box, Sproule stepping up to score the penalty, but they couldn’t manage a third.
Ross said: “I am delighted. It’s been a long time for the club to win a final and we always seemed to come up that bit short. We wanted to keep it tight for the first ten minutes but we found ourselves down in the first minute. We then dug in and we deservedly went in at half-time in front.
“Whitehill are a good side and they pushed their boys up for the last ten minutes and we were under the cosh but we managed to hang on.”
Whitehill manager Rab Paget said: “Edinburgh deserved to win. The first half they were the better team by a mile, they controlled the first half and we didn’t start playing until we got a man sent off. For the last 20 minutes it was all us.
“The first two goals we gave away were a calamity of errors, we should have defended better and we had too many players who didn’t turn up. We scored in the opening minute then done nothing. They were deserved winners.”
Whitehill Welfare: Walker, Hall, Swanson, Kidd, Bruce, Bonthrone, Herd, Kidd, Moffat, McIntosh, Somerville. Subs: Robertson, Young, Sinclair, Manson, Sproule.
Edinburgh City: Stobie, Vanson, Cennerazzo, Harrison, Scott, McFarland, Devlin, Gair, Ross, Torrance, Howatt. Subs: Dick, Ross, McFarlane, Hunter, Elliot.