Tynecastle Under-21s are through to the SPORTSassist South East Region Cup quarter-finals after a 2-1 victory over a stuffy Leith Athletic side at an icy cold Saughton Park.
Tynecastle can now look forward to an away tie against Salvesen CFC.
It was visitors Leith, however, who were gifted the first sighting on goal within the first minute. A cross from the right was completely missed by Tynecastle defender Craig Spalding and, from six yards out, Darren Davidson somehow managed to fire his shot high over the crossbar.
Tynecastle’s Lewis Russell then saw his effort come back off a post after 20 minutes when he found space on the left-hand side of the Leith penalty box. The hosts should have edged in front just before the interval. A long ball over the Leith defence picked out striker Scott Wright, who rounded goalkeeper Kyle Rankin, but his wayward shot went high and wide from a tight angle.
Tynecastle were awarded a penalty ten minutes into the second half. Daniel Gemmell’s cross appeared to strike the arm of Bobe Boyd, and substitute Andrew Munro slotted away the resulting spot-kick. A minute later, Leith were given their chance from the spot as Paul Cameron was upended by a trailing leg and he himself stepped up to level the tie at 1-1.
With the home side looking the more menacing in the final third, Wright came close with a fizzing drive that went just over Rankin’s crossbar.
However, a long ball from the Tynecastle defence found Scott Coleman, and he showed great reaction to get his shot away under pressure which crept in at the near post from 20 yards.
Coleman almost made it 3-1 when he struck the post from a similar distance before Leith had one final opportunity to put the game into extra-time.
With time ticking down, Matthew Watson’s trickery created space to send a cross to the back post, and Davidson was deperately unlucky to see his header come crashing back off the crossbar.
Tynecastle coach Dougie Jardine was relieved his side didn’t pay the penalty as the visitors came desperately close to equalising for a second time.
“Leith are a stuffy team and it was always going to be a tough game. The park was really bobbly but I am delighted we are through in the end.
“We had most of the chances in the first half and didn’t take them, so that put the pressure on ourselves. We won this trophy last year so there is absolutely no reason why we can’t do it again this year.”
Tynecastle FC: Jordan Dunsmore, Greig Jardine, Craig Spalding, Gavin McCarthy, Dale Heatlie, Lewis Russell, Daniel Gemmell, Lewis Knight, Andrew Summers, Ross Yeoman, Scott Wright, Sean Diamond, Scott Houston, Andrew Munro, Gordon Harris, Scott Coleman.
Leith Athletic: Kyle Rankin, Liam Smith, Jordan Scott Bain, Adam Hunter, Bobe Boyd, Ryan Park, Shaun Spence, Michael Lynch, Paul Cameron, Darren Davidson, Matthew Watson, Blair Simpson, Daryn Cain, Tomasz Stolarcykz, Tony Marziban.