Leith Athletic 16s had to come from behind twice to snatch a 3-2 victory away to Division 1 newcomers Currie Boys Colts in an entertaining match at Currie.
Both sides competed remarkably well and managed to find their passing game considering the surface was more suited to that of a rugby match.
Leith Athletic’s Martin Owens was more than happy to come away with all three points and paid tribute to his side’s tricky opponents.
He said: “It was a really hard game with Currie being promoted from the second division last season. They look as if they are going to give a lot of teams a really good game this year.
“We worked hard to get back into it, though, so we’re delighted with the result.”
The drama unfolded within the first minute when the home side were awarded a penalty. Striker Alex McNeil charged into the box and was upended by a clumsy tackle from Leith’s Paul Kennedy. It was a perfect start for the new boys as Calum Stark wasted little time in smashing the ball high past goalkeeper Craig Kinnear.
Leith responded well and applied some pressure to the Currie rearguard. Kieran Grant looked particularly tricky on the wing and was finding ample space to deliver teasing crosses into the Currie box.
Liam Demianczuk should have steered his header on target after a great ball in from Brodie Beveridge before Ross Larner nipped in ahead of Currie No. 1 Andrew Smith to round the advancing goalkeeper, but the angle proved too tight for the Leith player who opted to cross instead, and Grant fired high over.
Leith upped the tempo after the break and started to create clearer opportunities. Aaron Murrell should have got his name on the scoresheet when he had a free header inside the six-yard box, but could only direct the ball straight at Smith.
However, the visitors’ pressure finally paid off 15 minutes into the second half. Jonny Nicol showed great strength and pace to take him past his opponent on the right side and fired a low strike into the far corner to level the match at 1-1.
Nicol almost struck again only moments later. He found himself in a similar position to where he proved so clinical, but just as his shot seemed destined for the back of the net, Lewis Burns produced a terrific last-ditch clearance.
McNeil then edged Currie in front when he was put through in on Kinnear and the striker took his time before dispatching the ball coolly into the back of the net. Conner Henderson restored parity when he fired in from close range after the Currie defence failed to clear Larner’s cross from the left.
With both sides having further chances to claim glory, it was indeed Leith who struck a third with only minutes remaining. Great play down the right again from Nicol was rewarded when he found the unmarked Murrell who turned the ball past the faultless Smith.
Currie coach Paul Anderson was disappointed not to have taken at least a point, but was happy with his side’s performance. He said: “I thought our boys held their own and gave everything they had.”
Currie Boys Colts: Andrew Smith, Scott Alexander, Lewis Burns, Calum Scott, Lee Moore, Dean Anderson, Alex McNeil, Ben Leicester, Andrew Hannigan, Thomas Steiner, Cameron McPhillips, Calum Stark, Kyle Craig, Ellis Crawford, David McMillan, James Paris.
Leith Athletic: Craig Kinnear, James Cook, Jake Owens, Paul Kennedy, Callum Napier, Conner Henderson, Mason Duncan, Gavin Brown, Jonny Nicol, Ross Larner, Kieran Grant, Greig McLay, Mitchell Thorburn, Brodie Beveridge, Aaron Murrell, Liam Demianczuk.