Edinburgh City Blacks grab trophy in stoppage-time drama

Edinburgh City Blacks 14s
Edinburgh City Blacks 14s
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Edinburgh City Blacks came from behind to beat Hutchison Vale 3-2 and lift the Under-14s South East Region Cup at New Countess Park.

Hutchie were in the ascendancy in the first half in Dunbar and Ben Wardlaw gave them the lead just before the break.

However, City kept plugging away until the very end and equalised through Ewen Gillespie’s header with only seven minutes remaining.

And then, in the final minute of regulation time, James Farrell curled in what looked like it would be the settler.

Remarkably though, there were still two goals to come as McConnell scored his second to make it 3-1 in the fourth minute of added time.

City then had to survive a late scare when Matthew McCormack pulled one back in the sixth added minute.

That all seemed a world away as Vale controlled the first half.

Josh Ferguson made them tick from the middle of the park and he provided Peter Mendy with a half-chance, but his snapshot was too close to Brandyn Bain.

The closest to a goal was Aiden Welsh, whose strike smacked off the stanchion before bouncing down and out.

Welsh was then released down the wing by Mendy before crossing for Wardlaw, who stabbed wide.

With two minutes to play until half time, Hutchie got the lead they deserved. Ferguson hit the initial shot, only to be denied by the legs of Bain, but the rebound fell for Wardlaw and he made no mistake.

As the heavens opened Hutchie were still prominent in the early stages of the second half. Matthew McCormack belted a free kick towards the top corner from 30 yards, but Bain tipped it over.

Baillie Simmons tricked his way into the box before having his pull-back cut out by Evan Miller.

Liam Collins was always a danger for City and it was he who was to the fore when they began to attack. He got to the byline to pick out Farrell, but he couldn’t generate enough contact on his header.

Some good hold up play for Connor White then led to him sending Collins scarpering forward and he aimed for the top corner, but was denied by Miller.

The equaliser came after 28 minutes when Tyler Bolochwechyj’s delivery from deep was headed home by Gillespie.

And they completed the turnaround with a classy finish by Farrell, making space for himself on the edge of the box and bending a shot out of the diving Miller’s reach.

The drama continued well into stoppage time and when Ben Lovell’s high ball found Gillespie to score.

Refusing to accept defeat, Hutchie piled forward in the hope that there would be enough time to draw level.

Ultimately they ran out of time, but they did manage to cut the deficit to one. After a bit of pinball in the box, the ball sat up for Laurence Linklater, who sent it back into the danger area with an overhead kick for McCormack to bury it with a controlled side-foot volley.

Edinburgh City Blacks: Brandyn Bain, Ben Lovell, Ewen Gillespie, Charlie Craig, Keiran Miller, Jonathan Steel, Ben Henderson, Tyler Bolowechyj, Yacoub Gilkey, James Farrell, Nathan Masson, Connor White, Liam Collins.

Hutchison Vale: Evan Miller, Dylan Boyle, Laurence Linklater, Sean Calder, Josh Ferguson, Matthew McCormack, Aiden Welsh, James Crosbie, Patryk Jelen, Peter Wardlaw, Baillie Simmons, Casey Bunker, Peter Mendy, Callum Begg, Lewis Walker, Jack Swan, Marc Anderson, Adam Brogan.