Free-flowing Pavilion keep up strong run

Pavilion FC. Picture: Scott Thomson
Pavilion FC. Picture: Scott Thomson
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Pavilion made it three wins out of three in LEAFA Sunday’s Premier 1 when they scored a hat-trick past Dunalba without reply.

Dunalba were looking to avenge a 7-0 loss to Pavilion earlier in the season as they sought their first league win of the campaign.

The opening ten minutes were fairly even with both sides knocking the ball around and a battle ensuing in the middle of the park. Pavilion marked the end of ten minutes with a goal when centre-back Nicholas Crawford fired into the net from inside the box after the ball broke to him from a corner.

James Steele had the chance to make it two for Pavilion after Calum Alexander’s cross into the box met the head of the tall striker but he nodded over the bar. Then Pavilion goalkeeper Scott Walker – recent recipient of LEAFA Sunday’s Premier 1 player of the season award – had to be alert as Ian Hamlyn tested him out with a piledriver.

Steele made no mistake when presented with a second opportunity for Pavilion. The striker held the ball up well before turning and driving towards goal but he appeared to lose control of the ball as it rolled towards Dunalba keeper Steven Mutch – only for the stopper to completely miss it as it rolled between his legs – and Steele slid the ball into the empty net.

Dunalba fought to pull a goal back and they were unlucky not to after a quick counter attacking move. Industrious midfielder Jason McGinness broke clear and he fed David Gallagher on the right who found Jamie Di Sotto inside the box but the striker couldn’t compose himself to get a shot away.

Pavilion weren’t going to sit back and invite Dunalba onto them though and they pressed in search of a third goal. Steele had a chance to grab his second but his attempted chip over Mutch went well over.

With Pavilion’s rearguard solid, they could afford to go in search of a third and they found it through Graeme Cummings when the substitute finished neatly past Mutch inside the box.

Meanwhile, Loanhead Miners Welfare secured their first win of the season with a 4-2 away victory over Barca Milton 97 on Saturday in the Logan Cup second round. Struggling in Premier 1, it was a chance for Loanhead to take their mind off league matters and they seized the opportunity.

Debutant Calum Hunter grabbed his first goal for the Miners when he fired into the net after some neat build-up play early in the first half but Premier 2 side Barca were level through Tony Keating.

Loanhead regained their lead with a deflected goal from Gareth Laidlaw which deceived Barca’s goalkeeper and then Ian Heriot produced a 25-yard volley which flew into the net.

Loanhead’s Scott Gibb saw his penalty shot saved but the ball broke back out and after some quick passes inside the box Gibb made no mistake when afforded a second opportunity to make it 4-1 before Barca scored a late consolation.

Elsewhere, Edinburgh University kicked off their season with a 3-0 victory over Ratho Athletic in the Logan Cup second round on Saturday.

The students – in Premier 2 – were two goals to the good at half-time after strikes from Callum Frain and Phil McNicholas put them in the ascendancy against Edinburgh West’s bottom club. Frain fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the box and then McNicholas headed into the net to double their advantage.

The students included some new faces but they looked settled together and Harold Bucharest grabbed their third after the ball was flicked on from a corner and he bundled it into the net.

The students went down to ten men after Graeme Armstong’s attempted off-the-ball kick but there was no danger of any comeback from Ratho and the students eased into the third round where a home tie against Premier 1’s Edinburgh Rose awaits.