Leith Athletic Colts 13s fought back from two goals down to send Tranent Colts crashing out of the Lothian Buses Cup in what was a hard 5-4 fought victory at Leith Links.
This second-round tie gave the visitors from SERYFA Division 3 a chance to test themselves against a Division 2 outfit with an upset looking a real possibility in the early stages.
However, John Hutchison’s side showed great mental strength to fight their way back into the match which at one point appeared to be heading out of their grasp.
Hutchison said: “I think we were caught out with a few balls coming through the middle early on. However, we got back into it and Tranent are a very good side but I think overall our passing and movement was that bit sharper. You take your chances in cup ties and thankfully we managed to take ours.”
Tranent were two up within three minutes and the Leith central defenders appeared to have their attention elsewhere as they allowed Kyle McFadden to nip through and score before Euan Mitchell repeated the feat immediately after.
Not the start expected, but Leith managed to get to grips with the game with Mikey Monaghan in particular looking dangerous. The home side managed to pull a goal back after 15 minutes when a great delivery from Monaghan’s left boot found the head of striker Washie Manyathelo who had beaten his marker to the ball and scored with a well-placed effort.
The goal appeared to rally the Leith players and they could sense another was in sight. This opportunity came only moments later when they were awarded a dubious penalty for shirt pulling. However, Leighton Rodgers calmly converted past Lomond Gray to level things up.
Michael Shaw’s hesitance in the middle of the park almost proved costly for Leith as Mitchell robbed possession off the No. 8, and played a neat ball through to team-mate Euan Millar who in turn failed to hit the target.
However, Tranent regained the lead and it was Millar who made up for squandering his previous opportunity. Great energy down the left from Ryan McMurdo allowed him space and time to pick out his target and Millar knocked in from close range.
Leith added a sixth goal to this topsy-turvy first half by tying the game at 3-3. Manyathelo showed terrific control and composure to gather the ball at pace before coolly tucking the ball away into the far corner leaving Gray with no chance.
Leith finally managed something they had failed to achieve in the opening period ten minutes into the second half and grabbed the lead. Once again, Monaghan showed great skill and awareness to pick out Shaw who fired a shot high into the net from 20 yards.
Monaghan was now thriving out on the right and his next piece of play deserved a goal in itself. He took two opponents out of play with a superb piece of control and drag back before curling an ambitious effort from the edge of the penalty area which came back off the left post.
The hosts then strolled into a 5-3 lead when Jordan McCulloch’s corner from the left was spilled by Gray and Cameron Fellenger had the easiest of tasks in knocking the loose ball into the net from two yards.
However, to Tranent’s credit, their young side soldiered on and set up a tense finale when they snatched a fourth goal of their own with only two minutes remaining.
With darkness now creeping in, McMurdo made his way down the wing and his cross was dispatched superbly by McFadden past Leith keeper Lewis Reid via the underside of the crossbar.
Tranent coach Colin Dryburgh was disappointed with the awarding of a penalty.
He said: “They were awarded a penalty that never was but all in all it was a game where both sides were going at each other. I’m happy with the fight shown though from the boys.”
Leith Athletic Colts: Lewis Reid, Lennon Clark, Cameron Coppola, Ben Scott, Matthew Salked, Daniel Wallace, Jack Enguidanos, Michael Shaw, Leighton Rodgers, Washie Manyathelo, Mikey Monaghan, Jake Montgomery, Jordan McCulloch, Cameron Fellenger, Kieran Milne.
Tranent Colts: Lomond Gray, Jack Burrows, Shaun Dick, Rhys Kerr, Tyler Ross, Euan Millar, Kyle McFadden, Euan Mitchell, Ryan McMurdo, Christopher Innes, Ryan O’Connor, Kieran MacDougall, Owen Golightly, Nye Anderson, Daniel Anderson.