AC OXGANGS climbed to the top of the South East Region under-16 Division 2 after defeating Edinburgh City 3-1 at Meggetland 3G.
Two goals in the last five minutes ensured that Oxgangs took all the points in an even encounter.
While both teams stayed true to a passing philosophy, Edinburgh City will feel they deserved to get more out of an exciting match.
Visitors City started the contest strongly and Matthew Davidson had a header cleared off the line after just two minutes. But they opened the scoring a minute later when Blair Lumsden placed his penalty into the bottom right corner after a foul in the left side of the penalty area.
The goal seemed to galvanise Oxgangs however, and they had the better of the possession in the opening 15 minutes, but their final ball was often lacking. After 20 minutes, Oxgangs’ Joe Posnett shot over the bar after a skilful dribble and, moments later, his team-mate Michael Addison shot wide of the left post after James Williamson’s through ball.
City goalkeeper Ben McGinley showed good form and pulled off saves from efforts by Peter Chambers and Grant McEwan. And he kept out James McInally’s volley after 36 minutes, but McInally took his chance a minute later. His powerful shot flew into the bottom left corner after Addison and Williamson combined well to set him up.
Williamson created more chances for Oxgangs in the second half. After 42 minutes, he dribbled up the left wing and cut into the penalty area, but his shot hit the post before going wide.
City counter-attacked a minute later when Hamish McFarlane received the ball in the penalty area but he could only shoot over the crossbar.
And the Oxgangs defence somehow kept the ball out of the net after 65 minutes. David McKenzie laid a superb chipped through ball off to Peter Connelly, whose shot was parried from close range by Oxgangs goalkeeper Cameron McPherson. McKenzie’s rebound effort was blocked by James Kidd and McPherson was able to gather the ball gratefully into his arms.
Ten minutes later, City player Davidson was sent off after a second yellow card. Having been booked in the first half for dissent, referee Ferguson signalled that persistent fouling was the cause of his second caution.
Oxgangs grabbed the key goal a minute later when Joe Posnett rose highest to head the ball into the centre of the net after a perfectly placed Kolle Davis corner. City pushed for an equaliser and, from a corner, Darren Clifford was unlucky to see his volley blocked with one minute remaining.
Gavin Reid scored Oxgangs’ third goal with the last kick of the match. His shot flew into the centre of the net after Callum MacKenzie’s dribble into the left of the area opened up the City defence.
Edinburgh City manager Jimmy McDonaugh felt the match was played in the right manner. He said: “I thought it was a pleasant enough game. I do not think it was a dirty game. I felt that a goal either side was going to win it. I have to say that I felt the referee did not give many decisions our way but it’s a hard job for anybody and we need them in our game. I thought that the sending off was very soft. Their second goal was a good goal and the game was over when the third goal went in. It was a very good game played in good spirits.”
AC Oxgangs assistant coach Iain Middleton was delighted that his team had moved to the top of the table.
He said: “It was a very close game which could have gone either way at the end. We are top of the league now for the first time ever and it is a great position for us. Other teams have games in hand over us but we still need to play the teams at the top. We can lose points off them and we can win points off them as well. This is the time of the season when results begin to really matter, and the next month or so will set us up for the rest of the season. We’re delighted to be at the top of the table and it is down to a lot of hard work from all the boys.”
AC Oxgangs: Cameron McPherson, Grant McEwan, Andrew Dunnett, Kolle Davis, Murray Orris, Gavin Reid, Matthew Gray, Joe Posnett, Michael Addison, James Williamson, Callum MacKenzie, James Kidd, James McInally, Neil Middleton, Peter Chambers, Fraser Hill.
Edinburgh City FC: Ben McGinley, Jack McVey, Blair Lumsden, Hamish MacFarlane, Darren Clifford, Ryan Slater, Scott Johnston, David McKenzie, Peter Connelly, Matthew Davidson, Michael Darling, Robert McKegney, Oliver Johnstone.