Hat-trick hero Ryan Fox gave Hutchison Vale Under-16s a 4-0 victory away to Leith Athletic at Meadowbank 3G in the South East Region Division 1.
Last year’s Scottish Cup winners didn’t have it as easy as the scoreline would suggest however, with Leith having the better chances in the first half.
With Ethan Feachen-Hamilton on Scotland Under-16s duty in Russia and Regan Hendry having secured a transfer to Celtic at the end of last season, the Hutchie side had a different look about it to the team that lifted the Scottish Cup in April.
Leith should have taken the lead in the first minute but Hutchie made the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time. Fox was first to pounce in the box after Aaran Currie’s shot from just outside the area wasn’t held by Leith keeper Aaron King and the striker nipped in to pass the ball into the net.
Ewan Stark had a good chance to put Leith level after the interval but Hutchie keeper Byron Gibb parried excellently with his feet before Hutchie’s Currie had a penalty saved by King after Murray Scott brought Currie down.
With ten minutes remaining Hutchie grabbed a crucial second through Fox. The striker completed a solo run down the right wing by slotting the ball past King with the Leith defence trailing behind him.
The diminutive attacker then sealed his hat-trick four minutes later after substitute Innes Goodall was cruelly taken out by Scott and the Leith defender was sent-off for a second booking. From Cameron Fraser’s free-kick into the box, Fox leaped to head the ball into the net.
Hutchie then made it four with their third goal in ten minutes. Fox passed to Arran Singh on the edge of the box and he unselfishly teed up Gabriel Auriemma on his right, who placed the ball past King.
New signing Louis Swanson, meanwhile, got his first goal for Tynecastle Under-21s after joining from rivals Hutchie Vale over the close season, as the Saughton side won 3-2 away to Tranent Juniors. Both East of Scotland Division 1 sides had been busy over the summer, Tranent in particular, with only two of their players remaining from last season’s side. But it was Tynie’s new star Swanson who stole the show for the visitors when he got the winning goal.
Striker Scott Coleman had put Tynie ahead after 20 minutes when he capitalised on a poor clearance to finish low into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
Danny O’Rourke equalised for Tranent after the break when he slotted past the Tynie goalkeeper and O’Rourke then put his side in front just after with another neat finish.
Greg Douglas’s spectacular 25-yard volley into the top corner with his right foot brought Tynie level and, with ten minutes remaining, it was time for Swanson’s baptism. The little midfielder showed great feet to skip past his opponent before beating the goalkeeper at his near post with a shot which went in via the woodwork.
The next generation of youth footballers kicked off on Sunday when the South East Region Under-13 divisions got underway. Penicuik Athletic Blues got their league campaign off to a great start at home to Spartans Reds, winning 3-1 in Division 2. Alex Bald, Penicuik Athletic head coach, said: “The boys done really well, it was their first competitive game at 11 a-sides. I think we deserved to win overall, although it was a very even game.”
Opponents Spartans Reds got off to the better start, though, when they went in front after only four minutes when Joseco Healey capitalised on a mix-up in the Penicuik defence and set-up Kai McDonald for the opener. Ben Lewis equalised after 20 minutes, finishing well after a great pass from Kieran Sommerville put him through on goal.
And, just before half-time, the hosts took the lead through Steven King before Kai Weatherspoon sealed the win in the second half.