Salvesen CFC 96 19s grabbed a 7-4 victory against Hillfield Swifts 19s in an 11-goal thriller at Meggetland.
After going in 2-1 ahead at the break, the North Edinburgh side came out on top in an enthralling second half as striker Cameron MacFarlane picked up a hat-trick to get Salvie’s Division 1 campaign back on track.
Coach Jason Ronaldson believed his players’ strength going forward was the key factor behind the victory.
“We were a bit slack defensively, but we more than made up for that in attack,” said Ronaldson. “We were outstanding. On a wide pitch like this we went with three up front and it paid off.
“I thought Cammy put in an excellent shift. He covered every blade of the astro, but it was a good team effort in attack.”
Salvesen had not been in the best of form in the league ahead of this match and Ronaldson feels the win can act as a springboard to greater things.
“It gives the boys a lift,” he said. “They’ve been a bit down recently, but we can take this forward. We’re still in the Edinburgh Cup and we want to at least try and get to the semi-final stage.”
Salvesen wasted no time in showing their attacking intentions as they pressed forward two minutes in, only to be denied by James Donaldson in the Hillfield goal. Despite Salvie having the best opportunities to take the lead, it was Hillfield who broke the deadlock 35 minutes in. Ryan Barry created space down the right and set up Scott Russell to tap in from close range.
Salvesen responded quickly with two goals of their own to go in ahead at the break. MacFarlane placed the ball into the bottom corner before grabbing another minutes later as he prodded the ball past Donaldson.
A minute after the restart Salvesen grabbed another when Bradley O’Donnell steered in Liam Ure’s pass at the back post. The two-goal cushion didn’t last long though as Hillfield replied five minutes later when Ryan Barry volleyed in John Francis’ cross .
The goals continued to flow in a frenetic last 20 minutes. Again Salvesen moved into a two-goal lead when O’Donnell headed in to make it 4-2, only for Hillfield to reply through Barry’s instinctive finish in the box. Hillfield then pulled level with ten minutes to go when Ciaran Chalmers powered a header beyond Ben McGinley in the Salvesen goal, but there were still three more goals to come.
Hillfield were guilty of switching off in defence after drawing level and they were made to pay. First, Ryan Mayer made it 5-4 to Salvesen with a well-timed header that found its way in off the post. Then, with the Hillfield defence shell-shocked, MacFarlane grabbed his third of the afternoon as he turned in Gregor Lockhart’s initial shot.
There was still time for Salvesen to add another goal as Josh Urquhart wrapped the game up when he headed in MacFarlane’s cross to make it 7-4 in what was a game jam-packed full of action and a great spectacle for the neutral.
Hillfield Swifts: James Donaldson, John Francis, Aidan McGuire, Daryl Healy, Yousaf Asam, Scott Russell, Brodie Hamilton, Ciaran Chalmers, Cameron Cook, Euan Aitken, Ryan Barry.
Salvesen CFC 96 19s: Ben McGinley, Josh Urquhart, Ryan Mayer, Scott Ewen, Jamie Tomlinson, Greg Lowery, Liam Ure, Bradley O’Donnell, Bryan Pollock, Gregor Lockhart, Sam Shaw, Jordan Combe, Michael Forrest, Scott Johnston, Grant Aitken, Cameron MacFarlane.