Spartans beat Musselburgh to clinch Under-19 League Cup

Spartans FC 19s celebrate. Picture courtesy of Stevie Stewart. @StevieDStewart
Spartans FC 19s celebrate. Picture courtesy of Stevie Stewart. @StevieDStewart
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A superb strike from distance by Paul Dixon gave Spartans 19s a 1-0 victory against Musselburgh Athletic in the East of Scotland League Cup Final.

Strong winds swept across St Marks Park during the match and the gusty conditions almost gifted Musselburgh an early lead.

A goal kick by Cameron Tulloch was carried all the way to his opposite number Blair Carswell, who anxiously watched the ball sail over his head and just over the crossbar.

Shortly after, Musselburgh began to pile on the pressure and almost went ahead from a corner. Mikey Hamilton whipped the ball in to Johnny Edmond, who headed wide of the mark. It was a great chance for the No.9, who was unmarked in the box but couldn’t direct his header towards goal.

Edmond had another great opportunity to score just before half-time when he robbed the ball off centre-back Dixon. One-on-one with the goalkeeper, he opted to go for power rather than placement and blazed the ball wide.

There had been spells of dominance from Musselburgh in the first half, but they were to rue their missed chances as a revitalised Spartans came out after half-time.

Taking the initiative, they began to pass the ball around with more confidence but the Musselburgh defence were standing firm.

With ten minutes to go, the game looked to be heading to extra time when Dixon ran with the ball into the opposition half before unleashing a ferocious left-footed strike from all of 40 yards which flew into the net.

That proved the crucial blow as Spartans held on to lift the cup.

Vale cruise to Cruden Bowl

Hutchison Vale 19s cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory against North Merchiston 19s in the Cruden Bowl final.

In what was an uneventful first half at New Dundas Park, both teams struggled to deal with the blustery conditions. Chances were few and far between.

The best opportunity fell to North Merchiston’s Callum Baptie who narrowly headed over from a corner. It was a good chance for the midfielder as he rose above his man but was unable to get on top of the ball to hit the target.

Hutchie, however, came out stronger after half-time and began to play some entertaining counter-attacking football.

Dylan Moore got on the end of a precision through-ball from Liam Henderson and slotted home with ease to make it 1-0. Shortly after it was 2-0 as Ryan Malcolm threaded the ball through on the break, and Jordan Combe sprinted towards goal before dinking the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.

Before Merchie were able to get a foothold in the game it was put out of reach by Combe again who got on the end of a Connor McGregor pass. The ball split the defence open and he kept a cool head to finish.

Cavalry are on a charge

Cavalry Park 16s edged out league rivals Tynecastle 16s in a goal-packed Division 1 clash at Saughton.

The visitors started the brightest and quickly went into a two-goal lead.

Cavalry’s Kobi May burst into the box when he was fouled. Harry Davis stepped up to take the resulting penalty and confidently put it away.

Following this, a long throw into Tynecastle’s box was cleared but only to Calum Dunn who struck a sweet effort into the back of the net. Just before the break Tynie managed to get back in it when Brad Sinclair received the ball on the edge of the box and fired in a low shot to make it 1-2.

Then just after the restart the scores were level as Samir Lazim produced a superb individual effort to cut in from the left and finish from a tight angle.

This only seemed to spur on the visitors though as they went on to score two more.

Firstly, Davis got on the end of a free-kick on the right to head in. Then he rounded off a good team performance and bagged a hat-trick when he cleverly steered home a volley from close range.