Spartans Reds Under-15s swept aside the challenge of Edinburgh City 99s in monsoon-like conditions to move into the third round of the John McConnell Memorial Cup with an 8-2 away win.
Credit must go to both sides who rolled their socks up and got on with it, despite the wind and rain battering the artificial surface at Forrester High School on a weekend in which many games fell foul of the weather.
Division 2 side City coped well against their Division 1 opponents who didn’t put the game out of sight until an early period at the start of the second-half, with City having scored twice before the interval to level at two apiece.
The visitors were keen to exert their dominance early in the match, but with City defending admirably it wasn’t until the tenth minute that Spartans went in front when Daniel Sutherland seized on a loose ball to sweep the ball into the net from inside the area.
Matt Brady looked dangerous for Spartans and he was inches away from extending the Reds lead when he shot across City goalkeeper Fraser Houston, but narrowly wide of the post.
Little winger Lewis Glasgow was also threatening City and he was unlucky when his lovely strike from the edge of the box crashed off the underside of the bar, with Brady unable to capitalise on the rebound.
Brady made up for his miss on the half-hour mark though, when he instinctively pounced on a rebound from Ogulcan Yildrim’s powerful drive which Houston could only palm away. Seemingly sailing in the gusty wind and rain, Spartans looked steady, but just two minutes later City pulled a goal back.
City’s dangerman Kevin Munro who had looked impressive down the left wing, announced his impact with a powerful strike after Rhys Anderson had set him up, leaving Spartans’ Jamie Mitchell with no chance.
The wind was in City’s sails now and with Spartans unable to ride the wave, the home side got their equaliser just a minute later. Anderson did brilliantly to compose himself after Mitchell had rushed from goal and the winger exquisitely lifted the ball over the head of the keeper and into the net.
Spartans weren’t going to roll over and allow City to take advantage, however, and five minutes into the second-half they regained their lead. Glasgow got into a great position, unmarked at the back post, and when the ball made it’s way to him he flicked it past Anderson with aplomb.
Three minutes later and after a mazy run which took him past several City defenders on his way into the box, Brady emphatically rifled past the helpless Anderson and into the net for his second of the match.
Brady then sealed his hat-trick from the penalty spot with a confident finish into the net, before further goals from Glasgow, James Pringle and Michael Allan rounded off a scoreline which was harsh on City.
Edinburgh City’s Division 1 side, Edinburgh City Whites, will be able to exact revenge on Spartans after the two were drawn to face each other in the third round.
Penicuik in prolific form
Penicuik Athletic YFC Whites Under-13s were comfortable winners over Currie Star when the two league rivals met in the third-round of the Lothian Buses Cup on Sunday.
The Division 2 sides are inseparable at the top of their league, with both on 30 points, but in this encounter Penicuik were more than a match for Star as they secured a 4-1 away win. The visitors were on the front foot from the off as they hemmed Currie inside their own half in the opening period, with their front three of Aidan Mackenzie, Robbie Walker and Brodie McQorquodale looking ominous. McQorquodale was first to threaten after 10 minutes for Penicuik after Walker had set him up with a delightful pass but the striker couldn’t hit the target and his shot went wide of the post.
Mackenzie then went close for Penicuik with a diving header from Blair Short’s free-kick, but he couldn’t hit the target and Star survived again.
Currie could do nothing to prevent Penicuik’s Mackenzie from getting the opening goal on 20 minutes, though. Good work on the left between Walker and Guy McGarry resulted in the former sweeping in a superb cross which the striker diverted into the net.
The hosts looked a different outfit early in the second-half and despite being unable to test out Shea Dowie in the Penicuik, they looked confident when going forward and were dominating possession.
It wasn’t long before they got the equaliser – just 12 minutes into the second period, in fact. Keir Hislop’s marauding run down the left took him past two players before he fed Marcus Forbes and he found Lewis Muego unmarked in the box to fire home.
Penicuik responded well to losing their lead and they regained the advantage shortly after when Walker rose highest to nod in a corner.
Tyler O’Neil then made it three after Jordan Mackie’s shot was initially saved, and late on O’Neil added to his first with a great finish after Mackenzie had set him up with a defence-splitting pass.