Edinburgh University 2
Edinburgh UNIVERSITY and Tynecastle served up one of the most entertaining games of the East Seniors season so far and the quality of football on display completely belied their lowly positions in the Central Taxis Premier Division.
Tynecastle started the game with no points and, trailing two-nil after an hour, they did not looking like changing that statistic until two goals from set-pieces earned them a deserved share of the points.
The Tynecastle manager, Tom Steven, who had questioned the performances of some of his players before the game, said: “I had to take off my centre forward because of his attitude and moved Jordan [Caddow] up front and with him in that position we looked like a different side with the energy he created. We then scored from a good free-kick and then another goal from a corner kick. All in all, both sides had chances and a draw was probably fair.”
Tynecastle started the game at a high tempo and both Jamie Butler and Ross Weir had good shots which were just wide of the target. The students started with three players – Hamish Flett, George Nikolidis and Mike Gray – all making their first starts of the season. Cyrus Moosavi, who proved to be the best player on the park, had several penetrating runs which resulted in efforts from Gray, James Brownie and Nikolidis almost giving the University the lead.
The students did go ahead in the 25th minute when Andrey Kuzmenko crossed to the back post where central defender Flett rose to head the ball powerfully into the net for his first ever goal for the East Seniors side. Moosavi had a net-bound shot well blocked by Stevie Vannet in the Tynecastle goal then the goalkeeper saved well from a Gray header. On the hour mark, Jack Beacher picked up a loose ball in the Tynecastle half and ran through, shrugging off two challenges before he unleashed a low left foot shot from 18 yards into the bottom corner of Vannet’s net to give the students a two goal advantage.
However, within a minute Tynecastle pulled a goal back when they were awarded a free-kick some 30 yards from goal and John Williams hit an unstoppable shot which gave Mark Tait in the University goal no chance of saving. Tynecastle gained the upper hand and a Butler shot was well held by Tait then Gary McColl was thwarted by the keeper before Tynecastle did equalise with five minutes remaining. Kevin Brown swung over a corner to the back post where Williams headed the ball back into the danger area and substitute Jamie Devlin was perfectly positioned to head it behind Tait.
“Our best players again were those with experience of playing at this level,” added Steven. “It was players like Caddow, Williams and Jamie Speed who pulled us through. I could do with another couple of experienced players. This was definitely a point gained because Edinburgh University are a good side with good players. What the performance shows is that we can get a result and over the next three or four weeks we play in some winnable games against teams around about us. Fifth or sixth position at the end of the season is as much as we can expect from the players we have at present.”
Dave Cathcart, the assistant coach at Edinburgh University, said: “We have to say that it’s two points dropped. We went for it with the players I had available and they were attacking players so basically we played 4-2-4 for most of the game. We also brought in three players who have not played all season and who were always going to run out of steam but for the 60 minutes we had them we played the most entertaining football we have seen all season. We went two-nil up and then we were just too inexperienced to see the match out and had to make substitutions.
“I am proud of the guys who all did what they were asked – get on the ball, be brave, make tackles, trust your own abilities. There were more positives than negatives and I think that we are beginning to turn things around.”
Edinburgh University: Tait, Cumming, Rankin, Flett, Main, Brownie, Moosavi, Kuzmenko, Gray (Frain 83), Beacher, Nikolidis (Regan 68). Subs: McArthur, Oswald, Habata.
Tynecastle: Vannet, Caddow, Dewar, Speed, Cunningham (Anderson 88), Williams, Pettigrew (Devlin 46), Weir, Butler (McColl 55), Burdett, Brown. Subs: McDonald, Newman.