Edina HIBS lifted their first trophy of the season by winning the South East Region Youth FA’s under-16 Steve Maskrey Cup at Saughton Enclosure.
After trailing 3-1, Edina managed to overcome North Merchiston to triumph 4-3 in a thrilling encounter. With the score level at 3-3 going into the closing stages, Jordan Brown grabbed the winning goal for Edina with just four minutes remaining.
It was North Merchiston who created the first opportunity of the match after ten minutes when Jake MacDonald’s long-range effort flew over the cross-bar.
With 20 minutes on the clock, Edina took the lead. A free-kick was launched into the penalty area and Marcus Campanile’s initial header struck the post, but the striker was quickest to react to tap the ball in from three yards.
Zach Szemis nearly doubled Edina’s lead two minutes later, but he shot over the cross-bar.
However, North Merchiston grabbed an equaliser after 27 minutes. Hamish Law received a cross-field ball from Nathan Evans and he managed to direct his shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
North Merchiston gained the initiative three minutes later. Goal-scorer Law found space and crossed the ball towards MacDonald, who headed the ball into the net from six yards.
Edina missed the chance to equalise on the verge of half-time as Jed Deavie’s header was tipped over the bar by North Merchiston goalkeeper Darren Mitchell.
North Merchiston came out flying at the start of the second-half, and increased their lead to 3-1 after 42 minutes. Law’s corner from the left was headed into the top right-hand corner by Kieran Owens.
A number of the Edina Hibs players appeared unable to cope with the prospect of defeat and Dylan Clark was lucky to escape a booking. After displaying a wide array of language within earshot of the crowd, he needlessly hauled down Adam Hastings off the ball but, fortunately for him, went unnoticed.
Edina then won a penalty in the same passage of play. Deavie was fouled in the area and he stepped up himself to put his spot-kick into the top left-hand corner of the net.
The scores were levelled after 66 minutes when Kyle Lander latched on to Clark’s pass from the half-way line and his shot bounced into the corner of the net.
Edina kept pushing for a late winner, and nearly scored again two minutes later. Kyle Galazka’s shot went narrowly over the crossbar after Brown had cut the ball back to him.
The winning goal did arrive, however, with just four minutes remaining. An inviting cross from Andrew Mair found Brown unmarked at the far post and he headed the ball into the net to the delight of his teammates.
Edina Hibs coach Scott Bonar was delighted that his team showed a positive attitude, despite going 3-1 down, and said: “The conditions played a part in the style of football we saw. It was sticky underfoot so all credit to North Merchiston as well as they scored three great goals.
“But we have a great bunch of lads who never give in and they always play to the final whistle. We’ve played great football this season and nine players are going to play pro youth next season which is really pleasing for us.”
Bonar’s opposite number Donald McDonald is happy with the progress his side has shown this season but was disappointed to lose after establishing a two-goal lead.
“We’re very pleased with the progress we have made this season and delighted to reach a cup final.
“We’re obviously disappointed to lose it, especially after being 3-1 up, but Edina did well and showed more belief in the end. They have some great players. It’s a shame we haven’t achieved any silverware this season but hopefully next year,” McDonald added.
Edina Hibs: Connor Easton, Zach Szemis, Kyle Galazka, John Pearson, Kyle Lander, Dylan Clark, Marcus Campanile, Jed Deavie, Gavin Stevenson, Calum Livingstone, Ross Anderson, Andrew Mair, Jordan Brown, Lewis Thompson.
North Merchiston: Darren Mitchell, Fraser Thomson, Nick Mortimer, Calum Windram, Calum Young, Calum Baptie, Jake MacDonald, Adam Hastings, Nathan Evans, Greig Brown, Hamish Law, Chris Suttie, Anton Dowds, Joe Turner-Law, Keiran Owens, Ben Brigain.