Leith Athletic 0
Edinburgh University 4
Jack BEACHER, Edinburgh University’s Hong Kong striker, scored with two exquisite volleys which would have graced any football stadium in the world as he helped the students defeat Leith Athletic 4-0 in the Central Taxis Premier Division.
Beacher’s goals – one in each half – were of the very highest quality and were quite simply unstoppable, although the scorer preferred to praise the two players who set him up.
“The first was a good knock back by Mike Gray which I thought I would just hit and it went into the bottom corner,” said Beacher. “The second was a good cross from Cyrus Moosavi which was perfectly weighted and although my team-mate James Craigen was shouting for the ball on the edge of the penalty box I just hit it!”
These were modest words form the big striker in a team display which now moves the students into a respectable mid-table position while leaving Leith in the relegation zone.
The University showed their intentions early on and did not give Leith time to settle on the ball in any area of the park. Mark Gair hit a free kick over the bar followed by a similar effort from Craigen before the students took the lead in the 14th minute. A superbly delivered corner by Gair against a howling wind was headed on by Danny Main and Gray flashed the ball over the line from close range.
Leith posed little threat to the University defence and it was no surprise when the students doubled their advantage after 28 minutes. A Dan Ward cross to the far post was headed back into the danger area by Gray and from 15 yards Beacher hit a first-time volley low into the bottom corner to give Matty Banks no chance of saving.
The University were firing on all cylinders and Leith had no answer to their endeavour and the high tempo at which they were playing the game. Five minutes before half-time the students scored their third goal when another magnificently delivered corner from Gair was headed powerfully into the net by Gray for his fifth goal in three games within a week.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first with Gair, Beacher and Ward all going close, although, to be fair to Leith, they did create some chances with Lewis Martin and Greig Tulloch both being denied by excellent saves from former Leith goalkeeper Mark Tait.
The only goal of the second half was scored by Beacher who volleyed home a Moosavi cross from 16 yards with his left foot, which, if the television cameras had been present, would have been replayed over and over again.
“We did well throughout the game and perhaps we should have put the result beyond doubt a bit earlier, but we probably took our foot off the gas,” added Beacher. “We are now closing in on the teams above us and hopefully we can push on and finish in the top half of the table.”
Douglas Samuel, the University head coach, said: “We are delighted to have picked up three points on the road and more importantly delivered back-to-back wins.
“It makes our league position look a lot healthier and has our team now looking upwards.
“Although Jack scored two goals and is finding his way back to his best form which will do him the world of good, I thought that overall it was an excellent team performance. I think that everybody in the team worked really hard for each other and our ball retention and pass selection on a difficult surface was very good.”
Derek Riddel, the Leith manager, said: “We have no excuses. We were let down by our players who simply did not perform. We did not do the simple things that we work on each week.
“Anyone outside of Leith Athletic will probably have us relegated, but until it’s mathematically impossible for us to stay up then we’ll keep fighting away, but the players will need to buck up their ideas.”
Leith Athletic: Banks, Tainsh, Thom, Lowson, Macaulay, Black, Stevens, Lynch (Combe 46), Tulloch, Bremner, S Barrie (Martin 55). Subs: C Barrie, Tracey.
Edinburgh University: Tait, Cathcart, Gair, Main, Vakalla, Rawlinson (Brownie 78), Ward, Moosavi, Gray (Chatterjee 67), Craigen (Irvine 78), Beacher. Subs: Frain, Cairns.