EDINBURGH CITY 19s caused a surprise with a 3-2 league win away to Spartans FC Youth 19s at Ainslie Park.
Division 2 leaders Spartans were looking to seal the title with a victory but City crashed the party as they battled hard in the closing stages.
City coach Alan Shearsby was delighted as his side ran out victorious.
“We were always going to be up against it with the injuries we’ve had and players leaving at this stage of the season, but I’ve always believed that if we play to our potential we’re capable of beating anyone in this league,” he said.
“To come here and beat Spartans on their turf is a real confidence boost to the lads especially given their league record. I’m very proud of the boys.”
Shearsby’s side didn’t waste any time making their mark on the game, going ahead with just their second shot on target. Reece Shearsby played Ross Mitchell in behind the home defence and the striker kept his cool to poke the ball past goalie Tomasz Wieruszewski.
Minutes later, the Spartans No.1 made a good stop to deny Darren Clifford as he shot from just inside the box. The hosts were still settling into the game and almost levelled the scores with 16 minutes gone. Nick Marshall latched onto a diagonal ball to the left-hand side before cutting into the box and sending in a right-footed shot which forced a save from Adam Munro in the City goal.
No sooner had the home side began to get to grips with the game, they found themselves two down. City launched a hopeful ball forward to Shearsby. The No.9 chased it down before turning and superbly curling the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Spartans were desperate to get back into it and eventually made their mark on the game, pulling a goal back with 35 minutes on the clock. A corner in from the left found Blair Lawson and he slotted home a composed finish.
With renewed hope, the home side pushed forward in a bid to pull level before the break but City had other ideas. Five minutes before half-time they restored their two-goal advantage when trialist David McKenzie hooked the ball in from a corner. Spartans came out in the second half looking more like the outfit that prior to this fixture had only lost one game all season but found Munro in the City goal in fine form.
The pick of his saves came when Mario Falsone snuck in behind the visitors defence. With just the goalkeeper to beat, he opted for power over placement but Munro was equal to it as he dived to turn the ball away.
With 20 minutes remaining, Spartans had another great chance to pull a goal back. Jamie Cairns did well down the right-hand side before sending a low cross into the area which James Hamilton was inches away from diverting in.
The home side continued to press but a combination of Munro and the back four prevented them from making a way back into the game until the 88th minute when they reduced the deficit once more. Lawson took charge of a free-kick 20 yards from goal and he leathered it into the top corner to make it 3-2.
Despite a late push, Spartans were unable to get another before the end and City saw the game out to take all three points.
Spartans FC Youth 19s: Tomasz Wieruszewski, Aaron Heinemeier, James Hamilton, Grant Belcher, Sam Murphy, Baillie McLean, Jamie Cairns, Mario Falsone, Eoghann Douglas, Jordan Lock, Keir Marshall, Blair Lawson, Arran Lovell, Nick Marshall, Brad Fergie, Andrew Hannigan.
Edinburgh City 19s: Adam Munro, Liam Cleeton, Darren Clifford, James Gillespie, Daniel Horsburgh, Ross Kneebone, Steven Nicolson, Scott Rae, Reece Shearsby, Ryan Slater, Connor Weston, David McKenzie, Luke Mancini, Kyle Fairgrieve, Ross Mitchell.