Hearts legend John Robertson would have been proud of the performance of his 12-year-old striking namesake, who grabbed a first-half hat-trick for Newcraighall Leith Vics under-13s in their Trans World Soccer Scottish Cup fifth-round match.
The little forward played a key role in a comfortable 6-0 victory over Hutchison Vale Colts as Vics advanced into the last eight of the national competition. After a scrappy opening period, Division 1 side Newcraighall began to assert their dominance on proceedings and took the lead 19 minutes in.
Finlay Connor found Robertson lurking ominously in the box and the striker nodded past Hutchie goalkeeper Cameron Bryce. A minute later, Robertson notched his second with a sidefoot finish from three yards out. Newcraighall then survived a scare when their keeper Tyler McGee picked up a pass-back, allowing Hutchie a free-kick in the box but, with all 11 men on the line, Vics came through as McGee atoned for his error with a great save after the ball had rebounded back to Hutchie’s Theo MacGuire for a second strike.
Robertson then completed his first-half treble with almost a replica of his second goal as he calmly stroked the impressive Jordan Daily’s cross into the net.
Newcraighall were eager to replicate their first-half dominance in the second period and they would have made it four had it not been for a courageous last-ditch sliding tackle from Hutchie defender Harrison Lamb, who prevented Robertson from getting his shot away.
Bryce was also doing his utmost to keep Hutchie in the tie, with the keeper producing a brilliant stop from Arran Bathgate’s goalbound header 12 minutes after the interval. However, minutes later, the stopper brought down Robertson in the box, who had cleverly dinked the ball over the onrushing keeper and, from the spot, Daily produced the perfect penalty with a low strike into the bottom corner.
Vics centre-back Bathgate then added a fifth from a corner before Colin McKinnon did brilliantly to find the net late on after dinking the ball over Bryce, who had rushed out to meet the attacker.
The hard work being put in by Vics’ soccer sevens set-up certainly seems to be bearing fruit, with no less than six of the starting line-up having been with the club since the age of just four.
Meanwhile, North Merchiston Under-19s continued their Scottish Cup run with a penalty shoot-out win away to Angus side Monifieth but were left ruing the loss of influential midfielder Callum Baptie to a bad knee injury. Merchie’s fifth-round match had ended 2-2 in 90 minutes and neither side were able to make the breakthrough in extra-time before goalkeeper Darren Mitchell was the hero with three excellent penalty saves.
Monifieth took the lead early in the first half before Nathan Evans got Merchie back on level terms before half-time after he drove down the left wing before cutting into the box and squeezing his shot in via the near post.
The home side were back in front after the restart when a clever chip from the edge of the box got the better of Mitchell, but Merchie were level again when Evans powered a header into the net after a floated cross from Sam Tulloch. In the shoot-out, Merchie got off to a disastrous start after missing their first two kicks before Mitchell produced three wonder saves to secure a 5-4 win on penalties.
Elsewhere, Tynecastle Under-15s came through a potentially hazardous Scottish Cup trip north to Dyce, as last year’s winners at under-14 level marched on into the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win.
Deschamp McDelling and third-round hero Bruce McCrorie were the heroes for Tynie with a goal each side of the interval for the visitors. Tynie had goalkeeper Fraser Briton to thank for a penalty save early on, though, after the keeper had brought down a Dyce attacker in the area.
McDelling got the opener late in the first half for Tynie with a simple header after strike partner Cameron Dawson had done well to fend off the challenge of the Dyce keeper. The visitors then sealed their passage into the last eight when McCrorie got on the end of a Dawson flick-on to nod in at the back post midway through the second half.
Tynecastle are the sole representatives for the under-15s in the South East Region in the last eight after Edina Hibs and Spartans Reds crashed out of the competition.