Loanhead MYFC 19s came from behind to edge an eight-goal thriller at Forrester High School as they beat Salvesen 96 19s 5-3 in the second round of the Federation of Hibs Supporters Cup.
In a thoroughly entertaining 90 minutes both sets of players were well up for the cause, with the almost zero-degree conditions not deterring either side.
After a jittery opening 15 minutes by both sides, Loanhead began to settle into the game and had the first real opportunity to make a mark on the scoresheet.
Liam Higgins received the ball just outside the area before he turned and struck a placed effort towards the Salvesen goal but it was well met by Ben McGinley in the goal.
Moments later, Salvesen came close to breaking the deadlock. Sean Elliot received a ball in the area from the left before making a quick turn and unleashing a shot, but it flew narrowly over the crossbar to the relief of Ben MacKenzie in the Loanhead goal.
It was a real end-to-end affair with both sides bursting forward when they had the ball, desperate to take the lead.
Loanhead again went close in the 23rd minute and probably should have taken the lead. A low ball in from the right-hand side found Samuel Jones at the near post. His first-time shot was just wide of the goal, much to his frustration. Two minutes later, Salvesen made Loanhead pay when they went ahead. In a moment of misfortune for Loanhead, goalkeeper MacKenzie miskicked a loose ball outside of his box which flew straight to Grant Aitken. After taking a touch he hit a shot towards the empty net from 25 yards and the ball nestled in to make it 1-0.
The response from the visitors was more or less immediate, however. Connor Lawrie did well down the right-hand side to take the ball past his marker before crossing to Ryan Porteous, who smashed in from ten yards to level the score. Not content with equalising, Porteous soon had another to put his team 2-1 ahead when he did well to divert Lawrie’s cross past the outstretched glove of McGinley.
Loanhead couldn’t quite make it to half-time in front, however, with Salvesen relentless in their pursuit of an equaliser. Ryan Mayer did well down the left wing before squaring it to Jamie Tomlinson who smashed an effort high into the goal.
Salvesen came out the stronger of the two sides after the break and they took the lead again through Shaun Stevens. It was the ever-present Tomlinson who tried an effort from the edge of the box but MacKenzie could only parry the ball to Stevens who followed up to tap in.
With 70 minutes on the clock, the visitors upped the ante and threw more bodies forward as they looked to change the outcome of the game. Two goals in the space of ten minutes completely changed things with Loanhead going ahead once more. First Michael Hutchison slotted the ball in from just inside the box, then defender Fraser Shearer scored on the Loanhead counter with a striker’s finish to make it 4-3.
Salvesen looked to bounce back again but just couldn’t break down the Loanhead defence, who were standing firm with their one-goal lead.
With time ticking away, Sam Jones then bagged a goal for himself with a composed finish to put his side out of reach, ensuring Loanhead would progress to the next round.
Salvesen 96 19s: Ben McGinley, Josh Urquhart, Harvey Kirk, Ryan Mayer, Shaun Stevens, Jamie Tomlinson, Bradley O’Donnell, Sean Elliot, Bryan Pollock, Max McMorrin, Sam Shaw, Reece Henderson, Michael Forrest, Scott Johnston, Grant Aitken.
Loanhead MYFC 19s: Ben Mackenzie, Fraser Shearer, Liam Taylor, Jack Fairgrieve, Ross Currie, David Wright, Liam Matthew, Samuel Jones, Ryan Weston, Darren McCraw, Connor Lawrie, Andrew McNeill, Patrick McKelvey, Liam Higgins, Dean McCafferty, Michael Hutchison, Ryan Porteous.