Youths: Murieston United 21s lift South East Region Cup

Murieston United 21s celebrate at Dunbar
Murieston United 21s celebrate at Dunbar
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Murieston United 21s beat Newtongrange Star YDA 2-1 to secure the SPORTSassist South East Region Cup.

They were 2-0 up by half-time with Jack Napier and Angus McGregor converting two of the many chances created.

Newtongrange came more into the game in the second half and Lewis Thompson pulled one back. They had another couple of opportunities but didn’t manage to muster up the equaliser.

It took until 27 minutes for Murieston to break the deadlock, although they had chances to do so earlier. Jonathon Whiteman had two efforts, the first from a free kick which went just over the crossbar and then striking a shot off target from the left corner of the box.

Kyle Butt then crossed for McGregor who made the slightest of contacts with his head, but not enough to send the ball towards goal.

However, they were shown the way to goal in emphatic fashion by Napier. He picked up the ball and drifted in on off the left before firing an unstoppable low strike into the bottom corner of the net.

Cameron Stokes was a tricky customer in the wide areas and he slipped a pass to Whiteman who forced a good save from Stuart Mackay. The ball eventually came to Ross Adams who smashed a left foot volley wide of the goal.

Towards the end of the half Star seemed to grow in confidence, perhaps from the knowledge that all those missed chances had left them in the match. Star’s Andy McNeil put Connor Dyet in a promising position but his attempted cross went behind, and then Dyet managed to get a shot away but it was always rising and went over.

But, just when they looked like they were coming into it they conceded again. Some dogged work from Napier allowed Stokes to deliver an inch-perfect cross for McGregor and the captain bulleted his header downwards and into the net.

After one minute of the second half Napier almost scored again with a half volley and Whiteman’s curling effort was narrowly over.

However, the improvement that was required for Newtongrange did come.

Josh Elliot had a go which went wide, but Thompson was on target after 73 minutes to set up an interesting ending.

A lovely reverse pass inside the full-back from Dale Goulder released Thomspon in the box and he calmly stepped inside before rolling the ball into the bottom corner.

That opened things up with any goal scored now becoming crucial. As play rampaged from end to end both teams came close to either a clincher or an equaliser.

For Star, Ryan Weston’s corner found Ryan Kearney in the box but his header went over.

And Dean Apicella broke forward but couldn’t pick anyone out in a crowded box.

With the match so finely poised they also came close to being two goals down again. Tinishie Rowana put Whiteman one-on-one with MacKay but the keeper did well to tackle with his feet.

In stoppage time, the ubiquitous Whiteman had another effort which went wide of the goal, but United needn’t have worried as they held on to lift the cup.

Newtongrange Star YDA: Stuart MacKay, James Cook, David Hutchison, Ryan Wright, Ryan Kearney, Sean Devine, Josh Elliot, Andy McNeil, Ryan Weston, Connor Dyet, Dale Goulder, Liam Ure, Kevin Dyet, Mark Scott, Callum McCabe, Lewis Thompson, Dean Apicella, Daniel Cranston.

Murieston United: Craig Moffat, Mark Napier, Liam Tillbrook, Scott Mitchell, Calum Dunn, Lee Kelly, Buba Dibaga, Jonathon Whiteman, Corey Bryans, Kyle Butt, Angus McGregor, David Cowan, Cameron Stokes, Ross Adams, Glenn Innes, James Drysdale, Scott Hutchinson, Jack Burgoyne, Jack Napier, Jordan Porteous, Jack Ramsay, Tinishie Rowana.