Youths round-up: Musselburgh 14s hold off Leith to reach final

Musselburgh Windsor 14s were 3-0 ahead but had to withstand a late fightback to progress
Musselburgh Windsor 14s were 3-0 ahead but had to withstand a late fightback to progress
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Musselburgh Windsor 14s’ tactics were spot-on against a very capable Leith Athletic side, as they won 3-2 in the John Crawford Cup semi-final at Pinkie.

The home side looked comfortable throughout the game establishing a 3-0 lead going into the last five minutes but Leith fought back late on, almost salvaging an amazing comeback. Leith started with intent and they could have had an early lead when Cameron Stewart had an opportunity. The attempted offside trap of Musselburgh failed as Stewart received the ball unmarked from a free-kick but his shot was saved comfortably by Diego D’Arcy.

Leith were left to rue that early chance in the 29th minute when Jack Main played a terrific through-ball for Adam Clark, who was then brought down in the box after twisting and turning his defender. Referee Jim Markey pointed to the spot and Main smashed home the penalty to make it 1-0. Another Leith chance fell to Cameron Kerr this time but he over-ran the ball and the recovering Musselburgh men managed to clear the danger.

The second half brought more entertainment with both teams playing open, expansive football. Musselburgh doubled their lead ten minutes into the half through Lyle Jones. The Leith goalkeeper was exposed as he had to rush out to clear, only for Jones to fire a cracking strike past him and into the net before he could retreat.

It was 3-0 and the game looked out of sight 15 minutes from time when Adam Henderson tapped in from close range following a Ben Gearty cut-back. Leith weren’t ready to give up yet, as the impressive Rhys McMurdo struck arguably the best goal of the game, a fierce 25-yard shot in off the post to restore hope for his side.

A strong run from Leith’s Ben Murray resulted in his fierce cross finding the net via Musselburgh defender Aidan McFarlane, setting up a nervy last few minutes. Musselburgh, however, held on to secure a well-deserved place in the final.

• AC Taxis Cup for Spartans 13s

Spartans FC Reds Under-13s triumphed 5-3 over Craigroyston BC in a game that saw a player from each side sent off in the AC Taxis Cup final.

Both Ben De Vries and Daniel Cooper grabbed a double for Spartans with Tom Harcus adding one. A brace for Kyle Finlayson and one for Ben Milligan encouraged the fightback from Craigroyston but it wasn’t to be on the day.

In a game less entertaining on the goal front, Hutchison Vale Under-15s managed to narrowly progress into the final of the John McConnell Memorial Cup, beating a strong Tynecastle FC side 1-0 in the semi-final on home turf. Luke MacLean, son of St Johnstone striker Steven MacLean, netted the only goal to send his side through.

• Craigroyston 14s lift Charles Porter Cup

Craigroyston BC Under-14s ran out 4-1 winners against Newtongrange Star YDA to claim the Charles Porter Cup at New Dundas Park. The scorers for the victors were Tucker Smith and Dean Forbes, with the latter scoring a superb hat-trick.

Kieran Aitken-Craig notched the consolation goal for Newtongrange Star.

Portobello CFA beat Under-16 Division 1 rivals Leith Athletic FC 2-0, courtesy of Russell Bowers and Aidan Mackenzie. Portobello remain unbeaten this season with six wins and one draw.