Two goals each by Michael Kennedy and Paul Murray ensured Edinburgh South Vics ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over nine-man Sandys in Premier Division 1.
The derby match at Saughton 3G was set up nicely by the fact that reigning champions Sandys went into the game with only one win to their name, with Vics pushing near the top of the table.
It was a frantic start by both sides and it took a moment of quality by Vics’ Kennedy to break the deadlock. From around 30 yards out, the forward curled a right-footed free kick into the top left-hand corner for 1-0 after nine minutes.
It only took four minutes for John Love’s side to double their advantage through Murray. He was played into the box and after jinxing through Sandys’ rearguard, he calmly side-footed past the advancing Callum Gallagher.
The old football cliché about switching off after a goal rang true, however, as less than a minute after Vics’ second, Sandys pulled one back. A shot from outside the area was deflected into James McKivinnie’s path, the No. 11 making no mistake with the finish for 2-1.
Ten minutes before the break, Vics regained their two-goal cushion through striker Murray again. From a quick throw-in by Colin Lawson, Murray fired home a powerful drive into the near corner.
Midway through the second-half, Sandys duo Andrew Dailly and Jason Hood were ordered off within four minutes of each other – two bookings and a straight red respectively.
Down to nine players and two goals behind, it was damage limitation for Sandys, as Vics further compounded their misery with Kennedy’s second goal seven minutes from the end.
The result leaves Vics in second place and the closest challengers to runaway leaders Heriot Vale, while Sandys are four points from bottom spot.
Meanwhile, Lochend caused an upset as they knocked out holders Edinburgh Rose in the second round of the East of Scotland Cup at Peffermill.
Goals by Craig Rankin and Liam Stewart gave the Premier Division 2 title challengers a 2-0 away victory over Premier Division 1 Rose, in one of the stand-out results from the weekend’s fixtures.
Rankin opened the scoring for the visitors as he waltzed his way past several Rose defenders before unleashing a superb effort into the top corner. Rose attempted to push their way back into the game and avoid an early exit from the tournament they won last season but fell further behind as Stewart gave Lochend a two-goal lead.
Lochend’s goalkeeper Chris Robertson gave his side a well-deserved clean sheet with a penalty save, the ball destined for the top left-hand corner before his fantastic stop denied Rose a way back into the game.
On the prospects of a long cup run, Lochend’s club chairman Gary Amos said: “The squad is good enough. Sometimes they let themselves down with their attitude but on their day they could beat anybody.”
Elsewhere, Cramond recorded a crucial away victory as they edged a tight affair with Edinburgh University 2-1 to go top of the league in Premier Division 2.
With their challengers otherwise engaged on cup duties, Cramond seized the opportunity to take all three points from the University side who were relegated from Premier Division 1 last season.
It wasn’t all plain sailing, however, as the home side took a deserved lead in the first half through Jak Purkiss, his back post header travelling across the goal and into the back of the net.
With the wind on their side, Cramond fought back in the second period and their several player changes worked perfectly.
They equalised through substitute Ross Young soon after the break, his effort being rifled high into the net from 12 yards following a cross.
They then took the lead when they were awarded a penalty, an excellent through ball to Ryan Stewart resulting in him being brought down. James Anthony duly stepped up and converted the penalty.
Cramond manager Chris Milligan said: “We held on at the end due to heroic defending from Carnie and Cowan.
“We didn’t play our best but it was a battling performance.”