Ten-man North Merchiston Vale struck late on to break Balerno Athletic’s hearts with a 2-1 victory in the first round of the Logan Cup at King George V Park, Currie.
North Merchie’s higher league status – Championship, as opposed to their hosts who play in the league below, Lothian West – eventually told as they bagged the winner with minutes to spare. They did so the hard way after having to play with ten men for 50 minutes after Robbie Armstrong was shown a straight red card in the first half.
The striker went from hero to villain for Merchie after giving them the lead after just five minutes. Blair Paterson’s ball over the top of the home defence was taken under control by Fraser Seywright, who laid off for Armstrong to ruthlessly hammer the ball into the top corner from just inside the area past Balerno goalkeeper Daniel MacKenzie.
Balerno were given a boost when Armstrong saw red for lashing out off the ball before the break and the home side made their man advantage count after the interval when they pulled level on 70 minutes.
Marc Reeves was felled by Merchie’s keeper in the area and Scott Nicholls made no mistake from 12 yards as he stepped up to dispatch the penalty high into the net.
Buoyed by their equaliser and an extra player, you would have thought the home side would have been most likely to go on and win the tie but, with time running out, the ten men bagged the winner.
Chris Sproule played Eoin Anderson down the left and his cross wasn’t dealt with by the home defence, leaving Seywright to pounce and fire the ball into the empty net with keeper MacKenzie stranded.
• Top and tail for Nwanze
Hermiston Vale edged a ten-goal Logan Cup thriller with Championship league rivals Waverley Athletic to progress to the second round.
Bobby Nwanze put Sighthill-based Vale ahead early in the first half in Dalkeith when he composed himself to fire past Waverley’s goalkeeper having received the ball from left-back Tam Horribine.
Striker Ross Elliot soon made it two when he rounded off a fine team move, before the home side pulled a goal back through Blair McDonald.
A further strike from Elliot, who then teed up Derek Paterson to head home for No.4, had Vale cruising at the break. However, they allowed the hosts back into the tie in the second half with a Graeme Cole double and a Jonny Kelly effort pulling Waverley level at 4-4.
The home side were well on top at this stage, but Vale rallied and captain Darren Wood’s individual effort put them back in the lead, before Nwanze added a late goal to make the final score 6-4.
• Partizan have to dig deep
Partizan AFC dug deep to progress to the second round of the Scottish Amateur FA Sunday Trophy with a 4-2 win over Falkirk side Tamfourhill United.
Patrick Shelvin got Partizan off to a flyer early on with a composed finish into the top corner and they doubled their lead just before the break when Daniel Shelvin’s through ball found Darren Clegg and he slotted under the visiting keeper.
The visitors fought back after the break and pulled level with two quick goals, but Partizan regrouped to secure the win.
They regained their lead in the 82nd minute when William McLean snapped up the rebound after Sam Campbell’s effort was stopped. Clegg made sure of the win when Partizan caught out their opponents on the counter attack, slotting through the legs of the visiting keeper in the final stages.