SANDYS progressed to the final of the East of Scotland Cup with a exhilarating 4-3 extra-time success over Edinburgh South Vics at Ainslie Park.
Their semi-final success means they will now meet LEAFA and Division 1 rivals Edinburgh Rose in the final, which is scheduled for Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium on Tuesday, May 7.
It was an inspired comeback from the reigning league champions, as at one stage the Craigmillar side appeared doomed after finding themselves 3-1 down midway through the second half.
Both teams attacked in a frantic opening period, but it was Sandys who scored first seven minutes before the interval when Calum Gallacher netted with a neat finish. However, Vics were level shortly after when Stephen Froud turned the ball in to send the players in level at half-time.
Froud then added his second of the game minutes into the restart after Scott Sutherland’s initial strike was blocked, before two became three when Scott Waterson placed his shot into the back of the net.
Sandys’ Gallacher then scored the goal of the game to reduce Vics’ lead to 3-2 with a quite sensational strike from distance that rocketed into the top left corner. James Reilly then sent the tie into extra-time with an equaliser to spark scenes of jubilation from the Sandys players, management and their travelling fans gathered in the small stand before their comeback was complete when Robert McKenzie tucked home from close range in the second period of extra-time.
Sandys’ Patrick Mason said: “It’s a fantastic achievement for Lothians and Edinburgh amateur football because it’s been 25 years since two sides from the region have met in the final of the East of Scotland Cup. We’re looking forward to what will be a tough match against Edinburgh Rose.”
Khosrowpour at the double
Heriot VALE, of Division 1, progressed to the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup after a 3-0 triumph over Premier Division 2 title chasers Linlithgow Thistle at Broughton High.
A first half double from Pieyam Khosrowpour had Vale firmly in control at the interval before Patrick Bonthrone added a third on 65 minutes with a composed finish to seal his side’s passage into the last eight.
Vale were promoted from Division 2 last season and coach Alasdair Wilson admits his players have found the step-up a challenge this season.
Wilson said: “We have noticed a difference between Premier 1 and Premier 2 where it’s a lot harder to grind out victories, but we have enjoyed it. We want to finish as high up as we can and establish ourselves as a Premier 1 side. The league is pretty wide open, so we want to at least have a say in that if we can put a good run together and hopefully get as far as we can in the Challenge Cup.”
East Linton state intent
East LINTON underlined their Premier Division 2 title credentials with a thumping 4-0 victory over North Merchiston Vale at Memorial Park.
The win moves the East Lothian side into joint-second position and now only six points behind league leaders Fernieside with a game in hand.
Midfielder Gary Fairgrieve was upended in the penalty area and Paul Bestford slotted home the resulting spot-kick to give Linton a 1-0 lead.
Fairgrieve then got himself on the scoresheet with a powerful header after the break to double his side’s advantage, before further strikes from Julian Anderson and Jamie Jackson compounded Merchiston Vale’s misery, who remain in a relegation scrap.
Bestford also missed a second penalty of the afternoon shortly before the final whistle, but coach John Baptie was pleased to secure all three points.
He said: “After we got our first goal we took control of the game and got our goals at the right time from then on. We hope to be in the mix come the end of the season for promotion, but there are still a lot of games to be played.”