Salvesen 96 lifted themselves further clear from the foot of the Lothian Buses South East Region under-16s Division 1 after beating mid-table side Inch Colts ‘A’ at Meggetland.
The 2-0 scoreline was not indicative to the flow of the match, as Inch had many opportunities to score but could not convert any of them.
However, Salvesen 96 took an important three points to widen the gap with the bottom two teams, sister club Salvesen BC and Musselburgh Windsor 96. Inch Colts lie ten points off the top but have played more games than all of their rivals.
Salvesen 96 coach Jason Ronaldson said: “It was quite an even match but if Inch had taken their chances it would have been a different scoreline without a doubt. They pressed us in the second half but our first-half performance was good. In the second half, we tired a bit and had to make a few changes to see the game out.”
Inch striker William Kerr nearly scored after just six minutes after stealing the ball from defender Daniel Miller, but his shot went a yard wide.
Salvesen opened the scoring a few minutes later when Cameron MacFarlane headed into the left side of the net from close range after a deep Max McMorrin free-kick was flicked on.
Salvie goalkeeper Ross Cairney showed his quality with a stunning save after 25 minutes. James Jones was fouled on the edge of the penalty area by Jamie Tomlinson and Jones’ free-kick was heading towards the top left corner but Cairney’s acrobatic save denied Inch the equaliser.
Cairney was called into action three minutes later when Kerr broke through and struck a powerful, low shot which was stopped by the talented goalkeeper. The Inch team kept pushing for a goal and thought they had scored after 32 minutes but Ryan Miller blocked Stuart Small’s header on the line. Inch continued to attack in the second half and Kerr’s shot from 18 yards was stopped by Cairney with 43 minutes played. And circumstances continued to conspire against the Inch attackers when, from a Devin Burnside corner, Jones’ header beat Cairney but the ball struck the crossbar.
Four minutes later, Inch failed to convert two successive chances. Jones’ shot was parried by Cairney and Kerr’s follow up was blocked by defender Cameron Atwell. Salvesen fired a warning to Inch with an immediate counter attack. It ended up with Sean Devine’s shot hitting the bar from 12 yards.
Inch managed to put the ball in the net with ten minutes remaining, but their joy was short lived. Frankie Bee’s cross from the left byline was tipped onto the post by Cairney, Bee received a pass from his team-mate and tapped the ball into the goal. Unfortunately for Inch, the goal was ruled out for offside. Shaun Stevens rubbed salt into the Inch wounds with four minutes remaining. His 25-yard free-kick hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the line to put the match beyond doubt.
Inch Colts ‘A’: John McDaid, Frankie Bee, Aaron Flynn, Conor Barclay, Aaron Moffat, Aaron Mitchell, Shawn McAleer, Devin Burnside, Peter Wood, James Jones, William Kerr, Andrew Watson, Stuart Small, John Stuart.
Salvesen 96: Ross Cairney, Jack Liddell, Jamie Tomlinson, Ryan Miller, Daniel Miller, Sean Devine, Max McMorrin, Grant Aitken, Bradley O’Donnell, Shaun Stevens, Cameron MacFarlane, Cameron Atwell, Lewis Anderson, Sam Shaw.