Edinburgh City 17s fought valiantly to claim a precious point towards their league survival hopes with a 3-3 draw against Dunbar United Colts 17s.
Quickly the game became an end-to-end affair after the Division 1 basement club got things under way. City were mightily unlucky not to have the lead four minutes in. Sean Ehsani was closed down by keeper Cameron McPheat just outside the box and the ball broke to David Gibson. But just as it looked like Gibson would put the ball into an empty net, United’s Corrie Sayers got back just in the nick of time to clear the ball off the goal-line.
It was a shave call for United and they dug out a response just minutes later to put themselves in front. A ball into the box from the right found Jack Inglis and he smashed an effort into the roof of the net to break the deadlock.
United had shown clinical finishing when it mattered and although City rallied in response to going a goal down, luck was evading them in and around the goalmouth.
After spurning a handful of chances, City finally got back on level terms with 20 minutes gone. Ehsani won a corner and Murat Dag’s set-piece from the right crept directly in at the front post past McPheat to level the scores.
City had earned the scoreline through hard work, but United showed composure in the penalty area to get back ahead barely five minutes later. After some patient build-up Alistair Fell picked up the ball in the box, turned and finished past keeper Robbie Urquhart to make it 2-1.
As the half drew to a close City again attempted to dust themselves off and get back into the game. Daniel Doherty whipped a ball into the box from the right and Dag flicked a header towards goal, but the ball ended agonisingly just wide for the hosts.
The scores remained unchanged as the referee drew a halt to the opening 45 and City knew they had it all to do after the interval. To their credit though they upped their game and didn’t waste time searching for an equaliser when things got going again. Going forward City looked revitalised and Dag fired in a header, only for McPheat to tip it round the post. Then, five minutes later, City’s Russell Drummond tried an ambitious lob from outside the box that hit the post.
As the game looked to be heading towards a United victory, City finally made it 2-2 with ten minutes to go. Drummond showed a turn of pace in the box to get past his marker and prod the ball in one on one.
It had been all City in the second half but United thought they had stolen victory when, with five minutes to go, they grabbed a goal from nowhere. A mix-up at the heart of the City defence put the ball on a plate for Inglis to round Urquhart and send the ball into an open goal.
For all watching it looked to be the defining moment of the league clash, but with seconds to spare City again pulled the game back from the brink for a third time. Drummond turned provider this time as he saw his corner from the left bundled in by Finlay Wells from six yards, much to the delight of his team-mates, to make it 3-3.
Edinburgh City 17s: Robbie Urquhart, David Gibson, Sean Ehsani, Daniel Paterson, Daniel Doherty, Sam Thompson, Russell Drummond, Hugh McKenzie, Daniel Kelly, Murat Dag, Finlay Wells, Ethan Rae, Leo MacNeil.
Dunbar United Colts 17s: Cameron McPheat, Andrew Bennett, Corrie Sayers, Dylan Chisholm, Fraser Souness, Joe Cross, Jack Inglis, Alistair Fell, Ross Barr, Reece Peffers, Jack Reid, Jack Jeffrey, Cameron Kumari-Bowles.