Extra-time success mean cups runneth over for AC Oxgangs

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AC Oxgangs gained victory in dramatic fashion against Newmains Hammers in the under-16 South East Region Cup at Meggetland.

Two goals in extra time took the South East Region Youth FA Division 2 club clear of their Lanarkshire counterparts with the match level at 2-2 after the regulation 80 minutes of play.

Newmains were unlucky not to go home with a win as they were 2-1 up until the dying moments, with Oxgangs’ James Williamson levelling the scoreline with just four minutes remaining.

The visitors took the lead after eight minutes as Jack Dempster’s powerful half -volley flew into the net from seven yards out after Reece Cairns’s corner was not cleared.

Ten minutes later, Craig Kennedy managed to jink his way past three Oxgangs defenders, but his shot was saved low by goalkeeper Cameron McPherson.

Oxgangs almost equalised after half an hour in spectacular style. James McInally played the ball to striker Callum MacKenzie, whose long-range effort fizzed narrowly past the left post.

The equaliser came on the verge of half-time. Oxgangs attacked down the right wing and Gavin Reid found MacKenzie inside the penalty area. He powered the ball across goal and it nestled into the bottom left corner of the net.

William Parker had a fine opportunity to help Newmains retake the lead after 49 minutes. His volley was only kept out by the superb high save of McPherson.

Newmains kept pressuring the Oxgangs defence. John Goldie and Kyle McArthur both had shots saved by McPherson.

But McPherson’s day turned sour after 58 minutes. Kennedy’s shot from the left of the penalty area was fumbled by the goalkeeper and the ball rolled over the line.

Oxgangs had to wait until the death to snatch an equaliser. After 78 minutes, they won a free-kick on the left wing. Joe Posnett’s cross was not dealt with by the Newmains defence and Williamson’s shot from ten yards beat Newmains goalkeeper Gary Raybould.

The south-west Edinburgh team looked rejuvenated at the start of extra time. Fraser Hill advanced straight from the kick-off and buried his 25-yard shot into the net. And Oxgangs saw the game off three minutes later. Williamson grabbed his second goal of the match when his shot from 16 yards found the bottom left corner.

Newmains had a couple of chances before full time. Kennedy’s shot from the edge of the area was deflected wide by Williamson and, in the final minute, Craig Rutherford’s cross needed to be tipped over the bar by McPherson.

Newmains Hammers manager Joe Cowan felt that his team’s decision-making let them down. He said: “We didn’t choose the right options and their defence did well. Some days you get lucky and some days you don’t. We’re doing well in the West Lothian Division 2 and we want to keep that up for the rest of the season.”

AC Oxgangs assistant coach Iain Middleton said: “It was a very close match and praise has got to go to Newmains for coming all the way here. They played great football and I think they deserved to win it in normal time.

“In extra time, our quick goal turned the whole match. Up until then we were fortunate to take the match into extra time.

“Their players were all a tribute to their club and even when things were going against them they tried to play football the right way. We’re fortunate to get through and thankfully our extra-time performance was a big deciding factor.

“Our aim was to do well in the league, but this is now the fourth cup we’ve progressed in so it could well be a cup-focused season.”

AC Oxgangs: Cameron McPherson, James Kidd, Neil Middleton, Guy Wardrop, Murray Orris, Gavin Reid, Joe Posnett, Michael Addison, James Williamson, Callum MacKenzie, James McInally, Matthew Gray, Fraser Hill.

Newmains Hammers: Gary Raybould, Marc Young, Reece Cairns, John Goldie, Jack Dempster, Ryan Currie, Craig Rutherford, Craig Kennedy, Stephen Fox, William Parker, Kyle McArthur, Chris Keegan, Jordan Lennon, Connor Peat.