Fernieside 17s progressed to the semi-finals of the Victor Paris Bathrooms Cup with a battling 3-1 win over Beechwood 17s at Meggetland.
In what was a closely fought encounter on the 3G pitch in torrential conditions, the South Edinburgh side came up trumps in the cup clash, but they had to work hard for their place in the next round.
Beechwood looked lively from the off and they soon gave Fernie’s keeper Alex Johnston food for thought with an early chance in front of goal. Seven minutes in Finlay Arnot broke from the left of the box past his man and he blasted an effort at goal into the side netting.
Minutes later Arnot came close again as his effort from just outside the box came within a few feet of the Fernie crossbar.
It was a wake-up call for Fernie and after a quiet start to the game they gradually began to make inroads into the Beechwood penalty box. Juwon Abubakar tried his luck from just outside the box but keeper Fraser Rillay was equal to his effort and also Liam Wishart’s strike minutes later.
The signs were encouraging for Fernie and they continued to cause problems for the Beechwood defence as the half progressed. Evan Smith’s corner from the left picked out Abubakar six yards out but his header ended up just wide of its intended target.
Fernie were certainly ending the first half on top but they just couldn’t quite put the ball in the net. The chances kept coming and Smith was again in the thick of things as he went close from just outside the Beechwood box before setting up Wishart to narrowly head over.
Fernie could, and probably should, have had their noses in front before the break but five minutes into the second half they found the breakthrough they were looking for. Smith was the man to grab the goal as he wriggled free of Beechwood’s Jack Redpath before firing into the bottom left corner from close range.
There was a determination about Fernie and five minutes later they had another goal to their name. Substitute Kyle Taylor put the ball in the net when he followed up Liam McIntosh’s long-range strike to double his team’s lead.
Beechwood were desperate to find a way back into the game but things got even harder for them as Fernie broke upfield to find a third of the afternoon with 20 minutes to go. Taylor again was in the right place at the right time as he stabbed home Abubakar’s square pass from five yards.
With time ticking away Beechwood did find a goal for their efforts when Gordon Strachan got in behind the Fernie defence to score, but it was a mere consolation in what had been a tenacious Fernie performance.
Fernie coach John Watt said: “The performance was one of the best we’ve put in so far this season, we played some really good football and most importantly we took our chances in front of goal. Beechwood aren’t an easy team to play and they caused us problems but we were on our game and we did well to get the victory.
“We’ve come on in the last two seasons thanks to Gary Smith’s help in training so he deserves a mention for that.
“It’s a great achievement for us to be in the semis and now we’re up against a very good Hutchie side but we’ll certainly give it our best shot,” said the 26 year old.
Beechwood FC 17s: Fraser Rillay, Jamie McIntosh, David Bull, Finlay Arnot, Jack Redpath, Ibn Seaton-Ali, Gordon Strachan, Angus Johnstone, Harry Devine, Charlie Carr, Jamie McDermaid, Calum Willis, Blair Millward, Alistair Stark, Alexander Walker, Liam Bailey, Joseph Paterson.
Fernieside FC 17s: Alex Johnston, Juwon Abubakar, Liam Wishart, Craig Swanston, Jordan Thomson, Liam McCabe, Cameron Douglas, Kyle Taylor, Lewis Sloan, Daniel Combe, Evan Smith, Ewan Wilson, Ronan Clelland, Liam McIntosh.