Hutchison Vale FC Colts 13s are celebrating being crowned Belmont Vauxhall Cup champions after defeating South East Division Two rivals Edinburgh United 2-0 in a tight affair at Saughton Enclosure.
Goals from Matthew Edgar and second-half substitute Ben Philp proved the difference between the two sides and both couldn’t be faulted for their efforts in what was an entertaining spectacle. For Hutchie Colts, currently top of their division, cup success has reinforced their supremacy at this level, however, with a massive ten games in hand due to successful cup runs, Edinburgh United still have the opportunity to snatch the league title from their opponent’s grasp.
Both sets of players began well, finding a fluency in their passing and looked to attack at every opportunity. Hutchie’s Lewis Adjodani played a neat pass through in search of Ewan Curie, who gathered the ball in his stride before rounding United’s John Gallagher, but the striker’s hesitance proved costly as defender Callum Downie was able to clear with a last-ditch tackle.
Moments later, Hutchie were through on goal once again with Ross Watters charging in from the left, but just as it appeared the youngster would open the scoring for the league leaders, Gallagher got down to produce a fine save.
Downie, blessed with a wonderful left foot, played a superb ball over the top of the Hutchie defence which set Calum Everett on his way. With Hutchie keeper Ben Corrall making his way from his goal line, it was a straight race to the ball between striker and goalkeeper, with the latter prevailing as he got his foot to the ball just ahead of United’s No. 8.
Edgar then played a delightful cross into the United box which Sam Weir managed to divert towards goal with a header, but unfortunately for the striker and his team-mates, he couldn’t keep the ball underneath the crossbar.
The breakthrough finally arrived shortly before half-time and it was a goal fitting of any cup final. Hutchie midfielder Che Cousland rolled a perfect weighted pass in the direction of Edgar, who had the audacity to unleash a swerving drive from outside the penalty area which flew past Gallagher to send the yellow and blacks in 1-0 up at the break.
Hutchie replacement Philp appeared in a menacing mood from the first minute of the second half, showing great skill and pace when in possession of the ball. The little striker, however, should have done better with his pass across goal, intended for team-mate Watters, which would have presented a real gift of an opportunity to double Hutchie’s lead.
However, Philp made amends as he wrapped up victory himself moments later. A deep corner from the left found the No. 10 in acres of space and he coolly dispatched a left-footed strike into the bottom right corner. This sparked wild celebrations on the pitch with goal scorer Philp leading the pack with an impressive cartwheel display.
United threw everything at Hutchie in the remaining minutes in hope of setting up a tense finale but it wasn’t to be for the Colinton-based side.
Hutchie coach Craig Mayer felt his players got their just rewards in the end. “We were the better side on the day but we did expect a tough game and that is what we got. They are our main rivals this year but the boys played really well and passed the ball about.”
United’s Finlay Wells was extremely gracious in defeat and admitted the better team won on the night. He said: “I can have no complaints about the result. They showed a greater desire and hunger than our boys did and deserve their victory.”
Hutchison Vale FC Colts: Ben Corrall, Lewis Rowney, Jack Markham, Matthew Edgar, Struan Robb, David Anderson, Ewan Curie, Che Cousland, Sam Weir, Ben Philp, Lewis Adjodani, Nathan McCulloch, Darren Cassidy, Ross Watters, Jack Murray, Joseph Beaton.
Edinburgh United FC: John Gallagher, Calum McKean, Callum Downie, Conal Sutherland, Darragh McTiernan, Finlay Wells, Calum Everett, Deschamp McDelling, Cameron Wells, Paul Philip, Daniel Doherty, Brandon Taylor, Josef Smith, Kyle Wynne.