Loanhead 19s’ Sam Jones produced a spectacular 25-yard winning strike in extra-time to send his side into the semi-finals of the Bob Bankier Trophy as they edged out Tynecastle 1-0 at Meggetland.
After 90 minutes of hard-fought end-to-end football neither side were able to take their chances in the final third and so additional time was required. With penalties looming Jones took the game into his own hands with a wonder-strike to separate the two teams.
Loanhead coach Peter Kay admitted his side were well-matched on the day.
“It was quite an even game and it was always going to take something special to separate the two teams. Fortunately for us Sam’s pulled that out when it mattered. It was a goal worthy of winning any game that’s for sure.
“Over the years Tynecastle have been our nemesis when it comes to the late stages of cups so it was nice to get one over them,” he said.
Kay also singled our praise for his goalkeeper Ben Mackenzie.
“He kept us in the game at some key stages, especially in the first half when we had to soak up some pressure,” he said. “At the end when we looked to see the game out he did well, as did our defence to hold on. It was a good team performance all-round though.”
Mackenzie certainly had to be alert early on in the tie as Tynecastle were quick out the traps, almost taking the lead six minutes in. Anton Dowds played a perfectly weighted lofted ball to Stephen Scott in the box, but his half-volley was straight at the Loanhead No.1.
With little space to exploit, both teams had to be precise in their passing to create opportunities. Shortly after the half-hour mark, Tynie did just that and had the ball in the back of the net through Barry Hogg’s header – their joy cut short, however, with the teenager adjudged to have impeded a Loanhead defender in the build-up. After an intense first 45, the second half opened up as both sides pushed forward in search of goals. Tynie came mighty close to snatching the lead just after the break when Kyle Scott’s driven corner was caught sweetly by Hogg on the half-volley just inside the area, but the ball came crashing off the bar much to his side’s despair.
But Loanhead were just as keen to get forward when they were in possession and had some great opportunities to score deep into the half. The best of them fell to Darren McCraw with ten minutes remaining in normal time when he latched onto a hopeful ball forward from the back. After chasing it down, he rounded goalkeeper Chris Burt before shooting from a tight angle on goal, but Tynie defender Matthew Quinn just managed to block the ball away.
The maroon jerseys could have nicked it in the remaining seconds but just couldn’t put the ball in the net. With time ticking away, Calum Helm was denied not once, but twice by Mackenzie from close range.
Into extra time and the game looked to be heading for a stalemate with both sides content to take the game to a shoot-out. Jones had other ideas, however, and in a moment of sheer brilliance took aim from 25 yards that saw the ball crashing over Burt’s head and bursting into the net.
Despite Tynie’s best efforts at the death, they were unable to respond as Loanhead saw the game out to progress to the last four.
Tynecastle 19s: Chris Burt, Gavin Stevenson, Ewan Herriot, Matthew Quinn, Craig Russell, Bradd Campsie, Barry Hogg, David Henderson, Kyle Scott, Jack Philp, Anton Dowds, Matthew Graham, Ciaron Small, Calum Helm, Stephen Scott, Connor Brydon.
Loanhead 19s: Ben Mackenzie, Fraser Shearer, Liam Taylor, Jack Fairgrieve, Ross Currie, David Wright, Liam Matthew, Samuel Jones, Ryan Weston, Darren McCraw, Connor Lawrie, Andrew McNeill, Liam Higgins, Dean McCafferty, Michael Hutchison, Ryan Porteous.