Local heroes: Edinburgh United get in gear

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Edinburgh United beat Edinburgh City 99 to advance to the second round of the South East Region under-13 Belmont Vauxhall Cup.

With City in the lead by a single goal by half-time at Paties Road, two goals within three minutes propelled United to a 3-1 win to set up a tie against either AC Oxgangs or Tynecastle FC 99 at the next stage of the competition.

City took the lead after five minutes when Jack Gray’s cross was parried by United goalkeeper Fraser Briton, and Tommy Walker drilled the ball into the left corner of the net.

Briton was tested again four minutes later after Gray’s through ball found Walker, but this time the goalkeeper came off his line quickly to smother the ball at Walker’s feet.

Edinburgh United nearly equalised after 18 minutes, with Ethan Houliston’s lobbed shot flying a yard wide of the right post after Josef Smith’s through ball. Twenty-seven minutes into the match, City spurned a chance to increase their lead as Reiss Philp’s shot from the edge of the area was saved by Briton’s low dive. In first-half stoppage time, Edinburgh United’s Deschamp McDelling shot narrowly wide from the edge of the penalty area.

The second half was dominated by Edinburgh United from the start and City had to deal with two successive corners just moments after the restart. Edinburgh United’s Cameron Wells tested goalkeeper Jak Henderson on 48 minutes, but he was equal to his 20-yard effort.

United grabbed an equaliser in impressive fashion on 52 minutes, Calum McKean picking up a City clearance before powering the ball into the bottom left corner from no less than 30 yards out, his shot striking the post before hitting the net.

City were behind less than three minutes later as United’s Smith played a through ball into the path of Kyle Wynne, who placed the ball past the onrushing City Henderson.

The home team continued to push for more goals and Darragh McTiernan headed over the bar after Finlay Wells’ free-kick from the right by-line.

United’s third and final goal came after 64 minutes, when Conal Sutherland’s through ball played in Paul Philip, who shot low past Henderson into the centre of the goal.

City had a chance to pull a goal back in the final minute but Kieran Lee’s shot went wide of the right post.

The Edinburgh City 99 manager, Jim Pringle, felt that his team dominated the first half, but their lack of fitness let them down after the break.

“The first half belonged to Edinburgh City and the second half belonged to Edinburgh United. I think the Edinburgh City fitness levels dropped in the second half and we stopped doing the things we were doing in the first half.

“We let them back in the game. We’re looking for some stability this season. We can hopefully build our team some more.”

Finlay Wells, Edinburgh United’s manager, was pleased that his team stepped up their performance in the second half. He said: “In the first half Edinburgh City definitely deserved to be leading. They had a bit more hunger. In the second half we lifted our appetite for the match and played far better.

“It was a good game of football and I think it was a fair result overall. We want to be consistent this season. This is our first season of competitive football and we want to keep improving.”

Edinburgh United: Fraser Briton, Callum Downie, Conal Sutherland, Christopher Murchison, Darragh McTiernan, Finlay Wells, Deschamp McDelling, Cameron Wells, Paul Philip, Josef Smith, Ethan Houliston, Calum McKean, Sean Jackson, Kyle Wynne.

Edinburgh City 99: Jak Henderson, Reiss Philp, Tom McKinlay, James Pringle, Jack Gray, Tommy Walker, Robbie McNeill, Stuart Gibson, Daniel Kelly, Russell Drummond, Sam Thompson, Marc Marino, Louis Fletcher, Kieran Lee.