Victoria Loco leapfrogged their way to the top of the LEAFA Championship after inflicting a 5-0 defeat upon ten-man Hermiston Vale at Saughton 3G.
Vale suffered a mortal injury when, 15 minutes into the cup tie and after a competitive start to the game, they had a man sent off. Craig Dobson was given his marching orders for fouling Loco’s Omar Ali in the box. To make matters worse Danny Waddell then smashed the resultant penalty into the top right corner for 1-0.
It was an uphill battle from then on for Vale as Loco made the most of their advantage. Danny Glancy created an opening for his side five minutes later as he sent through Ali one-on-one for the striker to double the lead.
Before the break things then got even better for Loco as they extended their advantage further. Robert Dunn split the Vale defence with a pass allowing Shaun Dunn to race through and convert from close range.
Vale started the second half with fight but there was little they could do to contain Loco as they continued to impose themselves. Ali added his second and Loco’s fourth of the game with an hour on the clock to put any slim hope of a comeback for Vale out of the question.
Then, with the result now for a formality for Loco, Ali turned creator as he squared a ball across the box from the right flank for Shaun Dunn to get another.
Crucial victory for Spartans
The Spartans picked up a crucial three points in their fight for survival as they beat fellow relegation candidates Newcraighall Leith Vics 4-2 at Newcraighall Park.
Early on in the pivotal Premier Division clash Spartans got ahead as Greg Atkinson chased onto a precision pass to turn the ball in one-on-one.
But, to their credit, Vics reacted and they scored on the stroke of half time to leave the second half wide open. David Turnbull finished off a flowing move as he spun in the box to shoot into the bottom left corner of the net.
When the game got underway after the break though it was Spartans who were on top and they took their opportunities to open up a lead. Gregg Turnbull got Spartans back ahead early on before Atkinson sent a stunning strike from 25 yards into the Vics goal to make it 3-1.
Vics did their best to tame their opponents but Spartans scored another to put the result almost beyond doubt. Tom Connor crossed from the left flank and Daryn Cain sent a side-footed volley in for number four.
Vics did at least pull another back as Ryan Duffy produced a moment of brilliance to reduce their arrears but Spartans held on for an important victory.
North Merchi into last eight
North Merchiston Vale made it into the quarter-finals of the Miller Cup with a dominant 4-1 win over Polbeth United at Limefield Park.
In what was a slow start from Merchie, United grabbed the lead from a set piece with three minutes gone. Centre half Callum McQueenie used all of his 6ft 6in to head United in front from a corner.
It sprung Merchie into life and they quickly turned their fortunes around in the cup tie. With 15 minutes on the clock Joe Green managed to squeeze the ball in with an effort from a tight angle.
With that Merchie were on their way and they doubled their tally shortly after and in spectacular fashion. Luke Leiper won the ball in the middle of the park and unleashed an outstanding long-range strike that flew into the United goal.
Merchie were cruising and the same pattern continued into the second half with more goals to follow. Simon Leslie helped his side carve out another when his free kick was headed in by Stephan Notman for a third of the afternoon.
The dynamic of the cup tie then threatened to change as Merchie were reduced to ten with Joe Green picking up a second yellow card. But it wasn’t to matter as his side added a fourth to cement the result minutes later. Alan Bannon worked the ball to the byeline and Leslie got his name on the scoresheet with a straightforward finish in the area.