Redhall Star YFC 17s fought back from a goal down to defeat opponents Craigroyston BC 2-1 at Saughton Enclosure to lift the South East Region Division Two League Cup.
The match proved to be an entertaining spectacle until the latter stages when an intruder ran onto the pitch to assault Redhall goalkeeper Stewart Scott, who was sent off for retaliating, much to the dismay of the strong Redhall support.
However, Redhall coach James MacCusker wanted to highlight his side’s spirit in coming through a tricky encounter. “It was a really tight game to be honest and when it went 1-1, I always felt it was going to be one goal that would win it. I wasn’t sure if it was a penalty or not but we managed to get the job done. The boys have had to dig deep all season so I think they deserve this.”
On 15 minutes, Craigroyston grabbed the lead in what was an extremely well constructed move. A searching ball up the right wing from captain Gary Highway found pacey winger Gavin Atkinson and he drove a pinpoint cross along the turf into the Redhall six-yard-box where Ryan Robertson was waiting to knock it into the back of the net.
Redhall notched an equaliser 15 minutes later which they fully merited. A looping cross from the left shouldn’t have posed too much of a concern for Craigroyston goalkeeper Pawel Sodja, however, the teenager opted to move off his goal line in a bid to assist his defenders and was beaten by Jack Crawford who diverted the ball into the empty net. With the wind in their sails, Redhall came within inches of taking the lead moments after the restart. Scott Williamson’s delivery was perfect for defender Donald McCormick but he somehow managed to screw his header over with the goal gaping.
Craigroyston’s Nadeem Ahmed was then gifted a glorious chance to send his side in front at the break. A mistake from Brad Hainey let the forward in on goal but he blazed his shot over the bar with just goalkeeper Scott to beat.
A great passing exchange between Williamson and Crawford presented Redhall’s goal scorer with another chance to add to his tally. The striker, however, chose to delay his shot and was unable to establish the power required to beat Sodja.
Craigroyston had a couple of half chances of their own before Redhall goalkeeper Scott was dismissed. Then the ten men of Redhall were awarded a penalty when Williamson was upended by Jack Smith and Hainey duly converted from 12 yards.
Williamson was once again adjudged to have been fouled only minutes after the first penalty, this time by Highway. However, Hainey couldn’t add his second from the spot as Sodja got down to save well and keep the score at 2-1. Marc Milligan had one final opportunity for Craigroyston to level the score but flashed his shot wide.
Craigroyston’s Matty Hunter felt it was an evenly contested cup final.
“It wasn’t a bad game between the two teams but they got their chance at the end and took it.
“We both had a few chances to score but unfortunately it was a penalty that decided it.” Hunter added.
Craigroyston BC: Pawel Sodja, Jack Smith, Lawrie Peat, Gary Highway, Max Scott, Gavin Atkinson, Mikey Roan, Marc Milligan, Ryan Robertson, Nadeem Ahmed, Corey Gray, Denim McNair, Paul Sheerin, Liam Watt, Connor McCormack, Sidney Yannick Dos Santos.
Redhall Star YFC: Stewart Scott, Donald McCormick, Sam Thomson, Brad Hainey, Alexander Walker, Scott Williamson, Jack Crawford, Sean Thomson, Kevin Finlay, Jamie Miller, Daniel Hogg, Scott Davidson, Jack Paterson, Curtis Craven, Steven McPartlin, Charles Agu.