Tynecastle boss Stevie Vinter says the club are delighted to finally have the “monkey off their back” after Sunday’s Alex Jack Cup final success.
The Saughton-based side ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Leith Athletic at the Pennypit to secure their first piece of silverware in senior football as Dean Crabbe, Kern Hutchison and a Johnny Pennel own goal completed a memorable afternoon in East Lothian.
Tynie were beaten finalists to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale last season and have regularly made to the latter stages of cup competitions, but have fallen just short.
“I’m absolutely delighted for the playing squad because they put so much into it every week,” a jubilant Vinter said. “For this team over the last couple of seasons not to have won anything has been a real shame. “So, we’re delighted to finally have that monkey off our back and I just hope we can kick on from here. When I took over two-and-a-half years ago we tried to instil a winning mentality and I think we are now beginning to see that.”
Leith had triumphed 3-1 in an East of Scotland League clash just eight days prior to Sunday’s final and Vinter believes that disappointment was perhaps the wake-up call his players needed.
“I actually think that losing to Leith last weekend was the best thing that could have happened to us,” he said. “We’d won eight games in a row but every time you’re in good form you’re only ever 90 minutes away from a defeat.
“We knew we’d let ourselves down in the league, but I sensed it in training this week that we were in a good place and the players just had something about them. I thought they were absolutely terrific and thoroughly deserved to win.”
Leith Athletic joint-manager Leighton Jones admitted his team did not perform anywhere near their potential.
“We just didn’t perform how we have been this season,” Jones said. “Tynecastle deserve a lot of credit because they were magnificent and it could have been a lot more if I am being honest. We just didn’t win our individual battles and we lost to the better team.”
“At the start of the season we set ourselves targets and we had reaching the Alex Jack Cup final as one of them. We’re doing well and we won’t allow this defeat to take away from what has been a really positive start.”
Meanwhile, in the East of Scotland League, leaders Preston Athletic were held to a 2-2 draw with Heriot-Watt University at Oriam. Gavin Stevenson and Craig Innes were on target for the Panners while Anton Dowds and Jackson Barker netted for the students.