A late goal sealed victory for Hutchison Vale Under-14s in the Jewel Miners Cup Final as they edged past Spartans 2-1.
The match in Penicuik had barely begun before the first goal was scored. Lewis Foster raced in on goal as spectators were still entering the ground and although his connection was not sweet, it was enough to deceive the keeper and trickle into the back of the net.
Spartans responded well to going a goal down. They started to play more possession football that had already brought them success this season, though Hutchie were keen to remind their opponents they were still dangerous on the counter.
Spartans started to turn possession into chances. Aaron Cameron clipped a beautiful ball from the left into the area. The Hutchie keeper could only push the ball into the path of Keir Foster, but he dragged his shot wide of the post.
Louis MacLachlan levelled the score in the 27th minute. His cross-cum-shot dinked up over the keeper and kissed the crossbar on the way into the top corner.
At half-time the score was 1-1, but the momentum was with Spartans as they seemed to have regained control of the game. The break was probably a welcome rest for their counterparts as Spartans’ comfort on the ball meant Hutchie had to tirelessly close down countless attacks under the summer heat.
Spartans were surprised by Hutchie’s second-half approach as they were no longer sitting deep and took the game into the opposition’s half.
Springing into action again from the starting whistle. The opening chance fell to Lewis Foster, but his header flashed agonisingly wide of the post.
Hutchie started to dominate the play and mid-way through the second half they thought they had taken the lead. Rhyad Jelly put in a brave challenge for the ball, but collided with the Spartans’ keeper in the process. The ball spun up into the air, but before it came back down over the goal-line the referee blew for a foul.
The winning goal came just under three minutes from full time. Hutchie had been pressuring the Spartans goal for a while and a goal felt imminent. Some lovely passing play led to a shot on target, but with the ball slowing and defenders closing in to clear, Bruno Davidson made sure his side would again take the lead by smashing the ball into the open net.
A resurgent second-half performance from Hutchie Vale had secured the trophy in a highly competitive game.
• Hutchison Vale U13s continued their phenomenal cup form by beating Edinburgh City 5-0 to celebrate with the Ken Ritchie Cup.
In the Under-17s Michael Moran Cup Final, Hutchison Vale were victorious once more as they lifted the trophy after beating Edinburgh City Whites 3-2 in another close fixture.
Owen Bryce was the star of the show by scoring the perfect hat-trick. His first two (one with each foot) came in the opening 20 minutes, but conceding before half-time took the score to 2-1 at the break.
The comeback was on for Edinburgh as they scored again to level the match, but Bryce’s header from a corner two minutes before time sealed Hutchie’s victory.