Edinburgh City Blacks 14s produced a superb extra-time performance to defeat Spartans FC Reds 2-1 and reach the South East Region Cup semi-finals.
City and Spartans battled out a hotly-contested tie at Forrester High School.
The first half began with Spartans looking the livelier of the two teams but they couldn’t make their mark with a goal. Joseph Nicholson, Charlie Peet and Aidan Savage struck efforts from in and out of the box, only to be denied by City goalkeeper Brandyn Bain.
The City No.1 was in inspired form throughout the first half and it continued in the second as, although Spartans looked certainly the stronger of the two sides, they were unable to beat Bain.
As the second half progressed, neither team could grab a winner meaning extra time was required. Into the additional 20 minutes, it was Spartans who finally broke the deadlock as Alistair Adams’ cross-cum-shot from the right snuck in just under the crossbar.
City fought back almost immediately, though. Euan Gillespie headed a deft header home to level the scores.
It was anyone’s game once again and Spartans had a golden chance to go back ahead in the second half of extra time but Peet was denied from the penalty spot as Bain saved brilliantly to his left.
City capitalised on the reprieve when Nathan Masson hit a spectacular 30-yard strike into the Spartans goal to clinch victory.
• Musselburgh mettle seals points
Musselburgh Windsor 13s fought back from behind to defeat Lochend YFC 4-3 at Pinkie Playing Fields.
Second-placed Windsor’s task in the Division 1A clash was made that bit harder when Lochend took a 10th-minute lead. Patrick Craigie latched onto long ball down the middle to slot home.
It didn’t deter Mussie from the task in hand, however. They picked themselves up sharply and equalised just ten minutes later. Captain Jacob Shyngle hit a powerful strike from 22 yards to make it 1-1.
Mussie settled and began to control proceedings. After patiently probing away, they took the lead and extended it just before half-time. Cieran Nisbet slid in to score from close range and then Daniel Comb blasted in from the right-hand side of the area for No.3.
At 3-1, Mussie had a cushion in the game but it was far from over. Lochend began brightly in the second half and pulled a goal back through Craigie again but Mussie responded with a goal of their own almost immediately. Shyngle was first to react to a loose ball in the box to fire homehis side’s fourth.
Late on, Lochend grabbed another goal as Jamie Mason rounded off a counter-attacking move but it wasn’t to be enough as Mussie held on for all three points.
• Spartans 15s into semi-finals
Spartans 15s coasted into the South East Region Cup semi-finals with a 6-1 win over Murieston United at Spartans Academy.
Spartans suffered an early scare, falling behind with two minutes played. Murieston’s Andy Lesley hit a free-kick over the opposition wall and in to give the visitors a surprise lead.
But Spartans equalised on the tenth-minute mark, Robbie Walker seizing upon a driven ball in from the left to stab in.
Joe Evenden put Spartans ahead as he neatly turned on the left-hand side of the box to fire in.
Reece Mason’s good finish from close range and a header ensured the scoreline would be 4-1 going in at the break.
In the second half, Mason bagged his hat-trick and his side’s fifth with a composed finish through on goal.
It was game over and, with 15 minutes to play, the scoreline was further extended as Spartans added a sixth. Evenden hit a pinpoint free-kick from 20 yards that sailed into the Murieston goal for 6-1.