Hutchison Vale Under-14s kick-started their Division 1 campaign with a hard-fought 4-0 win over Leith Athletic at Meadowbank.
Both teams came out looking to impress spectators in their first game of the new season but Hutchie were the first to test their opponents’ defence. A good pass from Bruno Davidson found Sam Kilboy, who was able to get a shot away from the right side of the box but his effort fizzed over the crossbar.
Hutchie had the ball in the back of the net early on in the fourth minute, courtesy of a looping free-kick that rattled off the underside of the bar. However the goal was disallowed by referee Jim Markey as players had strayed offside.
The first goal of the match came in the 12th minute. Another good ball from Davidson this time found Lewis Foster whose shot arched over the Leith goalkeeper, Jason Meikle, and found the back of the net.
Leith looked to respond quickly as Brodie Watt made a charging run forward from midfield. He did well to get a cross in from the right wing but could not pick out a team-mate in the box.
Midway through the first half, Hutchie wingers Davidson and Kilboy switched sides. This tactical change seemed to pay dividends almost immediately. Great passing play made it difficult for the Leith defence to close down their opposition. An inviting ball was rolled over the six-yard box and Taylor Steven slid in to meet it and claim his team’s second.
A promising attack for Leith came just before half-time as good interplay between Louie Buckley and Daniel Fennell eventually won them a corner. The resulting kick was dealt with well by the Hutchie defence. The ball broke to Davidson on the counter attack, who utilised his blistering pace to charge forward but he was ushered out of play before reinforcements could arrive.
Hutchie’s midfield and defence did well to apply pressure and disrupt Leith attacks on goal and were able to regain possession as the referee blew for half-time.
Leith were the first team back out on the pitch as they looked eager to get back in the game.
Hutchie were quick to get back into their attacking rhythm, though. A curling shot from Steven cracked off the upright and Meikle was quick to pounce on the rebound.
Meikle had to look sharp in the 36th minute as an almost identical shot to the first goal came in but this time he did well to tip it over the crossbar.
Leith’s Lewis Wilson-Palmer did well to stop a Hutchie counter attack and launch his own offensive but his through ball was mopped up before Watt could latch onto it.
The third goal arrived in the 37th minute. A cross from Kilboy on the left-hand side caught the Leith defence by surprise and the ball bobbled into the bottom-right corner.
Hutchie’s Jacob Comerford showed good ball control in midfield and was able to play a great ball forward to Foster, who turned and provided an exquisite finish into the left side of the net to take the game to 4-0.
Despite persistent Leith attacks, a lack of final ball meant the Hutchie defence was able to hold out for the remainder of the match.
Leith Athletic: Maksymilan Plutka, Zak Williamson, Ben Moffat, Cameron Chambers, Brodie Watt, Lewis Bushnell, Charles Harte, Lewis Wilson-Palmer, Daniel Fennell, Jason Meikle, Michele Marenduzzo, Connor Thompson, Lewis Gilroy, Louie Buckley.
Hutchison Vale: Zak Robb, Aaron Waller, Steven McKirdy, Malik Zaid, Bruno Davidson, Murray Connolly, Taylor Steven, Matthew Dalglish, Sam Kilboy, Lewis Foster, Danny Chisholm, Rhyad Jelly, Jacob Comerford, Logan Robertson, Lucas McGarry.