Youths: Leith Athletic 21s hold nerve in shoot-out

Leith Athletic 21s
Leith Athletic 21s
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LEITH ATHLETIC 21s tasted South East Region Cup final success as they held their nerve to beat Musselburgh Windsor 21s 6-5 on penalties following a 3-3 draw at Hallhill.

Windsor fought back twice in the match, coming from 2-0 down then 3-2 down to provide a tense 30 minutes of extra time.

With neither team able to score, penalties were required. Athletic remained calm in the shoot-out, with Daniel Simpson burying the final penalty past Daniel Laing to secure victory for his side.

It was Leith that started the stronger of the two sides and they took the lead after four minutes through John Robertson. Goalkeeper daniel Laing went to send the ball downfield from his own box but the ball cannoned in off the side of Robertson on the edge of the box.

Still reeling from the freak goal, Windsor switched off and conceded another minutes later. A free-kick played into the area landed at the feet of Callum Mein and he sent the ball into the goal from close range.

As the game began to settle down, Musselburgh almost pulled a goal back midway through the first half. A ball into the area was held up by Chrissy Stevenson before he spun and shot, but the effort was straight at Reece Smail.

With neither side able to grab another before half-time, Leith seemed happy to go in with a 2-0 lead at the interval. When the two sides came out after their team-talks, however, it was Windsor who looked the livelier as they pulled a goal back six minutes into the half. A corner delivered from the left-hand side was flicked on by Dan Howie and Wayne Simpson gratefully smashed in a volley at the back post.

Musselburgh brought the scores level just under ten minutes later. Steve Kean provided a corner from the right which fell to Stevenson in the box to fire home.

Leith had been quiet in the second half but eventually they grabbed what they thought to be the winning goal. A ball from the right found a looping header from Steven Froude that flew over the head of Laing before bouncing in.

It wasn’t to prove the killer blow, however, as Musselburgh pulled another back as Kean’s free-kick flew through a ton of bodies before deflecting in off keeper Smail.

With neither team willing to push too many bodies forward in extra time, the game headed to penalties.

Both sides scored four of their initial five penalties and the tension was cranked up a notch in sudden death.

After both Dan Howie and Sean MacPherson found the net, Musselburgh’s Shaun Davidson put his penalty just over the bar allowing Simpson to step up and clinch victory for his side.

Leith Athletic 21s: Reece Smail, Craig Robertson, Connor Pont, Alan Murray, Darren Linton, Euan Morrice, Callum Mein, Sean MacPherson, Steven Froude, Ross Davies, Todd Smith, Kevin Hamilton, Daniel Simpson, Stefan Hay, Lewis Smith, John Robertson.

Musselburgh Windsor 21s: Daniel Laing, Andy Cameron, Euan Greig, Dan Howie, Jack Moffat, Ben Stewart, Gary Scott-Learmonth, Kamran Tufail, Shaun Conlon, Shaun Davidson, Andy Lang, Chrissy Stevenson, Wayne Simpson, Rab Murray, Ano Subasic, Steve Kean.