Portobello 15s extended their lead at the top of SERYFA Division 2 after beating Edinburgh City 6-4 in a highly competitive game.
It was their seventh league win in seven games.
City were first to break the deadlock. In the 12th minute, Declan Ross dispatched a clean shot past the keeper after a great ball forward from midfield. And only a minute later he scored again to double the advantage. His venomous strike was too powerful for the glovesman and the ball dribbled into the back of the net.
It was clear that both teams were prepared for a physical challenge as neither was afraid to concede a free-kick in order to break down the opposition attack.
Portobello responded well to going two down. Jacob Riley netted a quick brace at the halfway point in the first half. His first was a looping effort over the keeper and his second a dipping strike from the edge of the box after a free kick into a dangerous area by Kieran Fox was not well dealt with.
With roughly ten minutes to go until the half-time whistle, City were forced into an unfortunate change. An injury lead to an outfield player replacing the city keeper. This changed the tempo of the game as the City defence sat deeper and did not press as high up the pitch in order to better protect their goal and makeshift keeper.
With five minutes of the first half to play, City’s Sean Maxwell fired into the bottom left corner from the right side of the box.
In the last play of the half, Portobello had the chance to equalise. A penalty was awarded after a player was brought down in the box, but the resulting effort was sent high over the crossbar.
City went into the break with a 3-2 lead. The score reflecting the close nature of the match as both teams created good scoring opportunities.
Not long after the second half started Oliver Rudge re-opened the scoring for Portobello. A long ball was punted up towards him and he skillfully nestled in the net.
City again took the lead as they were awarded a penalty of their own. Sean Kelly made no mistake as he rifled the ball into the left side of the net.
However, Portobello capitalised on a nervous City defence. Riley again equalised for Portobello, securing his match hat-trick. His runs forward were constantly testing the City defence and as the ball fell kindly for him he stroked it home.
In the 67th minute Ross Millar leapt high at the back post to nod home from a corner, giving Portobello the lead for the first time in the match.
Rudge was another to be a constant thorn in the side of the City defence. He added a second to his name as he took advantage of a mistake made by the makeshift keeper.
Before the game ended City had a chance to reduce the deficit as another penalty was awarded their way. This time Kelly could not replicate his earlier success as his effort was saved by the outstretched foot of the Portobello keeper.
As the final whistle went, Portobello were clearly happy as they continue their perfect season. City were disheartened but can hold their heads high because, with a full squad, the result could have been different.
Edinburgh City 15s: Ryan Gorman, Dean Mackay, Sean Kelly, Declan Ross, Daniel Ingils, Ronan Williams, Louis O’Brien, Matthew Young, Kyle Henderson, Sean Maxwell, Alex Balfour, Connor White, Liam Thabet, Sam Corrigan, Nizam Abdulkarim, Yacoub Odutola.
Portobello 15s: Alastair Corbett, Cameron Dick, Gary Fraser, Kieran Fox, Ross Millar, Adam Jeffries, Blaine Wood, Oliver Rudge, Lucas Chase, Darren Scally, Jacob Riley, Lewis Young, Charlie Paxton.