Hutchison Vale and Tynecastle 14s battled out a 1-1 draw at Edinburgh Academy in this Division 1 encounter with both teams passing up chances to claim all three points.
These clubs are expected to be challenging for honours this year and, on this showing, it may prove to be a tight affair in separating the two come the tail-end of the season.
Tynecastle coach Keith Robertson was satisfied with a point from a match he felt his side struggled to get to grips with in the early stages.
Robertson said: “I thought we started a bit flat and it took us time to get into the game. We changed it tactically at half-time and we played much better in the second half and had chances to win, but there wasn’t too much in it overall.”
The first sighting on goal fell to Hutchie Vale’s Alistair McCann who was unlucky to see his shot hit the side netting after being picked out at the back post from Jamie Docherty’s corner.
However, Hutchie did grab the lead after 20 minutes when Docherty welcomed a lucky ricochet off a Tynecastle defender and drove the ball past Fraser Briton from ten yards to give the home side the lead.
Tynecastle’s Cameron Dawson had a couple of chances before the break to get his team back on level terms, but he was denied by the brave Jamie Mitchell who thwarted the striker’s advances on goal with two fine saves.
Murray Young almost doubled Hutchie’s advantage minutes into the second half when he rose above the Tynecastle defence, but his glancing header was just over Briton’s crossbar.
A clever threaded pass from Tynecastle’s Murray Rose then picked out Murray Hand and he fired a stinging strike on the Hutchie goal which was well held by Mitchell.
At the other end, the powerful Blair Conway spun his marker superbly and his strike from distance was on target forcing Briton into a fine save.
Tynecastle were deservedly back in the game when Liam Willis’ header back across goal found Matthew Brady who bundled the ball in from close range to set up a tense finale.
With only minutes remaining, Hutchie thought they had conjured up a winner when Conway’s strike was spilled by Briton, and Docherty followed up to poke the ball into the net. The celebrations were short-lived, however, as the goal was chopped off with the referee judging Docherty to have come from an offside position.
Hutchison Vale’s Derek McColl was left frustrated at conceding an equaliser and also felt his side could count themselves unlucky after having a goal ruled out for offside.
“They are a big, strong side and we’re not. I thought the referee chopped off a goal that shouldn’t have been and that was the difference between us winning and not. But it’s two good sides so we’ll just have to go with it.”
Hutchison Vale: Jamie Mitchell, Murray Young, Kacper Balaban, Owen Richardson, Alistair McCann, Jamie Docherty, Calum Watson, Blair Conway, Euan McGuire, Dillon Floyd, Jamie Mackay, Lewis Hall, Robbie Polson.
Tynecastle FC: Fraser Briton, Brok Robertson, Bruce McCrorie, Ben Voy, Rhys Dickson, Murray Rose, Callum Crawford, Liam Willis, Murray Hand, Robbie McPherson, Cameron Liddell, Tod Rowell, Matthew Brady, Cameron Dawson, Jay Kilboy, Euan Lee.