LEITH ATHLETIC Under-16s moved up to third in Division 1 with an excellent second-half comeback to secure a 5-2 win away to Cramond.
The home side had gone into the interval with a 2-1 lead over their league rivals only for Leith to score four second-half goals without reply to stretch three points clear of their opponents.
Cramond have held their own this campaign in the top division since getting promoted from Division 2 last season and they started better of the two sides –taking the lead after just two minutes. Striker Elliot Taylor latched onto a through ball from midfield before calmly disposing past Leith goalkeeper Aaron King. The home side could have extended their lead just minutes later but King got the better of Taylor this time around, with a comfortable save from the striker’s free-kick on the edge of the box.
Leith hadn’t started the match well at all but they were starting to get into their rhythm ten minutes in as they started to pass the ball around and they created their first opportunity of note when Ewan Stark almost caught out Cramond goalkeeper Liam Lynch. His cross from the left flew over the ‘keeper who was stretching to get a hand onto it but it just went wide of the post.
Leith striker Calum Smart was holding the ball up well for his side and he linked up with Jay McManus after 20 minutes, who put Leith back on level terms. A long ball found its way to Smart who controlled the ball dead before feeding McManus who had made a strong run from midfield and he continued his run into the area before striking low into the bottom corner.
Cramond showed great resolve to regain their lead five minutes later though, when Richard Kerr capitalised on a defensive slip from Leith before his first time left-footed shot flew past King. Shortly before half-time Cramond carved out a fine opportunity to extend their lead but Kerr’s shot from just outside the box narrowly drifted past the post.
Leith rang the changes during the interval and a change of personnel brought fresh impetus into their play early in the second half, as they again brought the match level.
Marco McBride made a great run down the left for Leith and Coll Reekie found his team mate with a wonderfully weighted pass. McBride showed great strength to ease past his marker before setting himself up for the shot which flew low and hard past Lynch. Cramond were still ruing Leith’s equaliser when the away side went ahead for the first time in the match. Stark did well to nip infront of a Cramond defender before his powerful shot got the better of Lynch who was only able to get a hand on the shot and it landed in the back of the net.
Another two quick goals made sure of all three points for Leith. McManus got his second of the afternoon with a composed strike inside the box before a rampant Leith wrapped up the scoring with their fifth of the afternoon, when Reekie controlled an attempted clearance from Cramond and fired into the net.
Cramond could have pulled one back through substitute Finlay Hart but his shot from just outside the box was always rising and it flew harmlessly over the bar as Leith saw the remainder of the match out at a canter.
Leith showed excellent fight and desire to get all three points with their performance in the second half but Cramond were unlucky to lose by three goals and will play worse and win games in the season ahead.
Cramond: Liam Lynch, Liam Boath, Finlay Hart, Euan Nisbet, Euan Smith, Matthew McKenzie, Elliot Taylor, Richard Kerr, Conner Holleran, Jake Hughes, Jordan Henderson, Rowan Fife, Brandon Mullen, Robbie Howie, Dillin Cairns, Ryan Quinn.
Leith Athletic: Aaron King, Ross Aitchison, Rory Pilbearn, Murray Scott, James Burt, Lee Thomson, Coll Reekie, Calum Smart, Ewan Stark, Jamie Chapman, Ryan Young, Calum Sandison, Jay McManus, Marco McBride, Jarek Wdowiak.