Sunday 7 May 2017, 15.00, Christie Gillies Park
The East of Scotland League Cup Final between Tynecastle and Leith Athletic.
A repeat of the King Cup Semi-final the teams played out on 25 April when we saw Leith win by 7 goals to 2.
The East of Scotland League Cup begins with East of Scotland Qualifying Leagues and the Group winners and best runners-up then enter a straight knock-out competition. Both sides were in the same group this season.
Tynecastle lost to Heriot-Watt University and Tweedmouth Rangers, but wins against Leith and Stirling University saw them finish as runners-up. They then beat Eyemouth United and followed that up with a win against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale on penalties to reach the final.
Leith won against Heriot-Watt University, Stirling University and Tweedmouth Rangers with the solitary loss to Tynecastle to top the group. They then got a bye before beating Heriot-Watt again to make the final.
It’s the third year in a row Leith have made the final. The win two years ago couldn’t be replicated last year, so they were out to reclaim the trophy.
It’s Tynecastle’s first League Cup Final.
The game was played at the home of Civil Service Strollers, who played in the East of Scotland League until this season when they joined the Lowland League.
Around 200 were at the game, including Danny Swanson (St Johnstone) who was watching his brother Louis; Jordyn Sheerin (Kelty Hearts) and Liam Henderson (Celtic).
Leith’s Wilson took a bang in the face in the second minute and needed treatment for a bloody nose.
A third minute corner for Tynecastle was taken by Swanson and found Leslie in the box for a free header, but it looked like he jumped too early and nodded over the bar.
Swanson had an audacious effort at the Leith goal from well out in 5 minutes, with the ball coming off the top of the bar and Leith keeper Gordon a spectator.
In 13 minutes, Swanson’s free kick from the left side near the corner of the Leith box saw him try to score at the near post, but he put too much curl on it and it went wide.
Tynecastle continued to put pressure on and a ball lobbed into the Leith box for Cowan in 20 minutes saw Black get across to head behind.
Robinson showed good footwork on the edge of the Leith box in 22 minutes before he was brought down. Swanson took the free kick, but Gordon was well positioned to save.
A late tackle by McKinlay on McIntyre in 23 minutes on the half way line saw the Leith player pick up a booking. It was a bad challenge and it was good to see McIntyre was ok. He took the free kick himself and floated it to the back post where Robinson volleyed into the net, but the flag was up for offside.
Wilkie did well to win a couple of challenges in the middle of the park for Leith in 27 minutes and he released Wilson down the wing. As he ran after it, he suddenly pulled up and went down. He needed to be replaced with what looked like a hamstring injury.
Some good interplay between Tynecastle’s Robinson and Swanson in 33 minutes saw the ball played through for Khosrowpour who slotted it into the corner, but the flag was up again. The ball may have come off a defender to put the striker through.
Mayer did well in 37 minutes to create some space at the edge of the Leith box, but his shot was straight at Gordon.
With 40 minutes gone, Khosrowpour took the ball across the pitch before rattling a shot into the bottom corner from about 22 yards to give Tynecastle a well deserved lead.
A minute after the goal, Cowan miscontrolled the ball and Tracey took possession for Leith. He fed the ball back to Fee who struck for goal first time, but his shot from 23 yards was well over.
It was still 1-0 at half time and Tynecastle must have been wondering how they were only one in front after dominating proceedings.
The second half was slightly delayed after trouble with one of the goal nets.
The first opportunity of the second half fell to Tynecastle, when Mayer brought the ball forward in 53 minutes and saw his shot deflected wide.
A Tynecastle corner in 58 minutes was missed by Gordon, but the defence managed to boot it clear.
A minute later, Khosrowpour ran onto a Tynecastle through ball, but was flagged offside when he looked on from where I was.
Burns played the ball wide to McKinlay in 61 minutes as Leith attacked. His cross was blocked, but the ball came back to him and this time, his ball into the front post was headed into the net by Hainey for the equaliser.
Leith seemed to be buoyed by their goal and Tracey had a shot well saved by McMullen in 64 minutes before Tynecastle scrambled the ball clear. The ball was played back into the box by Fee and headed down for Tracey who somehow fired over the top from close range.
A great pass by Khosrowpour to Crabbe in the Leith box in 73 minutes saw Gordon make a good save from his shot. The ball was played back to Crabbe who saw his effort from a tight angle come back off the post.
Up the other end a minute later and Hainey was brought down in the box for a penalty. Mason took it and tucked it into the corner to put Leith in front.
A long free kick into the Leith area by Mitchell in 81 minutes was punched away by Gordon to the edge of the box, where McIntyre shot for goal, but it went over the bar.
Khosrowpour controlled the ball on his chest from a throw in after 83 minutes with a defender right behind him. The Leith player caught the ball with his hand in what looked like a slapping motion but the referee denied the vociferous claims for a penalty.
A minute later and Khosrowpour was clean through, but again the flag went up for offside.
Craigie sent Hainey away on the right for Leith in 42 minutes and he was halted by a great tackle from McIntyre as he ran into the box to send the ball behind. Leith had a succession of corners which came to nothing.
As the clock ticked past the 90 minute mark Grant put a great ball into the Leith box which the defence managed to scramble behind.
Leith managed to hang on for the win to secure the cup.
The Tynecastle players were unhappy that they were made to wait for the trophy presentation as the Leith players celebrated at their dug out and felt they were rubbing their victory in.
Tynecastle must have been gutted to lose out in a game where they were by far the better side and had two goals disallowed, hit the woodwork several times and had a good claim for at least one penalty.
Leith never gave up and were clinical when their few chances came in what was an off day for them. They moved on to a league title decider away to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale the following Saturday.
Robinson, Leslie and Swanson played well for Tynecastle while Melvin and Hainey were best for Leith.
Full Time: Tynecastle 1 Leith Athletic 2
Tynecastle: 1 Ross McMullen, 2 Lewis Grant, 3 Robbie McIntyre, 4 Ryan Ferguson, 5 Mark Leslie, 6 William Mitchell, 7 Jack Cowan (Crabbe 60), 8 Martyn Robinson (Kelly 80), 9 Pieyam Khosrowpour, 10 Ryan Mayer, 11 Louis Swanson. Subs: GK Craig Cockburn, 12 Michael Caitlin, 14 Anthony Brkic, 15 Euan Greig, 16 Calvin Muttitt, 17 Dean Crabbe, 18 Niall Kelly.
Leith Athletic: 1 Iain Gordon, 2 Taylor Black, 3 Kyle Fee, 4 Sean Melvin, 5 Aaron Lewis, 6 Grant Burns, 7 Daniel McKinlay, 8 Kerr Allan (Mason 55), 9 James Hainey, 10 Mark Wilkie (Craigie 85), 11 Scott Wilson (Tracey 27). Subs: 12 Christopher Beaton, 14 Rhys Craigie, 15 Jack Combe, 16 John Ferguson, 17 Steven Glynn, 19 Robbie Mason, 20 Lewis Tracey.
Referee: Ryan Lee