WHAT a difference five years makes!
In his first match as a Currie Star manager he suffered a crushing defeat but Colin Ritchie rounded off his tenure as coach of the Midlothian side with a 5-3 extra-time victory over Redpath in the South East Region 17s Chairman's Cup at Gyle Recreation Ground.
Ritchie has brought his five-year stay at Star to an end, and praised his co-coach Jason Stables and his young players after an eight-goal thriller over 120 minutes of pulsating entertainment.
"This is my last game, and I can clearly remember the first, which ended in us losing 9-2 to Redpath back in 2004. The boys will now continue at 19s level with a different coach. I thought Redpath were fantastic and deserved to win over the 90 minutes. But we were great in extra time and got the victory, and there were some great goals in there."
Currie ran up a two-goal advantage in the opening half-hour of the match, with Yemi Adeloye springing the offside trap before poking home on nine minutes, before central defender Michael Smith spotted Redpath goalie Stuart Laird in no man's land and executed a sublime lob into the net after 30 minutes.
And so it was a fired-up and physical Redpath that emerged for the second half. Uasim Hashmat struck the bar shortly after the interval but atoned for his miss when, on 49 minutes, he acrobatically fired a volley low past Dean Montgomery in the Currie goal.
The Leith side drew level on the hour when a long, searching loft forward by Neil Ross left the Currie defence in a pickle, and Jamie Osborne capitalised on the indecision to toe the ball past Montgomery. Currie regained the lead on 70 minutes, counter-attacking to great effect as Adeloye swept the ball to John Paul Macmillan, who turned his marker, steadied, and shot past Laird. But, six minutes later, a resilient Redpath again took advantage of an AWOL Currie defence and this time Bradley Glasgow was the beneficiary, scoring to take the game into extra time at 3-3.
Early in extra time, it appeared as though Adeloye got the final touch at a goalmouth scramble to put Currie in front.
Then, five minutes into the second period of extra time, a sweeping move down the right by Currie ended with substitute striker Scott McLaughlin tricking Redpath's Glasgow into committing a foul in the box. Ian Swan dispatched the penalty, Glasgow was dismissed by referee, and the victors – with departing coach Ritchie – returned to Currie with their first cup of the season.
Currie: Dean Montgomery, Ross Hepplewhite, Grant Clark, Liam Wilson, Ian Swan, John Paul Macmillan, Jamie Mohammed, Calum Gordon, Scott McLaughlin, Mark Stables, Michael Smith, Ryan Stevenson, Lindus Dhird, Yemi Adeloye, Robert Wilson, Joe Richards.
Redpath: Stuart Laird, Graham Southall, Kenny Brydon, Ben Hamilton, David Kirkham, Connor Kirkland, Scott McKenzie, Uasim Hashmat, Neil Ross, Jordan Duffy, Jamie Osborne, Bradley Glasgow, Ben McElhone, Paul White, Connor Moore, Daryl Morrison.
Referee: Jim Sim.