Hutchison Vale 14s close gap on Leith

Substitute Jamie Docherty netted a second-half winner for Hutchison Vale 14s to secure all three points in their Division 1 clash with Leith Athletic at Edinburgh Academy.

The home side were trailing at the interval courtesy of Liam Gregory’s well-executed finish, but fought back with two second-half strikes to seal a 2-1 victory.

Leith maintain their position at the top of the table but opponents Hutchie have closed the gap to just seven points and having played six games fewer.

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Winger Robbie Polson should have exerted Leith goalkeeper Scott Capaldi that little bit more, but produced a tame effort from inside the six-yard box after good build-up play from team-mate Harry Girdwood.

Hutchie were beginning to apply some real pressure on the Leith rearguard but they were met by a resolute back four.

Capaldi was also looking assured in goal and the youngster produced a tremendous right-hand save to turn Girdwood’s net-bound shot round the post.

From the resulting corner, the hosts should have edged in front as Polson’s corner from the left was powerfully met by the acrobatic Kacper Balaban who got above his opponent but could only head wide of the target with the goal gaping.

Leith were fluent with their passing when in possession but had so far disappointed in the final third with Hutchie goalkeeper Jamie Mitchell a virtual passenger.

It then came out-of-the-blue when the visitors nicked the lead after 25 minutes.

A cross-field ball from the right was flicked on by Jordan Smith into the path of Gregory, who adjusted his footing before smashing a left-footed strike into the bottom right corner leaving Mitchell rooted to the spot.

Hutchie went in search of an equaliser immediately and Girdwood was proving a real menace to the Leith defence as he latched onto a long ball before striking the ball off the top of the crossbar.

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Girdwood then thought he had equalised with a glancing header moments before the whistle sounded for half-time, but Capaldi was equal to the task to knock the ball away with a strong right-hand and preserve his side’s lead.

Hutchie deservedly found themselves back on level terms six minutes after the restart when defender Harry Pullar’s clearance landed at the feet of Girdwood, the teenager taking one touch to set himself before firing low into the bottom left corner to level at 1-1.

The introduction of Docherty added another dimension to the Hutchie attack and his cleverly weighted pass through to Blair Conway sent the striker through on goal, but Capaldi was once again on hand with a crucial block.

Leith goalscorer Gregory was left isolated in the second period and with that, the visiting side appeared less of a threat as Hutchie, instead, chased a winner. With 15 minutes remaining, Docherty came up trumps as he dispatched Girdwood’s cross from the right into the back of the net with a composed finish from the centre of the penalty box.

Hutchison Vale: Jamie Mitchell, Lewis Hall, Kacper Balaban, Owen Richardson, Alistair McCann, Calum Watson, Blair Conway, Robbie Polson, Harry Girdwood, Jamie Mackay, Euan Lee, Jamie Docherty, Euan McGuire, Dillon Floyd.

Leith Athletic: Scott Capaldi, Clark O’Connor, Lewis McKay, Cal Thayers, Harry Pullar, Ryan Farrell, Greg Noble, Sam Rutherford, Lewis Glasgow, Jordan Smith, Liam Gregory, Christopher Jack, Tom Lacey, Kamal Mahmoud, Rory Smith, Ben Aikman.