The students of Edinburgh University leapfrogged Gretna 2008 to move into third place in the Central Taxis Premier Division thanks to a disciplined performance, particularly in defence, where they did not allow visitors Leith Athletic a single scoring opportunity in the entire 90 minutes.
An enthralling contest was always on the cards with the University unbeaten in eight of their nine previous outings, while Leith were unbeaten in their last eight games.
The students who took the lead in the fifth minute when a James Brownie shot was deflected off the back of a Leith defender into the path of Dan Ward who first-timed a volley from ten yards behind Iain Gordon.
The University pressurised Leith and from a Mark Gair cross, Jack Beacher headed over before Shawn McMaster did likewise from another good delivery from Gair.
Beacher then pulled a 20-yard shot inches wide of the post, while, at the other end, Lewis Tracey also shot past the target from 25 yards.
The game was very open with both sides determined to play attacking football, but, unfortunately for Leith, they rarely achieved an end product in or around the University penalty box.
The first half was drawing to a close when Ward scampered down the right wing and his pinpoint cross was headed into the net by Calum Frain.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the preceding 45 minutes with Gair teasing the Leith defence before he shot high over the bar. Beacher and Struan Scott-Woodhouse both had commendable efforts for the students.
The home side sealed their win eight minutes from full time when James Craigen threaded a pass to Cyrus Moosavi who carefully picked his spot to direct a low shot behind Gordon.
Mark Cathcart, who was playing his last game at Peffermill for the University, said: “After nine years of being a student it’s time that I started working! Against Leith I thought that we were pretty much in control of the game. Leith started the second half very well and we had to keep it tight so it was nice to sign off with a clean sheet.”
Douglas Samuel, the Edinburgh University head coach, said: “We were delighted to win in what was a very open game, especially in the first half, and credit has to go to Leith who tried to knock the ball about and played some nice stuff. We created more goalscoring opportunities than them – probably seven or eight in the first half – but only put two of them in the back of the net.
“I thought our defence was fantastic against a good Leith team. Over the past ten games we have gone from third bottom of the league to third top and my players deserve all the credit in the world.”
Derek Riddel, the Leith manager, said: “If it had been 0-0 at the end of the game I don’t think anybody would have been surprised. I think the University had three shots on goal in the whole game and scored with all of them. They took their chances and we never.”
Edinburgh University: Tait, Scott-Woodhouse, Gair, Cathcart, McMaster, Brownie (Irvine 73), Ward, Frain (Moosavi 62), Murray (Clarkson 79), Craigen, Beacher. Subs: Oswald, Leishman.
Leith Athletic: Gordon, Tainsh, D Thom, C Barrie (L Thom 78), Macaulay, Lynch, Cairns, Bremner, Combe, Tulloch (Smith 70), Tracey (Cornago 55). Sub: S Barrie.