Redhall let rip with five-goal salvo but club is a victim of own success

REDHALL STAR fought off a battling Heriot Vale side to secure their place in the quarter-final of the Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur FA's Logan Cup with a 5-2 victory over their Division Two opponents at Redhall Park.

A heated seven-goal affair, reflected by several bookings, was played on a surface that despite the return of winter only a few days prior to Saturday's encounter, appeared in superior condition to the current standard displayed by a number of SPL clubs.

While admitting he was delighted to see his side progress through to the next stage, Redhall manager Keith Kinnaird maintains the Premier Division One title remains his side's top priority.

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A stream of victories recorded in domestic cup competitions has contributed to Redhall's minimal progression on league duty – a statistic matched by just five league appearances since August of last year.

Kinnaird said: "I'm delighted to get through to the next round of what I thought was a real typical cup-tie. Both sets of players battled hard for every ball but from our own perspective, it was really disappointing to allow Heriot Vale back into the game after going two up.

"Our cup form has been great this season – it has seen us progress to the last 32 of the Scottish Cup – but the league title is what we are striving for."

Redhall's early dominance was reflected within the first 20 seconds of the match when Lyle Smith drove through a hesitant defence to fire a shot that went just wide of goalkeeper Stuart Addison's far post.

A state of apprehension was evident within the defensive ranks of Heriot Vale who struggled to adapt to the fast and effective passing of the Redhall attack led by industrious playmaker Kenny Fisher.

The omnipresent Fisher was once again the artist as his clever footwork and resulting cross was met in the air by Craig Lynes, the striker managing to evade the attention of defender Steven Gordon but failing to make the desired impact as his header sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Redhall's dominance was finally rewarded 15 minutes before the interval – an opportunity gifted by an indecisive Vale defence. A long ball from the right-hand side was misjudged by defender Graeme Markham and Craig Lynes nipped in to head the ball over the advancing Addison and into the empty net.

Three minutes later, Redhall doubled their advantage when Fisher notched from close range. The No.10 skilfully turned his opponent after another defensive calamity and drilled a left-foot shot low into the bottom left-hand corner.

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Heriot Vale required a quick response if they were to have any chance of progressing to the latter stages of the competition. This opportunity arrived five minutes before the break when they reduced Redhall's two-goal deficit. Michael Thomson turned the ball past keeper Neil Wilson from just inside the six-yard box after good play down the right from Michael South.

Heriot Vale began the second period just as Redhall had done in the first, enjoying the majority of early possession but failing to find the goal their play merited. They were, however, given the perfect opportunity midway through the second half

Michael South was brought to a halt by Sandy Munro just inside the area after a darting run down the left-hand side, and referee Campbell Duncan had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Pieyham Khosrowpour duly dispatched the resulting penalty with ease to level the score at 2-2.

With both sides squandering decent chances to edge in front, extra-time seemed the most likely outcome. However, with only eight minutes remaining, Fisher netted his second to relieve the home team's nerves after Vale's defensive frailties were once again exposed.

The little attacker was quickest to react to prod the ball in despite the defence having ample opportunities to clear their lines. With the Vale players clearly deflated by the loss of a third goal, Redhall added a further two strikes in the dying minutes. A superb volley into the top corner of the net from Craig Cockburn was followed by a fifth from midfielder Frazer Lynes to put the tie beyond doubt.

Redhall Star: Neil Wilson, John Daly, Scott Kinnaird, Sandy Munro, Stephen Finnie, Frazer Lynes, Keith Kinnaird, Lyle Smith, Craig Lynes, Kenny Fisher, Craig Cockburn, Alan Sheriff, Morgan Black, Ross Pryde, Chris White.

Heriot Vale: Stuart Addison, Darren Markham, Michael Sime, Steven Gordon, Greame Markham, William Mitchell, Lewis Coult, Stuart Veitch, Pieyham Khosrowpour, Michael South, Michael Thomson, Gavin Cowan, Stephen Appleby, Keith Wilson, James Paterson.