Young stars have one hand on championship trophy

Heriot-Watt Under-20s came within touching distance of a historic success last night with a 3 – 1 win over Bonnyton Thistle at Kilmarnock. The Watt side moved on to 51 points, out of reach of all but Cumbernauld Colts, with Watt holding a nineteen-goal advantage in goal difference. Colts have a tough match on Monday evening away to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, who they defeated 2 – 1 at home last night. If Cumbernauld wins in Edinburgh, the race will go to the last day of competition, on Friday, when Heriot-Watt will attempt to open a points gap at the top by gaining a positive result away to Whitehill Welfare, while Colts make the same visit as the Watt did last night to take on Bonnyton Thistle.

It was a nervous night for the Watt support as Bonnyton, bolstered by the inclusion of goalkeeper Stuart Cowan and striker Kris Kerr, turned in an excellent performance, opening the scoring after ten minutes’ play with a stunning shot from Kyle Gilroy. It was well into the second half before the Watt got back on terms, Cammie Ross running clear of the home defence to fire the ball low past Cowan. The introduction of Mark McGovern then turned the game in the visitors’ favour. McGovern’s strong running gave the Thistle defence new problems and after he had missed narrowly with one thunderbolt shot and brought a fantastic save from Cowan with another, he scored the two goals which gave the points to the Watt, the second of which was as good a free kick as you could see anywhere in any grade of football.

There were many heroes for the Watt on the night, with Harry Barclay, Aidan Quinn and Reece Craig, stalwarts of many a Watt success, continuing their excellent form; Chris Lane, Chris Macher, Matthew Law and Jackson Barker linking the play in midfield; and Cammie Ross leading the line with pace and penetration. But surely the highest praise of all is reserved for Ion Athanassios Diamantopoulos, whose commitment to the cause has been phenomenal. Having changed the arrangements for his flight home to Greece after the re-setting of the final fixtures, he played with a passion and determination that inspired his team-mates. So effectively did he mark the dangerous Kerr that the striker was obliged to move to the wings to try to get on to the ball. Thank you Ion!

The substitutes also played their part – Mark McGovern most obviously, but both Justin Hogg and Cameron Burt also made telling contributions in their time on the pitch. The rules permit two overage players; Bonnyton included Cowan and Kerr and as squad numbers decline, Watt also used the allowance, with Jack Spence fitting in well to the defence and James Donaldson giving an assured performance in goal.

It was most unfortunate to see the game end on a sour note. When the final whistle sounded and the Watt players began to celebrate, Thistle substitute Cammy Ross (believe it or not, that is his name) punched Justin Hogg and the Watt player responded in like kind. After the dust settled, both players received the inevitable red card, which deprives the Watt of Justin’s services for the Whitehill game.

Posted on May 19, 2018 at 10:27 am

Another chance for the Watt to secure the Development League title

The Heriot-Watt Under-20s had a disappointment last Friday evening when a smart, quick Spartans side won 3 – 1 at the John Brydson Arena to draw within one point of the Watt at the top of the league table.

Watt now have two more chances to gain the points they need to bring the flag to Riccarton. The first comes tomorrow evening with the longest trip of the season, to Kilmarnock, to play Bonnyton Thistle. The match will be played at Bonnyton’s Harriet Road ground with an 8 o’clock kick-off. It’s a tough place to go to looking for points to clinch a league, with Tynecastle, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale and BSC Glasgow amongst recent victims of the Ayrshire club, but the Watt’s form away from home in the League has been superb, with only one defeat so far all season, so the party will travel with optimism.

Next Friday, the side will complete its programme with an away game against Whitehill Welfare, rearranged after an earlier postponement.

Posted on May 17, 2018 at 8:10 pm

Spartans provide next test for Under-20s

Last Friday evening, the Watt’s Under-20s moved one step closer to the Development League title with a 3 – 2 win in a thrilling game at Airthrey Campus against University of Stirling. Chris Lane‘s fabulous strike opened the scoring, but Stirling equalised just before half-time with a header from a long throw-in.

Two more excellent goals early in the second half from Matthew Law and Cammie Ross gave the Watt what looked like a winning lead, but the home side came back strongly, got a goal back with over twenty minutes left to play and made the Watt support nervous for the rest of the game. The defence was calm, organised and resolute, however, and saw out the remaining time to claim the victory.

Tomorrow (Friday) we welcome to the John Brydson Arena another of the sides in contention for the championship – the Spartans, who inflicted a painful defeat on the Watt a fortnight ago in the Knockout Cup Semi-final. The Watt display on that occasion was uncharacteristic and it was great to see the side return to its usual style at Stirling last week. We look for the lads to continue that level of performance in a match in which a victory would go a long way towards bringing the title to Riccarton. Kick-off is at 8 o’clock.

Posted on May 10, 2018 at 11:13 am

Older Posts »