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Posted on January 5, 2017 at 11:04 pm

Under-20s back on song

After a recent run of disappointing results, the Watt Under-20s roared back to winning ways on Friday with a resounding 4 – 1 victory over Tynecastle. Aidan Quinn continued his fine form, contributing two goals, with the other counters coming from Cammy Ross and Ross Fraser in what has been reported as an excellent all-round performance.

Due to a combination of circumstances, the Watt youngsters do not have another fixture until Monday the 24th of April, so it was great to get such a convincing win to put the players in a positive frame of mind whilst they prepare for a run of testing games to finish the season. The next game (on the 24th of April) will be a League game, at home to Edinburgh University. After that, on Friday the 28th, Watt is again at home, this time in the Second Round of the Knockout Cup, against the winners of a tie between Preston Athletic and the same Edinburgh University.

Despite the lack of an Under-20 fixture, many of the youth pool are likely to be involved this Wednesday, as Watt faces a situation which is probably unique in the annals of football. In the afternoon, the Watt Men’s Firsts play in the Semi-finals of the Queen’s Park Shield against the toughest opponent in Scottish student football – BUCS Premier North Division side University of Stirling First (Riccarton, 3 o’clock). Then, in the evening, an East of Scotland League match has been cast involving the Watt in a visit to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale (Saughton Enclosure 7.30). BUCS matches have no official standing in relation to East of Scotland fixtures, but as far as we are aware, no university side has ever before been asked to play a BUCS game and an East of Scotland match on the same day, never mind a Queen’s Park Shield Semi and a match against a championship candidate. All avenues for altering either fixture have been explored to no avail and the Watt is left with the prospect of fulfilling both commitments or facing sanctions.

The Watt had no East of Scotland match on Saturday past, but on Saturday it will make a quick return to Saughton Enclosure to take on Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale again, this time in a King Cup Second Round tie.

After victories in its last two games, the Watt Amateur side faced a tough assignment on Saturday in its Quarter-final tie in the Ronnie Travers Memorial Cup, away to Edinburgh South Vics. Vics has won all its games so far in Lothian East Division and contains a good blend of capable players, several with East of Scotland experience. Although the Watt side, without last week’s goalscorers Michael Webster and John Murchie, was holding its higher-ranked opponent to one apiece at half-time, with the Vics goal having come from a soft penalty, the second half saw the Watt side run out of steam and eventually lose out 5 – 1.

Next Saturday, the Watt side is away to Redpath Albion (Leith Academy, kick-off 2 o’clock). Albion sits one place above the Watt in the Lothian East table, so the match should be a close one. The following Saturday, Watt is back to Saughton 3G to play Edinburgh South Vics again (kick-off 1 o’clock), this time in the league.

Posted on March 27, 2017 at 2:53 pm

First trophy of the season

Heriot-Watt Men’s Firsts yesterday brought back to Riccarton the first trophy of the season – and, if truth be told, the first for some seasons – by winning the BUCS Scottish Conference Cup after a tense Final against Aberdeen University Second.

The match was played on a compact pitch at St Andrews, with the wind a factor throughout. The Aberdeen side had surpassed their own First Team in reaching the Final and their players were determined to give it all they had, so the match was always a difficult one. Aberdeen took the lead around the half-hour mark with a close-range header, but Watt equalised almost immediately when Jens Willassen‘s cross found the far corner of the net. During the second half, Watt pressed forward almost unceasingly, but it took a long time before a resolute Aberdeen defence could be breached. Eventually, Callum Smith found a way through with a shot from the left side of the penalty box.

It looked as if that would be enough for Watt, but with one minute left, a ball played in from the Aberdeen right bounced through the Watt defence and before it could be cleared, a forward got a foot to it to steer it into goal. That produced half an hour of extra time, during which the Watt continued to search for a way through but couldn’t find one and the contest went to a penalty decider. Watt goalkeeper Jack Robinson was the hero of the shoot-out, saving two of the Aberdeen kicks, while the first four Watt takers all scored. It wasn’t the route by which Watt would have chosen to win the Cup, but at last the victory was gained. One sour note on the day was a serious-looking injury for popular midfielder Ryan Higgins, who was the victim of a crunching first-half tackle. Ryan was unable to put weight on his foot later and must be a doubt for the remainder of the season.

Posted on March 23, 2017 at 11:37 am

More wins chalked up in this productive season

Wednesday’s 3 – 0 victory by Watt Men’s Sixths over Edinburgh College Second saw the “Freshers” side complete its BUCS Division 7B at the top of the table, six points clear of the second-placed side, Edinburgh Napier University Fourth. Wednesday’s “Varsity” competition also provided wins over Edinburgh University for the Men’s Leavers team and the Men’s First team.

On Friday evening, the Under-20s, who have competed with great distinction in a very tough Development League this season, played really well against Spartans at Ainslie Park and had the frustration of going down 1 – 0 to a wonder strike with about quarter of an hour to go. After falling behind, Watt redoubled their efforts and were desperately unfortunate not to equalise with the last move of the game. Jack Napier, making his debut for the side, was in the right place when the goalkeeper saved Mark McGovern‘s drive, but the ball came to him very quickly and in trying to dig it out, he sent it an inch over the bar. Next Friday’s home game against Tynecastle will be the last before the Watt has a chance to regroup, due to a four-week gap in its fixture programme.

On Saturday, there was success for both Watt sides in action. The First team had an impressive 6 – 0 win over Eyemouth United in the First Round of the King Cup. Two quick goals at the start of each half eased the Watt’s passage to meet Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale in the next round. Next Saturday, the Watt is the odd-one-out of the eleven teams in the League, so it has no fixture.

There was more rejoicing when the news came through that the Amateurs had beaten Musselburgh Windsor 2 – 1 on their own ground, completing consecutive victories for the first time this season. The goals came from Michael Webster and John Murchie and the result takes the Watt side up two places in LEAFA’s Lothian East Division, above Pathhead and Edinburgh South Amateurs, although the latter has two games in hand. Next Saturday, all three of those sides are involved in Ronnie Travers Memorial Cup ties, Watt having the toughest job – an away tie against Edinburgh South Vics, which has won all ten of its league games to date. The match takes place at Saughton 3G, kick-off 1 o’clock.

Three Watt sides are in action on Wednesday. There are two Division 6B games at Riccarton, with two sides completing their programmes for the season: the Men’s Fourths take on University of Stirling Sixth (kick-off 2.45); and the Men’s Fifth play West Lothian College First (kick-off 12.45) in a game the Watt side must win to get off the foot of the table, but pride of place goes to the Men’s First team, which contests the Final of the BUCS Scottish Conference Cup in a match against University of Aberdeen Second. The game is being played at St Andrews University with a 2.30 kick-off and a coach will run from Riccarton campus to take players and supporters to the match. Anyone wishing to reserve a seat on the bus should contact Football Development Officer Ross Fraser at the Sports Union office.

Posted on March 19, 2017 at 11:40 pm

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