Under-20s again hit five against student rivals

On Friday evening, the Heriot-Watt Under-20 side was a bit below normal strength for the visit of Edinburgh University, with Ali Shrive and Finn As-Chainey unavailable and Ben Voy not yet free from suspension, but the lads who filled the jerseys did superbly well, scoring five against the Peffermill side for the second time this season.  Craig Smith put the Watt ahead just before half-time, then a quick-fire double from Euan Scott on the restart put the Riccarton lads well in control.  A goal from Ronan Dowds and an own goal by Edinburgh ‘keeper Ben Thomson completed the nap hand before a last-minute consolation for the visitors was scored by Lewis Hendry.  With Voy once again available, Head Coach Banji Koya will hope to have close to a full choice of players for this Friday’s visit from Hill of Beath Hawthorn (John Brydson Arena, kick-off 8 o’clock).

There was no First Team fixture on the following day, but the Reserves completed a weekend of joy for Watt sides with a superb 2 – 1 win over Lothian East Division leaders Lauriston Thistle.  The victory takes the Watt team into the Quarter-finals of the Logan Cup, where they will have an away tie against the winners of a match between two Championship sides:  leaders Meadowbank AFC and seventh-placed Newcraighall Leith Vics.

On Saturday, the First Team has a visit to Prestonfield to face Linlithgow Rose in an East of Scotland League Conference ‘C’ match (kick-off 2.30).  The Rose will be looking to get back on track after losing 4 – 3 on Saturday in a thrilling match at Albyn Park, Broxburn, with former Watt striker Cammie Ross scoring twice for Broxburn Athletic.  The Watt Reserves are back to league action with an intriguing home game against Edinburgh Star, the club currently occupying fourth position in Lothian West Division, one place ahead of the Watt side.  Star has four points more but has played two more fixtures.  It looks like a close one.  Kick-off at the John Brydson Arena will be at 2 o’clock.

Posted on January 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

Superb performance from Watt shadow squad

Last Saturday’s draw in Fife against St Andrews United was achieved with a squad containing four Under-20s in the starting line-up, but with Harry Barclay, Ali Shrive and Gavin Malin from the player pool for that match unavailable for action for yesterday’s game against Stirling University, Head Coach Banji Koya had to think it through again.  As so often before, he sprung surprises, keeping on the bench not only Lewis Duffy and Euan Scott, who had done so well the previous week, but also experienced midfielder Neil Laurenson, who had returned to Edinburgh but was short of training.

Instead, there were first starts for another three players – Under-20 defender Todd Teviotdale, midfielder Ross Clarke, who had made his first appearance as a substitute at St Andrews, and triallist winger Ethan Stevens – bringing to forty the number of players used by the Watt in the twenty fixtures played so far!

The formula was perfectly conceived – every man played his part and it was amazing to reflect that this side had never played together before as the Watt maintained its record of being the only team so far this season to keep a clean sheet against Stirling.  Having won 1 – 0 at Airthrey Campus in September, Watt went one better yesterday with a 2 – 0 victory.  The goals arrived in quick succession in the early part of the second half, with 18-year-old triallist Ethan Stevens playing a vital role in setting up Craig Smith and Calvin Muttitt for fine finishes.

The win takes the Watt back up to sixth place in Conference C, with 22 points from its fourteen games – currently the best record of any of the eleven clubs which composed the East of Scotland League last season.

The First Team has no game at the weekend ahead, as it is the odd team out in the thirteen in the Conference, but we stand by for news of a friendly match as Mr Koya assembles his squad ahead of the following Saturday’s game away to Linlithgow Rose.  A number of overseas players will be expected to return to Edinburgh in time for this game, as well as the ski party and some others who have been missing recently for one reason or another.

At the weekend, as well as the match scheduled for Friday evening involving the Under-20s against Edinburgh University, the Watt has its Reserves are back in action at Riccarton on Saturday with a Third Round tie in the Centenary Cup.  This is a trophy open to all LEAFA members, so at this stage (the winners progress to the Quarter Finals) challenging draws are likely.  Watt is up against Lauriston Thistle, leaders of Lothian East Division, with eight wins and one defeat in their nine league games so far.  This will be an interesting test for the Watt side, but one which they will relish.  The lads have been playing well and will fancy themselves to upset their well-regarded opponents.

Posted on January 6, 2019 at 3:18 pm

Resolution of young Watt side secures a point at St Andrews

In a thoroughly enjoyable match at Barnetts Park on Saturday, Heriot-Watt drew 2 – 2 with St Andrews United.  It is very satisfying to see how the Watt players maintain the club style of play even in the absence of regular players and many complimentary comments from home supporters were overheard, praising the commitment of the Watt lads to playing pass-and-move football.

With regulars Jack Spence, Chris Lane, Gio Michelon, Michael Ward, Neil Laurenson, Matt Graham and Niko Giovanovits missing and Justin Hogg a late call-off, Head Coach Banji Koya turned to his talented Under-20 side and listed four of them in the starting eleven:  eighteen-year-olds Lewis Duffy, Alasdair Shrive and Euan Scott; and seventeen-year-old Craig Smith, who played out of position at right back, but held his own against United danger men Jason Penman and Ross Cunningham.  The young visitors, with an average age of 21, came under some pressure late in the game but showed courage and determination to earn a point.

This Saturday sees the Watt side go into action at home against Stirling University.  As usual, kick-off is at 3 o’clock at the John Brydson Arena.

Posted on December 31, 2018 at 12:31 pm

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