20s are back with a scintillating performance

After almost a month without a fixture, the Under-20 side was close to full strength last night (Friday 3rd), which was just as well, as opponents Cumbernauld Colts are no slouches and showed good movement and slick passing throughout the game.  The Watt was not to be denied, however.  With Ali Shrive and Todd Teviotdale back from First Team duty now the East of Scotland season is over for the Watt, and Aidan Quinn playing with imperious authority at the back, the Watt played some great football, winning 4 – 0 with goals from Ali Shrive, Aidan Quinn, Ethan Stevens and a shot from Euan Scott which was turned into his own goal by a Colts defender.

Next Friday, the 20s travel to Denny to take on Dunipace in the last away game of the season before finishing on the following Monday (13th May) at home to Whitehill Welfare.

The Reserves have two games still to play – both interesting games against the two sides immediately below them in the LEAFA Lothian West table.  There is no game today, but on Monday evening Bank of Scotland Strollers visit the John Brydson Arena (kick-off 7 0’clock); then the Watt side concludes its programme next Saturday with a visit to near neighbours Balerno Athletic (kick-off 2 o’clock).

The visit to Linlithgow last Saturday brought yet another narrow defeat, by two goals to one to high-flying Linlithgow Rose, but a plucky 4 – 3 victory over Mill AFC on Monday evening put the Watt side back on track.

Watt is currently in seventh place in the Lothian West Division table – exactly half-way.  Mill AFC is two points ahead, but has played a game fewer; Bank of Scotland Strollers is five points behind, but has played two games fewer; Balerno Athletic is three points further back with one game in hand.  Theoretically, both sides are still in with a chance of overhauling the Watt team, but they both have other tough fixtures to play in their remaining games and of course the Riccarton side has the chance to consolidate its position by its own efforts in its final two matches.

Posted on May 4, 2019 at 11:18 am




Sizzling soccer to finish the season as Watt hold Camelon in high-scoring game

With his usual attacking options unavailable, Watt Head Coach Banji Koya turned to Reserve team captain Dan Potter on Saturday and played him up front for his first East of Scotland start against the formidable Camelon Juniors in the final East of Scotland League game of the season at Riccarton’s John Brydson Arena.  And how Dan responded, with a goal and an assist as Watt played out a 3 – 3 draw with their ex-Junior Superleague opponents.

The game started very badly for the Watt, with Alan Docherty and Connor McMullan giving the visitors a two-goal lead in the first five minutes of the game, but before half-time Potter’s pinpoint cross gave Ryan Higgins a chance to bring Watt back in touch with a header; then the stand-in striker scored the equaliser himself, driving in a left-foot shot after good work from Todd Teviotdale.

Dan went off injured soon after and made way for another player to make a name for himself.  After Alan Sneddon had put Camelon back in front, it was Dan’s replacement, Ronan Dowds, who gave the Watt a point from this strength-sapping game, sending a fierce drive past goalkeeper Michael Watson from Harry Barclay‘s superb pass.

After a spell in which the Reserves were going really well, the lads have found things tough in the last couple of weeks.  Puzzlingly, there’s still no result on the LEAFA website for the game against Edinburgh Star on the Saturday before last (13th April), but last Monday’s game against Linlithgow Rose brought a 1 – 0 defeat and Saturday’s Logan Cup Semi-final against Tollcross Thistle was a bridge too far for the Watt side.

The trouble with beating the top of the second tier in the Quarter-final is that you’re apt to run into a really good side in the Semi.  Thistle is top of the Premier Division for a reason and they were simply too good for the Watt team.  Heriot-Watt held out until eight minutes from half-time, but when Tollcross opened the scoring, the Watt cohesion disintegrated and the second half was one-way traffic, producing a final score of 8 – 0.

The Watt lads will console themselves with the thought that they won’t meet a side of that quality again this season.  Perhaps next time they can have their good run in one of the cups that isn’t open to every team in the LEAFA structure!

The Reserves’ difficult run continued tonight with another 1 – 0 defeat in their home game against Carluke Hearts.   The Watt will try to end its barren spell in front of goal on Saturday, but it’s another tough match – the return fixture with Linlithgow Rose (Linlithgow Sports Centre Xcite, kick-off 1.15).  On Monday, it’s back to the John Brydson for a home game against Mill AFC (kick-off 6.45).  When those games have been played, there will be only one more match for the Watt in this LEAFA season.

With this Friday’s fixture against Whitehill Welfare called off, the Under-20s will return to action at home to Cumbernauld Colts the following week (3rd of May) after a four-week hiatus.  An away match against Dunipace is due the following week (10th of May), leaving just the Whitehill game to be fitted in.

Posted on April 24, 2019 at 4:01 pm




Watt’s East of Scotland challenge fades with defeat at Paties Road

Edinburgh United yesterday gained revenge for the Watt’s victory in the reverse fixture earlier in the season with a 3 – 0  win at its trim Paties Road Stadium.  The final score was very hard on the visitors, who were left to reflect on the old adage about taking your chances whilst you’re on top.

The Watt side was particularly dominant in the first half, but the score sheet was still blank at half-time and individual errors cost the side dearly in the second period.  The result leaves the Watt with only a theoretical chance of qualifying for the top division in next season’s East of Scotland League – a win by at least five clear goals in next Saturday’s final fixture against Camelon Juniors would be required in order to have any chance, and that seems about even money with the chances of the game being snowed off.

Failing to reach next season’s top division will be bad news for the treasurer, but if the truth be told, probably a relief for everyone else.  A season of consolidation to give the crop of good young players who came in with this season’s intake another year to mature and develop would do no harm at all.  In all honesty, at this stage the squad does not have the experience to go in amongst what is virtually a re-creation of the East Junior Superleague within the Senior ranks.  It is especially difficult for the Club to maintain high standards during the University holiday periods.

It’s still been a good season for the Club, which can be proud of its showing in the East of Scotland League, take great satisfaction from the improvement in the Reserves under Michal Suski and be quietly satisfied with the football played by the Under-20 side, which was virtually a completely new team and has shown great capability without always getting the results its play deserved.  Head Coach Banji Koya will be pleased with the outcomes from his prodigious workload and although the promotion to BUCS Scottish Conference 1A was perhaps a year too soon, the experience will have stood his very young side in good stead for next season.  He will also be delighted that his coaches Craig Walkingshaw and Craig Nisbet have also advanced their qualifications and are both now qualified to UEFA ‘B’ standard.

The mention of the Reserves in the last paragraph is a reminder to congratulate the side on its recent tremendous run of form.  Before Saturday’s game away to Edinburgh Star, the lads had achieved four wins in a row, including the scalps of Meadowbank FC and, last Monday, Edinburgh Harps.  The team currently sitting second in LEAFA Lothian West Division (and featuring former Watt favourite Adam Kerlin, who was outstanding for the visitors), lost out at Riccarton to Lewis Whitelaw‘s last-gasp volley.  No result for the game against Star is yet available.

As mentioned above, the First Team’s last fixture of the season comes at the John Brydson Arena next Saturday against Camelon Juniors (kick-off 3 o’clock).

The Reserves keep up a demanding schedule with another game tomorrow evening at Riccarton – and it’s another tough fixture, this time against third-placed Linlithgow Rose.  Rose is just two points behind Edinburgh Harps with three games in hand and has lost only three times in seventeen league games so far, so the Watt team will expect a testing assignment.

Next Saturday, the Watt Reserve side has its Logan Cup Semi-final tie against Premier Division leaders Tollcross Thistle.  The match will take place at the Spartans Community Club pitch, kicking off at 12.45.  There’s still no rest for the Reserves, though, as there’s another midweek fixture next week, at home against Carluke Hearts on Wednesday evening (24th April).

 

Posted on April 14, 2019 at 9:13 pm




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