Reserves going strongly but U20s lose in Challenge Cup Quarter-final

After a solid 3 – 0 win on Saturday, away to Corstorphine Dynamo, Heriot-Watt’s Reserve side takes on Edinburgh Harps this evening in an interesting match in LEAFA Lothian West Division.  Star is one place ahead of the Watt in the league table and a home win would reduce the gap between the sides to just two points.  Kick-off at the John Brydson Arena is at 6.30.

The Watt’s Under-20s exited the Challenge Cup on Friday evening, going down 2 – 1 to Edinburgh United at Ainslie Park in a Quarter-final tie.  Theo McGuire gave the Watt the lead early on, but United soon equalised.  The Watt had the lion’s share of possession in the second half, but the Edinburgh defence stood firm and for all the Watt’s good passing there was no way through.  A penalty of the dodgiest variety in the closing stages gave the win to United, but it was fair to say that there was little indication that the Watt was on the point of a breakthrough.  The Under-20s have a break from games for a few weeks now, with the next fixture being on the 3rd of May, when Cumbernauld Colts visit the John Brydson.

Ironically, this Saturday, the Watt’s First Team will make the short trip to Paties Road for a vital league match against Edinburgh United.  The Watt needs four points from its last two fixtures to secure fifth place in Conference ‘C’, and with it a place in the top division of the East of Scotland League next season.  Neil Laurenson is suspended after his sixth caution of the season (all coming since the turn of the year) in last Saturday’s match against Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, but otherwise Head Coach Banji Koya should have close to a full selection, long-term absentees excepted.

The Reserves also have a short journey to make on Saturday – to Saughton 3G, where they take on the  Edinburgh Star.  Kick-off is at 1 o’clock.  There’s another game for the Reserves next Monday evening (15th), at home to third-place Linlithgow Rose (kick-off 6.30).

Posted on April 8, 2019 at 1:56 pm

Reserves reach Semi-final in a good weekend for the Watt

Heriot-Watt’s ‘A’ team shocked LEAFA Championship leaders Meadowbank FC on Saturday at Portobello High School in their Quarter-final tie in LEAFA’s Logan Cup, winning through to the Semis by the remarkable score of 4 – 1.  Considering the Watt side was below-strength due to the unavailability of some regular players, this was a momentous achievement.

All LEAFA clubs are eligible to play in this competition and fifty-four names entered the draw for the First Round.  Having disposed of Mill AFC, Waverley Athletic, Lauriston Thistle and now Meadowbank (Championship record – won 9, lost 2), the Watt side will now take on Premier Division leaders Tollcross Thistle (won 12, drawn 3, lost 2) in the Semi.  The other Semi-final will be between Lothian East Division side Pathhead and the winners of an all-Premier Quarter-final tie between second-placed Sandys and sixth-placed Danderhall Miners.

Also on Saturday afternoon, Heriot-Watt stayed in the race for fifth position in East of Scotland League Conference ‘C’, moving on to 29 points with a 4 – 2 win over Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts in a match played in front of a large crowd including a contingent from Groundhop UK.  It was a strange game, with the home side perhaps letting the occasion get to them.

Watt led 2 – 0 at half-time and added a third early in the second half, but Swifts, whose discipline deserted them, had a man sent off for a bad foul on Lumbert Kateleza followed by a squabble with Watt players.  Down to ten men, Swifts pulled two goals back in three minutes but then conceded a penalty which was converted to complete the scoring.  Inverkeithing had two more players sent off for dissent and finished with a crime count of three red and five yellow cards.

Another ‘Groundhopper’ game played on the day was between Blackburn United and Preston Athletic and a decisive win for the West Lothian side puts it right back in the race for next season’s top division.  Preston remains in fifth position, but has now completed its fixtures.  St Andrews United is sixth, but after a draw with Ormiston on Saturday is one of three clubs on 29 points, with its one remaining match being against Linlithgow Rose on the 13th of April.

Both Blackburn and the Watt still have to make visits to Paties Road to play Edinburgh United, with the Watt ending its programme at home to Camelon Juniors.  It may come down to goal difference in the end and should that be the case, the three goals pegged back by Blackburn from a 4 – 0 deficit in its home game against Heriot-Watt may be decisive.

Having looked almost out of contention at one stage, Blackburn may be the best-placed of the contenders if it can overcome Edinburgh United in its last game.  Currently, St Andrews is a goal better off than Blackburn, but a defeat by the Rose and a win for Blackburn in their respective final matches would reverse that position.  Preston is currently four goals worse off than Blackburn, so will fall behind on goal difference if Blackburn beats Edinburgh United to move on to 32 points.

The Watt is a goal behind Preston, so would probably need to take something from its last game against Camelon to finish fifth, even if it can beat Edinburgh United on the 13th.  There are, of course, many possible scenarios and each game that is played changes the picture, but if the Watt can succeed in its next match a week on Saturday, it has a chance to finish no worse than sixth – and a top half finish in a tough league is something of which it could be proud, even if, as expected, Conference ‘C’ has the lowest-placed of the three teams finishing sixth in their respective Conferences.

On Friday evening, the Watt Under-20s played Tynecastle at Riccarton.  There were misgivings about this game, with the Watt squad being as depleted as any during the season, but the side played some excellent football and held high-flying Tynie to a single goal in a 1 – 0 defeat.

Posted on April 1, 2019 at 12:12 pm

BUCS silverware for the third year in a row!

For the third consecutive year, the Football Club at Heriot-Watt University has won a BUCS trophy.  This year the triumphant team is the Men’s Thirds, who yesterday went to St Andrews to take on University of Edinburgh Fifth in the Final of the Scottish Conference Plate.

Their opponents were a strong Intra-Mural side which plays as Edinburgh Fifth but finished top of Division 5B, with Edinburgh Fourths, another Intra-Mural team, at the bottom; but the young Watt team, mainly composed of “freshers” is unbeaten in three games this season against them, having drawn 2 – 2 home and away in the league.  Yesterday’s match finished as a draw as well; 1 – 1 this time.  Extra time failed to produce a winner, so the match was settled on “kicks from the penalty mark”.  Edinburgh only scored with one of their first four efforts, leaving Mark Larmour to secure the Plate by slamming a firm drive into the corner of the net.

Many of the same players will be back in action at Riccarton tomorrow evening when the Under-20s attempt to reprise their fine win at Saughton Park earlier in the season when they come up against Tynecastle.   It was Tynie’s first defeat of the season and they lost again the following week away to Hill of Beath Hawthorn, but since then the side has won seven games in a row, shooting up to second place in the table.  No game in the Development League is easy, as last week’s match against Dunipace demonstrated, but if the Watt lads can play to their best form, they can compete with any side in the division.  Kick-off is at 8 o’clock.

Watt supporters are reminded that this is the weekend of the visit of Groundhop UK, so the East of Scotland League match against Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts at Ballast Bank, Inverkeithing will be something of a carnival occasion.  To suit the ‘Hoppers’, the match kicks off at the unusual time of 2.15.

Posted on March 28, 2019 at 8:31 pm

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