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Hazlehead United win the North of Scotland Cup

University 2 – 3 Hazlehead United

Hazlehead United lifted the North of Scotland Amateur Cup for the first time following a 3-2 win against University in an excellent final at Allan Park on Sunday.

United named the same starting eleven which had defeated Echt at the semi-final stage seven days earlier while University, who were looking to get their hands on the trophy for the first time in 41 years, made two changes to the team which had got the better of Dyce in the last four.

University started the game brightly and they broke the deadlock after seven minutes when Nash raced clear on the right and his inviting cross was met by Kolawole who guided a header into the bottom corner.

The students came close to extending their lead twice in the space of three minutes with a snap shot from Nash being deflected behind for a corner and a dangerous centre from Leitch just eluding the inrushing Kolawole.

After this early burst of University pressure, Hazlehead started to impose themselves on the game and they almost levelled the scores after fifteen minutes when Lee Smith engineered an opening on the edge of the area and fired in a rising shot which had to be tipped over by Stephen. The equalising goal did arrive two minutes later when Reid was fouled outside the box and Lee Smith curled the resultant free-kick around the defensive wall and into the bottom corner.

Hazlehead started to play with greater confidence, forcing a succession of corners midway through the opening period, and they took the lead on 23 minutes when Cameron Smith’s far post delivery was headed back across goal by Lee Smith and drilled home by Humphries.

United began to create further opportunities with Emslie just failing to convert a cross from Cameron Smith and University keeper Stephen having to make a good block from Brough Colvin. The Division One (East) side threatened once again on the half hour mark when Cameron Smith latched on to a volleyed crossfield ball from Cheyne and exchanged passes with Reid before being denied by a last ditch challenge from MacArthur. However, Hazlehead’s period of dominance did yield a further goal seven minutes before the interval when another Cameron Smith corner from the left fell to Emslie and he made no mistake from close range.

Half-time: 1-3

University made a tactical switch at the start of the second period with MacArthur moving forward into a central midfield role and they almost scored within two minutes of the restart when a long clearance from Stephen fell to Kolawole but he was foiled in the act of shooting by a perfectly timed challenge from Milne.

The Keith Park side were in the ascendancy at this point and thought that they had grabbed a goal back after 51 minutes when Lamont accepted a pass from Nash and steered the ball into the net but his celebrations were curtailed by an offside flag.

University threatened once again when Leitch curled in a dangerous ball from the right and it took some vigilant defending from Jamie Colvin to prevent Nash from getting a clear sight of goal. However, the students continued to press forward and they halved the deficit on 67 minutes when Kolawole sent Lamont clear and he showed great composure in clipping the ball over the advancing Fraser and into the net.

University threw everything at Hazlehead in the closing stages and came close to equalising with Bell sending a shot just over and Lamont being denied by a great tackle from Cheyne. The ball was thrown into the box time and again but the Hazlehead defence was well marshalled by skipper Vass and, despite being forced deeper and deeper as the minutes ticked away, refused to buckle.

As the game entered the third minute of stoppage time, there was time for one last University attack as Bell found space just inside the box and fired in a shot which seemed destined for the top corner until Fraser made a tremendous one-handed save to secure victory for Hazlehead United.

Full-time: 2-3

University: Stephen, MacArthur, Battle, Foster, Scott, Leiper, Leitch, Kolawole, Nash, Lamont, Bell. Substitutes: Rooney, Rankin, Whitfield, Bremner, Holman.

Hazlehead United: Fraser, J. Colvin, Milne, Vass, Cheyne, Humphries, C. Smith, B. Colvin, Emslie, Reid, L. Smith. Substitutes: Evans, Thom, Massie, Lawson, Macklin.

Referee: W. Young