University of Edinburgh 0-2 Heriot-Watt University
This University derby started in a cagey manner, with both teams battling to assert their authority on the game. Edinburgh, attacking with well-worked build up and intricate passing, while Heriot-Watt played on the counter-attack with fast wings, pushing Edinburgh back.
The home side though, looked the more comfortable from the beginning, playing delicate football on a fast pitch that was not conducive to an over hit pass. Edinburgh University had the better of the early chances, but were unable to test the Heriot-Watt goalkeeper. James Craigen was a constant threat on the left side, linking well with Ruaraidh Scott and Lee Deans to ask testing questions of the away side’s defence. However it was the visitors who took the lead after 25 minutes, through Aaron James. The Edinburgh left back, Scott, committed too early and was beaten easily before the ball came to James who slotted home the opener.
After mounting Edinburgh pressure, it was a set-back for the home team, already trailing their rivals by 3 points in the league. With this, Heriot-Watt gradually became more dominant, maintaining and using possession, playing crisp, flowing football. Both teams had chances to change the score-line, but for a lack of the final ball following neat build-up play. The half finished with the away side on top and Edinburgh University struggling to contain their opponents.
The start of the second half looked bright for the hosts, who took control of early possession but created few clear cut chances. They soon paid for their lack of clinical finishing as Heriot-Watt doubled the lead after 51 minutes. Another smart attack from the away side brought about a corner, which found Scott O’Sullivan level with the penalty spot to connect perfectly with the ball and volley home to shore up the lead. The centre half look delighted to get on the score sheet, as he celebrated a well-taken effort.
Edinburgh then had a chance to claw one back almost immediately. With pressure increasing in the Heriot-Watt goal mouth, the ball was only half-cleared to Kerr Dodds, who reacted instinctively. Seeing the goalkeeper stranded, Dodds thundered the ball goalwards, only to see it rattle off the bar, onto the goal line and cleared by O’Sullivan. Following this scare, Heriot-Watt began to regain their control of the match, and Edinburgh’s chances were nullified through a strong, compact Heriot back line.
A change to 4-3-3 didn’t improve the situation; if anything it contained Craigen who had been the one real outlet for the University. With this, the game became more tenacious, and rash tackles became more frequent. Scott and Deans were both cautioned for Edinburgh for challenges borne of frustration. The game came to end with Heriot-Watt largely in control, and increasing the points difference between the two to 6, with a game in hand.