CROSBY STUART edged out Macmillan Davo in a thrilling encounter in the Scotland Road League’s under-14s division at the William Collins Playing Fields on Sunday morning.
Stuart started the stronger of the sides offering the early chances, without carving anything clear-cut to worry the Macmillan goal.
Liam Fisher fired a free-kick just wide for Stuart, which was the closest either side came in the opening 10 minutes.
But against the run of play, Macmillan broke the deadlock from a fantastic set-piece.
Jamie Brady sent in a perfect corner where Kane Rhodes rose and nodded the ball home to give his side a 1-0 lead.
The goal gave Macmillan confidence to attack in numbers and could have doubled their lead only for Josh Hughes’s low effort to be collected by Crosby Stuart’s keeper Kevin Dieton.
Stuart went close to equalising after 15 minutes when Cullen McGuffie swung in a dangerous-looking corner.
The superbly-flighted flag-kick was met by a Stefan McMahon volley which looked destined for the net, but fortunately for Macmillan, Cameron Hay was on hand to clear from the goal-line.
As it looked like Stuart were again taking control, they were once again dealt a sucker punch.
Macmillan’s Lewis Davis raced away from the opposition defence before slotting with his left foot into the corner leaving Dieton helpless and making it 2-0.
On the stroke of half-time Stuart pulled a goal back through Callum Halewood.
The No.9 received the ball from Michael Lee, before letting leash with a fierce strike from 25 yards which crashed against the post and into the net to make it 2-1.
The goal before the interval gave Stuart confidence that they could turn the match around, and within a minute of the second period starting they should have been on level terms.
Halewood dribbled well on the left byline, before pulling the ball back for Lee whose side-footed effort went just past the post.
But shortly after this effort, it was 2-2.
Lee played in Dean Pittaras who, from the right of the area, smashed home with his right foot to bring the match level.
Now the momentum was with Stuart. However, the next best opportunity fell to Macmillan when Davis tried his luck from 35 yards. Goalkeeper Dieton had to scramble back but the effort drifted just wide of the post.
Midway through the second-half the turnaround was complete as Crosby Stuart took a 3-2 lead.
A deep Josh Draper cross was met at the back post where Ewan McKevitt rose unchallenged to nod home from close range to give his side the lead.
It was now Macmillan who had to go in the hunt of an equaliser and a ferocious drive from Daniel Riley stung Lee’s fingertips but the scoreline remained unchanged.
Stuart stretched their advantage with 10 minutes to go when Pittaras’s corner was met wonderfully by Halewood who headed past Ryan Hewitt to claim his second of the day and make it 4-2.
Having lost a two-goal lead confidence was drained from Macmillan, but with five minutes still to play they made a mini-revival of their own.
Davis doubled his tally for the game, firing home from 12 yards as he reduced the arrears to one goal.
However, time was not in Macmillan’s favour and they failed to create another chance to share the spoils as Crosby Stuart hung on to claim three well-deserved points.