Cree Lodge Cup, Semi-Final
Edusport Academy 5 Abbey Vale 2 (att 9)
Having watched Edusport's team of young French footballers ease past Upper Annandale in Thursday's Cree Lodge Cup quarter-final, I headed to their Hamilton home to take in their semi-final.
Visitors Abbey Vale were likely to be a tougher nut to crack, having beaten Edusport in the final of another cup during the week, and they seized on defensive errors to take a 2-0 lead in the first half hour.
Unfortunately for Abbey Vale, Edusport didn't make any more defensive errors, and eventually their total dominance of possession was converted into enough goals for a comfortable win.
Edusport had drawn level by half time, and two second half goals effectively settled the tie. Abbey Vale were rarely able to attack, although they did manage to exert some pressure near the end, hitting the crossbar with five minutes left. The game's last meaningful action was a 90th minute fifth goal for Edusport.
Watching the game was a curious experience. Edusport, a residential academy for young French footballers, play home games on the 4G pitch at the Hamilton Palace Sports Ground.
As a football club, what Edusport lacks is supporters. Despite free admission I counted just nine of us who watched all, or most, of the game. A few others wandered in and out, stopping to watch the action for a few minutes, but presumably unaware that it was a cup semi final, or who was playing.
All-weather pitches in sports centres are rarely interesting venues, but the Hamilton Palace version isn't bad. The pitch is fenced off on all four sides inside the high mesh fence, so spectators can watch from anywhere around the pitch.