Coldstream 2-1 Leith Athletic

New Coldstream manager Stevie Gibbard ended Leith's unbeaten start to the season in his first game in charge.
New Coldstream manager Stevie Gibbard ended Leith's unbeaten start to the season in his first game in charge.

Stephen’s Gibbard reign got off a perfect start as Coldstream knocked high-flying Leith Athletic out of the South Region Challenge Cup in his first game in charge.

Sean Simpson and Kris O’Neil were on target at Home Park to topple the best team in the East of Scotland League on a day when two new signings were also introduced to the squad.

Premier Division leaders Leith went into the match with a record of 11 wins and one draw from their first 12 games of the season, but the run came to end after coming up against a team inspired by their new boss.

There were only two changes to the starting XI who drew at Spartans Reserves the previous week, but striker Fraser MacKinnon and midfielder Alessandro Zarrelli, who both signed on Friday, were also added the bench.

Leith had more of the ball in the first half, but they found it difficult to penetrate Coldstream’s two banks of four in windy conditions.

The Streamers kept their shape well and made it difficult for Leith to play the fluent football that has earned them so much success this season.

In a game of few chances, Coldstream took the lead from a corner. The delivery into the box was overhit, but Kieran Ainslie managed to hook it back into the danger area for Simpson to bundle over the line from two yards.

Leith’s equaliser also came from a corner. It arrived early in the second half, poor marking allowing the visitors to pounce on a loose ball and shoot low into the corner. Goalkeeper Mark Walters got a hand on it, but couldn’t keep it out.

The goal gave Leith a lift, but Gibbard’s men withstood the pressure and picked their moments to hit on the break.

New signing Fraser MacKinnon came on for the injured Craig Heugh on the left of midfield and he was the architect of the winning goal.

Surging up the inside left channel on the counter attack, he squared for O’Neil just inside the box and the former Hearts man showed composure to fire low into the corner.

Leith had a succession of corners and threw an extra man forward, but the defence stood firm to end the Edinburgh side’s unbeaten run.

“Leith have proved that they are a quality side,” said Coldstream assistant manager Phil Johnson. “To beat a team of their stature is a fantastic result. With a new manager and new players arriving too, we need to make sure we use this as a springboard for the rest of the season.”

Coldstream: Walters, Powling, Johnson, Allan, Ainslie, S Simpson, Rutherford, Hebdon, Crawford, O’Neil, Heugh (MacKinnon 64). Subs not used: Zarrelli, Gibbard.