Waverley marched into the semi-finals of the Border Cup following a hard-fought victory over old foes Legion.
The game started in scrappy fashion, and it was Legion who were first to look like scoring. A William Monteith corner finding Scott Duncan who couldn’t get his header on target.
Wavereley were then dealt a blow in the seventh minute when an accidental clash of heads between Taylor Hope and Legion’s Chris Brown saw the former going to hospital with a badly-gashed forehead. Hope’s replacement was Jordan Yardley, a recent signing from Royal Albert.
Waverley were now enjoying a period of pressure, and on the 12-minute mark, good work from Scott Craig and Ross Wallace down the left flank resulted in a shot from Ross McLeod. Legion defended stoutly with a brave block, and Waverley’s strong appeals for hand ball and a penalty were waved away by referee Raymond Hume.
Still on the front foot, Waverley had a chance to open the scoring through Ross Wallace, but the veteran looped his header over the bar from a Craig McCutcheon corner. A flowing move after 25 minutes involving Dean McColm, McCutcheon, Stuart Marshall and Wallace saw Craig homing in on the Legion goal but his shot went wide under pressure from Jamie Nisbet.
Legion then felt hard done by after Scott Duncan had found the corner of the net, only for his counter to be chalked off by the referee who blew for offside.
Waverley came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half when when an Alan Campbell shot was flicked onto the bar by Craig after 31 minutes. Jamie Richardson also got himself in a dangerous position from a McLeod cut-back, only to shoot straight at Legion goalie Ally Willison. Waverley still had to be vigilant at the other end, though, and a good run and pass move from Duncan culminated in Stewart Fraser shooting wide. Waverley brought the first period to a close with two half-chances from McCutcheon and McLeod, both of which failed to trouble Willison.
Legion started the second half well and Duncan had two early chances. Fraser was the provider both times but Duncan’s header and shot went wide of the post. Falcone then had a chance for Waverley but dragged his shot wide after a goalmouth scramble.
The stalemate was broken after 56 minutes when Legion grabbed the lead. Waverley keeper Euan Reilly pushing out a cross, but in the ensuing melee, Monteith calmly slid the ball inside the post for the opener.
Waverley began to step up their game and chances started to arrive. McColm swinging in a free kick to Ross Wallace whose header was parried by Willison. The rebound fell to Yardley but his overhead kick was gathered by the keeper. Yardley then went clear from a Wallace pass, rounded the keeper before hitting the outside of the post from a tight angle.
A Waverley counter was only delayed, though, and they were awarded a penalty on 72 minutes when Yardley was fouled. Legion defender Liam Gellaitry’s protestations that the foul was outside the box fell on deaf ears and McColm drilled the penalty out of Willison’s reach for the equaliser.
Four minutes later, Waverley almost soared into the lead when a Craig header hit the bar from a McCutcheon corner. The rebound was headed goalwards by Wallace but Legion cleared their lines. Waverley substitute Ryan Stewart then split the Legion defence with a superb pass, and with Yardley and McColm both racing onto it, the latter pushed his shot wide.
The deciding goal arrived after 78 minutes, and it was Waverley who sealed victory when another quality corner from McCutcheon was forced home by Yardley at the far post.
Legion tried their best to find a way back into the game, but Waverley held on without any major scares, and almost added to their tally when the move-of-the match saw a McColm cross met by substitute Aiden Reilly whose first-time shot hit the post.