HotScots secured promotion to GFSN Division 1 with a hard fought and entertaining victory at home to Newcastle Panthers on Saturday. HotScots will next season play in the GFSN top flight, along with the Leicester Wildcats who secured promotion as Division 2 champions, one point ahead of their Edinburgh rivals.
HotScots required a draw from Saturday’s encounter to ensure promotion was theirs, while for Newcastle, nothing less than three points would do. The visitors started brightly and went ahead with a loose ball slotted home from the edge of the box. But the Panther’s lead was to last for barely a minute. Excellent build up from HotScots was rounded off with a low cross from the left being slid home from close range at the back post. HotScots then took the lead with a header after a half-cleared corner was put back into the mixer. They maintained that advantage until the interval only thanks to a vital double block from their goalkeeper just before half time.
HotScots started the second half well, and went two goals in front with the player-manager beating the offside trap and calmly dispatched the ball past the onrushing keeper. But back came Newcastle – some hesitation in the home rearguard allowing a midfielder to nip in and head the ball into the net. The end to end encounter continued with chances at both ends. HotScots reestablished their two goal cushion when the visiting keeper failed to stop an inswinging corner from the left sailing into the net. The home keeper then made another excellent save diving to his left to tip a badly miscued clearance over the bar. But he was left helpless when another excellent save rebounded back off the post, and Newcastle were quickest to respond to reduce the deficit back to a single goal.
But that was to be the last of the scoring with HotScots finishing the season with a deserved victory, a 100% home record – and a promotion party.