A TEAM of East Lothian football starlets has extended a five-month unbeaten run by reaching the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

Longniddry Villa U15s progressed in the competition after they beat Celtic Boys’ Club in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, on Sunday.

The sides were tied at 2-2 at the end of extra time, the Longniddry goals coming from Matthew McMillan and Lewis Inglis.

The game went to penalties and Villa won through 5-4, setting up a semi-final against league rivals Tynecastle next month.

The cup triumph extends the Longniddry team’s unbeaten streak, which began in August last year.

Gary Henderson, coach, said: “It’s a formidable achievement by the whole squad. They’ve really developed as a unit and it’s great to watch.

“Their strength is their camaraderie and it’s the key ingredient behind the success they’ve enjoyed.

“They’re like a band of brothers in the way they fight for each other and simply don’t believe in getting beat.

“Gradually we’ve got better and better as the season has progressed and the boys have got stronger mentally as well as physically.”

Henderson, 58, was keen to stress that they have “not won anything yet” and that there was room for his side to get better. He added: “There’s no doubt they’re a talented group with a lot of potential.

“They’re enjoying their football and, as we need to keep reminding ourselves, that’s the main thing.

“Commitment runs through the club and, beyond the lads themselves, I would acknowledge the input of the whole coaching staff.

“People like Fraser Stuart, who’s been coaching this side with me since it started, have been a considerable factor in its success.

“It’s exciting to reach the latter stages of the country’s national cup competition at any level.”

The youngsters are also preparing to contest another semi-final, as they play St Bernard’s in the South East Region Cup.