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Derek Hall’s report for Whitehill Welfare v Broxburn Athletic on Friday 20th May

todayMay 24, 2022


Whitehill Welfare 2-1 Broxburn Athletic

A League Cup Quarter Final at Rosewell which at times lacked a bit of quality but certainly had no shortage of drama on a night which in total lasted around 128 minutes before a winner was known. With a minute on the clock, a lovely through ball from Welfare’s Jacob Shyngle beat the Broxburn offside trap and Ryan Weir pulled the ball down before firing in a sixteen yard drive which Broxburn goalkeeper Shaun Donoghue did brilliantly to parry behind for a corner. Three minutes later, Andrew Gillen replied for Broxburn with a superb 25 yard snap shot on the half volley which looped over Welfare keeper Musa Dibaga but smashed off the under side of the crossbar and back out and Jackson Barker couldn’t direct his follow up header on target. A clumsy mistimed challenge after five minutes by Broxburn’s Daniel Nimmo on Weir saw referee Chris Newman have a word with the Athletic centre half. A David Greenhill corner for Broxburn picked out Gordon Donaldson at the back post but there were no takers when he headed the ball back across the Whitehill goal area. After nine minutes, the home side suffered a blow when their captain, Josh Walker, had to leave the field with an injury and Finn Thomson took his place. After thirteen minutes, Whitehill were awarded a free kick when Broxburn’s Gary Brass impeded the throwing arm of keeper Dibaga as he attempted to clear from hand but it was somewhat amusing to see Whitehill try to take the resultant free kick four yards outside the penalty area ! A minute later, Broxburn’s Craig Newall carelessly lost possession to Jordan Burrows, but the Welfare centre forward couldn’t beat keeper Donoghue. Greg Nicol fired a 25 yard drive just over the postage stamp corner for the visitors before Greg Binnie of Broxburn got a ticking off from the referee for complaining about a foul he felt he should have been awarded. It was Nicol who was first into referee Newman’s book after 24 minutes following a bit of wrestling in the corner by the Athletic no8 and shortly afterwards, Binnie of Broxburn went down with an injury but was able to continue after treatment. On the half hour, Binnie played a nice ball down the left flank for the visitors, but Blair Tolmie was across with an excellent tackle to end the move. A heavy touch by Whitehill’s Fynlay Connor on the edge of his box saw the ball run to Nicol who fired over from around 20 yards. With 36 minutes gone, Welfare were awarded a penalty when Ewan McKinlay was brought down just inside the Broxburn box with referee Newman no more than five yards from the incident. Connor struck the spot kick right footed along the ground but it was too close to Donoghue who dived low to his left to make a decent block and keep the game scoreless. Donaldson of Broxburn required some treatment but was able to continue and then on 39 minutes, Broxburn head coach Chris Townsley was shown a yellow card by the referee for passing a comment. Brass then got down the right flank past Miller for the visitors before his progress was once again halted by another good challenge from Tolmie. A minute from the break, Gillen managed to cut the ball back from the goal line for Broxburn but Newall couldn’t apply the finish and at the other end, a couple of Liam Ireland corners failed to yield a positive result for the home side. The final act of the first half saw Newall drop the ball back to Greenhill but his rising 24 yard drive was taken above his head at the second attempt by Welfare keeper Dibaga and at the break, the sides were unable to be separated.
A Newall drive from nineteen yards for the visitors was blocked three minutes into the second period before home keeper Dibaga rushed a poor clearance and Newall found Binnie but he was unable to profit from the error. On 52 minutes, Ireland delivered a dangerous free kick into the Broxburn penalty area but Barker was up to head strongly clear and a 25 yard follow up drive from Miller was also blocked by Nimmo. The visitors quickly broke to the other end and Brass found Newall who put a dangerous driven cross into the Welfare penalty area which saw keeper Dibaga dive bravely at the feet of Binnie to claim the ball. After 54 minutes, Athletic’s Greenhill was cautioned for deliberate handball and Ireland’s free kick saw Tolmie head back to Burrows but he dragged his low drive across the face of goal and wide. At the other end, Barker got free for Broxburn at the back post but on the stretch he just couldn’t turn the ball on target. Miller turned a Newall drive behind and he was there again when Greenhill’s corner found the head of Shaun Harrison and this second corner saw Welfare keeper Dibaga take no chances as he tipped the ball over. Greenhill was delivering decent corners for Broxburn but that all ended close to the hour when a needless challenge in midfield saw the Broxburn no6 pick up a second yellow and the visitors were down to ten men. The temperature of the game was hotting up now and within a minute, Whitehill’s Tyler O’Neill went into the referees book for a foul on Donaldson. 60 seconds later, a late contact in midfield by Brass on Miller saw the Broxburn centre forward earn himself a deserved yellow card from referee Newman. A Nimmo challenge on Thomson saw the Whitehill substitute requiring some treatment before McKinlay of Whitehill was next into the referees book for a foul on Nicol. With 71 minutes gone, a brilliant turn in the box by Brass saw the striker swivel and rifle in a superb low 14 yard drive which Welfare keeper Dibaga did brilliantly to throw himself down to his left to somehow beat the ball away and as Donaldson attempted to reach the rebound, he went down in a manner which saw referee Newman cautioning the Broxburn no3 for simulation. Worse was to follow just 60 seconds later for Donaldson when he caught Thomson in midfield with a needless late tackle which left referee Newman little option but to show him his second yellow card within a minute and reduce the visitors to nine men. Whitehill had their tails up now and O’Neill drove forward before smashing a 25 yard drive off the Athletic crossbar before also sending a follow up effort wide. With a quarter of an hour remaining, the visitors unsurprisingly went for some fresh legs as Tom Cowley replaced Binnie who had certainly put in a shift. Ireland then fired a right foot drive past as Whitehill continued to press and then with seven minutes left, Whitehill brought on Eusebio Mendes for Thomson. Five minutes from time, Burrows of Whitehill and Broxburn’s Nimmo went down in the jump with both seeming to land awkwardly and when the Broxburn physio came on to the pitch, he couldn’t resist a comment towards the referee and was promptly cautioned. Nimmo was forced to leave the field and his replacement was Michael Beagley. A minute from time, an Ireland corner found the head of Shyngle at the back post but the Whitehill no3 headed over from eight yards. Two minutes into stoppage time, Miller played the ball to Shyngle and he picked out Connor but pulled his drive wide of the Broxburn post and the final whistle meant we were heading to extra time with some very tired legs out there on the park now.
A minute into stoppage time, yet another unwanted comment, this time from Broxburn’s Harrison, saw the visiting no4 pick up another needless yellow card. However after 94 minutes, it was the home side who finally made the breakthrough when Mendes delivered a deep cross to the far post and Weir did well to take the ball on the first bounce with his right foot and turn the ball past keeper Donoghue from around seven yards. After 96 minutes, Whitehill brought on Kyle Burns for Burrows and right after, Weir let go with a powerful drive from 25 yards which Nicol bravely blocked behind for Broxburn with his head. A minute from the break, Beagley got forward for the visitors and fired in a decent drive but home keeper Dibaga had his angles spot on and was right behind the effort. A long ball towards the edge of the Broxburn penalty area in the first minute of extra times second period saw good alert goalkeeping from Donoghue who was quickly off his line and out of his box to clear. The visitors were having to press now and Barker went a little too early and was flagged offside after 109 minutes. At the other end, Mendes beat the Broxburn offside trap but keeper Donoghue was alert again and cleared the ball away. With seven minutes remaining, Whitehill brought on Murray Wilson for McKinlay and he arrived just in time to witness a remarkable moment as suicidal casualness on the edge of his own penalty area by Welfare keeper Dibaga saw him try to play the ball past Brass with his feet but he only succeeded in knocking the ball into the air and the Broxburn no9 didn’t need to be asked a second time as he headed the ball gleefully into the empty net from sixteen yards to put the nine men level. Five minutes from time, Broxburn’s Binnie was cautioned for dissent in the dugout, having been substituted 40 minutes earlier. Three minutes from the end, a cynical trip on Weir by Newall saw the Broxburn no2 rightly cautioned and in the melee which followed, Welfare’s Mendes joined him in the referees book. However, in the final minute of extra time, a lovely cross from Ireland deep to the back post saw Shyngle arriving late and he showed brilliant technique as he struck the ball perfectly on the volley with the instep of his left foot and the ball flew just inside the base of the post from around ten yards giving Broxburn keeper Donoghue absolutely no chance. Broxburn quickly got the ball back to the centre spot, but Miller then dribbled the ball away and the Whitehill no4 was correctly cautioned for delaying the restart of the game. Right on full time the game erupted once more after a foul in midfield on Ireland and Barker of Broxburn received a straight red card after approaching the referee and presumably offering some advice which wasn’t well received by the official, leaving Broxburn with eight players on the park. At the same time, the AR in front of the dugouts had his flag raised, and once the two officials had conferred, Scott McNaughton was also red carded and sent from the Broxburn technical area, and while all this was going on, Ireland had to be carried from the field leaving Whitehill down to ten men. An absolutely extraordinary cup tie was then brought to a conclusion and once the dust had settled, it’s Whitehill Welfare who will welcome Tranent to Ferguson Park for the League Cup semi final on Tuesday 31st May, but few who were present at this one will forget a pulsating cup tie which was memorable for a variety of reasons and for a neutral like myself, bring it on !

Written by: Russell Aitken

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