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Derek Hall’s report from the Edinburgh South v Tweedmouth Rangers game on 19th December

todayDecember 26, 2020


Edinburgh South 4-0 Tweedmouth Rangers
A significant game at Kings Park Dalkeith with the visitors from Tweedmouth crossing the border (but for how long ?) looking for their first points of the season, whilst for Edinburgh South, the prospect of moving up to fifth in the Conference beckoned. With a minute on the clock, Graham wriggled his way into the South box and a challenge on him saw the ball run to Jackson whose first time left foot drive went over the bar as the visitors were immediately on the front foot, with a significant breeze at their backs. With four minutes gone, Strangeways played Freire through and home keeper Walker had to be off his line smartly to deal with the danger. Within 30 seconds it was the visitors showing again as they worked the ball across the face of the Edinburgh penalty area and Campbell took a touch before clipping a lovely right foot drive from 16 yards off the top of the crossbar and over. It took fully six minutes for the home side to finally make some forward progress as Kerr found Manson whose first cross was blocked but when the ball came back to him, the cross this time found the head of Jamieson with the effort going well wide. Two minutes later, Tolmie played a good ball down the right flank to Jamieson whose shot from the edge of the Rangers box was blocked before the visitors responded as Freire picked out Campbell and his shot looked to be on target but a big deflection took it behind. The corner was played right into the heart of the goal area and keeper Walker got a fist to the ball but it went straight to ground and he was more than grateful to flop onto the ball almost on his goal line with Rangers no 9 Freire right there but just unable to get the touch to put it over the line. The visitors were still looking the team most likely and on 16 minutes, Graham came forward but the ball appeared to bobble just as he hit his left foot drive which was pulled wide of Walkers’ left hand post. A foul on Freire after eighteen minutes saw Graham have a fairly optimistic effort on the South goal from almost 30 yards but the set piece was driven over the junction of post and bar without worrying keeper Walker too much. After 23 minutes, the home side then created a couple of notable chances as first Jamieson found McAleavy and his cut back picked out Aitchison but his goal bound drive struck his team mate Mitchell and then almost immediately a shot from Jamieson from around sixteen yards along the ground seemed to be touched behind by visiting keeper Fletcher but the outcome was a goal kick. Two minutes later, Aitchison tried a quick shot on the turn from around twenty yards, but Rangers keeper Fletcher was perfectly placed to confidently hold on.
However with 28 minutes gone, the deadlock was broken and after all Rangers good work, they were to find themselves behind when a long through ball saw Jamieson enter the Tweedmouth box and as he toe ended the ball past the onrushing Fletcher, the contact took him down and referee Bushell pointed to the spot. After the keeper had been cautioned, Jamieson picked himself up and slotted the ball nicely home, sending Fletcher the wrong way. The visitors were again straight on the offensive and Graham found Jackson whose attempted cross was blocked and came back to Graham but his return cross drifted disappointingly over. Two minutes later, a push on Campbell saw a free kick into the South penalty area take a deflection and home keeper Walker flapped at the ball but ultimately did pretty well to get the ball clear in a crowded box and two minutes later, the home keeper was involved again, moving off his line quickly to beat Freire to a through ball on the edge of his box. On 38 minutes, a shot from O’Hara for South brought half hearted appeals for handball for a second penalty kick but the referee wasn’t interested before we had a stoppage for an injury to Brian of Rangers, but after treatment, the big defender was ok to continue. A minute from half time, McAleavy fed in Mitchell but his shot from the edge of the Tweedmouth box lacked the power to trouble keeper Fletcher. At the break then, it was the home side with their noses in front and Tweedmouth would be left to rue not taking their chances in an opening twenty minutes where they had dominated both possession and scoring opportunities, only to be punished by a South side not quite at their best up to the half time interval.
The home side replaced Mitchell with Martin at half time and the first incident of the second half saw O’Hara of South receive a ticking off from referee Bushell for a foul on Freire, before a long ball from Jamieson found Martin in the box but Rangers defender Dixon did really well to stay on his feet and shepherd the player away from goal but Kerr then dropped the ball back to Hunter and his low cross come shot was deflected towards goal and keeper Fletcher made the clearance with his feet for the visitors. However with just over 48 minutes on the clock, the home side doubled their advantage as half time substitute Martin made an immediate impact, working his way into the box in the inside left channel and drawing keeper Fletcher off his line before delicately clipping the ball into the far corner of the net from around eight yards. Two minutes later, Young of Edinburgh South was the games’ second caution as he bowled over Campbell with a somewhat robust challenge inside the centre circle, before Jamieson sent a lovely pass to Aitchison whose 25 yard curler just didn’t come back enough and South had certainly started the second period with far more tempo than the first. Another Martin effort then whistled over the Rangers crossbar before the home side made their second change on 52 minutes as Aitchison was replaced by Conan Murie and his first involvement was to foul Freire about 25 yards out but the Rangers set piece saw Strangeways effort easily held by Walker. After 57 minutes, a lovely flicked pass from Martin with the outside of the foot saw Jamieson dink the ball over the advancing Fletcher from the edge of the box but also wide of the post. A minute later, O’Hara was South’s second yellow card of the day as he unceremoniously blocked out Freire who tried to go past him down the right wing. On the hour, Rangers almost got back into the game as Freire got to the ball in the box and seemed to go round keeper Walker but the slightest of touches from the keeper managed to deflect the ball away from the centre forward and the chance was gone. With 62 minutes on the clock, Tweedmouth made their first changes as C Heath replaced Brian who was perhaps still feeling the effects of the earlier knock and Crombie also came on for the visitors. A minute later, a complete miskick by O’Hara almost put Freire in for Rangers but Walker was out quickly diving at the forwards feet and just seconds later the home keeper was in action again as a lofted free kick this time escaped his grasp and dropped to Crombie in the box but a foul by his team mate Strangeways brought the game to a halt. However after 65 minutes, it looked all over for the visitors with the award of a second spot kick to South as Martin was taken down by the challenge from Dixon. Jamieson stepped up for the second time and drove home low to the left of keeper Fletcher who guessed correctly but just couldn’t get to the ball.
On 68 minutes, Tweedmouth left back Hatsell was the recipient of a quiet word from the referee after a foul in midfield shortly before his team mate Graham went into referee Bushell’s book for pulling back Murie and at the same stoppage, Tenant entered the fray for South. With 70 minutes gone, a low drive was half stopped by visiting keeper Fletcher and as the ball ran across the goal line it looked like it would be a tap in for Murie but Dixon got back to make a brilliant block on the line and Rangers scrambled the ball clear. Four minutes later, Campbell slipped the ball through to Crombie who sent a low drive flashing across the face of the South goal just before the visitors brought on J Heath for the ever willing Freire who had worked his socks off up front and put in a real shift. With a quarter of an hour remaining, a coming together in midfield saw both Strangeways of Rangers and Murie of South receive a stern warning from the referee shortly before South were looking for another spot kick as Martin and keeper Fletcher clashed in the box but the free kick went the way of the Rangers goalkeeper. Ten minutes from time, a lovely head flick from Jamieson saw Martin go into the box and keeper Fletcher made an excellent block from his effort, with the ball rebounding behind off the striker for a goal kick. However Martin wasn’t to be denied and in the 84th minute, he got onto a long ball, moved into the Tweedmouth box in the inside left channel and confidently swept the ball past keeper Fletcher who had been left totally exposed. Tweedmouth then replaced Campbell with Forster and shortly afterward Jamieson fired a 20 yard drive on the turn over the bar as he went looking for his hat trick. In the end, a comfortable victory for the home side with a far better second half performance taking the game out of the reach of a Tweedmouth side who will feel that the lack of a cutting edge in the first quarter of the game cost them the chance to make the outcome a somewhat different story, but Edinburgh South in their first season at this level will look at the league table at Christmas from fifth place, an excellent achievement.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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