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Derek Hall’s report from the Edinburgh University v Tranent Juniors game in The Scottish Cup

todayDecember 13, 2020


Edinburgh University 1-2 Tranent Juniors
A historic day for the men from East Lothian who took part in their first ever Scottish Cup tie and it was Tranent who eventually came out on top against their Lowland League opponents Edinburgh University in a game which never really hit any great heights but as they say about Cup ties, it’s all about the result. A minute was on the clock as Paterson brought the ball down on the edge of the home box but the contact on the shot wasn’t the best and keeper Buxton saved easily down to his right. Craigie got a far better right foot effort off two minutes later from around 20 yards but Buxton was able to watch it go wide of his right hand post. After four minutes, Tranent keeper Adams was smartly off his line to clear outside his box as Maskrey chased a through ball for Uni. Three minutes later, Craigie played in Lander on the edge of the home penalty area but an offside flag ended the attack. After Paterson had been fouled, B Miller clipped the free kick into the box but the visitors recent signing from East Kilbride, R Miller just couldn’t get on the end of the cross and it drifted wide. The first quarter of an hour had meandered along at a fairly sedate pace and a one two between Craigie and Paterson on the edge of the Uni box saw the ball drift through to keeper Buxton with both keepers relatively untroubled up to now. On sixteen minutes, Matthews, Maskrey and Baird combined nicely down the right for the home side but again the final touch was over hit allowing Adams in the visiting goal to gather. A minute later and Craigie of Tranent was warned by the referee for clipping the heels of Maurice as he turned inside him close to halfway. Immediately afterwards Tranent’s Murphy drove strongly through midfield but with Paterson demanding a pass, the midfielder chose to shoot from 30 yards just as the ball bobbled and the final effort sailed high and wide, much to the disgust of his striking partner. At the other end, Watson clipped a cross into the visitors penalty area but Adams was out first to beat Maskrey to the ball. After 20 minutes, referee Nicholson handed out his second warning after R Miller was guilty of a bit of shirt pulling. A nice move allowed Chesser to get down the right flank for Tranent and his dangerous low cross was cleared by Hamilton with Paterson coming in right behind him.
On 24 minutes, Maskrey of Uni was first into the referees book after fouling Murphy and the set piece from B Miller saw keeper Buxton mishandle the slippery ball but his defenders were able to scramble the loose ball clear. Two minutes later a drive from the edge of the box by Rutherford was again blocked by the Uni defence and with a little more pressure being exerted by the visitors, Hamilton of Uni was next into the referees book for trying to trip Lander as he moved past him. This time Rutherford stepped up to take the free kick and his 25 yard effort was beaten away by keeper Buxton. On the half hour a poor clearance from visiting keeper Adams was pounced on by Matthews and he raced into the box but his low cross looking for Maskrey was disappointing and easily cleared. With 31 minutes gone, Tranent had to make a change as Rutherford departed and was replaced by Ponton and he was soon involved feeding the ball in to Lander but his touch let him down and it was somewhat typical of the game so far which had been littered with poor touches in a very tame affair. Uni then came forward through Watson and he picked out Baird about 25 yards out but as he turned, he was brought down by Murphy and referee Nicholson went to his pocket for a third time. Baird picked himself up and slammed his free kick straight into the visitors defensive wall before Maurice then tested Tranent keeper Adams with a hanging cross as Kemp waited for an error which didn’t come. The home side were having a bright spell and Maskrey ran strongly into the inside right channel before firing a 25 yard left foot drive wide of Adams goal. Tranent responded on 38 minutes and Craigie and B Miller worked the ball across the face of the Uni penalty area before finding Chesser whose low cross was turned behind for a corner which came to nothing. Paterson won a corner for Tranent off Squires and B Millers cross found the head of R Miller but the ball was blocked before it could reach the goals. Three minutes from half time, Maskrey raced through from halfway as Tranent claimed in vain for an offside flag which didn’t materialise but the final shot from the striker from just inside the box lacked conviction and went fairly tamely wide. All square then at half time in a game which lacked real tempo or direction and both teams would feel that a bit more conviction and belief in the second period would be required to make any sort of telling breakthrough.
Two minutes into the second period, a Greig free kick for the visitors was cleared out and when Paterson returned the ball into the box, keeper Buxton took the ball confidently inside his goal area. Greig, B Miller and Lander then combined nicely down the right flank but the pattern of poor crosses from the first half continued with the Uni defence blocking the cross before it got to its intended target. With 52 minutes gone, Tranent carved out their best opportunity of the match as a lovely floated cross to the back post picked out Lander about nine yards out but his headed contact almost went straight into the ground and bounced harmlessly into the arms of keeper Buxton. Two minutes later, Murphy fed the ball to Tranent striker Paterson on the edge of the box but a resolute Uni defence had clearly done their homework and force of numbers crowded the Tranent No 9 out. B Miller then fired in a long range effort which Buxton safely gathered on the first bounce before Watson was brought into the fray for Tranent who were looking to try to force the pace a bit and a minute later, Craigie sent a flashing first time right foot drive on the turn over the crossbar from about 15 yards, great technique shown but a difficult chance. Almost immediately, it was Paterson then side stepping his man about 23 yards out but he got under his shot and it was always rising over the bar. However Uni were still well in the game and almost on the hour, a Matthews throw in found Baird who took a touch before firing in a strong 30 yarder which keeper Adams had to get right behind. Two minutes later a long through ball dropped over the head of Whitson and it was the lively Baird once again who pulled the ball down before firing wide from around 20 yards. R Miller went down at this point for Tranent but after treatment, he was able to continue. Whitson was involved at the other end on 65 minutes sending a drive over the bar before at the other end a long range snap shot from Maurice saw Adams clasp hold of the ball. Watson was next up with a shot for the visitors shortly before Whitson of Tranent was then warned by referee Nicholson following a foul in midfield.
However with twenty minutes remaining, the deadlock was finally broken with a simply fashioned goal as a low cross from the right across the Uni penalty area finally picked out its target in the shape of Ponton who carefully placed a lovely low fourteen yard drive into the bottom corner of the net back across keeper Buxton who remained rooted to the spot as the visitors hit the front. Two minutes later, a foul in midfield saw Craigie of Tranent needlessly talk himself into a caution after receiving a warning but he chose to pass a further comment as he was moving away and had referee Nicholson bringing him back for a return visit and a yellow card. With 15 minutes left, it looked like the visitors had finally made the game safe when B Miller floated a free kick from the right wing onto the six yard line and it was Lander who rose highest to glance a deft header wide of the diving home keeper Buxton and into the far bottom corner of the net, doubling the advantage for the away side. Three minutes later B Miller swung another free kick into the heart of the Uni area, this time from the left wing, and Whitson threw his head at the ball forcing Buxton into a brilliant diving save low to his left to somehow get the ball behind and keep the home side in the tie. The corner came in and Paterson had an effort saved before then getting the ball back across and Whitson had a swipe at the ball but missed as Uni tried to ride out a difficult spell of pressure. Another Tranent corner saw the ball cleared out to Watson whose drive on goal was once again well handled by home keeper Buxton who had been an outstanding performer for the University side. On 82 minutes, Greig came forward for Tranent and worked hard to keep possession before laying the ball back to Paterson but he couldn’t get the ball out from under his feet allowing Buxton to make the save low to his left. Edinburgh tried to shake things up with six minutes left as Maskrey was replaced by Anderson and with two minutes to go, the change paid off as Maurice slipped a lovely pass through to Anderson who controlled the ball at pace before then showing real composure as he clipped the ball over the advancing keeper Adams from around 25 yards out and the ball nestled in the far corner of the net, a lovely finish which wasn’t appreciated at all by R Miller who kicked the ball away and was promptly cautioned by referee Nicholson for time wasting. However, that was the end of the scoring and it was the visiting team who came out on top on what was a historic day for the East Lothian side as they took part in their first Scottish Cup tie and can now look forward to their second. Edinburgh University have had a disappointing season so far, but a few more performances like this in their league games should see them starting to make some progress away from the lower end of the table. However congratulations to Tranent and the upcoming draw will be see the Foresters Park side coming out of the hat once more, a mouthwatering prospect for everyone at the club.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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