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    Black Diamond FM Listen Live


Derek Hall’s report from the Musselburgh Athletic v Newtongrange Star game

todayAugust 6, 2019


Derek Hall

Musselburgh Athletic 1-3 Newtongrange Star

An overcast, muggy night at Olivebank and an important Premier fixture between Musselburgh and Newtongrange didn’t disappoint, perhaps a little short on quality but certainly not on excitement. Within 30 seconds the home side had half hearted claims for a spot kick turned down by referee Calder after Evans went down in the box and just seconds later Renton, the Star keeper miskicked a clearance to Evans but his cross was poor although the ball ran to King whose shot was then well saved by Renton, who was unaware the flag had gone up to stop the move. After 3 minutes the game was stopped when King of Musselburgh collided with his own goal post while attempting to clear a cross, but he was able to continue and then Star’s O’Hara fired a 25 yarder wide of the target. In the eighth minute, Evans tried to play in a teammate but his pass was intercepted by Jamieson whose passback to Star keeper Renton was well short and King nipped in to toe end the ball past him, only to see the effort come back off the post and be scrambled behind for a corner. Two minutes later Paterson worked his way along the Athletic goal line and his driven cross came off Martin and brought out a great reaction save from keeper Grant. Paterson was again involved two minutes later when the Athletic defence were all at sea on the edge of their penalty area and with keeper Grant stranded, Paterson’s shot was cleared on the six yard line by the covering Martin. After 15 minutes, O’Kane set up a chance for Evans whose 22 yard drive was well parried away by Renton low down to his right and it had been an all action start to the game with a number of mistakes at the back from both sides contributing to the fun. 20 minutes gone and next up for the home side was Myles whose 20 yard drive had the pace taken out of it by a deflection allowing Renton to save comfortably. After 23 minutes, Martin of Musselburgh was injured whilst blocking a Porteous effort in front of goal and after treatment, he couldn’t continue and was replaced by Larner.

After 28 minutes, Paterson drove into the Athletic penalty area and when the ball broke back to him off Moffat, his near post drive was well turned behind by Grant. The corner dropped to the back post and Murray’s right foot shot struck the outside of the Athletic post and went wide. A minute later came the best chance of the game when a sliced Athletic clearance looped up and dropped at the back post where Porteous was standing all alone but from six yards he managed to slice his effort high over the unguarded net. King then tried a speculative 30 yarder at the other end as the home side tried to respond and the action continued at a cup tie pace as both teams looked for an opener. After 43 minutes, Star’s Thomson nicely played in Murray but from his cross, Hume was over stretching and his header actually went away from goal. Right on the 45, an O’Kane pass found Moffat who drove to the edge of the Star penalty area before clipping a neat effort just over the junction of post and bar. The final effort of an enjoyable first half was an angled effort from King for the home side but at the break, neither team had managed to make the breakthrough despite numerous chances at both ends.

A minute into the second half saw a decent chance for Lander of Star and home keeper Grant was injured whilst saving but was able to continue after taking some time to recover. Two minutes later, a long free kick into the Athletic penalty area was headed back across by Thomson and Paterson’s looping header only found the hands of keeper Grant. However after 49 minutes Star made the most of their bright start to the half when Murray found Lander who got to the goal line and his cross made it to the back post where Porteous controlled the ball before curling the ball home at the far post from about 15 yards past the diving Grant. Musselburgh responded and a King flick on found Myles whose shot was blocked for the concession of a corner and from the kick, it was King again with a flashing goal bound header which was cleared off the line at the post by A Nelson with Renton beaten. Three minutes later and a Star corner taken by G Nelson saw a Thomson header slip just wide at the back post with keeper Grant diving to cover the ball as both sides continued to have a real go. Four minutes later, an O’Kane cross into the Star penalty area saw keeper Renton injured in an accidental collision with King and the game was quickly halted to allow treatment. A minute later and the busy Paterson worked his way into the home penalty area but his angled drive was off target and this was followed by a snap shot from about 30 yards by Star team mate Thomson whose effort was closely watched by keeper Grant.

On 64 minutes, Moffat forced his way into the Star penalty area with a good driving run but force of numbers eventually saw him lose possession and then a minute later, Evans of Musselburgh became the games first caution from referee Calder and rightly so after a totally mistimed challenge on Porteous right in front of the dugouts. After 69 minutes, an Evans long throw found the head of King but Renton was there to make the stop. However on 71 minutes, Star doubled their advantage when Thomson picked up a loose ball in midfield before moving forward and then unleashing a blistering 30 yard left foot drive which raged into the net past keeper Grant who was rooted to the spot, a stunning goal. Three minutes later it could have been game over when G Nelson was put through one on one with Athletic keeper Grant, but the keeper stayed up and stayed big to make an excellent block. After 76 minutes, Gillan of Athletic was then cautioned for hauling back Thomson as he made his way forward and from the set piece, Thomson rolled the ball to O’Hara who drove just wide from about 28 yards. A minute later and at the other end, a King effort was blocked but Evans couldn’t make anything of the rebound. However nine minutes from time, a defensive lapse from Star saw Evans move into the area and his shot was parried across goal by keeper Renton where it fell for substitute Downie who had the simplest of tasks in rolling the ball home at the back post, game on.

Six minutes from time, Hume of Star was also cautioned for a mistimed challenge but on 86 minutes, Star made the game safe when a brilliant run down the left wing from Scott saw him then time a lovely pass to the excellent Paterson who slipped the ball home past the advancing Grant, with the home side claiming in vain for offside. Two minutes from time Thomson set up Athletic scorer Downie for another chance but keeper Renton was right behind the shot. Almost on time another long throw from Evans this time found the head of McBay but again keeper Renton was there. The final action of the game was an angled drive by Thomson of Star which was deflected away and as the final whistle went, this would prove to be an excellent victory for the away side in a pulsating game which for much of the time was end to end stuff. Musselburgh will feel that a really decent first half performance wasn’t rewarded with a breakthrough, but Star certainly upped their game in the second half and probably deserved the points for their second half showing.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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