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Derek Hall’s report fromEdinburgh South v Tranent

todayAugust 13, 2021


Edinburgh South 0-6 Tranent
A 2nd Round EOS Qualifying Cup tie at Dalkeith saw a chance for Conference B’s Edinburgh South to test themselves against the side currently sitting top of the Premier League, Tranent. With two minutes on the clock, a Shaun Rutherford cross from the left picked out Jordon White but the header from the Tranent no9 certainly wasn’t one of his best, and the South defence managed to frustrate Tranent early on with the East Lothian side falling foul of the offside trap more than once. On 8 minutes, Smith found Craig Stevenson and his pass saw Cammy Muirhead drag his 20 yard drive wide of the home sides near post and then Oban Anderson had another effort from distance which was also well off target. However after fourteen minutes, Muirhead brought out the first of a number of excellent saves on the night from South keeper Graeme Lennie, who dived full length low to his left to parry away the strikers 22 yard half volley, with Smith’s follow up being blocked behind for a corner and when the set piece was cleared, Ben Miller’s 30 yarder was easily held by Lennie. However on 16 minutes, lovely combination play between Muirhead and Matthew Knox saw the latter fire a lovely 15 yard drive across keeper Lennie and into the far corner to put the visitors deservedly ahead. However a minute later, and in their first significant attack, Jordan Cropley and John Kerr played a nice one two on the left edge of the Tranent box before Cropley clipped a lovely curling right foot effort which only just missed the junction of post and bar, with Murray Jackson in the visitors goal nowhere close. With 20 minutes gone, Rutherford fired in a driven cross which saw Kyle Lander lose his man at the near post and his right foot effort from 7 yards seemed destined for the net but keeper Lennie made a magnificent instinctive block low down at the post to somehow turn the ball away. A minute later the South keeper again showed good hands in holding another Muirhead effort but he could do nothing on 23 minutes as Smith showed lovely feet inside the box to sit his defender down and switch the ball to his right foot before stroking the ball calmly past the keeper to double the visitors advantage. Smith set up another chance for Muirhead who drove wide from 25 yards, before another clearance fell up Miller and his 30 yard drive again saw Lennie diving to beat the ball away. Knox then dropped a lovely cross to the back post as the visitors continued to create chances, but Smith and McKenzie didn’t read the cross and it dropped behind. On 34 minutes, a cross into the box saw Smith and keeper Lennie have a coming together but there was no whistle as Muirhead fired wide from close range. After 39 minutes, South won themselves a free kick around 30 yards out and Josh Sharkey struck a lovely curling set piece up and over the Tranent wall, only to see the ball go a couple of feet wide and shortly afterwards, the South striker was given a quiet warning from referee Simon MacLean to calm things down as we neared the interval. Two minutes from half time, Stevenson dropped a superb cross to the back post which Muirhead turned inside and Lander couldn’t have caught his eight yard effort on the half volley much sweeter but Lennie somehow stuck up his right hand to brilliantly turn the ball over the bar for a save he simply had no right to make, outstanding goalkeeping. At the break, the visitors were in the box seat and despite having created a couple of chances, the home side were indebted to keeper Lennie, whose heroics meant that the men from Edinburgh remained in touch for the second half.
Edinburgh brought on Owen Gray at half time and although Tranent still had more of the ball, the first few minutes of the second half were pretty scrappy. After 53 minutes, Smith of Tranent had to leave the field after picking up a knock and a minute later, Sean Wringe was brought on to replace the visitors no9. A nice move from the East Lothian side from a corner after 56 minutes had Miller feeding the ball to Wringe and his pull back saw Lander control the ball before turning quickly to fire in a close range drive which was once again well blocked by keeper Lennie before being cleared. A minute later, South captain Jim Young played a free kick into the heart of the Tranent box and when the ball was only half cleared, Sharkey fired his effort over from 14 yards. Two minutes later, another South free kick, this time taken by Cropley from out on the left flank, saw Tranent keeper Jackson back pedalling to claw the ball to safety from out under his crossbar and South were doing all they could to get themselves a foothold back into the match. However on 62 minutes, they were almost three down as a Knox corner picked out the head of Hamish Thomson at the back post and his thumping header beat keeper Lennie, but Ainslie Hunter was perfectly placed on the goal line to hook the ball clear. Two minutes later, Tranent wanted a spot kick as Wringe went down in the box claiming he had been elbowed by South captain Young, but referee MacLean remained unmoved. A minute later, a Stevenson cross was cleared out to Rutherford and his controlled left foot half volley from 30 yards brought out another excellent save from the over worked Lennie. At the other end, a shot from Gray was blocked before the ball ricocheted to safety. There was another let off for the home side as Rutherford drove the ball across the penalty area, Muirhead had his effort blocked by Lennie and the ball spun up and was headed against the crossbar by Wringe and once again the home defence had survived. After 69 minutes, Tranent made a double switch as Adam Watson and Jamie Docherty replaced Miller and Muirhead. After Knox had fired another drive wide for Tranent, Hunter of Edinburgh became the games first caution on 78 minutes for a heavy challenge from behind on Lander. Three minutes later, it looked all over as substitute Watson chested a cross down at the back post and stepped inside his marker before firing an eight yard drive low past Lennie to make it 3-0. Lennie once more showed good hands in dealing with another 25 yard drive from Knox before Tranent captain Rutherford was cautioned for a foul on Aitchison right in front of the dugouts with eight minutes remaining. A minute later, Wringe moved into the South penalty area and with the home defence waiting for an offside whistle which didn’t come, keeper Lennie brought the striker down and a penalty and yellow card for the keeper were the inevitable outcome. Stevenson sent Lennie the wrong way and it was 4-0 as the ball nestled in the bottom corner with 84 minutes on the clock and before the game restarted, South brought on Robbie Corner for Aitchison. Four minutes from time, Hunter received his marching orders and second yellow card from referee Simon MacLean for a foul on Docherty inside the centre circle and the home side would play out the rest of the match a man down. Knox then showed good strength to bustle his way past a couple of challenges on the edge of the South penalty area before deftly chipping an effort which just drifted past the junction of post and bar. However Tranent weren’t done and on 88 minutes, Stevenson sliced the home defence open with a beautiful 40 yard pass which Docherty took in stride before racing into the box and side stepping the advancing Lennie to stroke home number 5 from ten yards. A sixth goal in the last minute arrived as Wringe fed Watson to score from about nine yards and the Premier Division leaders had completed a decent nights work in a tie which could have proved tricky but ultimately the gulf between the two teams showed towards the end. The final scoreline was in truth a little harsh on a South side who battled manfully for just over 80 minutes before the roof fell in late on and in keeper Graeme Lennie, they had a player who performed brilliantly on the night. For Tranent, it’s job done, a place in the next round is secured and a fixture against Jeanfield awaits on Saturday as they go looking for a seventh straight league victory.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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