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Friday sport, 1st July, Derek Hall’s report, Tranent Juniors v Hibernian X1

todayJuly 2, 2022


Tranent Juniors 1-2 Hibernian XI

A poignant occasion at Foresters Park tonight as Tranent welcomed a young Hibs side to play in a benefit match for the family of Daniel McFarland who represented both clubs and who passed away in tragic circumstances at work a couple of years ago and a minutes silence was held prior to kick off. With four minutes gone a Tranent corner fell to Martin Maughan and his initial effort was blocked before Kieran Somerville scooped the rebound over from around fourteen yards. At the other end, Daniel Mackay sent a nine yard header a couple of yards over from a Murray Aiken cross and it appeared at this point that Tranent keeper Ally Adams seemed to have some sort of back problem but continued to play on. After eleven minutes, Oban Anderson released Maughan into the Hibs penalty area but the visitors defence managed to scramble the ball behind for a corner which came to nothing. However the visitors took the lead after sixteen minutes when Connor Young outpaced his marker before firing a crisp left foot low drive from 20 yards across Adams and into the far corner of the net. The home side tried to respond two minutes later when Euan Greig dropped the ball back for Nathan Evans to have a go from 22 yards but he cut across his drive and the ball flew well wide. After 20 minutes, the lively Mackay took a touch before firing in a decent 20 yard half volley which home keeper Adams watched carefully as it just cleared the junction of post and crossbar. Mackay was again involved as he found Robbie Hamilton and despite being impeded, he managed to play in Oscar MacIntyre whose flashing low left foot drive slipped wide of the far post. Anderson then won the ball in midfield for Tranent and sent Jamie Docherty away and when his attempted pass to Evans came back to him, Docherty wasted no time in firing in a low right foot drive which just went past the base of the visitors far post. On the half hour, Steven Thomson fired in a 25 yard free kick for the home side but the effort didn’t come down and Hibs keeper Thomas Carter remained untroubled. With 33 minutes gone, Hibs doubled their lead from the penalty spot when Mackay sent MacIntyre into the box and Calum Donaldson mistimed his attempted tackle and there were no complaints at all as referee Andrew Craven pointed to the spot. Mackay stepped up to send keeper Adams the wrong way as he slotted the ball low into the corner and the scoreline at that stage was a reasonable reflection of the general flow of play. Two minutes later, Aiken cut the ball back from the goal line and Young’s snap shot brought out an excellent block from home keeper Adams who used his right boot to make an important save. With 36 minutes gone and with the ball out of play, the fans, officials and players joined in a minutes applause, marking the very young age at which Daniel McFarland had passed away, a very touching moment. The return to action saw a long range Thomson effort blocked for the home side, before Aiken of Hibs was warned by the referee for a clumsy challenge near halfway on Somerville which definitely didn’t impress the Tranent man. At the break, it was the visitors who held a two goal advantage but it had been a decent workout for players in both sides as the ball had been moved around with a fair bit of zip from two very decent footballing sides.
A number of changes were made by both sides at the start of the second period and there was a somewhat unfortunate start to the half for the home side when one of the Tranent half time substitutes, Kieran McKenzie, dislocated his shoulder and had to be immediately replaced by Shaun Rutherford. After 53 minutes, a low drive from Hamilton didn’t miss by much for the visitors as it went past the base of Adams left hand post before Joao Balde then brought out another good save from Adams who dived low to hold the long range drive and the home keeper was clearly still in some discomfort. The keeper was called into action again as Mackay sent Aiken in on the angle and Adams dived to push the ball away before Donaldson completed the clearance but the keeper struggled to get back to his feet after this one. On 61 minutes, Rutherford stepped forward to test Hibs keeper Carter from long range and the keeper needed help from his defence to eventually get the ball away after making the initial save. A minute later, Tranent had another good half chance and Evans wasn’t too far away as he smashed a ten yard right foot angled drive high up into the side netting. The same player was involved again on 65 minutes as he did well to turn the ball back across goal from a really tight angle but there was nobody taking the gamble to get into the Hibs goal area to apply the final touch. After 67 minutes, Young played a lovely ball through for Mackay to go one on one with home keeper Adams but the keeper won this contest as he stayed big and made a brilliant save from the Hibs no11’s drive from the edge of the box. Aiken then set up a chance for Young but there was too much loft on the Hibs strikers effort and Adams wasn’t called into action this time. With 71 minutes gone, Evans and Donaldson combined and tried to pick out Rory Currie and it took an excellent interception at the near post from Darren McGregor to turn the ball behind to clear the danger. Eight minutes from time, Ethan Laidlaw brought out another very good save from Adams who dived to push the ball away to his left but there were now chances being created at both ends as the game opened up. Six minutes from time, a quality cross from Rutherford took Hibs keeper Carter out of the game as it flashed through the Hibs goal area and Kris Renton couldn’t get a touch on it before Evans was only a couple of inches away from turning the ball in at the far post as the home side kept coming looking for some reward after a very decent second half showing. That deserved reward eventually arrived with five minutes remaining when another ball into the box saw a Renton effort blocked before Greig then had a follow up effort also kept out but at the third time of asking, Currie remained composed and fired a low left foot drive from 12 yards past keeper Carter with the aid of a deflection. The final effort of an entertaining game saw Jacob MacIntyre work his way across the face of the Tranent penalty area before firing in a low right foot 18 yard drive which Adams did well to get down and beat away low to his right. A good game for a decent crowd who turned out to support a very worthy cause and both teams will see the benefits from a game which had good energy about it at times, not to mention some nice football as both teams look to shave off some of those rough edges before the real action begins at the end of this month.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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