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Musselburgh Athletic v Haddington Athletic on 12th June – Derek Hall’s report –

todayJune 13, 2021


Derek Hall

Haddington Athletic 0-1 Musselburgh Athletic
On the day Musselburgh unveiled Kevin Milne as their new manager, the club headed down to Millfield for a friendly against East Lothian rivals Haddington and a good crowd turned up to take in the derby action on a hot sunny day. After four minutes, the visitors lost the services of Ballantyne who caught an accidental arm to the face and left the game with a fairly impressive shiner already forming. Three minutes later King dragged a left foot angled drive across the face of the home goals and then a snap shot by Thomson found the side net whilst being carefully watched by Haddington custodian Cornet. On 20 minutes, Musselburgh defender B. Donaldson found himself in referee Mark Harris’s book for bundling his opponent to the ground as he went through but Auriemma’s 25 yard free kick was a disappointment. Auriemma himself was brought down a few minutes later and this time Hill stepped up to fizz the 30 yard free kick just over the bar. At the other end a Thomson cross dropped to Fiddler but his 15 yard drive didn’t trouble Cornet, although the keeper had to look lively a minute later to hold a drive from Whyte low down to his right. On 36 minutes, Haddington created their best chance from open play as Auriemma cut in from the left wing and unleashed a powerful 20 yard drive which keeper Adamson plucked out of the air at full stretch. However two minutes from the break it was the visitors who made the breakthrough as a corner was only half cleared and Cameron headed back onto the six yard line where King rose to cleverly loop an angled header over the arms of keeper Cornet and in at the far corner. So a very even first half ended with Musselburgh getting their noses in front and plenty to look forward to in the second period.
Haddington started the second period on a positive note as a quick throw in from Hill sent King scampering into the visitors penalty area and his dipping drive on the angle clipped the top of the crossbar as it went just over. Another free kick from Auriemma went over after 55 minutes as the home side tried to get back on level terms and a long throw into the Musselburgh box from McGarry saw King have two efforts, with the second right foot effort going over. At the other end, Thomson had a 20 yard drive easily held by Cornet. However a minute later, the visitors passed up a great chance to equalise when McGarry was clipped in the box and referee Harris pointed to the spot. Once McManus had been cautioned for his protests, Auriemma stepped up to send Adamson the wrong way but the ball smacked off the face of the crossbar and was cleared. On a hot day, the game temperature certainly went up a notch on 70 minutes when a lunging challenge on McGarry by Cameron saw the Musselburgh player rightly cautioned and in the melee that followed, home keeper Cornet also saw yellow as he came 40 yards to get needlessly involved. Two minutes later a cross from Auriemma picked out Lough but he drove the ball into the ground and Adamson grabbed it on the first bounce. Fifteen minutes from time Russell of Haddington was cautioned for a blatant pull back on Myles before just seconds later, a ball across the face of the visiting penalty area saw a rasping left foot drive by McManus bring out a great save low to his right by Adamson who appeared to palm the ball onto the base of the post and the follow up effort from Nelson was blocked. Next into the book was Burgh left back Orru for complaining about a free kick, a fairly stupid caution for a nothing free kick. Six minutes from time, Lough flashed a 16 yard half volley over the bar after beating the offside trap before Fiddler became the fifth Burgh caution of the day for a blatant trip, friendly ? Aye, right ! However he wasn’t the last as Simpson of Haddington decided to join in right at the end with another reckless challenge. At the end, an extremely lively and competitive game saw the visitors hold on to their half time advantage to edge out a spirited home side and it wouldn’t be difficult for both sides to take plenty of positives from a contest which kept the sun drenched crowd well entertained.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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