Scottish Junior Cup 4th roud
Saturday 18th January, Olivebank Stadium, Musselburgh.
MUSSELBURGH ATHELTIC 1 (1)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 4 (1)
Burgh started the brighter, enjoying the best of the passing play, and took the lead on 10 minutes after Alan Cairns’ attempt to cut out a dangerous cross from the left ended with the defender heading the ball into his own net. Although the visitors, in their first competitive game in four weeks, were struggling to get into their stride the home side couldn’t capitalise on their possession and clear cut chances were thin on the ground.
Indeed on 18 minutes it was the Glens that came close to levelling the tie after clever work by Michael Reilly and Findlay Frye on the edge of the box saw the ball take a bounce off a defender and fall well for Cameron Marlow, only for his attempt to lob the ball over advancing keeper Ally Adams sail over the bar. Despite the lost chance , the Glens took heart and the game was now more evenly balanced.
On 25 minutes, Burgh won possession in the middle of the park after a fine tackle by Steven Thomson and from there the lively Jackie Myles and Michael McKenna combined to set up striker Matti King and although his angled shot from inside the box fizzed past keeper Brian McGarrity it skimmed inches wide of the far post. Two minutes later Reilly’s flick on was gathered by Aaron Connolly who turned one defender before losing out to a timely tackle by another at the edge of the box and as Marlow collected the loose ball he was tripped In the box by Murray Christie. Up stepped Aaron Connolly to lash the ball home from the spot to draw the sides level with 29 minutes gone.
In the dying minutes of the half a slick move saw King switch the ball from left to right in the box to set up Michael McKenna only for his low angled shot to be blocked by McGarrity at the near post. The keeper punched the resultant corner-kick from the head of King and as the defenders raced out Myles met the ball first time and let fly from 18 yards out and it seemed destined to rupture the net only for the fearless Frye to stand his ground and head the thunderball high over the bar.
Myles had a second bite at the cherry from the corner that followed, but on this occasion his thunderbolt from the edge of the box was well off target, much to relief of the still stunned Frye and the imaginary bluebirds tweeting around his head! HT Burgh 1 Glens 1
Stunning could also be used to describe the goal that put the Glens ahead in spectacular fashion five minutes after the break. A cross into the box from Cairns on the left was partially cleared and defender Craig McEwan on the opposite flank, sprang into action to meet the ball perfectly and from 20 yards out thundered a ferocious shot that arced high over the keeper in full flight and into the far corner of the net to spark of equally exhilarating celebrations.
With their tails up the visitors continued to press and on 57 minutes Connolly forced his way along the outskirts of the box before laying the ball off for Reilly, whose goal bound shot from the edge of the ’D’ was deflected over the bar for a corner kick. A minute later the striker tried his luck from 25 yards out but the alert Adams rose well to clutch the ball at the junction of post and bar.
The home side rallied and forced a corner kick only for Jamie McGeoghan’s headed clearance to be snapped up by the tireless Reilly, who quickly turned defence into attack and put Burgh back on the back foot. On 65 minutes the New Cumnock side extended their lead through another sweet Afton strike. Telling tackles by McEwan and then Reilly prevented Burgh from clearing the ball and it fell to Jamie McKernon almost 20 yards from goal with only one thing on his mind, a Jambo special, and in in a split second he unleashed a low flying missile that exploded into the net … perhaps not the most popular Jambo east of Edinburgh!
A minute later Reilly flashed a shot from the edge of the box and to the relief of Adams it went just wide. The hosts regrouped and secured a corner kick that was punched away by McGarrity only to be re-gathered by the blue shirts but try as they might they could not shake off the attention of centre backs Craig Menzies and Ryan McChesney and engineer a clear shot at goal.
With 10 minutes to go a poorly taken free kick from within the Burgh half was chested down by Reilly and instantly dispatched to Aaron Connolly who gathered the ball at the half way line and forged his way to the edge of the box where he skipped past the defender to create space and drill a low angled shot into the far corner beyond the reach of Adams.
The Glens comfortably saw the game to its conclusion with the fresh legs of Alain Kinney, John Craig and Craig Brown all making an appearance in the closing minutes. FT Burgh 1 Glens 4
Mussleburgh Athletic: Adams; Russell (McDiarmid), Christie (C.Thomson), S.Thomson, Moffat, Hamilton , McKenna, Hunter, King, Myles, Martin (Sinclair)
Glenafton Athletic: McGarrity; McEwan, McChesney, Menzies, Cairns; McGeoghan (Brown), Frye, McKernon, Marlow (Craig); Connolly (Kinney), Reilly
More photos here