Lothian Thistle HV 0-2 Musselburgh Athletic
By Kenneth Scott
Burgh progress to round 3 of the King Cup
A break from the league campaign, saw Musselburgh meet Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale in the 2nd Round of the King Cup. This was Burgh’s tenth cup match in 2018-19 and unbelievably, their ninth away tie. The only home cup tie was back in September 18, with a win against Dunipace.
The gates opened at 2:00pm. An unusual sight of two shutters side by side opened up, with two rather pleasant committee members greeting the fans on entry to ground, with the cheapest match ticket this season of £5.
Luckily, a new enclosure, built earlier this season, meant that those who wished some rest bite from the bitterly cold wind could huddle together.
First chance of the match came in the fifth minute. From a corner there was a bit of a scramble in the LTHV penalty area with Mathu King and Michael Deland both having chances to score, but the keeper eventually managed to hold onto the ball.
On 8 minutes, Nathan Evans pounced on a mistake from a Lothian Thistle defender. He passed the ball to Mathu, but the centre half got to ball first to send it out for a corner. LTHV’s first real chance came in 10 minutes. From a throw in, ball came to the edge of the box but the shot skied high above the bar, by their no.6; certainly not helped by the strong winds.
First booking of match came in 18 minutes, with Michael Moffat punished for a rash tackle on a home side player. On 27 minutes another forward move by Lothian Thistle saw the ball put into the Burgh box. A couple of Thistle players shouted for a penalty but play was waived on.
The first goal came in 42 minutes. Ball was played up the wing and fell to Conor Thomson on the right hand side of the box. He shot with power, but the ball seemed to be travelling away from goals. However, Nathan managed to get a touch and steered the ball into the net. Mathu had another chance just before half time, but his shot went wide. Players went inside with Burgh up 1-0.
In the first minute of the second half, LTHV’s left winger received the ball in the box. His shot was saved by Ally Adams.
Three players were booked in quick succession. On 51 minutes, Jack Gillan received a yellow for his challenge on the home side’s right back. Then Gary Cherrie was booked for a heavy challenge on Thistle’s no.8, who lay motionless until the ref blew for the physio to come on. There was a shout from a Musselburgh fan that the player was feigning injury, which certainly did not seem the case. The Thistle left wing remonstrated with the fan and received a yellow for his actions! After about three minutes, the player hobbled off the park. It looked like his match was over, but he was able to continue.
Jackie Myles was next to have a shot on goal on 58 minutes. He received a pass from Michael M, but the keeper saved the attempt. Five minutes later Gary played a good ball through to Nathan, who was in the clear with only the keeper to beat. He seemed to have too much time on his hand as his shot went woefully wide of the goals. However, another supporter said that the bobbly pitch did not help!
First substitution came on 65 minutes. Michael M was stretching for the ball and he immediately lay on the ground shouting for mercy! As soon as the Burgh physio came on, he signalled the end of the match for Michael, who had a reoccurrence of a pulled hamstring. The last time this happened was last season up at Dundee when Burgh met Downfield, putting on the sidelines for a few weeks! Michael was helped off the field with Jack going to right back and Ewan Ralton came on.
With 70 minutes on the clock, LTHV’s left winger played the ball into the no.8. His blast from outside the box had to be tipped over the bar by Ally. Just after, the home side no.7 was subbed with no.15 coming on. LTHV had another chance on 79 minutes. A good move between the left winger and centre forward saw a pass to the no.10. His shot was parried clear by Ally. The same player then took a corner which the no.6 headed just over the bar.
The second goal of the match came with 5 minutes remaining. On the right hand side of the pitch, ball was played into the box and Ralts was there to collect. He had his back to the goals, looked around and squared ball to Nathan. His shot from close range to put Burgh 2-0 up and this was final score!
This was Burgh’s third clean sheet of the day. In an untidy match, certainly hampered by the wind and the bobbly pitch, (in need of being levelled), best players were Jonno McManus and Greig Callaghan, the two centre halves. The supporters player of the match was awarded to Greig. For the home side, the no.6 was their best player and would have challenged Greig for overall best player!
The reward for Musselburgh is an unusual home cup tie against Camelon. Crowd for the day was 63. I think there were less than 10 home fans at the match!