Burgh lose 1-0 in League cup Final
By Kenneth Scott
Musselburgh Athletic 0-1 Bo'ness United
Unusual situation for both set of players, as the League Cup Final between Bo’ness and Musselburgh was played on a Sunday. In the Junior set-up, generally the only cup tie played on a Sunday was the Scottish Cup Final. However, now that both clubs are in the East of Scotland League set up, it appears that cup finals on a Sunday are the norm.
For Bo’ness, from reports elsewhere, it appeared that some of the team would either be out due to injury or because of a pre-arranged Stag Do. One of those mentioned was the midfielder Michael Gemmell. However, he cut his venture short, to travel back for the final, an act, which, should be applauded!
For Musselburgh,; one change from last week’s semi-final. Michael Deland absent due to due holidays and he was replaced by Jack Gillan. Burgh fans might have expected a straight swap, but it was clear to see that Conor Thomson would fill the left back position with Jack Gillan in midfield.
Match was played at Penicuik’s ground on a lovely sunny day. A good crowd had built up with Bo’ness shooting down the slope in the first half. Match kicked off at 14:01. First real attack came in two minutes. From defence Jackie Myles played a long ball over the Bo’ness defence. Mathu King ran through, but ball went just too far and the keeper, Murphy got there first.
Soon after, Bo’ness’ left winger Stevenson moved up the pitch and his cross was met by Morgan. His shot was easily saved by Ally Adams. On seven minutes, Jonno McManus, played a worldy ball cross field, right to the feet of Liam Gregory. There was a wee passing match, but when ball played through to Conor Thomson, his first touch was too heavy and ball went out for by-kick.
Next move, saw a one-two between Jackie Myles and Liam Gregory. From this Liam Gregory ran into the box but the ball from Jackie Myles was too hard and another chance went astray for Burgh. From the by-kick, ball went deep into the Burgh halfor but play broke down. Ally Adams punted ball up to Mathu King, who was one on one with the keeper, Murphy. Mathu King’s shot brought out a fine save from the keeper.
On 13 minutes, Michael Moffat was fouled close to the Bo’ness penalty box. Michael Moffat was none too happy with the challenged but no action was taken. A poor free kick by Conor Thomson went straight to Murphy. Next up, it was Bo’ness who pressed forward with Stevenson crossing ball into the Burgh penalty box. Bradley Whyte cleared ball for a throw in. From this, Stevenson hit another cross into the box. Morgan’s attempt to put Bo’ness into the lead came to nothing as Ally Adams easily saved the shot.
With half an hour played Musselburgh had a great chance to score, but instead of someone taking control and shooting, the ball was passed around three or four times in the Bo’ness penalty area but cleared without Murphy having to do anything.
On 32 minutes, Burgh lost control of the ball deep in the Bo’ness half. If anyone has watched Youtube in recent matches, they would have noticed a couple of goals involving a good number of Burgh players. This time, it was Bo’ness, who cultivated a worthy goal to take the lead. The centre half passed ball out to the left of the field. Five passes later ball was on the half way line, and then moved across field and down the right wing to Morgan. From the by-line, Morgan crossed the ball, over a couple of players to where Stevenson was standing. A simple tap in past Ally Adams and Bo’ness were 1-0 up.
A few minutes later, it should have been two nil. As the ball came into the Burgh box, there was a kick about by some players. Then the ball reached Stevenson but his shot hit the post and cleared to safety.
In last couple of minutes of the first half, Bo’ness were once again on the attack down the left wing. The Bo’ness supporters wanted a foul from a challenge by Michael Moffat. However, play moved on and as the ball went into the box, just as a Bo’ness player was about to shoot, the referee blew for offside.
Half time: Bo’ness 1 – 0 Musselburgh.
Into the second half and there seemed to be a change to the way the game was being played with much less excitement around the ground. It livened up a bit on the hour mark. Gemmell took a throw in on the left hand side of pitch. He got the ball back but as he moved towards the Musselburgh penalty box, ball went a bit far and he lunged at it and took down Liam Reid.
For his efforts, Gemmell received a yellow card; though a number of Burgh fans thought it should have been red! Played was stopped for a few minutes while Liam Reid was treated. At the same time, McKenzie received a yellow as he was kicking ball away to stop free kick being taken by Musselburgh.
Gemmell was not on the pitch much longer as he seemed to obstruct Jack Gillan which caused the Burgh player to fall. Gemmell was awarded his second yellow and a red card. A number of Bo’ness fans were incensed at the decision, but Gemmell was foolish in this, following the yellow he had just received.
With just more than 15 minutes remaining, Burgh fans were jumping for joy as they thought the tram had scored. From a free kick on the left hand side of the box, Conor Thomson played an inswinger, which hit the post, then, somehow ran across the line. A few seconds later and Liam Reid had the ball in the net, only for the linesman to flag for offside. From a post-match photo, there was one Bo’ness player on the line with another close by, so it appeared a wrong decision by the referee, which would prove costly for Musselburgh.
Final minutes of the match saw a couple of attempts from both teams, best of which was a shot from 25 yards by Conor Thomson, which Murphy had to tip over the bar to keep Bo'ness in the lead.
So, when the referee blew the final whistle, it was the players in orange tops who were celebrating as Bo’ness won the 2019 League cup by a score of 1-0.
Musselburgh will rue the fact that they were so much on top in the first 30 minutes of the match but failed to capitalise with a goal. At that point, Bo’ness came onto their game and were rewarded by Stevenson’s goal. Second half was even, but it was Burgh who had to make the break though which did not happen!
I think the Burgh Supporters’ club man of the match awards are finished, due to the upcoming Player of the Year night. My choice on the day would have been Jonny McManus, who had a great game in the Musselburgh defence.
Congratulations to the winners Bo’ness.