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Musselburgh Athletic F.C 2019/20

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Musselburgh’s fifth match of the season saw them make the short journey to meet Preston Athletic at the Pennypit. In 2018-19, first fixture of season, saw Musselburgh come away with a 3-0 win, at the same venue, in the Qualifying cup.

From last week’s win against Peebles, with Conor Thomson unavailable, the only change to the Burgh line up was a surprising start, at right back for player/assistant manager Scott McNaughton.

Before the official kick off time of 2.30pm, the home side were in lead without a Musselburgh player touching the ball. Preston started match, with a pass out to the right hand side of park. The full back and captain, Pennycuik played a high ball over the Burgh defence. Ball was collected by Archibald who went round the keeper Paul Grant and stroked ball into the net. Preston 1 - 0 up.

It could have been two nil a couple of minutes later. Burgh lost possession from a throw in. The loose ball was played up the park and Edmond was one on one with Paul Grant. The centre forward looked to go round the keeper, but Paul Grant just managed to get a touch and ball was cleared.

On nine minutes, Pennycuik went by Bradley Whyte, then squared the ball. Jono McManus half cleared the danger, but right winger Grotlin got the ball. His shot was saved by Paul Grant. A couple of minutes later Burgh had a chance but FIndlay saved, with ball out for a corner.

Fifteen minutes on the clock and Preston were again on the attack. Grotlin had a shot, which was checked by Edmond whose own shot brought out another save by Paul Grant. Two minutes later and a crunching tackle by Turkington, brought down Burgh’s Jackie Myles. The away side manager Kevin McDonald was unhappy that the referee did not even speak to the no.8. This resulted in the ref coming over to the dug out for a quiet word. From the terracing, it looked a booking offence.

Preston had a free kick in their half, on 20 minutes. Pennycuik took it, driving the ball across field to Archibald. A couple of passes later the ball was played along 6-yard line and past both posts. Grotlin retrieved ball and played it back. Paul Grant blocked, only as far as Edmond. His shot from a couple of yards made it 2 - 0 to Preston.

Burgh were back in the match within a couple of minutes. Bradley Whyte was down left hand side of Preston box. As ball came in, it was cleared. Bradley Whyte went to retrieve it and Pennycuik brought him down from behind. Nathan Evans scored from the spot to reduce deficit to 2 - 1.

Preston were having far too much of the ball and the Burgh defence was getting breached too often. A normally unflabbable Jono McManus was not having his best game, but it looked as if he was having to do too much by himself.

The Musselburgh bench recognised this and made the first substitute was made in 31 minutes. Liam Reid replaced Tom Clare in centre of  defence. Five minutes later, Jackie Myles had a chance, but his shot was weak and straight to the keeper Findlay.

The temperature of the match rose, both on the park and in the air. With seven minutes till half time, even the referee was arguing about one of his decisions with a Musselburgh supporter. A throw in to Preston was played to Grotlin. His shot from the edge of the box just went over the bar.

Half time Preston 1 - 0 Musselburgh.

Musselburgh started the second half far better than the first. In the first minute Daniel McBay had a header on target but safely held by Findlay. Then from defence, play involving Jono McManus and Bradley Whyte saw an attempt by Darren Downie blocked. Ball came back to Jackie Myles, but his shot went over the bar.

Scott McNaughton took a corner on 49 minutes and as it came over; Darren Downie’s shot was tipped over the bar. Four minutes later, Jack Gillan came on for Scott McNaughton. Match was being played at a fast tempo. On the half way line, Jack Gillon passed back to Bradley Whyte. As ball moved upfield, Jackie Myles played to Nathan Evans. The shot should have been hit then, but Nathan Evans wanted another touch and the chance slipped by.

On 59 minutes, with Jardine already on for Grotlin, Preston’s second sub saw Williams replace Bathgate. From defence into attack the ball came to Nathan Evans who headed the ball down. Again, the shot should have been spontaneous, but Nathan Evans moved to his right and his shot hit the perimeter fencing.

Back up the pitch went Preston. Jono McManus passed back to Paul Grant, who too casually played the ball to Bradley Whyte. The ball was intercepted, but luckily for Musselburgh the attempt went way over the bar. Williams was then spoken to by the referee on a challenge on Jackie Myles, who seemed to be a bit of a target for the Preston boys. It was amazing that with 65 minutes gone, not one player from either side had been booked. 

Jono McManus played a good few runs from defence into attack. The best one was on 67 minutes. Jono McManus ran forty yards and his shot from the 18-yard line skimmed off the bar and back into play. On 68 minutes, final substitutions saw Preston’s Waugh on for Archbold with Liam Gregory coming on for Mathu King. Calamity five minutes later for Musselburgh. The away side had been on the attach when ball was cleared. Declan O’Kane got ball in his own half. Maybe it was the wind, but the yardage calculation was all wrong, as Declan O’Kane’s  pass back was woefully short! Edmond collected ball; Ran by Paul Grant and put Preston 3-1 up.

From kick off, Findlay made a good save from Darren Downie, placing the ball over bar for a corner. On 77 minutes, came the first yellow card. Musselburgh’s, Liam Reid was booked for a heavy challenge on Jardine. Preston did not make anything from the free kick. Instead, ball was played toJack Gillan; up to Nathan Evans and then Liam Gregory. The cross into the box was closed down by a Preston defender, but as it trundled towards the goals, Darren Downie got the last touch and Burgh pulled a goal back.

On 81 minutes, yet another foul on Jackie Myles and another player not booked by the ref. From the kick, ball passed to Darren Downie., whose  shot went across the front of the goals. An outstretched Nathan Evans could not get the touch he needed to level the scoring.

Into injury time and another shot by Musselburgh was blocked. Up came Preston and a wee skirmish saw Edmond put Bradley Whyte on the deck and retaliation saw Edmond being pushed. Bradley Whyte was lucky not to be shown the yellow card; same perhaps for the Preston player. Last play of the match saw Turkington go into the book for a found on Declan O’Kane.

Final score was 3 - 2 to Preston whose players and supporters were delighted with the result. Not so happy would be the Burgh players or management team. The defence certainly needed shoring up after a bad start to the match, with Musselburgh never being able to make catch up!

Edited by Casey Jones

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After two cup ties, it's back to league business on Saturday. A win away to Crossgates should pull us away from the bottom of the division. However, a defeat and probably back in bottom 3. Need the points on the board.


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