Newtongrange Star v Musselburgh Athletic
D J Laing East of Scotland Cup

Report from Newtongrange Star

Star Fighback Just Fails


When Star goalkeeper's Amos' mistake let in Thomson to put Musselburgh three up at the start of the second half, it looked like a hammering was on the cards for the home team. However, it was not to be and by the final whistle, Athletic were just holding on under sustained pressure from a resurgent Newtongrange.


Musselburgh Athletic were the visitors to New Victoria Park in the 3rd Round of the DJ Laing East of Scotland Cup. They faced a Star side buoyed by better recent performances against Bo'ness Utd and Cameron Juniors in the league. The visitors are still on the fringes of the relegation struggle and another home defeat - to Broxburn Athletic last Saturday - will have done little to boost their confidence. When the teams met at Olivebank in August the points were shared. Both sides probably welcomed the break from League business.


With 5 minutes on the clock the first half chance fell to Musselburgh's King, but he didn't make a good connection. However the opening goal was only two minutes away. Cherrie played a nice through ball which Ralton got on the end off. He seemed to stand on the ball, but it broke to MOFFAT who fired home from close range.


Star eventually got going forward and won a free kick on the left. Currie sent his effort well wide of the target.


Burgh's real pace up front was troubling Star and in their next attack King played in Ralton, but Renton made a good stop.


There was little goalmouth action, but in 27 minutes Star won a penalty. Hogg was adjudged to have brought down Morris - no doubt that it was in the box but there seemed little in it. Martyniuk stepped up, but his low shot was turned away by Renton down at the base of his left post. From the resultant corner the ball eventually fell to Richardson who failed to hit the target.


With half an hour played Musselburgh nearly doubled their advantage. Moffat sent in a fine cross but Ralton's header bounced agonisingly over the bar. The second goal wasn't far away though and it was provided by KING. The experienced frontman latching on to a Cherrie through ball to give Amos no chance. A minute later Cherrie fired in a fine shot which was deflected, taking much of the sting out of the effort, and making it easier for Amos. A minute later a Davie cross was headed by Ralton, but it was well saved by Amos. Before the break Thomson tried his luck from well out but this time Amos was not troubled.


Burgh deserved their half time lead and might well have been out of sight with better finishing. Star were simply never in it and the missed penalty was a blow.


Half Time Newtongrange Star 0; Musselburgh Athletic 2


Star started the second half brightly and Lynch had to be quick to cut out an early through ball.


After 51 minutes Athletic scored a third in bizarre circumstances. Goalkeeper Amos completely miskicked a pass back and gave THOMSON a simple tap in. The tie looked over and Burgh nearly added a fourth when McManus got on the end of a Hogg cross - but he was off target.


At this point you feared for the home side but the game unfolded rather differently. Star suddenly looked a different team and after 55 minutes Flynn was in on goal but Renton saved well.


Both teams made substitutions with Spowart and Lander coming on.


With an hour played a Currie cross was headed wide by Richardson, but it signalled a very different Star. Burgh replaced Richardson with Hamilton.


With 64 minutes played Star pulled a goal back. They won a free kick on the right about twenty five yards out. O'Brien sent in a brilliant shot which Renton turned onto the cross bar, but CURRIE forced the ball home from the rebound. Five minutes later the home side were right back in the tie. Currie sent in a free kick from the left and MORRIS was on hand at the far post to turn the ball home.


Musselburgh were hardly in the game now but Davie was just wide with a long range effort after 71 minutes.


At the other end Lander found Martyniuk with a cross but he put his effort wide. With 15 minutes remaining Lally eventually got a cross in after a few attempts but Gordon headed over. A minute later another Currie cross found Hamilton but his header was easy for Renton.


With 5 minutes remaining Gordon fired in a vicious shot which Renton saved well. In Star's next raid O'Brien ended a good run with a cross which Lander put behind.


Star were totally in command now but couldn't find the equaliser as Burgh just sought to hang on and see the game out.

It was the old cliche - a game of two halves- and Star probably deserved a penalty shoot out.


Full Time Newtongrange Star 2; Musselburgh Athletic 3



Best for Athletic were Renton, Cherrie and Moffat. Star were well served by Currie and substitute Lander.


It's back to the relegation battle for both sides now. Next up for Musselburgh is a trip to Dundonald Bluebell while Newtongrange visit Broughty Athletic.


Newtongrange Star

Amos, Cook, Martyniuk, Murray, Richardson, O'Brien, Currie, Wilson, Morris, Wilson, Douglas and Flynn  Subs  Hamilton, Lally and Lander


Musselburgh Athletic

Renton,McManus Lynch, Hogg, O'Kane, Cherrie,King, Davie, Moffat,  Ralton and Thomson Subs Dunn, Spowart, and Gillan



Gordon Baird

Neutral Reporter