An entertaining game at Haddington's Whittinghame Drive 3G took place on Tuesday night between Haddington Athletic and Musselburgh Windsor. Despite horrific conditions it was an enthralling 120 minutes in which two footballing sides couldn't be separated.
Musselburgh started the game liveliest and came closest to scoring with some dangerous deliveries from corners. A combination of hesitant attackers and last gasp defending kept them at bay until the defence was breached with a lovely slide rule pass the the Musselbrugh striker had time to cut in from the left and slot it across the keeper.
Haddington fought to get back into the game and were unlucky when they struck the woodwork however they finally got their deserved equaliser when the striker was adjudged to have been fouled in the box. Handling stepped up for Haddington and made no mistake from the spot. Scores were level at the break.
The second half started frantically as conditions deteriorated with Musselburgh perhaps having the better of the early exchanges however it was Haddington to took the lead with an excellent strike across the keeper from the right by Lorimer.
Musselburgh showed great resilience and came right back into the game with a neat move resulting in the ball being rolled across the six yard box for the striker to clinically finish from a short distance. The game petered out and extra time was called for.
Full Time: Haddington Athletic 2-2 Musselburgh Windsor
Hopeful of the lights to not switch out like the last meeting of the teams, both teams battled hard in extra time however there was little in the way of chances as both teams looked tentative as they didn't want to lose the game.
Penalties were the order of the day. Haddington scoring 3 out their first 4 with the early scorer Lorimer striking over. Musselburgh only scored 3/5 with one striking the underside of the bar and coming out with the other penalty poorly being rolled straight down the middle.
It was left to Haddington's captain Congalton to win the tie for his side and he obliged with fine right footed strike across his body and to the keepers right. Haddington were the victors.
Final Result: Haddington Athletic 2-2 Musselburgh Windsor (AET, 4-3 on penalties)
Tynecastle went into their last league game knowing a win was essential to keep their challenge alive and they made attempts in the opening exchanges to unsettle Haddington. However, the back three of Ross Hoggan, Aaron Robertson and Murray Strachan were rock solid and Tom Cordery in goals showed why he has the safest hands in the league.
Haddington soon got their passing game going with Sean Campbell, Chris Kirkwood and Grant Barber working hard to allow big Mark Samson and Ryan Smith the room down the flanks to begin creating danger for the visiting side.
After 20 minutes the deadlock was broken when a neat move down the left saw Smith outpace the Tynecastle right back and his perfect low centre was smashed into the net by goals machine Anes Subasic.
The goal stunned the home side and they fought hard to get back into the game only to find Aaron Robertson rock solid and Ross Hoggan and Murray Strachan up to anything the wide players tried.
Danny Thomson replaced Grant Barber and then after 35 minutes the second goal for Haddington arrived.
Another smart move up the left saw Smith cross into the box and from 12 yards Chris Kirkwood drove the ball powerfully into the net. Haddington’s 2-0 lead was well deserved by this stage.
Half Time: Tynecastle FC Under 17s 0-2 Haddington Athletic Under 17s
Early in second half, the breaks didn’t go Haddington’s way with Subasic out of luck with a couple of efforts just wide of the target.
Tynecastle tried the long ball over the top but the back three repelled any danger with powerfully headed clearances. The nearest Tynecastle came was a half-hit effort which sailed over Cordery’s bar and rested on the top of the net.
Haddington continued to push in the second half with Thomson, Kirkwood and Campbell dictating matters in midfield. The pressure told when they were awarded a penalty after Tynecastle’s Edwards pulled back Smith. Johnny Edmond made no mistake from the spot putting the Fairnie the wrong way.
Tynecastle had no answer to Haddington’s all-action style and made a series of unforced errors. Another Haddington break saw the Tynecastle goalkeeper bring down Haddington’s striker. It looked like a clear last man situation but experienced ref Jim Sim viewed the incident differently. He gave the penalty and showed Fairnie the yellow card. Skipper Sean Campbell stepped up to take the kick but put the ball over the bar.
With half an hour to go Tynecastle looked a beaten side and a super through ball saw Ryan Smith race clear and despite a tug on his jersey from the Tynie right-back, he showed supreme strength to rifle the ball into the left side of the net to make it 4-0. The home side had no answer to a rampant Haddington side and their only relief was the referee’s final whistle.
The Haddington players celebrated and their Tynecastle counterparts sportingly shook hands after being beaten by the better side. Hopefully the watching scouts left with a good impression of the league winners. Here was a group of lads who may well contain many late developers who could do a job for a bigger club at Under 19 level next season. Each and every one of them was a star on the night and the league table doesn’t lie.
It was a night to remember for the Haddy boys as they went up to collect their League Championship mementoes and then skipper Sean Campbell collected the League Winners Shield to roars of approval from the squad and the watching coaches and parents. “Terry’s Tornadoes” now have a Cup Final date against Musselburgh Windsor on Monday 21st May at Millfield Park, Haddington and who would bet against this side now hitting top form once again!
Full Time: Tynecastle FC Under 17s 0-4 Haddington Athletic Under 17s
Haddington Athletic Under 17s: Thomas Cordery, Ross Hoggan, Murray Strachan, Aaron Robertson, Grant Barber, Chris Kirkwood, Sean Campbell, Mark Samson, Ryan Smith, Johnny Edmond, Anes Subasic, Craig Rugg, Michael Spence, Danny Thomson, Jack Martin, Adam Young, Ryan Sneddon.
Back (L to R): Edmond, Martin, Smith Spence, Sneddon, Subasic, Strachan, Samson, Young, Hoggan.
Front: (L to R): Robertson, Barber, Campbell, Thomson, Rugg, Kirkwood and goalkeeper Cordery at the front.
Haddington Athletic Colts under 17s went into the game away to North Merchiston BC knowing that a win would clinch them the U17s division 2 league title with a game to go.
The league strugglers showed determination from the start with early attacks, but nothing came from it.
Athletic's top scorer Jack McCaldin opened the scoring, but not long after the home side responded with an equaliser.
Almost immediately after the Colts number 7, Steven Kean ran down the left wing, taking on several players before beating the keeper from close range.
Half Time: North Merchiston Under 17s 1-2 Haddington Athletic Colts Under 17s
In the second half the league leaders showed much more determination, hitting the bar and forcing the home side's goalkeeper, Andrew Bell to pull of some excellent saves.
Eventually Haddington striker Steven Kean put a third past Bell and his second of the game.
Late in the second half the Colts ensured their win with a 4th from Michael Johnston and saw their team lift the Lothian Buses South East Region Division 2 league trophy 2011/12.
Full Time: North Merchiston Under 17s 1-1 Haddington Athletic Colts Under 17s
Top (left to right): Jamie Congaltoun, Ewan Steven, Dan Smith, Shaun McCafferty, Scott Souness, Michael Johnston, Ajdin Husic, Callum Banks, Sam Wyllie, Ian Macdonald. Front (left to right): Lewis Fenn, Connor Tinch, Abz Osman, Steven Kean, Aaron Congaltoun, Jack McCaldin, Lee Innes, Murray Baird.