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AC Oxgangs claim points in thriller with Musselburgh Windsor

AC Oxgangs 4

Murray7, Philip 65, Reid 67, Hamilton 90

Musselborough Windsor 96 2

Ballantyne 7,40
  • Tuesday, 07 April 2015
  • Meggetland Sports Complex
  • Under 19´s
  • League Division 1
Harvey Nafpliotis

Charalambos (Harvey) Nafpliotis | YFS South East Region Journalist

AC Oxgangs hosted Musselburgh Windsor on a warm evening under the floodlights at Meggetland. The opening exchanges were dominated by the visitors, who seemed to settle more quickly in to their natural game than than ACO.  
The visitors would turn their early dominance in to chances very early on. Scott Chapman picked up the ball in midfield for Mussy and launched a long ball between the ACO defence aiming for Ballantyne in an attacking position. The forward took control of the ball well feeding a ball through for Handling on the left side, who arrowed a low shot straight at ACO goalkeeper Andrew Dunnett, credit the goalkeeper who got down well to stop the ball spilling.
Ballantyne seemed in confident mood and he looked to have scored the opener when he got on the end of a Scott Walker cross inside the box with 6 minutes played, Sam Leslie in the heart of the AC defence made a fantastic clearance off the line however to keep the score 0-0.
Despite the visitors taking the lions’ share of possession in the early exchanges it was to be AC Oxgangs who would take a somewhat unlikely lead. With just 7 minutes on the clock Lewis Murray opened the scoring with a powerful strike from just outside the box after good build up in midfield from ACO. It was a fine strike and one which Craig Hunter in the Mussy goal could do nothing about.
It may well be fair to say that the visitors would have been feeling aggrieved at being a goal down after the excellent start they had made to the game. The disappointment would soon evaporate however as Mussy scored right from the off to make the game 1-1 within the same minute. A long ball from midfield saw the ball in the box and in the panic that ensued one man in Dean Ballantyne showed fantastic composure to rifle home an equaliser low in to the bottom corner from the right hand side, 1-1 with just over 7 minutes played.
Sometimes the term “end to end game” is used too often in football but what followed in the aftermath of the Mussleburgh equaliser was just that. Although Mussycontinued their theme of better passing than their opponents as the game progressed, it appeared that taking the lead was just the boost ACO needed and they began to battle back with chances of their own. Shaun Marshall linked well with the impressive Tom Embleton down the right side and Embleton produced a fantastic low cross along the deck, unfortunately for the full back no takers for AC as the ball eluded everyone in the box and went harmlessly out.
A corner on 24 minutes was the next real chance of the game. Scott Walker played in a nice corner and it looked to everyone that Ballantyne would add his second of the game, but for yet another intervention from Leslie who was having an imposing game for ACO. The ball though fell to Handling of Mussy who had a cracking effort on the volley, although it went well wide it was a fantastic try from the midfielder. Mussy would continue to have chances to take the lead Handling this time taking a break from shooting to play in James Rogers-Jones down the flank, his cross was well taken but again there were no takers for the visitors able to take advantage.
Darren Handling for Mussy looked determined to add his name to the scorers soon after as this time it was Rogers-Jones who would supply the midfielder who lashed an effort goal but unfortunately for Handling it would fly right at Dunnett. With 40 minutes on the clock it was the visitors who would once more take the lead Ballantyne there again for his team to make it 2-1. Nice interchanging again from Mussleburgh on the edge of the host’s box and once again it was Ballantyne with a powerful effort from just inside the box to give the visitors the lead.
Despite taking what appeared to be a deserved lead in to the break Mussy should thank Calum Marr for preserving his teams advantage as he was on hand to block a rasper of a shot from distance by ACO’s Embleton just before the sounding of the half time whistle. 
  • Half Time:
  • AC Oxgangs
  • 1-2
  • Musselborough Windsor 96
The second half started in blistering fashion for AC Oxgangs. The hosts were clearly buoyed by the words of their coaching team at half time and in particular Tom Embleton started the second half as he finished the first. With a fantastic run eluding 2 players on his travels Ebleton exchanged a pass with the equally impressive Murray before breaking inside the box and hitting a blistering effort off the visitor’s bar.
If Mussy enjoyed a great start in the first then the same can be said for ACO in the second as the hosts started to grow in confidence and showed signs of the good passing game which has been evident throughout the season. Paul Macari in midfield produced a good ball for Lewis Murray who looked to turn provider with a good lofted pass towards Murray Cockburn in the 51st  minute. Stuart Tragis showing good awareness and pressure to crowd out Cockburn however and preserve his team’s lead.
AC Oxgangs would soon turn dominance in to goals. A good corner from Lewis Murray headed back across goal by Embleton and prodded home by Sam Philip tied up the game on 65 minutes. Just two minutes later it would be ACO who would take the lead. Cockburn playing the ball back from an attacking position in favour of a patient approach, he found Macari who played it in to a dangerous position for Gavin Reid who finished well low in to the bottom corner 3-2 ACO on 67 minutes.
To their credit Musselborough responded to two quick goals and nice play from ACO with some pleasing on the eye football of their own.  Tragis chipped the ball forward to Ballantyne who held up the ball well and then fed Birrell who had an effort which zipped just wide of Dunnett’s post.
Musselburgh continued to press and with the game hitting the 80 minute mark Mussy had a series of chances to tie up the game once more. Substitute Joe Turner-Law involved in two good chances and he can definitely count himself unlucky not to have added his name to the score sheet, a combination of good defending and hard luck combining to deny him. First he saw a free kick on the edge of the box fly straight at Dunnett an unlucky effort for the young man who got the dip right but was unable to add swerve and trouble the opposition goalkeeper. He would have another chance just moments later this time he was on the end of a Stuart Mackay free kick and saw his headed effort float over the bar.
With the game in its dying embers and Mussy starting to look like their first half self’s with every passing moment ACO would kill the game and take all three points with 89 minutes on the clock. Substitute Harvey Blackie played a sublime through ball for the advancing Jamie Hamilton who managed a cheeky lofted attempt over Craig Hunter who truth be told was caught in no man’s land and with nothing to lose.
Overall the old expression of a game of two halves is truly fitting here. Musselburgh Windsor were at times unplayable in the first and took a deserved lead going in to the break. Credit due to AC Oxgangs for a fantastic response in the second half as they took their chances and ensured the three points remained with them. 
  • Full Time:
  • AC Oxgangs
  • 4-2
  • Musselborough Windsor 96


AC Oxgangs
Musselborough Windsor 96
1. Andrew Dunnett 2. Tom Embleton 3. Jack Montgomery 4. Sam Philip 5. Sam Leslie 6. Elliot Sked 7. Shaun Marshall 8. Paul Macari 9. Murray Cockburn 10. Jamie Hamilton 11. Lewis Murray 14. Harvey Blackie 15. Matthew Gray 16. Isaac Thomson 17. Gavin Reid
1. Craig Hunter 2. Daniel Taylor 3. Shaun Lawrence 4. Calum Marr 6. Scott Walker 7. Darren Handling 9. Thomas Meldrum 10. Dean Ballantyne 11. Stuart Tragis 12. Lewis Todd 14. Joe Turner-Law 15. Stuart Mackay 16. James Rodgers-Jones 17. Gavin James Birrell 18. Sam Rintoul 22. Scott Chapman
Star Player
AC Oxgangs
Musselborough Windsor 96
Tom Embleton A spirited display from the full back, involved both offensively and defensively in equal measure. A great assist the icing on the cake.
Dean Ballantyne Scorer of both his team's goals and a general menace to the ACO defenders. A solid performance from the forward.
Magic Moment
AC Oxgangs
Musselborough Windsor 96
The goal which secured the points for ACO making it 4-2. A fantastic through ball from Harvey Blackie and an equally impressive chipped finish from Jamie Hamilton.
Although their general crossing was pleasing on the eye and created a number of chances for Musselburgh Scott Walker in the early stages of the first half whipped in a fantastic pinpoint cross which led to a huge chance for Ballantyne, a great piece of skill from Walker who was consistent in his crossing throughout.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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