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Opening Day Thriller as Musselburgh Edge Past Newtongrange

Newtongrange Star 3

McGill 9, Davidson 31, Forrest 76'

Musselburgh Athletic 4

Latimer 2, Young 19, Laidlaw 25, Mdalasini 85
  • Friday, 23 August 2019
  • New Victoria Park, Newtongrange
  • Under 20´s
  • Lowlands Development League

The sense of new season optimism was palpable at New Victoria Park on Friday night, as Musselburgh Athletic overcame Newtongrange Star to register their first three points of the season. Star looked as though they had nicked a draw, but with just five minutes to spare, it was Khasim Mdalasini who was the hero as Musselburgh kicked off their season with a big win on the road. 

It was a dream start for Musselburgh as their early pressing lead to a mix up in the Newtongrange defence. Lewis Latimer was alert enough to pounce on the mistake and slot the ball cooly past Cammy Duncan in the Star goal to give his team the lead after just two minutes. 

Newtongrange soon found themselves level thanks to Lee McGill's well placed shot from the centre of the box. Centre-half Mark Tennant played a smart long ball over the top, which was collected by Josh Davidson out on the left wing. The big striker drove to the byline and squared it to his partner McGill, who made no mistake in grabbing his side's first goal of the season. 

Musselburgh looked to get more of a foothold in the game and began knocking the ball about with greater urgency. Their superior possession paid dividends as some slick build play led to Duncan getting down well, but Ciaran Young was there to pick up the scraps and restore the visitor's lead. 

Tricky winger Cameron Laidlaw had been terrorising the Newtongrange backline in the opening stages of the game, but proved he had the composure to match as he extended Musselburgh's advantage. Daniel Nichol floated out to the left and played in a beautiful deep cross to the back post, with Laidlaw plucking the ball out the air before smashing the ball beyond Duncan. 

Despite playing in the heart of defence, Tennant once again proved instrumental as Star pulled a goal back with just over half an hour on the clock. The big centre half burst out of defence and carried the ball through the middle of the park. He then showed his technical ability in slipping it through to Davidson, whose shot snuck under Fraser Machray to put Newtongrange right back in the game.

 

 

  • Half Time:
  • Newtongrange Star
  • 2-3
  • Musselburgh Athletic

The visitors began cranking up the pressure after watching Jordan Cunningham almost bring Star level with his half volley at the back post. Musselburgh capitalised on every loose ball and this high press led to two chances for Latimer to further increase his side's advantage; both times he was denied by the onrushing Duncan. 

In a cruel twist of fate, it was a misplaced pass from the Musselburgh backline that provided Star with their equaliser. Substitute Ryan Forrest showed he was up to speed as he latched on to the back pass and provided the clinical finish into the bottom left hand corner to bring the sides level with less than 15 minutes to go. 

Just as it began to look as though the points would be shared in the new season's curtain raiser, up stepped substitute Khasim Mdalasini to seal the win for Musselburgh. Gary Ewing's wicked cross caused havoc in the Newtongrange box, with Mdalasini being the one to prod home and ensure his side left with three points on opening day. 

Both teams showed great attacking intent and fantastic character in a pulsating game of football. Positives can be taken by everyone involved, as they look forward to everything the rest of the season has to offer.

 

  • Full Time:
  • Newtongrange Star
  • 3-4
  • Musselburgh Athletic

Lineups

Newtongrange Star
Musselburgh Athletic
1. Cameron Duncan
2. Ronan Gallagher
3. Kye Brown
4. Fraser Hoskin
5. Mark Tennant
6. Marc Scott
7. Lee McGill
8. Ben Corrigan
9. Josh Davidson
11. Michael Semple
12. Ryan Forrest
14. Craig Gair
15. Tadi Muzambi
16. Louis Baigan
18. Jordan Cunningham
1. Fraser Machray
2. Aaron Matheson
3. Sam Bird
4. Kieran Lugton
5. Matthew Scotland
6. Daniel Nichol
7. Ethan Wynne
8. Ciaran Young
9. Kyle McFadden
11. Cameron Laidlaw
14. Devan Craighead
15. Khasim Mdalasini
17. Gary Ewing
18. Ewan Graham
19. Lewis Latimer
20. Shaun Taylor
Star Player
Newtongrange Star
Musselburgh Athletic
Mark Tennant managed to register an assist and play a key part in Newtongrange's opening two goals all while marshalling the Musselburgh attack. He looked imperious in the air, and the game may not have been so closely contested had he not been on the pitch.
Darren Nichol was tireless in the heart of Musselburgh's engine room. His desire to win the ball, and his skill and composure when he had it, meant the talismanic midfielder shone in a team brimming with talent.
Magic Moment
Newtongrange Star
Musselburgh Athletic
It was a busy night for Star keeper Cammy Duncan, but the pick of his saves came when he flew to his left hand side to claw away Cameron Laidlaw's looping effort from 25 yards.
Ethan Wynne was a thorn in Newtongrange's side the entire evening, perhaps exemplified best when he nutmegged two Star players consecutively as he drove through the middle of the park.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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