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.