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Musselburgh too hot for Currie in league decider

Musselburgh Grammar HS 3

Surgeon, Ballantyne (2)

Currie CHS 1

Livingston
  • Friday, 09 May 2014
  • Meggetland 3G
  • Under 18´s
  • Lothian Schools FA - League Play-off
Kieran Green

Kieran Green | YFS South East Region Journalist

At a mobbed Meggetland, Musselburgh Grammar produced a stern performance against Currie High School to run out 3-1 winners in the SSFA Senior League play off. Musselburgh took the lead through Rhys Surgeon 15 minutes in with a thunderous strike. Currie equalised soon after through a Calum Livingston header from a Gregor Lockhart free kick. In the second half, Currie had a few chances, but Musselburgh proved ruthless in front of goal as a double from Dean Ballantyne secured the win for his side, and to crown them SSFA Senior League play off champions.
 
Musselburgh started the brighter of the 2 sides, with both Ryan Hutchison and Rhys Sturgeon using their pace to good effect on both sides of the pitch. The first attack of the game came down the Musselburgh right through Hutchison, and his cross into the 6 yard box proved troublesome for Currie Keeper Scott Wayth, but centre half Calum Livingston was on hand to remove the danger and prevented Musselburgh forward Michael Gray from pouncing on the loose ball.
 
Currie responded to the early Musselburgh pressure by breaking down the left hand side. Impressive full back Grant McEwan providing a great pass down the line for Calum McArthur allowed him to pull the ball back to Calum Helm, but he dragged his shot agonisingly wide of Greig McLay’s left post.
 
It couldn’t have been more identical, as Currie came close once again to breaking the deadlock. McEwan gave the ball down the line to just as he did a minute earlier, but to Gregor Lockhart this time. He then fed the ball into the box towards McArthur, but as Helm did, he dragged his shot wide of the left post.
 
After not taking their early chances, Currie were made to pay as Musselburgh took the lead. A throw in at the corner flag was thrown long into the Currie penalty area, and it broke to Rhys Sturgeon who unleashed a thunderous shot across Wayth, leaving the keeper with no chance, and putting Musselburgh 1-0 up, much to the delight of the large section of Musselburgh supporters.
 
McArthur was proving a real danger to Musselburgh, and his latest burst forward was a mazy run from the left back position all the way into the box, he shifted the ball expertly onto his weaker right foot, but unfortunately for him his shot was weak and straight into the arms of McLay.
 
McArthur was turning provider for his team mates, with a neat flick over the top to Shaun Munro who had ran clear of the Musselburgh centre halves, and after good work down the left from McEwan and Lockhart, Munro attempted to lift his over McLay but just couldn’t get enough lift on the effort and McLay was able to claim the ball easily in the air.
 
Currie piling even more pressure on Musselburgh after going a goal down, and McArthur had another shot at goal. This time, his effort had more venom on it, and forced a good save out of McLay, stretching high to his left hand side to push the ball away from goal. The ball was swung back in by Jack Philp from the right wing, McLay did brilliantly to get something on the ball, but taking a sore one in the process. The keeper requiring treatment, and the injury forcing him off a few minutes later to be replaced by Hearts under 17’s keeper Kelby Mason.
 
Mason’s first involvement was to pick the ball out of his own net as Currie equalised. A corner free kick down by the corner flag was expertly swung in by Lockhart on to the head of unmarked centre half Calum Livingston up from the back to head home past the helpless Mason. 1-1, game on!
 
After their equaliser, Currie looked vulnerable to any Musselburgh attack, and just before half time Stuart Talac forced Wayth into an uncomfortable save, as his shot from 25 yards bounced right in front of the keeper, forcing him to push the ball away from goal to keep the score level as the half time whistle went.
  • Half Time:
  • Musselburgh Grammar HS
  • 1-1
  • Currie CHS
Musselburgh started the second half brightly, and straight away looked to test Currie keeper Andy Smith who replaced Scott Wayth at half time. Daniel Garvey had a shot from 30 yards which had some amount of power behind it, but Smith was able to hold the ball.
 
The East Lothian side looked to regain the lead early in the second half, and came close to doing so with Ballantyne powering down the right hand side, and he fed the ball inside to Garvey, but his shot flew just over the crossbar. Musselburgh looking the more likely side to take the lead.
 
Currie were looking to set pieces as the route to take the lead, but every time in the second half they put a free kick into the box, Kelby Mason claimed the ball expertly. Many people will judge a keeper on their saves, but Mason dominated his penalty area, shying out of no challenges in the air or on the ground. Every single ball without fail ended up in his gloves in the second half.
 
Currie did test Mason with a long range shot, and it was that man again Calum McArthur who was the threat. His 25 yard effort stung the palms of the Musselburgh keeper, forcing him to push the ball wide, and it was cleared by Stuart Tragis before any Currie player could get to the rebound.
 
Being one of the smaller players on the park, you wouldn’t expect Musselburgh midfielder Lloyd Fiddler to win many aerial battles. However, the determination to win the ball from this lad is second to none. Strong in the tackle, never giving up a lost cause, and improvisation is difficult situations is second to none. Fiddler was superb all afternoon, and on this occasion it was no different.  Just as Currie hitman Helm pulled the trigger on the edge of the box, Fiddler threw himself in front of the ball to block it and stop it from troubling his keeper.
 
Less than a minute later, Musselburgh took the lead. Tragis’ free kick was lofted into the area, missed by Currie defender Livingston, Ballantyne brought the ball down facing away from goal, but turned expertly on the penalty spot to rifle his shot past the hapless dive of Smith to put Musselburgh 2-1 up.
 
The next attack, the next goal. Currie lost the ball from their kick off, Sam Rintoul’s shot on the edge of the box was blocked by Livingston, but deflected into the path of Ballantyne who wrapped up the win for Musselburgh with a cool first time finish 6 yards out. 3-1 Musselburgh.
 
Currie changed to a 3-5-2, and right wing back Jack Philp worked himself some space on the corner of the penalty area but his shot was wayward and over the bar, much to his frustration.
 
With seconds left on the clock, Calum Helm worked his way to the edge of the Musselburgh penalty area, and before he pulled the trigger it looked as though he was fouled as he fell to the surface, but referee Michael Banks decided otherwise, cautioning Helm for simulation and showing him the yellow card, which summed the day up for Currie, as nothing seemed to go their way.
 
The final whistle went, and signalled celebration mode for the Musselburgh players, as they had won the SSFA Senior League play off. Congratulations to both teams for winning their respective East and West of Edinburgh Senior leagues, and for producing a great football match. Musselburgh ran out 3-1 victors, but Currie have a chance to rectify the result with their Senior Cup final at Spartans Academy on Friday 16th of March against Lasswade High School at 7:15pm.
 
  • Full Time:
  • Musselburgh Grammar HS
  • 3-1
  • Currie CHS

Lineups

Musselburgh Grammar HS
Currie CHS

1. Greig McLay
2. Liam Higgins
3. Stuart Tragis
4. Stuart Talac
5. Nick Tonner
6. Daniel McSorley
7. Ross Larner
8. Andy McNeil
9. Sam Rintoul
10. Dean Ballantyne
12. Daniel Garvey
14. Lloyd Fiddler
15. Michael Gray
16. Ryan Huchison
17. Rhys Surgeon
1. Kelby Mason

1. Scott Wayth
2. Daniel Mitchell
3. Grant McEwan
4. Calum Livingston
5. Calum McArthur
6. Jamie Tomlinson
7. Shaun Munro
8. Alastair Goldie
9. Calum Helm
10. Gregor Lockhart
11. Jack Philp
12. Liam Walker
14. Craig Berry
16. Sam Laverty
17. Ben Leicester
99. Andy Smith

Star Player
Musselburgh Grammar HS
Currie CHS
A few players could of been given the man of the match award for Musselburgh, but Lloyd Fiddler just pips it. His determination, fight in the tackle, and also his superb footballing ability is just a joy to watch. All afternoon he was pulling the strings in the midfield, never gave the ball away, and was all round brilliant
Calum McArthur was the main man for Currie all afternoon. His driving runs, ability to take players on and shoot could of won the game for Currie, but it just wasn't to be. A real danger man that Musselburgh struggled to keep under control.
Magic Moment
Musselburgh Grammar HS
Currie CHS
When Dean Ballantyne scored his first and Musselburgh's second, it gave his side the belief that they could win the game after sustaining a lot of Currie pressure at that time
A great free kick delivery from Gregor Lockhart and a great header from Calum Livingston got Currie back on level terms just before half time
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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