South East Region (493)
Following an even start, it was Currie who were first to threaten either goal in the 8th minute with a shot from distance by Christopher Laidlaw forcing Blackhall keeper Ryan Rudland into a fine save.
This sparked Blackhall into immediate action, taking the lead a minute later following good play from Jamie Barry. Barry collected the ball wide on the left, flew past a couple of Currie players before squaring a low cross which was met a few yards out at the front post by Matthew Laing. Currie keeper Sukveer Sandher blocked the initial effort which then ricocheted off Laing and into the net.
If there was an element of fortune with the opener, there was no luck with Blackhall's second, when the lead was doubled in the 14th minute. Sam Crees collected a pass just outside the box to the left and from 20 yards unleashed a vicious strike across goal that skidded off the moist surface into the far corner of the goal.
The next serious threat on goal came in the 16th minute when Currie almost pulled a goal back. Some neat play in the middle of the park led to Artur Wreczycki being fed through on the left and as he moved into the penalty area he struck a fine left footed shot that cracked off the underside of the crossbar, before the ball was scrambled to safety by Blackhall.
Blackhall's reaction was to up their game and dominated the remainder of the first half. In the 24th minute the lead stretched to 3-0. From a corner on the right, Ramsey Hodgson found space in the six yard box near the back post, sending a strong downward header into the net.
No more than three minutes later and it was 4-0 when Laing notched his second goal of the game when a free kick fell to him, and he cooly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Blackhall continued to impose themselves and in the 37th minute seemed set to go 5-0 up. Laing bore down on goal on the inside left, however as he was about shoot he was thwarted by Currie defender Daniel Shepherd with an outstanding sliding tackle.
Half Time: Blackhall Athletic 4-0 Currie FC
Following an early Blackhall chance in the second half, it was Currie that reduced the arrears with a goal in the 46th minute. A good move released Wreczycki down the left who beat one defender and from the byline he squared the ball and 2nd half substitute Lee Coleman found the roof of the net from 6 yards out. Good finish from Coleman to reduce the defecit for Currie.
Buoyed by the goal, Currie then had their best spell of the game, with a period of 10 - 15 minutes where they had greater possession and were fashioning a few half chances. In the 57th minute Currie were unlucky not to pull another goal back when a low cross-come-shot struck the base of left hand post.
As the game continued Blackhall regained the upper hand, creating a number of further chances, with Currie keeper Sandher making a couple of fine saves and a few shots missing the target.
Not to be undone, in the latter stages Rudland made a couple of fine saves of his own in the 72nd minute from Wreczycki and the 75th minute from Oliver Leavy.
In the 76th minute Blackhall rounded off the scoring, with Laing completing his hat trick with a composed finished to the bottom corner from close range after being put through on the inside left.
There was still time for some late drama in the final minute when Blackhall were awarded a penalty when Barry was brought down close to goal, however Sandher capped a good performance standing his ground to save the spot kick that was hit high and straight.
Full Time: Blackhall Athletic 5-1 Currie FC
City however didn't have it all their own way as the home side took the lead after 15 minutes. A free kick just inside the City half was launched in to the box. A scuffed clearance fell kindly for the Windsor player who finished well to keeper Dean Shearsby's right.
Half-time: Musselburgh Windsor Blues 1-2 Musselburgh Windsor Blues
The second half to be honest was one way traffic as City got a hold of the game.The league leaders were quick to extend their lead as Little grabbed his second of the game from a Robbie Telfer corner. Bulleting the ball into the back of the Windsor net.
Another good team performance from the City boys, and Ryan Foggo managed another 20 minutes as he continued his return from injury.
City took the lead after just 10 minutes when Aidan Lawson finished superbly well first time from an Antony Little cross.
Midway through October and this was Redhall Star's first home league game of the season. Couldn't have asked for a tougher game than hosting Tynecastle Colts, who comfortably won both fixtures last season without conceding a goal. Both teams have been in decent form this season and there was plenty of commitment in the early stages as both sides fought their battles.
The first chance of the game fell to Tynecastle, but Green held on well from a long range shot. Redhall responded with a shot from Slow-clayton which ad the keeper scrambling, but flew wide of the Tynecastle goal. Cameron Mills was a dangerous outlet for the visitors and from one run he cut inside the Redhall backline and his shot crashed off the face of the crossbar. Up the other end, some neat play between Henderson, Shortiss and Slow-clayton ended up with a shot which was well blocked by Tynecastle's Balloch.
It wasn't too long however until the deadlock was broken, and it was Tynecastle that took the lead from the penalty spot. On 20 mins the dangerous Mills was caught in the box by Lewis Blues. No complaints at all, and Gary Tickle stepped up to send Green the wrong way.
Redhall's backline of Doyle, Robertson, Mitchell and Henderson were getting a good workout, but they held firm by winning their challenges and headers to keep Tynecastle at bay. Another penalty claim against Redhall was waved away by the referee as Tynecastle pressed for another. Tickle took a sore one from a late Robertson challenge which went suprisingly unpunished.
As we approached half time Redhall did manage to draw level. Cameron Grant won the ball in midfield but was caught by a late challenge. Referee MacBeth played a superb advantage as Slow-clayton drove forward. A pass to Adam Shortiss was thumped high into the roof of the net to level up the scores. A great finish, and a great advantage from the referee.
Half time: Redhall Star YFC 1-1 Tynecastle FC Colts
Redhall made two changes at half time as Anderson and Campbell replaced Parente and Grant but it was Tynecastle who got their noses in front. A shot across the box was saved by Green but the ball deflected off poor little Grant Doyle and ended back in his own net. Such an unfortunate goal to lose.
Tynecastle got a lift from this early goal and pushed for more. Shots were fired on the Redhall goal but Green was in fine form as he saved shots from Tickle, Whalen and Mills. Redhall were struggling to create anything and were chasing shadows for long periods in the second half. Tactical changes were made in an attempt to get back into the game. Green saved again and again before a break from Redhall had Donachie chasing down a through ball. He clashed with keeper Colley. Now, it was a brave move from the keeper to allow a collision with Donachie to happen. I certainly wouldn't want to run into the 6ft 2 striker. Colley, after treatment was replaced by Fielding in goal.
Redhall were soon under the cosh again but Green was on hand to keep out shots from Miranda and Mills. Tynecastle had a great chance to seal the points but Miranda screwed the shot wide when through on goal. A real let off for Redhall. Two more changes for the home side in a final push to get something from the game as Nathan Robertson and Cameron Markham replaced Henderson and Donachie.
Tynecastle lost Tickle to injury after strong challenges from Slow-clayton and Markham, and yet again Green made another save from a shot by Miranda. From Green's clearance Redhall drew level as Nathan Robertson won a corner after skipping past Balloch's challenge. The corner was half cleared by Tynie, but the ball was fed wide to Shortiss who fired a low cross into the box. Running onto the cross was Robbie Campbell, who shot low into the net, giving Fielding no chance, to level the scores up at 2-2.
Straight from the restart Tynecastle pushed forward to try and get their noses infront again, but again Green saved and conceded a corner. From the corner, Mitchell headered away and Redhall were looking for the counter attack. The ball to Shortiss, but his attempted cross-field pass was well intercepted by Balloch. Tynecastle poured forward thanks to this interception, but to no avail. Once again Redhall held firm and it was the home side that managed to take the lead in the final few minutes. Shortiss received the ball out wide, eased past his marker and drove the ball into the area. The ball ended up at the feet of Slow-clayton who controlled and fired high past Fielding in the Tynecastle goal.
Full time: Redhall Star YFC 3-2 Tynecastle FC Colts
It certainly wasn’t the best performance from Redhall but they showed great desire especially as Tynecastle bossed the second half. Tickle had a fine game for Tynecastle in the midfield and Redhall had Green to thank for keeping them in the game with several fine stops. Shortiss also had a fine game with a goal and two assists for Redhall.
With the country currently enjoying an Indian summer, there could be no complaints about the weather and the pitch looked in good condition.
Dunbar were able to field a new signing of their own with Ewan Ford making his debut in the right back position.
With both teams appearing ready, the referee allowed the game to kick off a few minutes before the scheduled 11am kick off. Dunbar were clearly intent on not playing until 11am and were slow out the blocks. Cavalry Park made the running in the opening few minutes and forced a couple of early corners which keeper Purves was alert to deal with.
The clock struck 11 and Dunbar decided to start playing; their first attacking move saw Knox through on goal. His shot from the right hand side of the box saw the home keeper make a good stop.
Dunbar were now alive and involved in the game. Knox was pushed further forward in what the FIFA obsessed players would call the ‘CAM’ role. He looked the main threat and it was no surprise that he opened the scoring for Dunbar with 7 minutes on the clock. The goal hungry midfielder added to his tally of impressive strikes this season with a powerful shot from the edge of the box. The opening goal of the game was Knox’s 9th of the season, and indeed 9th in his last 8 games.
The game looked eagerly contested but Smillie and Kielty in the Dunbar midfield looked in control, and were covering a lot of ground, both protecting the Dunbar back 4, and supporting the attack. Dunbar edged further ahead and it was Knox who shot; this time the home keeper could only parry into the path of Dixon who slotted home.
Dunbar were defending high with Ford, Brunton, Hall and Hood enjoying the battle against a physical and mobile home attack. They were playing well as a unit and stepping up at the right moment leaving the Cavalry Park attack offside on several occasions and the home coach growing more and more frustrated.
Dunbar looked dangerous in attack and they really do have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to pace, with Cooper, Renton, Knox and Dixon all combining well. The third goal however was a back to front passing move which was as good as any goal scored across the country this weekend. It started from Ford at the back who already looks like an asset to the team. He linked up with Cooper, Kielty and Knox as Dunbar made progress down the right. Knox then looked up and delivered a superb cross field ball, switching play from right to left. Renton killed the ball on the left edge of the box, cut inside and unleashed a screamer into the far top corner. The finish more than matched a superbly crafted build-up with the visiting support showing their appreciation.
The game was still hugely competitive with Hood and Kielty covering a lot of ground and defending well. The Dunbar defensive line was finally breached when a long ball did see the Cavalry Park striker judge the offside line better – he collected the ball through and his finish left Purves with no chance. Superb finish.
Dunbar then had to work hard as the home side lifted their game. They did well to see out the half with no further breaches to their goal; a combination of superb goalkeeping and industrious defending frustrating the home attack. In fact, with only a few minutes left of the half it was Dunbar who extended their lead. A Dixon shot was cleared out to Kielty. The busy midfielder collected from around 20 yards and unleashed an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net for his second long ranger of the season. Kielty only scores spectacular goals and it was no more than the he deserved for a commanding midfield performance.
There was still time for one more Dunbar attack and the home goalkeeper pulled out the save of the game to deny Knox a second goal, as the energetic Dunbar Captain raced into the box like a young Ted McMinn. The referee almost looked relieved to see 35 minutes were up and he blew his whistle to call a halt on a fast-paced half.
Half Time: Cavalry Park 1-4 Dunbar United Colts
The second half kicked off and it was no surprise to see the home side up for the challenge, clearly buoyed by their half time team talk. With Cavalry Park looking dangerous, the next goal always looked like a key goal and it was the home side who claimed it in a direct move similar to their first goal. A long ball over the top saw the Dunbar back 4 stuck with arms raised Tony Adams style. The referee ignored the pleas for offside and the Cavalry Park striker again finished comfortably.
The next 5 minutes seen the action swing from end to end with Cooper and Renton looking dangerous down the flanks for Dunbar while the direct long ball game from the home side looked like troubling the Dunbar defence which was well marshalled by Hall.
Dunbar did score the next goal which seemed to calm the nerves. Cooper’s persistence down the right led to a mistake in the home defence, and when the ball was missed by the centre half, Renton needed no second invite and he sneaked in to extend Dunbar’s lead.
Cooper was again instrumental in Dunbar’s 6th goal. He won the ball from his opponent and his vision was matched by his execution as he played in Dixon. Dixon finished expertly, curling the ball past the keeper with the outside of his right foot as the visitors took the game away from their hosts.
With players tiring, Dunbar called for back-up and Kinghorn, Sutherland and Foggo were introduced. Kielty showed his versatility as he slipped back a position to steady the Dunbar defence while Sutherland slotted in to the engine-room as if he had been there all his life. Kinghorn was his usual threat down the left, and again looked to impose himself on a tiring defence. Foggo also looked like he had a point to prove with the Dunbar squad all competing for starting places right now.
The changes were positive ones with Sutherland and Foggo in particular wasting no time in influencing the game. Dunbar soon made it 7 and it was again as a result of great defending from the front. Pressure from Renton and Foggo saw a mistake in the home side’s box, and Dixon was left with the simplest of chances to complete his hat-trick.
Cavalry Park remained a threat and Purves still had work to do in the Dunbar goal. He pulled off a classy stop to highlight his importance to the team. Mclean took Dixons place in the Dunbar XI and he too looked to impose himself as the Dunbar goal factory showed no signs of ceasing production any time soon. Foggo seen an effort well saved before Knox shot wide as the Cavalry Park team pushed forward in numbers. Renton and Foggo missed further chances as the game continued to flow from end to end. Cavalry Park did score a third – the threat down the right finally was rewarded when the right winger danced his way through a tiring Dunbar defence before finishing in style.
Sutherland in the Dunbar midfield clearly took exception to this and he produced the pass of the game, a superb through ball presenting Foggo with a one on one with the keeper. He was calm and skilful as he cleverly dispatched his effort in to the net to round off the scoring for the day.
To be fair to the home side, this was a well-contested game, with Dunbar simply reserving their best display of the season for a game against the league leaders. In a performance where every player contributed heavily, Kielty shone the brightest as he claimed the man of the match for Dunbar.
League action continues at Hallhill next weekend as Dunbar entertains Borders visitors for the first time as Peebles come to town.
Full Time: Cavalry Park 3-8 Dunbar United Colts
Today seen the visit of Lauriston Thistle to little old Longniddry and after a difficult few weeks in which we had been in control for long periods of games creating so many chances to win comfortably only to somehow lose. What would today bring? Joy? Tears? Or just total disbelief?
As always with this team nothing is ever simple. No game goes by without some sort of situation. No subs, kicking off with 10 men and even playing a whole game with 10 once, but today even had the referee puzzled. Due to circumstances beyond my control we had to play today’s game without a Goalkeeper. Yes you read correctly, no keeper! Never have I felt so downhearted looking at our guys having to break the news. 12 sets of eyes just looked at me puzzled (yes 12 more on that later). "What are we going to do?" was the collective reply. What could we do but sit in dressing room 20 minutes before kick off and ask one of my players to step up? And so they did. First of all Hamish agreed, and then Martin both said they would take a half each. inside I was both proud and scared we might be on the end of a heavy defeat, but I wasn't about to let the boys know that.
The first half was an even and honest contest played in good spirit, with both sides getting the ball down to play some superb football which was a joy to watch. Some light rain earlier in the day meant that the pitch was fast and ideal for passing beyond and behind the defence and into space. Both teams were hitting what looked to be good passes but due to the pitch, they were skidding away from the strikers and causing a real lack of chances being created in the first half. But I was happy and impressed with the first half performance under the circumstances.
Half time: Longniddry Villa Blues 0-0 Lauriston Thistle
The second half began,(remember I said 12 sets of eyes) and yes I finally got to make a substitution. The change seen Sam come off and Murray take to the field as lone striker. Hamish vacated his goalkeeping gloves and Martin took his place in the sticks for the second half. I had a sensing feeling we could get in-behind the Lauriston defence I was hoping Murray could break their backline.
Some neat passing in midfield played in Murray early in the second half, and he was on his way to goal. A great first time got him away from the chasing pack of defenders, then some good close control gave him the shooting opportunity and he fired the ball into the corner to break the deadlock.
Our joy was short lived as a corner from Lauriston forced Martin into a top save but the ball broke kindly to the Lauriston player inside the box as we failed to clear our lines and they managed to squeeze the ball into the net. A lovely finish from the lad as he somehow managed to find a way past so many players in a crowded penalty area.
This didn't seem to affect the Longniddry boys as previously the heads would go down and we would of lost this game. It was time to roll the sleeves up and get stuck in. There was a couple of nervy moments for the home side as Lauriston grew into the game but Martin more than once showed good safe hands to prevent the visitors from taking the lead.
Another good move from Longniddry played in Murray, and this time he rounded the onrushing keeper but the ball was skidding across the wet surface and looked to be heading out. Ah well, unlucky Murray. To my disbelief however, he got on the end of the ball and somehow managed to score from the most acute angle i've ever seen. What a goal son! Pure genius, and to the disbelief of everyone at the game, including himself.
We where now starting to boss the midfield more and goal number 3 soon followed. Murray once again escaping his marker then unselfishly squaring the ball for Ross to knock the ball home to give us some breathing space.
The lads seemed very relaxed now and with only 5 minutes to go an unfortunate mistake between their keeper and defender allowed Murray to pick up the loose ball and lash home for a very nice 4-1 victory.
Full Time: Longniddry Villa Blues 4-1
I was delighted with the boys today despite everything these lads have had to put up with over the last few weeks. Last minute call offs, no subs, extra time cup exit heartache and now losing our keeper, they have once again shown that they have the will, desire, ability and passion when faced with unbelievable hurdles. They all pulled together as a team their spirit will not be broken.
Credit must go to Lauriston Thistle though as the football they played was sublime and a very good match that was played in the best of spirits by both sets of players.
Massive well done to everyone of my little lions today it’s been a tough few weeks but our defence was solid, captain for the day Gregor was great pushing the team forward and barking instructions, the midfield battled and chased every ball, Young Sam ran his heart out in the 1st half being asked to play the lone striker role is never easy & Murray may have grabbed the goals but it was a team effort today.. And a massive thank you to Hamish and Martin for stepping up and filling the void in goal.