Musselburgh Extend Lead At Top Of Premier League

Musselburgh Athletic 3 Haddington Athletic 0


Report by Gordon Baird

Musselburgh Athletic extended their lead at the top of the East Super League to 15 points in a game where they seldom dominated a good Haddington side but, ultimately ran out comfortable winners. Burgh led early on courtesy of a fine MacDonald headed finish and led by two at the break. However, in a second half where neither side created much they finally put the game beyond the visitors when Thomson scored a superb free kick.

 It was first v Second in the East Premier League this afternoon when leaders Musselburgh Athletic hosted Haddington Athletic in an East Lothian derby – the first time the county rivals have met in the league at Olivebank since the season 2001/2. The “honest toun” men lead the table by 12 points and are unbeaten at home this campaign.

The visitors are also having a fine run and are unbeaten at home and have lost only two away league games all season. The sides met in the Fife and Lothians Cup at Haddington in October, with Haddington coming out on top after a mammoth penalty shootout, following a goalless draw. The sides have taken part in thirty-five league games this season, losing only three in total between them.

There was a good crowd inside Olivebank on a fine afternoon for football to see the sides kick off. The home side were quickly on the offensive and King put in a fine cross which found no takers. At the other end Inglis played a good ball to release Jones and when his cross wasn’t cleared, Inglis was on the end to fire the ball over.

McManus nearly put the home side in trouble with a short pass back, but his goalkeeper rescued him. After 15 minutes Burgh took the lead. Good play on the right released Moffat and his accurate cross found MACDONALD at the near post and he headed firmly past Alysandratos.

Both teams had chances in the next few minutes but were straight at the goalkeepers and easily dealt with. After 18 minutes Haddington had a great chance to draw level. They produced the best move of the game up until that point and Devlin was in on goal but, Adams pulled off a fine stop. From the resultant corner Paterson headed over.

After 20 minutes King again found space but once again his fine cross across the face of the goal found no takers and was turned behind. However, it didn’t matter as Burgh went two up from the resultant corner. Murphy send over a fine cross and MCMANUS was unchallenged as he headed the ball home.

Haddington responded well to the setback and half way through the half Jones had a great run on the left but, his dangerous cross didn’t find a team mate. However, Burgh were very dangerous, and a MacDonald had a shot well saved at the post by Alysansratos. Minutes later Quinn had a half chance but didn’t work Adams. Minutes later the visitors looked sure to score when the ball was not cleared after a corner, but a combination of Musselburgh players managed to clear the ball. On the half hour Thomson put a free kick over for the Burgh.

As the break approached Jones had another good run but again his cross found no takers. Next Baptie put a free kick just over before Haddington again nearly forced the ball home from a corner.

The home side went in with their two-goal lead but there were a little flattered by the score line. The first 45 minutes had been fairly equal, but Burgh has taken their chances and Haddington had not. It was an open attractive game played in a good spirit.

Half Time: Musselburgh Athletic 2 Haddington Athletic 0

No changes at the break. The half started fairly evenly and there was 50 minutes on the clock before the first chance arrived and it took brave goalkeeping by Alysandratos in the visitors goal to keep the lead at two. Two minutes later the keeper rushed from his goal again to foil the Burgh.

After 58 minutes a Cherrie free kick led to some goal interplay before Thomson had his shot blocked. The second half had been far less open than the first and both teams made changes half way through the half. Haddington took off Torrance and Quinn and introduced Cropley and Cairney. Burgh withdrew Moffat and brought on Ralton.

Despite the changes in personnel, very little about the pattern of the game changed. Devlin had a half chance for Haddington after 68 minutes, but it was dealt comfortably by Adams. Then Brown headed straight at Adams. After 71 minutes substitute Ralton was on the end of the free kick but his effort was blocked. Murphy then had a tame shot for the Burgh but the game was being played in midfield. After 74 minutes Burgh withdrew Cherrie and brought on Myles.

After 75 minutes Brown headed wide for the visitors when in good position. It was his last contribution as the visitors introduced Hill straight away. Jones shot wide after 79 minutes but Haddington couldn’t test Adams. Musselburgh made their final change when Whyte replaced Murphy.

The game was dying slowly but there was a sting in the tail for Haddington when with 4 minutes remaining THOMSON added a third for Musselburgh from a free kick. His spectacular strike gave Alysandratos no chance.

Burgh saw the game out comfortably and took the points. Haddington had chances but couldn’t take them while Musselburgh converted theirs. Burgh are now starting to look certain to return to the East Super League while Haddington are still in the shake-up despite this loss.

Best for Burgh were Cherrie and MacDonald who worked tirelessly. Haddington were well served by Inglis and Jones. Musselburgh visit Blackburn United in the league next week while Haddington visit Edinburgh United in the Fife and Lothians Cup.

Musselburgh: Adams, McManus, Lynch, Murphy, Cherrie, King, Davie, Donaldson, Thomson, Moffat and MacDonald. Subs: Tufail, Ralton, Myles, Wilson, Whyte.

Haddington: Alysandratos, Berry, Baptie, Paterson, Cunningham, Inglis, Brown, Torrance, Devlin, Quinn, Jones Subs: Cropley, Hill, Cairney, Scott, Cockburn.


Referee: Colin Whyte. Assistants: Danny MacKinnon & Fiona Morton.

Leave a Reply

What’s new?

Thank you to those who keep the site open by providing content and footage. The site is after all for the benefit of junior football, especially the fans, so please help out and contribute. All input is vital and greatly appreciated.

Without input there is no site and we are always looking for new people to assist in any way possible so get in touch at

If you want to advertise your site get in touch or if you want to sponsor our site please contact us.

For latest tweets from clubs click on menus below the pictures.

The latest from Twitter

Join 10051 others and follow us