Harthill Royal 6 Newburgh 2
Newburgh suffered a second half collapse at Harthill on Saturday in their McBookie.com league fixture. Newburgh and Harthill had faced up twice already this season with only a single goal separating the sides on both occasions.
On a very difficult surface it was Harthill who took the lead in the 16th minute when Johnston outpaced the defence to slot the ball past Sutherland.
Newburgh rallied and played some good football going forward with Hughes and Hastie’s pace testing the home defence.
Newburgh’s equaliser came from a in the 23rd minute. A perfect cross was delivered by Hutchison and met by Fraser moving at pace to head the ball powerfully into the home sides net.
In testing conditions, the game became dis-jointed with neither team able to create chances. However as half time approached it was Newburgh who finally managed to make the break through.
The sprightly Hughes latched on to a long through ball outpacing his marker to drive in towards goal. The Harthill keeper charged out of his box but Hughes slipped the ball past him and bore in on the empty goal slotting the ball into the net to give Newburgh the lead as half time approached.
As he teams started the second half the heavy rain abated but the pitch was very heavy and with the strong wind behind them Harthill pressed Newburgh back from the off.
Newburgh were losing the battle in the middle of the park and it was only a matter of time till the home side breached the ‘Burgh back line.
The equalising goal came on the 62nd minute and from then on in the home side were on the front foot. Newburgh held out until the 71st minute when the home side took the lead and with Newburgh struggling to make any impact on the game going forwards Harthill added further goals in the 78th, 82nd and 88th minute to give them a convincing and deserved win.
Manager Hudson spent a considerable amount of time in the changing room after the game talking to his side. Speaking after the game his disappointment was evident “We never turned up in the second half and the most disappointing thing is we had really taken the game to them in the first half and were playing well. The conditions can’t be blamed as it was as difficult for Harthill as it was for us. We need to start to perform as well as we did in the first half for much longer in games to win in this league as there are no easy games”.
Newburgh start a run of three home fixtures in a row this Saturday when Kirkcaldy YM are the visitors to East Shore Park. Kick-off is at 2pm