Additional photos taken by Ricky Evans
Newburgh 2 Pumpherston Juniors 7
Newburgh faced a stiff challenge at home on Saturday with the visit of Champions elect Pumpherston Juniors in the South Premier league.
Pumpherston have strolled through this season winning all but to of their league fixtures giving them a commanding lead in the league table.
Newburgh manager Scott Hudson stuck with the formation that had performed well the previous week at Bathgate. The only changes to the line up being Martin slotting into midfield with Hall moving back into the centre of defence for the absent Clark and Craig Robinson added to the midfield with MacBride filling in for Johal in the defence.
Newburgh got off to the worst possible start conceding a goal in the second minute. Pumpherston were up for the game and pushed Newburgh back attacking at will. The lead was doubled on the 21st minute with the visitors free flowing football proving difficult to stem.
Newburgh grabbed a lifeline two minutes later when a perfectly struck shot from distance by Kyle Fraser bounced just in front of the keeper lifting the ball over his arms into the net.
Newburgh’s hope was short lived however when Pumpherston re-established the two goal advantage in the 25th minute.
Newburgh’s central defensive partnership had to be changed on the half hour with Hall pulling up with an injury. Local lad Matty Porteous replaced him.
The game became more competitive from this point with some attacking open play proving a spectacle for the crowd. Calum Sutherland produced several great saves and Newburgh forced the visiting keeper to be on his toes at the other end in a free flowing game.
Newburgh stemmed the tide up until the 34th minute when Pumpherston added their forth and final goal of the half.
As the second half began Newburgh were forced into making another change when Kyle Fraser picked up an ankle injury. Sean Hastie replaced Fraser in the front line.
Pumpherston added a fifth goal shortly after this to take the game beyond any doubt. Sean Hastie’s lively running up front found him in space to stick the ball away for Newburgh’s second goal in the 51st minute with no slow up in the attacking play from either side.
Both sides looked capable of increasing their tally. Newburgh’s Callum McCleary showed some excellent footwork on the wide left and was giving his maker a torrid time every time he had the ball. The youngster created several chances for himself but could not convert any of these chances into goals.
Pumpheston added two further goals in the half to take the final score to Newburgh 2 Pumpherston 7
Manager Husdon spoke after the game “Losing seven goals at home hurts but I have to look at the positives in our team. We are a threat going forward with some real creativity in the team. This was always going to be a test for the team as Pumpherston are a stick on for the title, possibly next weekend of they win, so I cannot be too hard on the team today. We will re-group and push on for next weekends fixture”.
Newburgh travel to West Calder on Saturday for their final away fixture of the league season.
Newburgh: Sutherland, MacBride, Milton, Hall (Porteous 31), Meaney, Martin, Hutchison, F Robinson, C Robinson, McCleary (MacKay 72), Fraser (Hastie 48)
Newburgh welcome league leaders Pumpherston Juniors to East Shore Park tomorrow.
The reverse fixture at Pumpherston was an excellent advert for the Junior game with both sides playing some superb football with Pumpherston winning the game 3 1. However the game could have gone either way with both sides creating a multitude of chances in front of goal.
The park will be open from 13:30 tomorrow with the game kicking off at 14:30.
Under 16’s free entry
Newburgh welcomed Lochore Welfare to East Shore Park on Saturday. The visitors remain un-beaten in the league since appointing James Adam as manager back in October. A tough test was expected for Scott Hudson’s team in what is always a competitive fixture.
Newburgh started the game at pace and were testing the Lochore rear guard. Robinson and Sutherland supported by the ever lively Fraser up front all caused the visitors defence problems.
With 10 minutes on the clock the opening goal came from a corner driven in low by Hutchison, Sutherland flicked the ball on and Clark met it in the six yard box to force the ball over the line. Newburgh were well worth their lead at this point and could have extended it just minutes later when a Robinson snap shop well saved.
Lochore found their feet in the game and began to impose themselves on the Burgh back line. Johal and Meaney thwarted an attack clearing the ball into the Lochore half. The ball was driven diagonally back over the Burgh defence with Renton able to latch on to the pass and strike it past Calum Sutherland in the ‘Burgh goal.
The game continued to and fro at pace with both sides creating chances without adding to their goal tally. It remained this way until the 42nd minute when a well taken Kinnimonth strike beat the ‘Burgh keeper to separate the sides once again.
Tis advantage was cancelled out just on the stroke of half time when a perfectly placed Hutchison free kick eluded the defensive wall and Lochore keeper Inglis, to curl in low at the post.
Lochore regained the advantage on the 53rd minute. Newburgh had been pressing forward pushing for an opening. A clearance from Lochore found Johnston who gathered the ball in well and drove forward. The ‘Burgh defence back tracked in an attempt to clear the danger but Johnston found space to un-leash a sublime strike into the top corner.
Newburgh freshened up their attacking options swapping Hall for Nicol and introducing Hastie for the tiring Sutherland. Newburgh were controlling the game and looked the likelier to score as the last 10 minutes of the game approached.
Newburgh were awarded a free kick 20 yards out from goal and the defensive pairing of Clark and Milton were sent into the box. A poor delivery from the free kick was intercepted by the lively Kinnimoth who drove up field at pace. The Lochore front man got the better of Meaney and slotted his shot in at the far corner of Sutherland’s gaol to give the visitors an all-important two goal cushion.
Newburgh grabbed their final goal in the last minute of the game. The goal came from some excellent play down the right by Hastie who delivered a perfect cross to Smart. The ‘Burgh midfield stalwart rose well in the box and cannoned a superb header off the cross bar. The ball dropped into the path of Robinson who made no mistake jabbing the ball into the empty net.
Manager Hudson spoke after the game clearly disappointed to have lost hat was a highly competitive fixture “There was very little between both teams today and a few silly mistakes cost us getting out of this poor run we have been on. I am heartened with the performance today though. We showed how we can perform and we just need to tidy up a few aspects of our play to get things turned around for us. We intend to add a few players to the squad in the coming days which will introduce more competition for places in the starting line-up”.
Newburgh are at home once again this coming Saturday when Thornton Hibs visit in the East region league cup. Kick off at East Shore park is at 2pm.
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