Newburgh v Lochore Welfare match report

Newburgh 1 Lochore Welfare 1

Newburgh returned to competitive action last Saturday having not played a competitive match since the 29th of November. A series of call off and a blank week meant this would be Newburgh’s first game in the month of December.
Mike Gow returned to the Newburgh squad which was minus the transfer listed Dylan Honeyman and Dean Elder.
Newburgh started the game the livelier of the two sides and pushed Lochore back with McAdam and Spence in the wide areas causing the visitors some concern with their strong running. Lochore looked a different side to the one that Newburgh convincingly beat in the return fixture in October. Lee Dair has taken over the managerial reigns at Lochore and they have benefited from his vast experience, now looking a well organised outfit that Newburgh were finding difficult to break down.

Wilson defends Newburgh's penalty area
Wilson defends Newburgh’s penalty area

Towards the end of the first half Newburgh had a flurry of chances with McAdam, Spence and Harris all coming close to breaking the deadlock.

Houston clears the danger for Newburgh
Houston clears the danger for Newburgh

The Lochore goalkeeper pulled off some superb saves to deny Newburgh the lead.
With no changes made at half time Newburgh were hoping for as good a start to the first half as the finish they made to the first. It was the visitors however who were to have the better of the opening exchanges. Celetano was linking up well with his midfield and could have opened Lochore’s account if he had steadied himself before unleashing a drive wide whilst un-marked in the box.
The game flowed from one end of the park to the other with neither team cutting out any really clear chances.

Newburgh press for an opening against the stubborn Lochore defence
Newburgh press for an opening against the stubborn Lochore defence

Newburgh’s Ferguson and Davidson were battling well in the middle of the park allowing the wide midfield players to get further forward. A series of corners for Newburgh around the hour mark gave the home side momentum but they still could not break down the well marshalled stubborn Lochore defence.
With both sides protecting the point it looked like there were to be no goals in the game. This all changed in the space of 2 minutes when in the 85th minute McNiven lost possession in midfield allowing a neatly placed pass through between Ross and Gray to find the energetic Godwin who lashed a perfectly placed shot below Houston in the ‘Burgh goal.
Before the visitors had finished celebrating what they must have thought was a much needed away win they were back on level terms. Davidson won the ball well in the centre circle from his opposite number and placed a beautiful pass through to Ferguson on the right. The ‘Burgh midfield maestro drove a wonderful low cross into the danger area which McAdam smashed beyond the keeper to restore parity.

Ferguson drives forward to cross into McAdam's path for the equaliser
Ferguson drives forward to cross into McAdam’s path for the equaliser

Lochore could have retaken the lead with seconds of the game remaining but for a world class save from Houston in the home goal. With the final whistle fast approaching the visitors found a pocket of space down the right flank, Lochore striker Willie Campbell was bearing in on goal looking certain to score. The Lochore striker drove a vicious shot low to the bottom corner of Houston’s goal, the ‘Burgh keeper managed to somehow get his finger tips to the ball turning it round the post.
In his post match comments Manager Graham Nicoll praised his shot stopper for holding on the point “Craig’s save was worth the admission fee on it’s own there are not many keepers who would have been able to change direction and get down so quickly to parry the ball in that fashion”.
Newburgh’s final game of 2014 when they travel to Luncarty on Saturday the 27th where they will be looking to keep up with the teams at the top of the league.

Newburgh: Houston, Ross, Gray, McAdam, Wilson (Gow 76), Hood, Ferguson, Davidson, Harris, Spence, McNiven

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