Newburgh traveled to Pumpherston on Saturday for the first league meeting between the two sides in the South Premier league.
Pumpherston have been the form team in the league this season with a perfect record of 4 wins from 4 league outings so this was a real test for the Newburgh side which has struggled to pick up any points away from home thus far.
Ryan Smart returning from injury was added to the starting line-up providing extra energy in the middle of the park.
Pumpherston started the game strongly making good use of the large pitch. The long diagonal balls into the channels were causing Newburgh problems with two Pumpherston wide men causing problems every time they got on to the ball.
The pressure paid off in the 18th minute when Skinner was caught out in the Burgh defence having the ball stolen from him. The ball was squared into the box to Wilkins who turned and picked his spot in the far corner giving the home side a lead which on the balance of play to this point they were well worth.
Newburgh settled down and took the game forward to Pumpherston from the re-start with Jamie Gay and Fraser Robinson giving the home defence problems. They forced a corner on the 25th minute which was cleared by the home defence, the ball fell to Gordon Clark on the edge of the box who hit a tremendous shot towards goal that beat everyone including the home keeper who failed to gather the ball as it whistled between his legs.
The pace of the game was frantic with both sides making use of the large pitch to stretch the game. Ryan Hughes and Fraser Robinson both got beyond the last defender on separate occasions with only some excellent goal keeping by Shaw in the Pumphie goal keeping the scores level.
Calum Sutherland was called into action at the other end making several excellent saves to thwart the home side as they looked to restore their lead before the end of the first half.
Kyle Meaney had to be replaced with Craig Robinson just after the re-start having picked up an injury just before half time and with the half time team talk still ringing in their ears Newburgh once again found themselves behind. On the 52nd minute. Pumpherston moved the ball well through their midfield and the ball worked its way out to the wide right. A nicely floated ball was headed on by Cowan into the path of McRitchie who picked the ball up at pace in the 18 yard box. He controlled the ball well and smashed a shot high into the ‘Burgh net.
Ryan Smart picked up a knock in the build up to the Pumpherston goal that forced him to retire from the game being replaced by Johal who slotted into the defence allowing Wright to resume his midfield role.
Newburgh’s pace up front continued to cause the home defence problems with several chances going begging through a mix of poor finishing and good goalkeeping. Newburgh looked to change their fortunes replacing the tiring Hughes with the fresh legs of Scott Sutherland.
Sutherland had an impact immediately and crafted a chance for himself by getting behind the home defence with an excellent run only to see his shot parried away by the excellent Shaw.
It was Sutherland again who earned Newburgh their best chance of the game on the 72nd minute when a penalty was awarded after he was up ended in the box. Lambert took the resultant spot kick which was saved well low to his right by Shaw.
On the 83rd minute a penalty at the other end put the game out of sight for Newburgh when Robinsons block on Cowans shot was adjudged to have been a foul. McRitchie stepped up and showed Newburgh how to take a penalty giving Calum Sutherland no chance.
Pumpherston showed their experience in the remaining minutes managing the game well not allowing Newburgh to gain any momentum.
‘Burgh manager Hudson was positive about his sides performance after the game “if the penalty had drawn us level I think we may well have gone on to win the game as we were pushing them back at this point. The two keepers had excellent games making some great saves at both ends of the park throughout the game”.
Newburgh are at home this weekend welcoming Livingston United to East Shore Park, kick off is at 2:30.
|September 8, 2018||2:30 pm||South Premier League 2018-19||2018 - 19|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|