Newburgh v Stoneyburn Juniors
Newburgh’s league campaign got off to a winning start at East Shore Park on Saturday with Stoneyburn Juniors the first team they have faced in the all new South Premier League.
With an exodus of predominantly East Lothian and Edinburgh based teams choosing to join the East of Scotland league this season a re-shuffle of the league structure has moved Newburgh into the South Premier league where they will face teams from Fife and West Lothian.
Newburgh manager Scott Hudson has retained a number of players from last season’s squad and added several players in the close season. Having a settled squad in place prior to the start of the competitive fixtures Hudson is sure that Newburgh will be more competitive in the league this season.
Newburgh started the game on the front foot pushing the Stoneyburn defence back and exploiting the space on the wings with Scott Sutherland and Craig Robinson causing problems from the start with their direct movement causing the defence to turn and defend. The closest the home side came to opening the scoring was from a Lambert snap shot that cleared the bar.
The opening goal came at the other end of the park on the twelfth minute when a defensive slip up allowed Wade to steal the ball and slot it past Sutherland in the ‘Burgh goal.
Newburgh steadied themselves and continued to play the ball through midfield. It was from some excellent play on the left by Skinner that the equalising goal came. The ‘Burgh left back beat his man and opened up space for Sutherland to drive into the box, the young ‘Burgh forward drove a vicious cross across the box that Craig Robinson slid onto to direct the ball into the net for a deserved equaliser.
Newburgh’s tails were up and they had the better of play for the remainder of the half with Stoneyburn keeping the score even through some excellent defending and goalkeeping.
The second half got off to a superb start for Newburgh with only 3 minutes played. Ryan Smart who was having an excellent game in the middle of the park for the home side played an inch perfect through ball between the Stoneyburn central defenders that Craig Robinson latched on to. With plenty still to do the ‘Burgh striker lifted his head and coolly turned his strike round the advancing keeper into the net.
Stoneyburn rallied from this early setback and had the better of the play for a 15 minute spell. The visitors forced a series of corners that the ‘Burgh defence dealt with.
With almost an hour played Newburgh extended their lead from a corner at the other end of the park when another excellent delivery by Lambert caused the visiting defence issues, the cross was not dealt with properly and Hall rose above everyone to head towards goal. The ball was cleared off the line but dropped to Craig Robinson who headed it over the line to secure his first hat trick for Newburgh.
Stoneyburn were handed another lifeline just 5 minutes later when a mis-placed clearance fell to Robertson just outside the 18 yard box. The striker twisted and turned into the box and smashed a shot low under Sutherland to haul his side back into the game.
‘Burgh manager Hudson introduced fresh legs into his side shortly after this bringing Reilly and MacBride on for Fraser and Craig Robinson who had put in an almighty shift on their competitive debuts for Newburgh. Stoneyburn continued to press but the Newburgh defence held firm and limited the visitors to shots from range that never threaten the ‘Burgh lead. With a few minutes remaining Kyle Fraser was introduced for Hughes who had run his heart out for 85 minutes.
Hudson was happy with his teams performance but isn’t getting carried away just yet, “this is a long term project at Newburgh, we are looking to stabilize and get the squad to gel together for the future. Stoneyburn are a good side and I am pleased we took the 3 points on offer but each week will bring new challenges for the team. Our focus is now on the game next Saturday when we face Kirkcaldy YM”.
Newburgh: C Sutherland, Johal, P MacBride, Hall, Skinner, Lambert, C Robinson (Reilly 76), F Robinson (S MacBride), Smart, S Sutherland, Hughes (Fraser 85)
|August 4, 2018||2:30 pm||South Premier League 2018-19||2018 - 19|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|