West Calder 2 Newburgh 4
Newburgh travelled over the River Forth to complete their 2018 – 19 league programme at West Calder on Saturday. Goalkeeper Macauley Jarret was handed his Newburgh debut between the posts as manager Scott Hudson shuffled his side with several players unavailable.
On a perfect pitch in excellent conditions the game started at a pace with both sides keen to move the ball around the park probing for an opening. Newburgh’s wide men Fraser and Craig Robinson were causing the home defence problems with their pace and movement and it was this combination that opened the scoring for Newburgh in the 16th minute.
An inch perfect ball from Gordon Clark in defence found Fraser Robinson wide on the right, Robinson took an excellent first touch and sent a defence splitting cross over the box. Craig Robinson met the ball perfectly to turn it into the net.
Ten minutes later Newburgh doubled their advantage again through Craig Robinson who was on hand un-marked at the back post as another cross from the right swung over. Robinson nodded the ball into the bet from 3 yards out.
West Calder were unlucky not to grab a goal in the final minutes of the first half. A shot driven goal bound from just inside the 18 yard box was turned over the bar by Jarret to maintain Newburgh’s two goal lead.
The home side started the second half in a positive fashion pushing up the park probing the Newburgh defence for an opening. The Newburgh defence was coping well with the attacks frustrating the home side and limiting them to half chances.
Having absorbed the fast start that West Calder had made to the second half in the 54th minute a tackle by Smart was adjudged to have been a foul on the edge of the box. The referee changed his mind as he approached the area the foul had taken place and awarded the home side a penalty, the offence having taken place inside the box. McGuigan made no mistake from the spot.
Newburgh attacked directly from the re-start, a Robinson cross was cut out conceding a corner. The corner, taken by Hutchison was perfectly flighted for Clark to meet and drive the ball past the home keeper restoring Newburgh’s two goal advantage immediately.
The game gathered pace as West Calder pushed to try and get themselves back into the game. Newburgh were forced to make a change just after the hour with Craig Hall picking up an injury. Craig Nicol replaced him in the centre of the park.
West Calder added their second goal shortly later with good work down the right flank carving out space for McGuigan to grab his another goal.
Newburgh freshen legs bringing on Sean Hastie for Jack McKay who had played well throughout the game. Shortly after this Dean Cairns entered the fray for Jack Hutchison.
The extra energy swung the game back Newburgh’s way as they got a hold of the game and pushed forward. The two goal advantage was restored with five minutes of the game remaining. A Newburgh corner broke out of the penalty area to Ryan Smart who lashed a rocket of a strike towards the top corner of the West Calder goal. The flight of the ball was changed as a defenders leg flicked the ball high into the air up and over everyone to deservedly drop into the net.
Newburgh managed the remainder of the game well to see out the 90 minutes picking up a vital three points to complete the league campaign on a positive note.
Newburgh manager Scott Hudson was pleased to have picked up the three points “We needed a win today to give us a lift as we go into the cup fixtures that remain. We have the quarter final in a couple of weeks and the remaining Consolation cup fixtures that we can now focus on”.
Newburgh have no fixture this Saturday with their league campaign completed. The next fixture is Saturday the 13th of April when they face league champions Pumpherston for a place in the Fife & Lothians cup semi-final.