Newburgh welcomed Kirkcaldy YM to East Shore Park on Saturday for the final league home fixture of the season. Newburgh have been drawn in the same group as Kirkcaldy in the Consolation cup so the two teams will face each other twice more before the end of the season. Glenrothes make up the third team in the group which is played on a home and away basis.
Kirkcaldy started the game on the front foot taking the early pressure to Newburgh with Calum Sutherland called upon twice in the opening 10 minutes to keep the visitors at bay.
Newburgh’s first chance of the game fell to Kyle Fraser from outside the box. The ‘Burgh striker snatched at his shot and lifted the ball high over the goal.
Newburgh’s Robinson’s Craig and Fraser were lively and looked the likeliest to break down a stubborn YM defence, both having chances as the half hour approached.
Newburgh’s game plan was put into disarray five minutes before the break with the game still deadlocked. A poorly timed tackle by MacBride was penalised by the referee who showed the Newburgh defender a straight red card much to the astonishment of everyone in the ground. Kyle Fraser dropped back into defence to take MacBride’s place.
The second half started with Newburgh pushing forward looking to stamp their authority on the game. The one man dis-advantage did not seem to be causing the home side many problems with good passing and ball retention throughout the team keeping Newburgh in the game.
As much as Newburgh pressed in the wide areas through Robinson they could not commit enough men forward to threaten the YM goal with the keeper hardly troubled.
YM pressed forward from the hour onwards looking for the opening goal but Newburgh’s defence stood strong with Johal and Meaney playing well in the centre frustrating the YM attack limiting them to half chances which Sutherland was equal to in the Burgh goal.
The closest either team came to breaking the dead lock was in time added on when a quick break from the YM midfield got behind the ‘Burgh defence with only Calum Sutherland between YM and the winning goal. The ‘Burgh keeper got his angles perfect forcing the YM striker to push his shot on to the post with the ball rebounding into the keepers waiting arms.
Speaking after the game manager Scott Hudson was happy with the performance “we could have felt sorry for ourselves and allowed ourselves to get turned over after losing Sean so early in the game. I have to applaud the team as they buckled down and just got on with the game. We kept the ball well and were not putting ourselves under too much pressure”.
Newburgh travel to West Calder this weekend to complete their league programme with only cup fixtures remaining between now and the end of the season.