Newburgh travelled to Harthill Royal on Saturday in the 3rd round of the Thornton’s League cup. Newburgh faced a Super League side away for the second time in the competition having beaten Armadale Thistle in the previous round.
Dell Newlands, signed midweek, was added to the starting line up with Harry Galloway out through suspension.
Harthill’s groundsman had worked wonders getting the park playable but with tough underfoot conditions the game was never going to be interlaced with beautiful football.
Newburgh opened the scoring in the 18th minute from the penalty spot. A clumsy challenge on Scott Sutherland as he was about to shoot up ended the ‘Burgh striker. The referee was well positioned and blew without hesitation awarding Newburgh the spot kick. Sutherland stepped up and converted the kick to give Newburgh an early advantage.
The job was made more difficult for Harthill just after the re-start with the linesman signalling to the referee to attract his attention. The referee spoke with the linesman before issuing a straight red card to Thomson the Harthill goalkeeper for foul and abusive language.
Newburgh pushed hard to extend their advantage, the second goal coming just after the half hour mark. A corner from the left by Aidan Edwards was half cleared by the home defence, the ball falling to Gordon Clark on the edge of the box. Clark struck a left foot shot that took a wicked deflection off a defender shin diverting the ball past the keeper into the net.
Harthill could have grabbed a goal just after the re-start with Calum Sutherland being called upon to make a goal line stop as the home side pushed hard to establish a foot hold in the game.
With the pitch becoming more and more difficult to play on the first half ended with Newburgh taking their two goal advantage into the dressing room.
The second half was a similar affair to the first with both team struggling to create any clear chances in the slippy conditions. Newburgh’s defence were holding a good line which Harthill were finding difficult to break down.
Harthill were once again to suffer from ill-discipline. The home side were reduced to 9 men in the 56th minute with Johnston shown a red card for retaliation after being fouled.
The third goal of the game came just past the hour with Aidan Edwards, whose driving play had been causing Harthill problems all game, picked up a pass in midfield from Ryan Kinnes. Edwards drove towards goal and slipped a nice pass into Scott Sutherland who found space to drive a shot across the Harthill keeper into the net establishing a three goal cushion.
Jamie Gay replaced Dell Newlands who had played well in his first start for Newburgh.
Harthill could have been excused if they had folded at this point but all credit to them they rallied and pushed hard to get themselves into the game. With twenty minutes remaining on the clock Johnston grabbed a goal for the home side when Newburgh’s defence failed to deal properly with a corner.
Spurred on by the goal Harthill took the game to Newburgh having gained some momentum. A second goal came in the 76th minute when some excellent play on the right by Barclay allowed space for the Harthill midfielder to score with a shot that was flashed across the Newburgh goal.
Newburgh restarted the game knowing that they were going to have to take control of the game to stop the impetus of the Harthill attack.
Jordan Annandale replaced Jack Hutchison in the ‘Burgh midfield as they looked to close out the game stopping the home side from gaining any further momentum.
As the game became further stretched it was Newburgh who looked the likelier to score and it was Scott Sutherland who grabbed his third and Newburgh’s fourth goal of the game in the closing minutes. A perfectly weighted ball from Gordon Clark over the Harthill back line was met by Sutherland whose pace allowed him to outstrip the home defence. With just the Harthill keeper to beat Sutherland took the ball around the keeper and slotted it into the empty net closing the game out in style for Newburgh.
Newburgh manager Scott Hudson spoke after the game “We are on an excellent run of form at the moment and I said to the lads to go out and enjoy themselves which is exactly what they did. We were superb across the whole team today from front to back and I feel we fully deserved the win”.
Newburgh are away from home once again this coming Saturday against Kirkcaldy & Dysart in the league. Kick-off is 2:30 at Alex Penman Park Kirkcaldy.
|March 7, 2020||2:30 pm||East Region League Cup||2019 - 20|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|Darren Robertson |