2018/19 fixture # 16

Saturday 13th October 2018 2.30pm – Conference B

Dalkeith Thistle 3
(Blake Wales 13, Lewis Sives own goal 47, Paul Tansey 90)

Haddington Athletic 2
(Andy Jones 43, Declan Quinn 57)

Our seventh Conference B fixture yesterday saw us at Kings Park in Dalkeith for the first time since last August, when we’d enjoyed a 6-0 victory against opposition we’ve generally had the better of in recent times. This was our third meeting of the season with the Jags, after two August encounters at Millfield – they’d won the first, a League Cup qualifying tie, by three goals to one, but in our first home league game we’d run out 4-2 winners. Two points separated the teams in the league table, with Dalkeith sitting on nine points compared to our seven.

A very wet Saturday morning proved no hindrance to the Kings Park playing surface, in decent condition despite an Under 20s fixture on the Friday evening, and come the afternoon conditions were nowhere near as bad as had been feared. Neither side was at full strength, however we were pleased to welcome back from injury the defensive trio of Ross King, captain George Cunningham and player-manager Joe Hamill, while there was a first start for 17 year old Under 20s midfielder Lewis Sives and latest signing Hamish Law again featured after a promising trialist debut at Bo’ness last week. Shaun Hill and Ali Simpson were both ruled out on account of one match bans. The home line-up included ex-Hi Hi in Michael Fairnie and Craig Wojtowycz, and up front they’d on-loan Penicuik Athletic striker Nico Salazar, the Colombian who netted a second half hat-trick against us at Penicuik Park on 18 August. Playing against us for the first time was 28 year old Irishman Conor Glenholmes, a futsal star not long ago signed by the Jags.

We’d a good early chance which almost resulted in the opening goal, with Grant Rose doing well on the left of the penalty area to set up Hamish Law, whose shot beat Easton in the home goal but went just the wrong side of the post. Dalkeith took the lead in the thirteenth minute when we failed to defend a corner from the right and allowed Blake Wales room to jump and head the ball towards the roof of the net. The first half wasn’t the greatest spectacle Kings Park has witnessed by any means, but five minutes after we’d conceded we were unfortunate not to draw level when Law once more came very close – with Easton well off his line our new man chipped the ball towards goal but again the target was missed by a very narrow margin. A couple of minutes later Brad Hainey set Law free down the right and his low first-time delivery invited Andy Jones to shoot from around fifteen yards, but it was a bit too high and cleared the crossbar. Shortly after this Dalkeith could’ve benefited from a corner on the left which was headed on by McQueenie well in front of the near post, but the ball flew across the face of goal with no home players positioned to make the most of the chance. There weren’t many notable incidents over the remainder of the first half, but with two minutes to go until the break we drew level with a great goal from Andy Jones which saw him overtake Scott Moffat at the top of the scoring charts – he claimed his ninth of the season after Andy McNeill in midfield sent a great ball over the home defence for Jones to run on to, coming in from the left with one thing in mind before sending his angled shot beyond Easton towards the bottom corner at the back post. Overall the scoreline at the interval was a fair reflection of the first forty five minutes’ play, and left all to play for after the break.

Half-time – Dalkeith Thistle 1 Haddington Athletic 1

Having ended the first half on the ascendancy our hopes were high we could go on and take all three points, but with barely two minutes played in the second half those hopes suffered a setback when opportunities to deal with a dangerous situation weren’t taken, and a ball into the box was inadvertently diverted into the net off the head of young Lewis Sives. A couple of minutes later the first change of the afternoon saw Declan Quinn come off the bench to replace Hamish Law, who’d suffered a minor shoulder injury. Then in the fifty first minute the first yellow card of the afternoon went the way of Thistle right back McQueenie – referee Jonathan Gall has taken a little stick in many quarters for his seemingly card-happy ways in recent weeks but credit where it’s due, his handling of this contest was pretty decent. We’d a chance on fifty five minutes when Ross King did well on the right of the penalty area before sending a ball into the six yard box which was parried by Easton, the loose ball just eluding Andy Jones but the assistant referee on the enclosure side had flagged for offside in any case. It took just another two minutes for the equaliser to materialise however, with King and Jones again involved. Jones’ lay off to the overlapping King on the left allowed the latter to deliver a low ball into the box for Rose, who saw his shot blocked before the ball sat up invitingly for substitute Quinn, who from around ten yards out took a moment to compose himself before firing home. Not long after his goal the big striker looked to have hurt himself in a touchline challenge which saw him booked – fears of an injury related to his dislocated hip a couple of months back thankfully proved unfounded.

A good Rose run into the Dalkeith penalty area from the left raised hopes of a third Hi Hi’s goal, but the on-loan Berwick Rangers striker looked indecisive when it came to the crunch and a Thistle defender slid in to clear the ball from his feet just in front of goal. A key moment occurred in the sixty sixth minute when we were awarded a penalty after McQueenie brought down former Thistle team-mate Darren Leslie, and with our second half performance having given encouragement to the Hi Hi’s contingent watching it was hoped this would prove a springboard towards victory; alas Andy Jones’ spot kick, struck well enough to Easton’s left, was saved by the Thistle ‘keeper. With eighteen minutes remaining Dalkeith made a substitution, with Salazar making way for Paul Tansey, briefly a Haddington player during our 2014/15 South Division championship season and always a threat, as evidenced by his four goals against us in the space of eleven August days at Millfield. Tansey had suffered an ankle injury in Thistle’s previous outing, and it was clear on his introduction this continued to hamper him – nonetheless we’d cause to be wary when the ball went his way, and George Cunningham picked up a booking on seventy seven minutes for impeding his progress on the right. We’d a great chance to get in front with ten minutes left to play, but Jones’ cross from the left corner was just a shade too high for Quinn to get his head to. Shortly afterwards Leslie, cramping up a little, made way for Jordan Cropley. As the clock ticked on a draw was looking an increasingly likely outcome, more so when with three minutes left good work by Rose on the left byeline set up Jones for a shot from the edge of the box, but it was a foot or two too high. In the ninetieth minute we could’ve snatched the lead after a neat flowing move forward from midfield involving several players, but the final ball in was hit just a little too hard and eluded Jones at the back post. Then, into the second minute of injury time, we suffered the sickening blow of conceding the winner, the goalscorer inevitably that man Tansey – a cross in from the left found him unmarked in the penalty area, where he’d to stoop slightly to get his head on the ball and direct it goalwards; the ball seemed to trickle in slow motion towards the net, just beyond the near post, with Sinky Inglis powerless to do anything about it. There was no time to bounce back from that blow, and so all three points went the way of our opponents.

The outcome needless to say was a sore on to take, particularly given we’d looked the better team in the second half – it could well have turned out differently had the penalty gone in but it wasn’t to be. Looking at the positives, it was good to see the guys back from injury perform well, and Hamish Law again looked like a very decent acquisition. Lewis Sives did very well in his first ninety minutes at this level and looks sure to progress in the game. Overall there weren’t any poor performances as such but our tendency to concede goals as frequently as we are at present is obviously a concern.

Dalkeith: Connar Easton, Ryan McQueenie, Michael Fairnie, Darren McGlashan, Blake Wales, Stephen Scott, Conor Glenholmes,Darren Smith, Nico Salazar, Craig Wojtowycz, Ross Connell. Subs: Paul Tansey, Cameron McBeth, Dean Apicella, Michael Hunter.

Hi Hi: Sinky Inglis, Brad Hainey, Ross King, Joe Hamill, George Cunningham, Andy McNeill, Darren Leslie, (Jordan Cropley S81), Lewis Sives, Grant Rose, Hamish Law, (Declan Quinn S49), Andy Jones. Unused subs: Owen Millar, Chris Cairney, Pinkie Tufail, David Simmonds (SG).

Referee: Jonathan Gall


2018/19 fixture # 15

Saturday 6th October 2018 2.30pm – Conference B

Bo’ness United 2
(Brian Morgan 4, Chris Donnelly 28)

Haddington Athletic 2
(Andy Jones 17, Grant Rose 20)

The odds very much favoured our hosts on Saturday, their 100% record from their first four Conference B fixtures while conceding one solitary goal, compared with our two wins and three defeats, encouraging McBookie to list them at 1/4. On the face of things we were hardly in poor form ourselves – three straight wins followed by a narrow defeat – but we’re not without more than our fair share of personnel concerns at present and, as at Sauchie on Wednesday night, had only fifteen men stripped. The only change to our starting eleven saw 22 year old North Berwick-based trialist Hamish Law in for absentee Declan Quinn.

We arrived at Newtown Park, scene of a famous 4-3 East Of Scotland Cup win last November, to find Bo’ness bathed in warm autumn sunshine – and, a bit later, the standside linesman from Sauchie taking up a similar position; fair to say his midweek efforts hadn’t gone unnoticed, but he was greeted amiably by those keen to know more about why he’d furiously chased a Sauchie player into the dressing room area post-match.

As at Sauchie, proceedings hadn’t lasted quite four minutes when we found ourselves trailing. Sinky Inglis did well to parry a MacKenzie shot from the left just outside the six yard box, but Brian Morgan was on hand to tap the loose ball home from close range. Within two minutes however we might well have been back on level terms – showing good footwork just inside the home penalty area on the left, he made space for a confident strike which beat Murphy in the BUs goal but hit the face of the back post. Very unlucky for the big Jedburgh teenager on loan for Berwick Rangers, but the next phase of the game saw Bo’ness well on top, if unable to capitalise on some erratic Haddington defending. We weathered that spell though, and were level seventeen minutes in thanks to a very fine Andy Jones goal, his eighth of the season – taking possession on the right of the penalty area, he got the ball under control before sending a blistering shot beyond Murphy; some home supporters appeared to feel the ‘keeper could’ve done better but they were probably deluding themselves. An enjoyable Hi Hi moment, and it was followed by another less than three minutes later, stemming from action this time on the left of the penalty area – Jones played a short pass into the feet of Rose, in a position very similar to that from which he’d earlier hit the post, and this time he swept his shot towards the bottom corner, another excellent finish giving him his fourth goal in six Hi Hi’s outings.

No-one watching could say they weren’t being entertained, and they witnessed further drama on twenty eight minutes – it was almost 3-1 to the Hi Hi but another well-struck Rose effort was blocked by Snowdon just in front of the goal-line; Bo’ness countered rapidly, without truly meaningful challenge, and Donnelly’s deft touch on a low ball in from the left took it over the line to make the score 2-2. We were though awfully unfortunate not to edge back in front in the thirty seventh minute – Rose again showed great footwork on the left of the BUs’ penalty area, before sending the ball across the face of goal – debutant Law met it beyond the back post and from an almost impossibly tight angle almost steered it home; had it been big-time football goal-line technology might well have been employed, but as it was a home defender was on hand to clear, when the whole ball hadn’t quite crossed the line. With five minutes of the half remaining skipper Shaun Hill took possession in the centre circle, and after advancing confidently towards the edge of the penalty area hit a decent shot on target, which Murphy held. With little more than a couple of minutes of the first half remaining, Chris Cairney’s cross from the left was headed wide of the back post by Rose – moments later Morgan outpaced Ali Simpson but with only Sinky Inglis to beat, well off his line, he elected to shoot when he’d have been better-advised to try a lob, with the ball clearing the bar by a foot or two; we’d see more in the second half of the wastefulness in front of goal the Bo’ness supporters claimed to be all too familiar with.

Half-time – Bo’ness United 2 Haddington Athletic 2

Not quite five minutes after play resumed we’d a big let-off, when Sinky Inglis committed in vain coming off his line after being left badly exposed – the Bo’ness man however, from the left, sent the ball across an open goal but found no takers. A minute later Sweeney ought to have made more of a great through ball into his feet deep inside the box, but somehow he pulled his shot wide of the back post from the edge of the six yard box. Donnelly then hit a clean strike from fifteen yards which Sinky held comfortably on the line, before on fifty seven minutes Chris Cairney was booked (he’d fated it by commenting pre-match on his five game run without seeing a yellow card) for, in the officials’ eyes, wrestling the much bigger MacKenzie to the ground. Two minutes later the home fans were baying for a penalty after Morgan went down in the box with Ali Simpson in close attendance – the ref though saw nothing amiss. We’d been defending mostly until a Grant Rose shot on sixty two minutes, lacking power or precision – immediately after this a well-worked corner on the right involving Jones and Law saw the former play the ball to Hill twenty yards out, and the captain’s low pass into Rose’s feet resulted in our striker taking a sore one from behind; the referee didn’t see it though, and allowed play to continue before reluctantly allowing treatment to our main goal threat. A crowded goalmouth made it difficult for the referee to see, but if his vision had allowed him to observe the incident then surely a stonewall penalty came our way. George Cunningham made a welcome return to action on sixty six minutes, replacing Cairney, and played a big part in our defence holding out against our opponents. With twenty minutes left Shaun Hill was yellow carded for clipping an opponents’ advancing heels in the centre circle, and he was quickly followed into the referee’s notebook by fellow midfielder Darren Leslie, whose late challenge on Morgan in front of the Bo’ness dugout had excitable home fans calling for a red rather than a yellow. As the clock wound on and we withstood further home pressure, Ali Simpson picked up a booking with ten minutes left, though the BUs’ followers keen to see a second yellow shown to Leslie were left disappointed. With eight minutes left Jordan Cropley and Pinkie Tufail replaced Darren Leslie and Hamish Law – two minutes after another major let-off, after Jamie Chapman lost possession in a crucial area – the Bo’ness man who benefited however put the ball over the bar when he ought to have found the target. Ultimately we withstood all Bo’ness second half pressure, and might have snatched victory deep in injury time but it didn’t quite happen. By then we were down to ten men, Ali Simpson having been booked for a second time in the ninetieth minute for in the ref’s eyes blocking an opponent’s progress in the centre circle – those of us of a nervous disposition didn’t enjoy the questionable five minutes injury time but it was all worthwhile in the end, with a hard-fought point our reward for a resilient performance.

Bo’ness: Andy Murphy, Will Snowdon, Iain Syme, Aldin El-Zubaidi, Ross Campbell, Chris Donnelly, Brian Morgan, Andy Shirra, Allan MacKenzie, Nicky Prentice, Kieran Sweeney. Subs: Alex Marshall, Stuart Hunter, Josh MacDonald, Marty Wright, Joshua Watt.

Hi Hi: Sinky Inglis, Jamie Chapman, Chris Cairney, (George Cunningham S66), Brad Hainey, Ali Simpson, Andy McNeill, Darren Leslie, (Jordan Cropley S82), Shaun Hill, Grant Rose, Hamish Law, (Pinkie Tufail S82), Andy Jones. Unused sub: Craig Cockburn (SG).

Hi Hi’s 2018/19 fixture # 14

Wednesday 3 October 2018 7.30pm – Conference B

Sauchie Juniors 3
(Craig Donaldson 4, 76, Darren Cummings 17)

Haddington Athletic 2
(Brad Hainey 41, Andy Jones pen 66)

Our fifth Conference B fixture last night took us to Clackmannanshire, two years on from our previous visit to the wee county. Both sides went into the game on the six point mark after capital victories on Saturday – while we were eking out the win at Saughton Enclosure against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale our hosts had come from behind to defeat Tynecastle 2-1 at Meggetland. With most of the clubs in Conference B having their sights on a top five finish the points at stake were prized beforehand, and after three straight wins last week the Hi Hi ought to have been in good spirits going into the game – we were however stretched considerably on the personnel front, to the extent we had only four substitutes available, in the form of goalkeeper Craig Cockburn, the not fully fit Pinkie Tufail, and Under 20s Jack O’Connor and Liam Edmonston. Incidentally we’ve learned Jack is the son of our former boss Paul O’Connor – it was nice to see Paul at Whittingehame Drive last Friday night for the first time in the near fourteen years since we parted company.

Not long after kick off we’d an opening after Grant Rose was fouled twenty two yards out, but skipper Shaun Hill’s free kick was dealt with comfortably by Darren Dolan in the home goal. Then, before four minutes had elapsed, Sauchie took the lead with a goal wholly avoidable from our perspective – an inexplicably wayward pass in midfield fell for Donaldson on Sauchie’s right and he was quickly into our penalty area where, after turning Chris Cairney, he fired clinically home from a tight angle. A few minutes later it might’ve been 2-0 when a Sauchie man lobbed the ball over Sinky Inglis’ head, but fortunately for us it cleared the crossbar. Our ‘keeper then saved a well-placed header, after we’d managed a couple of inconclusive breaks forward, but with seventeen minutes on the clock we found ourselves two goals behind, when veteran Sauchie forward Cummings curled in a shot from out on the left, well outside the penalty area, which dipped in at the back post beyond Inglis’ reach. Fair to say things were looking distinctly unpromising at this stage, and we’d several narrow escapes afterwards – Sauchie had they been clinical could’ve had the game out of sight before half-time. Around about midway through the first half we began to look a little more like the team who’d performed so well at Hill Of Beath a week earlier, and our cause looked to be helped when Sauchie’s Ryan Millar was sent off with ten minutes remaining in the first half – he’d been booked for diving just inside our penalty area seven minutes before he left Cairney hurt on the ground as our left back made good progress in the Sauchie half. From a forty first minute corner delivered by Andy Jones on the right, Grant Rose saw his header tipped over the bar by Dolan – the second corner was a well-worked one, and wound up with Brad Hainey claiming his first Haddington goal with a looping header from out beyond the back post. That, and our advantage numbers-wise, meant things looked a good bit more positive than half an hour earlier.

Half-time – Sauchie Juniors 2 Haddington Athletic 1

Cummings ought to have restored our hosts’ two goal lead four minutes after play resumed when he was given far too much room on the right, but dragged his shot wide of the back post. Three minutes later Andy Jones tried his luck from twenty five yards out on the right, but the ball soared over the bar. With an hour played there was a touch of controversy as Grant Rose and an opponent tussled for possession on the byeline to the left of the home goal – the referee’s decision to award a free kick Sauchie’s way caused some upset, and saw the referee send Craig Yule to the stand after an exchange on the touchline. A low Shaun Hill drive from twenty five yards on sixty four minutes caused Dolan no real problem, but two minutes later the referee pointed to the spot when Rose was pushed in the box – there was then a delay of several minutes as the man in the middle discussed with his standside assistant the issue of Darren Leslie and an opponent’s antics on the edge of the box. Understanding things first time round proved beyond the whistler, but after a second touchline confab Andy Jones was given the go-ahead to fire firmly home from twelve yards. 2-2 then, and twenty four minutes to play against ten men, the odds looked now to be in our favour. Ten minutes later however we conceded for a third time when Donaldson breached our back division and fired home with an angled shot from the left of the penalty area – cue rather OTT celebrations among the Sauchie-minded, though to be fair they probably hadn’t expected positive developments given the sequence of events since they’d gone a man down. We introduced youngsters O’Connor and Edmonston in the closing stages, both of whom gave a good account of themselves, but there was to be no further scoring and so it was Sauchie who crept into the top five.

Sauchie: Darren Dolan, Aidan McKeown, Mark Finlayson, David Cross, Terry Hewitt, Mark Sharp, Ryan Millar, Dylan Taylor, Darren Cummings, Craig Donaldson, Conor Langton. Subs: Willie Wells, Josh Carroll, Steven Dolan, Stuart Houston, Adam Main, Cameron Cairney.

Hi Hi: Sinky Inglis, Andy McNeill, Chris Cairney, Ali Simpson, Brad Hainey, Darren Leslie, (Jack O’Connor S84), Jamie Chapman, (Liam Edmonston S87), Shaun Hill, Grant Rose, Declan Quinn, Andy Jones. Unused subs: Pinkie Tufail, Craig Cockburn (SG).

2018/19 fixture # 11

Saturday 22 September 2018

Alex Jack Cup Second Round

Haddington Athletic 4
(Scott Moffat 5, Andy Jones 36, Gavin Brown 51, Grant Rose 83)

Edinburgh United 3
(Gabi Auriemma 8 (pen), Kern Hutchison 52, Daniel McKinlay 67)

We went into yesterday’s game, the first at Millfield in almost a month, looking to put recent derby disappointments behind us and to get back to winning ways. The occasion was a delayed second round tie in the Alex Jack Cup – the others had all been played on 1 September, but on account of United’s first round tie against Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts having been abandoned first time around we were three weeks behind schedule. Three quarter finals were being contested elsewhere, and the prize for the winner here, logistical challenges and all, was an away tie at Hill Of Beath Hawthorn to be played this coming Wednesday night.

There were four changes to the starting eleven compared with that which started our South Region Challenge Cup tie at Tranent – Sinky Inglis returned in goal, 16 year old Guy McGarry started in the left back role in which he’d performed capably for almost an hour at Foresters Park, Shaun Hill returned in midfield as captain, and Scott Moffat was back too following a foot injury. Still missing from our injury hit squad were Joe Hamill, Pinkie Tufail, George Cunningham and Ross King – Declan Quinn however was named among the substitutes six weeks after suffering a hip injury at Ormiston in the first round of the competition. United, who we’d last encountered at Paties Road in March in what was to prove our final Fife & Lothians Cup outing, lined up mostly as unknowns to Millfield regulars, though it was nice to welcome back their coach Jock McCraw, a Hi Hi’s midfielder thirty odd years ago and also for a few months a decade past assistant manager to George Bowmaker.

Millfield was at its best on a day marked mostly by glorious autumn sunshine, and the Hi Hi were first to threaten the opposition goal when in the third minute a corner gained from Hill’s strong run into the penalty area was delivered invitingly by Andy Jones on the right – Ali Simpson made the connection but the angle on his header wasn’t what he wanted and the ball went a few yards wide of the back post. There wasn’t long to wait for the opening goal however – this time Jamie Chapman’s good work earned another corner, Jones again delivered superbly, and Scott Moffat claimed his eighth goal of the season, though his first in a month, meeting the ball centrally with a powerful header past Newman in the United goal. The goal leaves our top scorer just one short of the fifty mark in competitive outings. Unfortunately the lead lasted barely three minutes – we might be forgiven for thinking it’s almost obligatory these days for referees to award contentious penalty kicks against us, for here we were again penalised for what looked a nothing episode; referee Ryan Lee took the view though Gavin Brown had fouled an opponent inside the box as both tussled for possession, and Auriemma converted for the visitors from the spot. Given the goals we’ve conceded in recent weeks this was another hard one to take, but at least we’d more than eighty minutes in which to get back on top. Over the course of the subsequent twenty odd minutes neither side was especially dominant, then just after the half hour mark young Grant Rose hit a decent effort wide of target for the Hi Hi – moments later there was a controversial episode when a United man looked to kick out at Darren Leslie in front of the dugouts, after our man had conceded a free kick, but no action was taken by the match official. With nine minutes remaining in the first half we got our noses in front again, with Chapman on the left of the penalty area finding Jones perfectly positioned to fire home from a little outside the six yard box. At the break then the Hi Hi held a 2-1 advantage, though United had shown enough to have most present think they’d every chance of turning things round.

H-T Haddington Athletic 2 Edinburgh United 1

Things looked more encouraging from the Hi Hi’s perspective when we extended our lead to two goals in the fifty first minute – Leslie was fouled out on the right touchline, and from the free kick flighted deep into the United penalty area Gavin Brown directed a glancing header into the net near the back post. Ideally that ought to have given the team the confidence required to push on, but our defensive frailties reared their head again barely a minute later, allowing Hutchison to bring United right back into the tie. When yet another episode of hesitant defending at the second half’s midway point allowed McKinlay an all too easy equaliser the mood dipped further – was this to be another afternoon of frustration and disappointment? It remained all square when, with ten minutes left, United were awarded their second penalty of the afternoon – Simpson could do little about the ball hitting his hand when it was blasted in his direction from a short distance away, but seemingly it’s an offence deserving punishment by presenting the opposition a great opportunity to score. Fate for once smiled on the Hi Hi’s goal though, with United substitute Taylor Hendry hitting his spot kick off the face of the post to Sinky Inglis’ right, with our ‘keeper having guessed the wrong way. Now it had been only three weeks since we’d last tasted victory, winning 2-0 at Blackburn in the League Cup, but events in between times had left us all feeling a little beleaguered – it was tremendous then to see three minutes after United’s squandered penalty the ball hit the back of the net at the other end. Jones was the provider with an excellent low ball in from the byeline out towards the left corner, met at the near post by Rose who slammed home his first goal for the club from close range. We’d the chance to make certain of our passage to the third round four minutes later when the ref awarded the afternoon’s third penalty in our favour, after sub Quinn was sent flying just inside the United area on the right – up stepped captain Hill with the view of making the score 5-3, but he too struck the post. Shortly after this Liam Edmonston entered the fray for a brief taste of action at this level, the latest of our Under 20s’ players to get a run out replacing Simpson who’d been hurt making a strong challenge moments earlier. There was still time for Hill to spurn another clear-cut scoring opportunity, the ball seeming to get stuck under his feet inside the six yard box when scoring seemed inevitable, but in the end it didn’t matter as we held on to secure a midweek trip to Fife by the odd goal in seven.

Good to get the win obviously, and well done to everyone for sticking to the task when things weren’t going the way we wanted. It goes without saying our top priority at present must be to tighten up at the back, and hopefully that will come sooner rather than later, but let’s just be pleased we got the win against a United outfit who are very clearly no mugs. Prefer not to single out players but only fair to recognise Guy McGarry for another steady performance belying his tender years, and it was good to see Brad Hainey and Declan Quinn back in action after their recent absences.

Next up then is a tough third round task on Wednesday night against Hill Of Beath Hawthorn – the fact the Haws were permanent Superleague residents for the sixteen years between its formation and the mass transition from Junior football in the close season tells its own story. We’ll travel as underdogs, with nothing really to lose – let’s hope we can give a good account of ourselves.

Hi Hi: Sinky Inglis, Chris Cairney, Guy McGarry, Gavin Brown, (Brad Hainey S57), Ali Simpson, (Liam Edmonston S87), Jamie Chapman, (Declan Quinn S79), Darren Leslie, Shaun Hill, Grant Rose, Scott Moffat, Andy Jones. Unused subs: Paul Devlin, Jordan Cropley, Andy McNeill, David Simmonds (SG).

Edinburgh Utd: Jamie Newman, Eddie Mearns, Sean Guiney, Shaun Conlon, Chris Hendrie, James Flynn, Daniel McKinlay, Gabriele Auriemma, Andrew Swanney, Elliot Grieve, Kern Hutchison. Subs: Craig Spalding, Taylor Hendry, Frankie Arthur, Cory Robertson, James Redpath, Liam Ritchie, Cameron Hanratty (SG).

Referee: Ryan Lee

15.09.2018 South Region Challenge Cup 2nd Round

Tranent Juniors 4 (Jamie Devlin 1, 17, Mark McGovern 22, 63)

Haddington Athletic 2 (Andy Jones, 48, Darren Leslie 50)

The Hi Hi made the short trip to Foresters Park for the second time inside a week yesterday, another local derby providing a first taste of the most prestigious cup competition open to them this season – entry is open to all clubs in the Lowland League, the East Of Scotland League and the South Of Scotland League. Given what had occurred seven days earlier there was never any doubt we faced another tough shift against our neighbours, and our cause was hardly helped by another raft of personnel issues – injury ruled out Joe Hamill, Pinkie Tufaill, Declan Quinn, Shaun Hill and Scott Moffat, while George Cunningham had a one match ban to serve for a red card received while playing with Ormiston in 2015/16 and Sinky Inglis, Brad Hainey and Declan Heron were also unavailable. There were five changes to our starting eleven – Craig Cockburn, Chris Cairney, Ross King, Ali Simpson and new man Grant Rose all drafted in. With Cunningham and Hill both missing, Cairney was named as captain for the day. We’d three of our Under 20s on the bench after their 2-1 defeat of Dunipace on Friday night, with Guy McGarry, Lewis Sives and Liam Edmonston all stripped. While we’d majorly reshuffled our pack unavoidably, Tranent made just one change to their team, with captain Ecky Christie replacing Dean Whitson in the centre of defence.

While it was clear we’d be up against it again, it was hoped we’d at least make things difficult for our hosts and avoid the capitulation witnessed in the second half a week earlier. Hi Hi’s supporters could then only react with dismay at our going a goal down with all of thirty seven seconds on the clock – our rejigged back four were caught out by a long ball down the right which Jamie Devlin latched on to on the edge of the box, his shot beating Cockburn low to his left. Quite a sickening blow to all who’d hoped for better than last time, the dreaded possibility that it might even prove worse inevitably coming to the collective mind. We responded as best we could, but an Andy Jones free kick presented no difficulty to Haris Alysandratos in the home goal, going wide of target to the ‘keeper’s left. On thirteen minutes Andy McNeill tried his luck from twenty yards, his shot deflected out for a corner from which a Grant Rose header produced a good save from Alysandratos. More woe however came our way on seventeen minutes as Tranent doubled their lead, aided and abetted by very hesitant defending – again we were caught out by the long ball, and with uncertain communication not in any way helping Tranent front men McGovern and Devlin made the most of things, the latter claiming the credit for the final touch in lobbing the ball over Cockburn and across the line. Yet worse was to follow barely five minutes later, with Cockburn coming from his line in vain to try and deal with danger to the right of goal, leaving Tranent to net an all too easy third goal, McGovern left with the simplest task to prod the ball into an empty net. 3-0 down midway through the first half then, and our prospects looked potentially very grim indeed to say the least. Just after Tranent’s third goal McNeill hit an effort wide from distance, then shortly after the half hour Jamie Chapman went close, again from well outside the home penalty area. Our recent injury woes raised their head again when Ross King had to be substituted due to a recurrence of his hamstring issue, with Guy McGarry coming on to replace him – the sixteen year old had featured in a couple of pre-season friendlies but this was his competitive senior debut. We’d a penalty claim ignored on thirty eight minutes, Jones appearing to have been brought down just inside the box on the right – the ref wasn’t interested though, and the loose ball fell the way of Cairney, whose delivery low towards the back post was skied over the bar by Jordan Cropley. With five minutes of another disastrous half remaining, Darren Leslie had his name taken for persistent infringement. Considering the manner in which we’d conceded three terribly sloppy goals, it seemed some small consolation there hadn’t been more – on the evidence of the opening forty five minutes it seemed a safe bet we’d be heading back along the road nursing our wounds after a second consecutive heavy defeat.

H-T Tranent Juniors 3 Haddington Athletic 0

And yet…. memories of the second half comeback against Dundonald Bluebell three weeks previous came to mind as we showed more in the first five minutes of the second half than throughout the opening forty five. With forty eight minutes on the clock Andy Jones on the right took the ball into the home penalty area and with his left foot directed a perfectly-angled shot beyond Alysandratos to make the score 3-1. That was really the first bright moment of the afternoon from a Haddington perspective, but two minutes later the dynamic of the tie changed considerably as we reduced Tranent’s lead to just one goal, Darren Leslie hitting his first Hi Hi’s goal in sensational fashion with a measured strike from around twenty five yards which flew towards the top left corner – if in the end we’d nothing else to take from our two-game residency at Foresters Park there would at least be the memories of two terrific goals, Jordan Cropley’s early equaliser a week earlier and now this. Both goals were well worthy of appreciative praise, just a shame ultimately results would overshadow them. Not very long afterwards we could’ve been level, and who knows how things might’ve developed thereafter? Jamie Chapman found Andy Jones with a great pass, and Jones with space on the right hit an angled effort from eighteen yards which flew just beyond the back post. That would’ve been quite a moment had the ball hit the net – such fine lines. Tranent skipper Black was yellow carded on fifty eight minutes for a foul on Jones, shortly before a double substitution saw Paul Devlin and Andrew Sinclair replace Andy McNeill and Jordan Cropley. With sixty three minutes on the clock Tranent added a fourth, young striker McGovern continuing his goal spree with a confident finish when presented with time and space – it looked to some eyes contentious on the referee’s part to allow play to continue when Chris Cairney looked to have been fouled, others’ comments in the aftermath however put doubt in that theory. Tranent sub Kayne Paterson came close to hitting a fifth home goal with a shot from just outside the box, but it went just wide of the post. The previous week’s refereeing controversies had begun early in the game, this time though it was left until later in proceedings for the man in the middle to infuriate the Haddington contingent – Craig Cockburn raced from his line with the aim of dealing with a dangerous situation, and in attempting to clear from just outside his penalty area he was judged guilty by the ref of a handball offence, which to many looked an absurd decision given our ‘keeper’s arms were by his side and in no way outstretched. The match official looked unduly pleased to be giving his red card an airing, adding to the irritation on the sidelines. With all three substitutes committed, Gavin Brown went between the sticks, and he dealt ably enough with all that came his way in the closing stages. Our stand-in ‘keeper would though have been beaten with six minutes remaining had it not been for the junction of post and crossbar, rattled by a fine effort from Tranent substitute Barrett.

So, that was that then – a bit of a double derby doing no-one will recall fondly. We showed in the first half last week and the second half yesterday we’re not without some quality, but serious damage was done over the course of the other two halves. It’s to be hoped our injury concerns ease up sooner rather than later and there’s some consistency of selection available to the management team – something approaching a settled line-up can only be of benefit, particularly at the back given we’ve been shipping goals at a fairly alarming rate in recent weeks, bar the clean sheet at Blackburn. At least we managed to give Tranent, who’d hardly had to work overly hard for their 3-0 interval lead yesterday, a bit of a scare. To summarise, it can only be said the first half yesterday was painful to watch, but the Hi Hi’s players redeemed themselves with a spirited second half showing. Mention should be made of the performance of Guy McGarry, who doesn’t turn seventeen for three weeks yet in his fifty five minutes on the field looked entirely comfortable playing at this level. Grant Rose did well too on his debut, and will be an asset to the team over the course of his loan spell.

Tranent: Haris Alysandratos, Bob Berry, Chris Inglis, Ecky Christie, Lewis Hawkins, Ben Miller, Chris Robertson, Ian Black, Jamie Devlin, Kenny Fisher, Mark McGovern. Subs: Kayne Paterson, Neil Smeaton, Shaun Rutherford, Bradley Barrett, Robbie Stirling (SG).

Hi Hi: Craig Cockburn, Chris Cairney, Ross King, (Guy McGarry S35), Ali Simpson, Gavin Brown, Andy McNeill, (Paul Devlin S58), Darren Leslie, Jamie Chapman, Grant Rose, 
Jordan Cropley, (Andrew Sinclair S58), Andy Jones. Unused subs: Lewis Sives, Liam Edmonston.


Saturday 1st September 2018

Blackburn United 0

Haddington Athletic 2
(Jordan Cropley 29, Ali Simpson 55)

Scheduled originally to host an Alex Jack Cup second round tie today, we instead paid a first post-Junior visit to West Lothian today to contest a place in the League Cup’s last sixteen. It’d been eight years (six games) since we’d lost at Blackburn, but the tie looked a hard one to call from the neutral’s perspective on the basis of this season’s results so far – United had lost four of their last five games, while we were aiming to avoid a third straight defeat. Joe Hamill and Declan Quinn were joined on the injured list by Pinkie Tufail, and with Brad Hainey and Darren Leslie both unavailable we’d three of our Under 20s on the bench, fresh from excellent Friday night performances at Bonnyton Thistle in Development League action. Andrew Sinclair was preferred to Scott Moffat up front, with our top scorer on the bench.

Chris Cairney started at right back having not played at all since May, and just five minutes in had his name taken for a rash challenge from behind on former Hi Hi’s team-mate Scott Wright. The first real chance at either end came in the eighth minute when Paul Devlin’s corner from the right was met by a George Cunningham’s firmly-struck header, unfortunately wide of target by a yard or two. An Andy Jones effort from thirty yards flew straight into the home ‘keeper’s arms on the ten minute mark, then we’d a great chance on twelve minutes when Jones closed Kinvig down on the six yard line and the ball fell invitingly for Jordan Cropley with the ‘keeper posted missing – by the time he found space for a shot however Kinvig had time to recover his position and block with his leg before a defender cleared. Sinky Inglis was called into action at the opposite end a couple of minutes later, stretching out a leg to divert Wright’s dangerous ball in from the left of the penalty area, but he hadn’t an awful lot to do otherwise. The Blackburn ‘keeper touched an ambitious long-range shot from Shaun Hill out for a corner on twenty one minutes, then two minutes later a poor throwout from Inglis gave Williamson an opening for the hosts, his shot going not far off target. The same player hit another effort just past the post minutes later, but a quick break forward saw the Hi Hi in front moments later, with twenty nine minutes played – the move concluded with Andy Jones on the byeline to the right of goal playing the ball towards the six yard line, where it sat up nicely for Jordan Cropley to head home. Hutton almost responded immediately when a ball through the middle allowed him a shot, put just wide of Inglis’ right side post. The remainder of the first half lacked much notable incident, other than the significant development on thirty five minutes which saw the unfortunate Chris Cairney depart the scene prematurely after the referee showed him a second yellow card for what he saw as an infringement against the Blackburn man who’d gone by him on the wing – even the locals felt it a harsh booking but the decision was made, leaving the Hi Hi to face fifty five minutes a man short.

H-T Blackburn United 0 Haddington Athletic 1

A big moment five minutes after the break saw Sinky Inglis make an important save before a quick counter let Jones play the ball in from the right, just beyond Andrew Sinclair at the back post. Three minutes later the ref ignored a penalty shout when Hill looked to be fouled just inside the box on the right – instead a corner was given, with Devlin’s dangerous delivery turned out for a second. Another excellent Devlin ball in from the right was met about eight yards out by the incoming Ali Simpson, who rammed home his first goal for the club to double our lead. Over the subsequent thirty five minutes the Hi Hi’s ten men more than held their own with Blackburn’s eleven, with chances at either end pretty scarce. Midway through the second half however Hill was dispossessed in midfield and a Wright shot brought out a fine one-handed save from Inglis. That apart, the only occasion on which Blackburn came close was five minutes from time, when home skipper Young’s twenty yard free kick came back off the crossbar with Inglis beaten. Ultimately, a good professional performance and a deserved win – we now have a first round tie at Bonnyrigg Rose to look forward to. Lots of good hard-working performances today, great to keep a clean sheet for the first time this season, and pleasing to see three of our Under 20s on the field in the later stages, with Lewis Sives, Russell Bowers and Tadgh Flanagan-Woodhead all enjoying game time.


Saturday 25th August 2018

Haddington Athletic 3
(Own goal 50, Shaun Hill 58, Andy Jones 76)

Dundonald Bluebell 4
(Derek Wallace 4, Callum Smith 9, Michael Ness 22, Archie Campbell 25)

Difficult to know really just how best to summarise today’s events at Millfield, where rarely if ever before can spectators have witnessed two halves of football quite so disparate in comparison to one another. We were of course very much aware beforehand how much of a challenge would be presented by opponents who finished in fourth spot in last season’s Superleague table, and naturally we were labelled underdogs – the first half though, in particular the opening twenty five minutes, proved extremely depressing from our perspective and, had the game continued in the same vein over ninety minutes, it’s highly doubtful sufficient spirit would’ve remained to see this summary typed. We’d been beyond the Bluebell’s eighteen yard line inside the opening couple of minutes, but once they’d taken the lead we were very much on the back foot for the next half hour. Their opening goal came in the fourth minute, when a corner from the right was punched away from his near post by Craig Cockburn – the ball however sat up perfectly for the visitors’ number six Derek Wallace, who from a few yards to the right of the penalty spot hit a sweet volleyed effort towards the back of the net, aided by a slight deflection. Luck not on our side, it could be said at that point – but developments over the next twenty minutes couldn’t be blamed on fortune. We looked wholly lacking in self-belief, and appeared as boys against men, allowing the ‘Bell to dominate completely to the point they looked like scoring almost every time they pressed forward, as they did repeatedly. Centre forward Callum Smith ought to have done better than shoot straight at Cockburn on eight minutes, when he’d plenty time and space to pick his spot, but barely a minute later he’d the opportunity to redeem himself when a cross from the right fell at his feet, unmarked deep inside the penalty area as he was, and he’d only to steer the ball to our ‘keeper’s left to double his team’s lead. A rare foray forward on twenty minutes brought about our first shot on goal, with a Bluebell defender nicking the ball from Andy Jones’ feet when he threatened to drive towards the penalty area – it fell for Paul Devlin, whose shot from well outside the box wasn’t held by Lennox in the visitors’ goal, but he’d time to gather with no Haddington attacker positioned to take advantage. Two minutes later we were 3-0 down following some calamitous defending, Michael Ness taking full advantage, and when Dundonald scored a fourth barely three minutes later through Archie Campbell, almost entirely untroubled by any defensive challenge, there were widespread concerns the roof was about to cave in on us in horrible fashion – were we potentially looking at a record home defeat? So woefully lacking in every department were we at this stage such a dreadful scenario looked feasible. As we passed the half hour mark we managed finally to string some passes together and spend a little time in the opposition half, though of course already it seemed more than reasonable to reckon it was far too late to come back from 4-0 down. A harmless shot from distance from skipper George Cunningham was only our second attempt on goal, though a couple of minutes before the break we’d a chance of sorts when Jones cross from the left, near the corner spot, was headed clear by a defender who got in a fraction of a second before Scott Moffat could get his head to the ball. If any kind of consolation at all could be taken from the situation as the teams trooped off at half time, we at least hadn’t conceded in twenty minutes – there was though a palpable sense of understandable disgust among the crowd at what they reckoned a spineless forty five minutes.

Half-time – Haddington Athletic 0 Dundonald Bluebell 4

Seven days earlier the Fifers had found themselves trailing 3-0 at Bonnyrigg Rose early in the second half, only to rescue an unlikely point with an excellent comeback. They could scarcely be blamed at the start of the second half here for wholly discounting anything remotely like that occurring again, such had been their first half superiority. It’s been said many times though that football can be a strange game… With five minutes played in the second half we got a goal back when the Bluebell defence failed to clear their lines, and eventually under pressure their centre half Sean O’Neil knocked the ball over the goal line. Barely a peep from players or spectators in acknowledgement of the goal, given we remained 4-1 in arrears and nothing had happened that felt worthy of applause. Eight minutes later however we’d further reduced the deficit, with Shaun Hill claiming his second goal inside seven days, a neat finish to the ‘keeper’s right after he’d advanced from the left of the penalty area after taking a Jones pass. Sensing things had now radically changed from the first half horror show, the Hi Hi-minded in the crowd applauded the goal and the apparent change in mindset, and with half an hour still to play began to consider scenarios completely unthinkable half an hour earlier. A double substitution saw Jordan Cropley and Scott Moffat replaced by Andrew Sinclair and sixteen year old Tadgh Flanagan-Woodhead of our Under 20s team, and the injection of their energy aided our cause considerably. It seemed scarcely credible we were watching the same teams on the field, such was the turnaround, and when Andy Jones made it 4-3 with fourteen minutes remaining there was a real sense the Hi Hi could actually end the afternoon with a point if not more. Dundonald were only occasionally seen in attack now, though a horribly short passback from Pinkie Tufail could’ve gifted them the fifth goal that would surely wrap things up – his blushes were spared though as the situation came to nothing. When called upon to defend we did so effectively, a far cry from earlier in the afternoon, and it was encouraging to see the spirit that’d seemed so sadly lacking previously. In the eighty ninth minute it looked as though our second half endeavour would be rewarded when Andrew Sinclair found himself deep inside the penalty area, to the right of goal, with only Lennox between him and an unlikely equaliser, but with everyone not from Fife ready to acclaim a glorious Hi Hi moment our man hit his shot too close to the ‘keeper, who would’ve been mightily relieved to block with his legs. Whether we’d have had another chance to snatch a point in injury time we’ll never know, as the otherwise efficient referee Brian Colvin elected to play just one minute over the ninety, which seemed odd given there had been a stoppage for treatment to Bluebell’s McKenzie in the first half, not to mention a few substitutions. So in the end it wasn’t to be – those looking at the scoreline without any knowledge of the sequence of events might have thought us unlucky, and to a degree it could be said that was the case, but it need hardly be pointed out a first half performance such as ours today isn’t the platform on which to build a positive result.

The referee, on his first visit to Millfield in well over a decade after a good career which saw him officiate in the Premiership and in European ties, commented afterwards he’d never experienced a game quite like this, with the team so far in front in the first half dominated after the break by opposition who’d looked utterly down and out beforehand. While it’s pleasing, though not quite sure that’s the right word, to have witnessed such a massive turnaround in the second half, questions inevitably have to be asked as to why we were so dreadful in the opening forty five minutes. Let’s just hope we don’t have to ponder that same question again in the coming months – we clearly have a decent squad of players at our disposal, and they’re not without spirit as was shown against Dalkeith Thistle ten days ago and again in the second half this afternoon. Of course there are a few young and inexperienced guys in our team but they’ll only learn from playing regularly at this level, and improvement in their individual performances, and consistency, will undoubtedly come.

At 3 o’clock this afternoon there were a good few of us fearing the sort of doubt and depression that follows an absolute hiding – the fact things proved otherwise is credit to everyone in a Haddington jersey in the second half. We’ve a run now of at least three consecutive away games, at Blackburn next week before a fortnight’s residency at Tranent’s Foresters Park – it’s been proven we can play the game, let’s show our forthcoming opposition that’s the case.

Haddington: Craig Cockburn, Ross King, Pinkie Tufail, Ali Simpson, George Cunningham, Andy McNeill, Jordan Cropley, (Tadgh Flanagan-Woodhead S60), Shaun Hill, Scott Moffat, (Andrew Sinclair S60), Paul Devlin, Andy Jones. Unused subs: Chris Cairney, Declan Heron, Brad Hainey, Sinky Inglis (SG).

Dundonald: James Lennox, Stuart Walton, Ross Drummond, Scott Durie, Sean O’Neil, Derek Wallace, Jason Penman, Lewis McKenzie, Calum Smith, Archie Campbell, Michael Ness. Subs: Mark Forbes, Billy Rogerson, Michael Dunlop, Lee Dair.

Saturday 18th August 2018

Penicuik Athletic 5

Haddington Athletic 1

(Shaun Hill)

After a good first half, Haddington shipped four second half goals to exit the Football Nation Cup at Penicuik last Saturday. Injuries, suspension and holidays limited manager Joe Hamill’s options with Hamill himself confined to the sidelines after picking up an injury in the midweek victory over Dalkeith. The Hi Hi’s took the lead in the 20th minute thanks to the quick thinking Shaun Hill who, when lining up a 30 yard free kick, spotted the goalkeeper off his line and promptly sent the ball over his head and into the net. Penicuik picked up the the pace and Barr equalised six minutes later. A good run from Andy Jones left Tufail with a good chance on front of goal but he fluffed his lines when a goal looked certain. Penicuik were the stronger side in the second half and they moved ahead in the 57th minute. Jones looked set to equalise when he was sent through but the goalkeeper managed to block his shot. Midway through the half former Hi Hi Andy Forbes was presented with an easy chance and put his side 3 1 up. Cropley hit the bar for the visitors but Penicuik fully exploited gaps in the Haddington defence as they pushed forward and ran out comfortable winners by five goals to one.

Wednesday 15th August 2018

Haddington Athletic 4
(Scott Moffat 20, 88, Andy Jones 35, Ross King 86)

Dalkeith Thistle 2
(Paul Tansey, 4 pen, 30)

A great start tonight to our Conference B campaign as we twice came from behind against our recent League Cup conquerors before sealing a more than deserved three points thanks to two late goals, from Ross King, his first for the club, and Scott Moffat with his seventh in five games.

We suffered an early setback when in the fourth minute referee Whyte took the view the ball hitting Brad Hainey’s hand unavoidably warranted a penalty to the visitors, allowing Paul Tansey to net his third goal against us inside eleven days from the spot. Undeterred, we went on to play a lot of good possession football in the Dalkeith half, and scored a deserved equaliser twenty minutes in when Jordan Cropley’s pass found Moffat on the right of the penalty area, from where he lashed a shot beyond Easton in the Jags’ goal from a fairly tight angle. For all we performed well in most areas in the opening half hour, Dalkeith again went in front when the ball fell at the feet of Tansey, who some reckoned marginally offside though not, crucially, the enclosure side assistant ref. The former Junior internationalist and one-time Millfield loanee yet again proved a thorn in our side, planting a low drive powerfully towards the bottom corner. This time though the lead lasted only five minutes, Andy Jones levelling with a lovely finish coming in from the right, again at a tricky angle. It remained all square at the break but there had been much to be pleased about from a Haddington perspective.

Proceedings seemed to take a turn for the worse just nine minutes into the second half when the ever dangerous Tansey broke forward threateningly and went tumbling just outside the box when Ali Simpson in hot pursuit looked to fall into him. The ref felt a goalscoring opportunity had been denied and brought out his red card, leaving us a man short. Craig Wojtowycz’s free kick came back off the crossbar with Craig Cockburn beaten, but thereafter our ‘keeper, recalled early from his Arniston Rangers loan due to Sinky Inglis’ suspension, hadn’t too much to do, though he was responsible notably for touching Craig Meikle’s goalbound header over the bar. Veteran centre half Meikle also headed against the outside of the back post following a corner – by then we’d lost the steadying figure of player-manager Joe Hamill after he pulled up injured. Despite Dalkeith’s superior numbers the Hi Hi always played with conviction and stuck to the task in hand. Under darkening skies and continuing heavy rain, patient build-up play, along the eighteen yard line latterly, gave Ross King a shooting opportunity which from fifteen yards he took confidently – a fine first goal for the nineteen year old who’s impressed early in his Millfield career with energetic displays. Any lingering doubts the three points weren’t secure were removed just two minutes later, more incisive attacking around the Dalkeith box ending with a Jones shot seemingly set to go out of play at the back post delicately guided the right side of the post by Moffat, as much a goalscoring nuisance to the Jags in recent times as Tansey to us. The referee was enjoying things so much he added on quite a good few minutes’ injury time, during which 16 year old substitute Tadgh Flanagan-Woodhead came on and almost added a fifth.

All in all, barring red cards and injury a very good night for the Hi Hi – by a distance our best showing so far at this very early stage of the season.