A healthy Hi Hi’s support made the short trip to Prestonpans last Friday evening to see if their team could overcome Division 1 Preston Athletic to book their first final place in almost 24 years. Pennypit Park had survived an earlier inspection following two days of very heavy rain but the heavens opened just before kick off and surface water was appearing during the first half. There were concerns that the match might not finish but the rain abated and referee Lewis Hogarth was able to complete the ninety minutes. Haddington dominated the opening exchanges and they took the lead in the 12th minute through Tom Davies. He gathered a poor clearance from the home goalkeeper in the centre circle and from around 45 yards he directed a well hit shot into the home net despite the goalkeeper’s best efforts to retrieve the situation. The Hi Hi’s adopted a high press and pushed the home side back. Another good chance came their way when Davies set up Robbie Peffers but his left foot shot went wide. Haddington goalkeeper Campbell McLellan was a virtual spectator inĀ  first half dominated by the visitors.

It was a different story after the break when Preston, with nothing to lose, started to put pressure on the Haddington defence. The came close on a couple of occasions but for the most part , the visitors defended well with Robertson, Aitchison, McGarry and King providing a strong shield on front of McLellan. A huge deflection saw the ball strike McLellan’s left hand post before King cleared the danger and then Inglis hit a shot that was only inches away from finding the net. The introduction of Gary Windram saw him create problems for the home defence and Haddington came close to a second goal on a number of occasions. The final whistle sounded to kick off big celebrations in the Hi Hi’s camp.