A tremendous crowd of over 450 turned up at Millfield last night to see if the Hi Hi’s could reach their first cup for over 20 years. Standing in their way were Division 3 champions, Bo’ness Athletic, who arrived at Millfield in confident mood boasting an unbelievable goal scoring record with their top scorer, Tiwi Daramola, on 80 goals. Manager Scott Bonar was without two key players in Ali Simpson and Joe Tait and he brought two players from the Under 20 squad, Euan Walker and Riley Haston, into the starting line up. Bo’ness had the edge in the early stages but the home side defended well and limited the visitor’s chances. Haddington gradually worked their way into the match and ended the first half on top, forcing a number of corners. Skipper Gabri Auriemma almost gave his side the lead but the visiting goalkeeper was equal to the task.
It was hoped that the Hi Hi’s, kicking towards the pavilion, would apply more pressure in the second half but Bo’ness regained their early assurance and they were picking up most of the loose balls and looked the liklier side. It was still goalless approaching the final quarter and the match was decided in the space of five minutes. Guy McGarry had the game’s best chance when he broke clear with only the goalkeeper to beat. A goal looked certain but the goalkeeper somehow managed to divert it over the bar. Minutes later substitute Robbie Peffers had the goalkeeper beaten but his 18 yard shot inched narrowly past. The Hi Hi’s were to regret these misses when the home side failed to clear a corner kick and Daramola was on hand to beat Cornet from close range.
A disappointing outcome on the night but this has to be viewed as a successful season overall. A run of only 3 defeats since early November has guaranteed a top half finish in the club’s first Premier Division season – playing at tier 6 is the highest in Haddington’s history and they have built a strong following as was shown last night. Once again the players will only have a short break before they meet up for pre season training.