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Saturday 18 March

St Andrews 3-3(1-1 HT) Whitburn Juniors

St Andrews: Mooney(Hunter 31), Honeyman, Fleming, Mayne, Perrie, McInnes, Orrock, Hendry, Wallace, Morrison(Falconer 72), Anthony, Subs: Schiavone, Nutt, Quinn
Whitburn: Horne, Hamilton, Bain, Skinner, Gardner(Graham 61), Milton, Thomson, Russell, Brass, Taylor,McAteer, Subs: McQueenie, Wilson

Whitburn started this game very well playing great football andit came as no surprise that they took the lead in the fourth minute when James McAteer headed a deep right wing cross powerfully into the net. 4 minutes later a great through ball from Andy Thompson put in Gary Brass but his shot was blocked. Dewi Taylor just after broke down the left and squared to Brass whose shot was again blocked and landed back at Taylor’s feet and his shot was also blocked. A little further on a brass header was saved for a corner after which another shot was blocked. There then came a 15 minute lull in which play was mostly in midfield until, in the 26th minute a Martin Russell header from another corner just went wide. St Andrew’s first serious attack arrived 2 minutes later after good play up their left ended with a shot from Ryan McInnes which Dougie Horne saved easily. Amazingly on the half hour they were level when a Jordan Bain slip allowed Ben Anthony in wide on the right and he somehow fired a low shot past Horne. The final action of the half saw a Taylor shot hit the bar and then he headed a high ball over a defender, collected the ball and slotted it into the net. As he celebrated, the linesman had his flag up and the goal was ruled out. Thomson had been offside but in no way interfered with play so a perfectly valid goal was denied.

The second half started quietly but with St Andrews playing all the football and it was they who were dominant as Whitburn struggled to get out of their own half. So it was no surprise that they had the first chance and it came in the 61st minute when a Michael Fleming header at the back post was cleared off the line at the near one. Then Craig Morrison had a shot well saved. The go ahead goal came in the 70th minute when Anthony dribbled past about 5 Whitburn men and then unleashed a shot similar to his first which again found the net from a tight angle. This woke up the visitors and after a spell of concerted pressure Thomson shot well from 12 yards but just wide. Then in the 74th minute after a Whitburn corner St Andrews broke at pace and had a 4 on 2 which ended with a header from Derek Wallace being parried by Horne to a home player whose cross was headed on by Greg Skinner but straight to Anthony who again found the net for his hattrick. In truth at this point it looked as though the next goal would come from St Andrews but Taylor proved us wrong when he was sprung up the right and shot powerfully past the keeper with 10 minutes to go. With 5 to go Thomson, who had been a thorn in the St Andrews side all game, was tripped by McInnes just on the end of the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Russell kept his cool and sent the keeper the wrong way to level the game. McInnes was sent off having been booked previously so Whitburn had a man advantage but were unable to take advantage and the game ended in a draw that really suited neither team.

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