Saturday 29 October 2016, 14.30, Millfield

Scottish Junior Cup Second Round Replay action between Haddington Athletic and Shotts Bon Accord.

Second viewing of the season of Haddington Athletic, after being at their late comeback draw at Arniston Rangers in August.  With so many changes to their team, they have unsurprisingly had an inconsistent start to their season in the East Premier League.  Their previous league game resulted in a 7-0 home win against Dundee Violet, but they seem to win one week and then lose the next.

Our first look at Shotts Bon Accord this season.  Formed in 1950, they are currently playing in the First Division of the West Region Superleague, which is kind of the West version of the league that Haddington are in.

Originally playing in the now-defunct Lanarkshire League, Bon Accord had early success, winning the  Scottish Junior Cup  in 1958.  The sixties saw many clubs in the area fold and the remaining clubs were incorporated into the Central League with the Glasgow based clubs.

Shotts faced tougher opposition in the Central League, but were runners-up in their first 2 years before being relegated two years in a row.  A yo-yo period ended for a while after promotion to the top league in 1985/86.  In all but one season for the next 10 years, they stayed in the top league.  In 1995 they were suspended from the Central Junior League for one season, and were re-admitted to the third tier in the 1996-97 season. Remarkably they won each of the league’s three divisions in consecutive seasons upon their readmission.

After reaching the Junior Cup semi-final in 2000, they were relegated again the following year.  Further league reconstruction and the formation of the West Superleague in 2002 has seen the club return to its up and down ways.

2012 saw Shotts win their second Junior Cup, when they upset the big favourites Auchinleck Talbot in the final.

New signings for Shotts this season are midfielders Barry McGowan from Bellshill Athletic and Ally Martin from Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, and defenders Jamie Brophy, also from Bellshill and Shaun Fallon from Hawick Royal Albert.  Returning to the club are forward Mark Duffy from Thorniewood United and midfielder Andy Scott.  Also returning are two members of the Scottish Cup-winning squad of 2012, goalkeeper Johnny Murdoch and Andy Scott from Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.

Shotts play their home games at Hannah Park.  The ground was created using local volunteer labour, one of whom, James Hannah, died of thrombosis contracted during the efforts to finish. The park is named in his honour.

It’s worth noting that Shotts Bon Accord are not the Bon Accord responsible for the famous 36-0 loss in the late 1800s.

I confess to a bit of a soft spot for Bon Accord.  My father was responsible for the original plans for Hannah Park and an uncle is a former manager there.  I was at their Junior Cup win in 2012.

I should also mention a liking for Haddington.  They have a lovely picturesque ground and the best pies I’ve ever had at a football ground.

The replay came about as a result of the draw between the teams the previous Saturday, which seemed to be quite an event.  Haddington raced into a three goal lead and led by that at half time.  Shotts got a quick goal back at the start of the second half, then a second before having a man sent off.  They still grabbed the equaliser with 18 minutes left and the game finished 3-3.

I made it around 120 in the ground for this one, with a fair number through from Lanarkshire.  Fortunately, these numbers didn’t prevent me from getting a pie.

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Shotts were quick out of the blocks and looked to still have their tails up from their amazing comeback the week before.

In the second minute, Martin played the ball to Burns who turned away from a defender on the edge of the box to give himself a chance, but his shot was blocked by Inglis in the home goal.

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Shotts won a free kick in the third minute 23 yards out which was taken by Martin and went narrowly wide.

Berry lobbed the ball forward for Moffat in 4 minutes as Haddington looked to break away, but the referee gave offside.  Disappointingly, there were no linesmen present.

In 8 minutes, Bauld slipped in his own half and gave the ball to Shotts.  Martin took possession and ran to the corner of the box before sending a delightful chip over Inglis to give Bon Accord the lead.

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Some excellent build-up play by Shotts in 13 minutes saw Scott play the ball to McKenna, who found Burns inside the box, but Inglis did well to turn his effort round the post.

McKenna played a great ball to Burns on the right in 15 minutes as Bon Accord came forward again.  He cut inside and rifled a low shot beyond the keeper to make it 2-0.

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Shotts were threatening to run away with it and in 23 minutes, Scott passed to Livingstone, who had a strike from distance, but it was wide of goal.

With 25 minutes gone, Scott’s ball in from the left saw Martin chase it into the box and strike goalwards, but Inglis spectacularly pushed the ball away.

The Hi-Hi were looking to get back into the game and Wright ran down the left in 29 minutes before playing the ball back to Ponton.  He crossed to the back post and found Berry, but he volleyed wide.

Shotts’ Livingstone picked up the first booking of the afternoon with half an hour gone.  A late challenge on Cairney brought about the yellow card, but it was the third time he had been pulled up.

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Fairnie played a clever ball to Cairney on the right in 31 minutes and his cross into the Shotts box was flicked just wide by the head of Moffat.

In 38 minutes, Berry picked out Wright on the left of the Shotts box.  It was a good chance, but Murdoch was out very quickly to block.

Shotts had a powerful shot at goal in 39 minutes, but Inglis gathered.  Straight up the other end and Wright had an opportunity to square the ball to an unmarked Woods, but a defender managed to cut it out.

With three minutes to half time Burns was a little fortunate to escape with just a yellow card after aiming a kick at a Haddington player, although the referee strangely didn’t give a foul.

A good first half from Bon Accord who looked well in control.

The referee continued to show leniency at the beginning of the second half when Haddington’s Moffat caught Cairney with a late tackle in 46 minutes, but escaped a booking.

Two minutes later Moffat did go in the book after doing something to Barr as he tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick.

In 53 minutes, Barr went in the book himself for a foul on Moffat.

The game was in danger of boiling over at this point with a few niggles seeming to start.  Maybe some leftover from the previous weekend.

Moffat won the ball on the left for Shotts in 56 minutes and cut inside before shooting at goal.  Inglis got down well to turn the ball round the post.

Following the resultant corner, the ball came back into the box and was bobbling around before Burns latched onto it and sent a low drive into the net for Shotts third of the afternoon.

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With 32 minutes left, there certainly didn’t appear to be any chance of a reverse of the previous game as Shotts looked secure with their lead.

Bauld and Cairney picked up bookings for Haddington within a couple of minutes of each other as Haddington tried to press the away side.

Fairnie was the next to go in the book in 70 minutes as the game began to run away from Haddington.

Haddington had their best chance since the start of the game in 72 minutes when a cross picked out Moffat in the middle of the box, but he headed straight at Murdoch.

In 74 minutes, another great chance for Moffat when Ponton’s cross found him in the box again, but this time his header flashed wide.

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The chances were starting to come for the home side now, but time was rapidly running out.

Devlin was next to go for goal in 75 minutes, but his half volley from the edge of the box, although a decent effort, was too high.

Haddington came forward on the left in 78 minutes and Berry squared the ball for Woods who managed to squeeze the ball into the corner past Murdoch to give the Hi-Hi the goal that they had been looking like scoring.

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There was a short break in play as MacPherson got a change of shirt after it looked like his had been ripped off.

If he was turning into the Hulk, he would have been even more angry when the home side scored again straight from kick off.

Chapman put a fine cross into the Shotts area and Woods either missed the ball or cleverly dummied it and Moffat tapped in from inside the six-yard box.

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Ten minutes left and very close to the exact opposite of the first game.

To make things even more like the previous week, the team chasing the game had a player sent off when they were one behind, with Cairney sent off after his second yellow card in 81 minutes.  It was good of him to follow the script, but it could have ruined his team’s chances of getting what looked like an unlikely equaliser.

From the resultant free kick, Martin saw his effort come back off the Haddington bar.

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A curling shot by Haddington’s Chapman in 84 minutes looked in, but a defender managed to get his head to it to divert it away from goal.

In 86 minutes, Moffat was almost through, but Murdoch in the Shotts goal was out to clear with his feet.

Tempers were threatening to boil over again as players pushed each other following the award of a Haddington free kick on the half way line.

As the clock reached 90 minutes, a curling ball into the Shotts box by Chris Inglis was headed behind by Lindsay for a Haddington corner.  Woods flicked the ball on and it hit Shotts’ Eadie who could only watch in horror as it ran into the net past the despairing dive of Murdoch for the equaliser.

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Both teams had chances to win it with Livingstone shooting over the bar for Shotts after being set up by Burns and then Haddington’s Jones stepped away from a defender and saw his shot tipped over the bar by Murdoch.  The resultant corner was taken by Devlin and found the head of Moffat, whose downward header went inches wide.

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The end of the match and straight to penalties.

Shotts took the early initiative with Burns and Finnigan both scoring.  Ponton scored Haddington’s first, but Chris Inglis saw his shot saved.  Haddington’s keeper then saved attempts from Eadie and Livingstone, with Devlin and Woods scoring for Haddington.  MacPherson had to score to keep Bon Accord in it, but Inglis saved his third penalty in a row and Haddington had the win.

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A truly remarkable game which would have seemed incredible on its own without the reverse having happened the previous week.

With both teams having a maroon home strip and a light blue away one, it was a mirror image of the previous week, with the team in maroon coming back from three goals down.

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Shotts looked a very good side for about an hour on this evidence and really should have had it sewn up (as I believe Haddington should have the week before).  Scott and Martin looked good in midfield and McKenna held the ball up well.  The defence had looked very solid, but were at sixes and sevens as soon as they conceded the first of Haddington’s goals.

Berry and Fairnie looked like Haddington’s best on the day for me, with Chapman making a big contribution to the comeback when he came on.

Hugely entertaining afternoon.

Apologies to Haddington’s Andy Jones, but I didn’t see him coming on and am not sure who went off!  He was certainly on from about 58 minutes in.

Can these two teams play each other every week?

Full Time: Haddington Athletic 3 Shotts Bon Accord 3 (Haddington won 3-2 on penalties)

Admission: £6

Haddington Athletic: 1 Sinclair Inglis, 2 Chris Cairney, 3 Arran Ponton, 4 Euan Bauld (Devlin 61), 5 Chris Inglis, 6 Shaun Hill, 7 Bob Berry, 8 Michael Fairnie, 9 Dean Woods, 10 Scott Moffat, 11 Scott Wright (Chapman 65). Subs: 12 Paul Devlin, 15 Andy Jones, 16 Jamie Chapman, 14 Kieran Ingram, 17 Kidd.

Shotts Bon Accord: 1 Johnny Murdoch, 2 Glenn Eadie, 3 Jonathan Lindsay, 4 Gavin Macpherson, 5 Gary Barr, 6 Stuart Livingstone, 7 Andy Scott (Sutherland 78), 8 Ally Martin, 9 Sean McKenna (Campbell 72), 10 Stephen Maguire(Finnigan 88), 11 Danny Burns. Subs: 12 Dean Sutherland, 14 Kieran Campbell, 15 Kris Russell, 16 Paul Finnigan.

Referee: Peter Stuart

Programme: None.

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