• Kevin Marshall

Game Of Two Halves


Tynecastle 3-3 Musselburgh Athletic

Meggetland Arena

EOSFL Premier Division


Tynecastle came from behind twice to take a share of the points in a game dominated by the weather at Meggetland. It looked an unlikely result after Musselburgh raced into an early lead with goals from Darren Downie and Dean Ballantyne inside the first six minutes. But the change of ends, changed the game and Tynecastle pulled level thanks to an own goal, followed by an Arran Ponton chip. Dowie put Athletic back in front, but Ryan Cameron equalised again to share the points


Time Lineups
Time Lineups

Tynecastle started with a 4-5-1 formation of Jackson in goal and a back four of Dawson, Ponton, Power and Steel. Henderson, Kennedy & Jancyk in the centre of midfield, with Penicuik wide left, Cameron on the right and Elliot leading the line. Musselburgh went with McGinley in goal, a 3-man central defence of Hamill, Reid & skipper McManus. The three defensive midfielders were White, Myles & Thomson, while Ben Reilly made his debut alongside Woods, with Ballantyne & Downie up top.


Darren Downie with the opener
Darren Downie with the opener

Musselburgh came flying out of the traps and looked like they were trying to put the game to bed in the first ten minutes. There was a strong wind blowing diagonally across Meggetland, and Athletic took full advantage Woods whipping a free kick deep to the back post, and when it was nodded back across the face of goal, Downie was on hand to head home the opener with just four minutes on the clock.


It was a case of deja-vu just two minutes later, when Athletic made it 2-nil with exactly the same goal. Deep free kick, played back across goal, the only difference being with was the other striker Ballantyne who got the final touch.


Dean Ballantyne double Athletic's lead
Dean Ballantyne double Athletic's lead


Dawson went close for Tynecastle
Dawson went close for Tynecastle

It was the worst possible start for Tynecastle, and it took them a while to get back into their stride. Dawson & Cameron were looking dangerous down the right-hand side, but the Musselburgh defence were mopping up everything that came into the box, and McGinley didn’t have too much to do in the first half. Musselburgh looked comfortable, and with no need to chase the game, opted for the patient approach. Tynecastle’s best chance of the half came shortly before the break, Cameron’s cross finding Dawson free, but his header just shaved the post and slid past.


As if the howling wind wasn’t bad enough, the second half started with some heavy rain chucked in for good

McManus' own goal gave the hosts a lifeline
McManus' own goal gave the hosts a lifeline

measure. If Mussie had any ideas of another strong start to the half, the hosts had different ideas, Tynie clearly keen to make the most of the wind that was now in their favour. Just five minutes into the half, the hosts pulled one back thanks to an error in the Athletic defence. McGinley looked like he had Cameron’s cross covered, but the keeper couldn’t collect it and the ball ricocheted off McManus into the net to give Tynecastle a lifeline.


Just as Athletic had done in the first half, Tynecastle were making the most of the conditions, shooting on sight in the hope of catching the keeper off guard. The tactic paid off on 55 minutes, Ponton having a go from wide on the left, chipping it over McGinley at full stretch to bring the scores level.

McGinley caught out by Ponton's chip
McGinley caught out by Ponton's chip

All the momentum was now with Tynecastle, and they suddenly looked in the mood. Cameron thought he’d given his side the lead, but the linesman had his flag up and the goal was chopped off. Although the hosts had the bit between their teeth, it was actually Musselburgh who went back in front on the hour, Downie beating the off-side trap and slipping it home to bag his second of the day.


But Tynecastle were not to be denied, and hit back immediately, Elliot’s strike hitting the post and falling perfectly for Cameron, who stuck it away into the bottom corner to get himself a well-deserved goal.


Both sides had chances to win it
Both sides had chances to win it

The last half hour of the game was more about batting the conditions and avoiding hypothermia if at all possible. The wind was still howling, driving the rain almost vertically at times and both sets of players looked like the final whistle couldn’t come quick enough. Both sides had chances to win it with time ticking way, the best chances probably coming Tynie’s way, but neither side could find the winner, and both had to be happy with a share of the points. Tynecastle are at home again next week as Crossgates make the trip over from Fife, while Musselburgh will play host to LTHV.


Man of the Match: Ryan Cameron
Man of the Match: Ryan Cameron

Man of the Match: There were candidates on both sides, but for me it was Ryan Cameron who stuck out. In the first half, he kept trying to drag his side back from a poor start and in the second, he made the most of the conditions, firing in crosses to test the Athletic defence. Capped off a fine performance with the vital goal for his team.

See the full match gallery HERE

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