A THRILLING penalty shoot-out saw Haddington Athletic Colts Under-19s squeeze through 4-2 after a titanic battle with East Lothian rivals Musselburgh Windsor in the second round of the Scottish Youth FA Challenge Cup.
With the match ending 2-2 after 120 minutes of play on the 3G surface at Whittingehame Drive, the Haddington players prevailed after showing more resilience than their opponents during the decisive spot-kicks.
However, this was the second time the teams had met in the space of just five days, the first game having been abandoned after 90 minutes with the score level at 4-4 due to a timing issue with the floodlights.
Nevertheless, the rerun proved to be just as entertaining and Haddington boss Jamie Congalton was thrilled to progress into the next round of the cup.
“Musselburgh Windsor are the team to beat as they move and pass the ball about well, but we matched them and proved we can compete. It was a great advert for under-19s football.”
Musselburgh took the lead after 20 minutes. The lively Jack McIntyre broke free down the left side and his cutback was perfect for the on-rushing Ewan Ralton who showed great composure to fire into the bottom right corner.
However, this lead only lasted ten minutes when the hosts were back on level terms courtesy of a penalty kick. Jack Moffat was adjudged to have impeded Steven Kean in the box, and Darren Handling showed no mercy by firing low to Daniel Laing’s left.
Haddington then took the lead after 80 minutes. Handling, who proved a handful all night, spotted Murray Lorimer’s run and played a pass through to the midfielder who showed great accuracy in firing a shot into the far corner.
With five minutes remaining, Musselburgh levelled things up when Ryan McConville’s ball in from the right was dispatched neatly into the net by Jordon Burrows.
Both sides had opportunities to win the tie in extra-time, Musselburgh’s Craig McLeod hitting the bar before Handling brought out another tremendous block from Laing when through on goal.
However, after McLeod missed the fourth spot-kick for the visitors, and the score at 3-2 in favour of the home side, Aaron Congaltoun stepped forward and slotted his shot into the corner to seal the tie.
Musselburgh coach Stuart Turnbull felt his side were in control for the duration of the match and was disappointed to exit the competition.
He said: “Haddington were the better team in the previous game, but I thought we dominated this time from start to finish. We didn’t deserve to lose, but I’m very proud of the boys’ efforts. We’ve had a great start to the season, so we need to go and pick ourselves up.”
Haddington Athletic Colts: Callum Banks, Ajdin Husic, Aaron MacKenzie, Craig Sandie, Abraham Osman, Aaron Congaltoun, Steven Kean, Scott Souness, Darren Handling, Daniel Smith, Michael Johnston, Hazim Kilic, Lewis Fenn, Murray Lorimer, Sam Wyllie, Paul Smith.
Musselburgh Windsor: Daniel Laing, Andrew Cameron, Patrick Harrold, Craig McLeod, Kieran McHarg, Jack Moffat, Ryan McConville, Daniel Moffat, Jordon Burrows, Craig Turnbull, Kevin Keane, Jack Thomson, Jack McIntyre, Gary Scott-Learmonth, Ewan Ralton.