Youths: Keeper saves – and wins – the day for Musselburgh Young Stars 19s

Musselburgh Young Stars 19s had custodian McArthur, centre back, to thank after chucking away a lead
Musselburgh Young Stars 19s had custodian McArthur, centre back, to thank after chucking away a lead
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Goalkeeper Thomas McArthur was the hero for Musselburgh Young Stars 19s as he scored the winner in a shoot-out after saving two penalties.

The Stars progressed to the David Murray Cup semi-finals 4-2 in the shoot-out after throwing away a 2-0 lead against Edinburgh City 19s at Forrester High School.

It was a case of who would hold their nerve in the shoot-out and McArthur was the star of the show.

Ben Bathgate had given 
Musselburgh the lead just before half-time. He picked up a free-kick on the right and smashed a driven shot from a tight angle past City goalkeeper Jordan Brown and the ball crept in at the front post.

Brandon Cullen scored the second after the break. Musselburgh’s Keiron Wood broke forward down the left and he played in a lovely ball behind the City defence for Cullen to fire in.

It appeared as though that was game over as City struggled to put anything together of note but, with 20 minutes remaining, they turned the game around – despite losing Euan Smith to a second red card.

Matty Downie bagged the first with a neat chip in the box and then Tod Teviotdale blasted in from close range to level the scores.

At 2-2 going into extra time it was anyone’s game and the contest took a few twists and turns throughout the additional 30 minutes. Rowan Fife glanced in a header from Downie’s corner to put City ahead for first time but Musselburgh responded with a goal from Bathgate. Then, minutes later, Musselburgh went 4-3 up as Connor Ramsay scored.

But just as it seemed they would hold on, City’s Cameron Scott poached a goal in the final minute of extra time to signal the shoot-out.

City were the better of the two sides in the opening exchanges and they had the first shot on target with 20 minutes gone. Michael Murphy chipped a free-kick into the box which centre-half Euan Smith headed straight into the grateful arms of keeper McArthur.

It encouraged City and they continued to bomb forward with Mussie unable to create anything of substance. Teviotdale bust a gut down the right hand side before delivering a cross-cum-shot that McArthur had to palm away.

As the cup tie reached the 30th minute, Stars eventually tested opposing goalkeeper Brown. Stephen Dick struck a well-hit shot from the edge of the City box which Brown had to get down and touch wide. 
It was a decent strike but on the whole it had been a 
quiet half from Musselburgh.

But as the half drew to a close he visitors looked the more 
likely to break the deadlock.

Indeed, Stars were on the up and they ended the half in front, having built some momentum.

City heads went down following the opening the goal and they needed to pick themselves up again after the interval.

They weren’t able to do so however and Musselburgh took full advantage to double their lead.

There was still a long way to go in the game so by no means was the cup tie over. City tried to marshall their attack but they didn’t really trouble Mussie keeper McArthur. City’s Alieu Touray had a chance but he hit a stinging shot that flew comfortably high and wide.

Then, with 20 minutes remaining, City turned the game around only to be, ultimately, denied by McArthur.

Edinburgh City 19s: Jordan Brown, Tod Teviotdale, Russell Drummond, David Gibson, Euan Smith, Sam Thompson, Alieu Touray, Aaron Mackay, Michael Murphy, Rowan Fife, Che Cousland, Ryan O’Donnell, Connor Nairn, Matthew Downie, Juwon Abubaker.

Musselburgh Young Stars 19s: Thomas McArthur, Keiron Wood, Sean Ballard, Connor Ramsay, Aaron O’Donnell, Stephen Dick, Euan Fraser, Brandon Cullen, Cameron Burt, Ben Bathgate, Charlie Skidmore, Callum Chamberlain, James Brownlee, Nathan Stokes.