Musselburgh Athletic 15s and Bonnyrigg Rose Colts put on quite a show at a chilly Olivebank as they battled it out in the Under-15 Division 1 League Cup.
Both sides had multiple chances to snatch the points late in the game but neither could find the killer blow.
The game got off to a flyer with the home side starting on the front foot. Within four minutes, Athletic found themselves ahead. Dominic McLagan’s outswinging corner to the front post deceived Kadin Boak in the Bonnyrigg goal and Lewis Dyke tapped home.
Mussy pressed on looking for the second. Luke Caven tried his luck from distance but his shot flew high and wide.
Bonnyrigg had chances of their own and their main outlet was the pace and strong running of Arran Laidlaw on the right. Time and time again he found himself in space and with the chance to run at defenders. On 15 minutes, Laidlaw twisted and turned on the right and cut in to cross, only for the ball to strike the arm of a Mussy defender and referee Tam Carter pointed to the spot. William Scott coolly converted the penalty to draw the game level.
There were only two more clear-cut chances in the first half.
Again, Laidlaw was the danger man for the away team. A long ball over the top of the defence allowed him to utilise his speed and latch on to it but the Mussy defence recovered, somewhat controversially, as there appeared to be a number of pulls at the No.9’s shirt and his shot was blocked.
At the other end, Caven had a chance. Minutes before half-time, McLagan poked a pass over the top for Caven but his powerful shot soared narrowly wide.
An evenly matched, end-to-end game in the first half paved the way for a frantic second.
Despite Musselburgh’s slow start to the second perios, they found themselves in the lead again on 52 minutes. After a long spell of possession and some excellent football, Kyle Cooledge applied the pressure required with a run through the middle and his final shot deflected off a defender and wrong-footed the goalkeeper to trickle into the net.
As the game opened up, it was no surprise when Bonnyrigg equalised for the second time just over ten minutes later, a finely-placed goal courtesy of William Scott from 18 yards after a lay-off from Laidlaw.
Both teams exchanged blows looking for a winner and Musselburgh’s McLagan nearly found it with an over-hit cross from the left that required a brilliant fingertip save from Boak.
Then it was Bonnyrigg’s turn. Substitute Linden Koya looked sharp when he came on and had two great chances to make himself a hero. Using his pace for a ball over the top, Koya ran through on goal but his strike from a tight angle was directed straight at the keeper. Minutes later, it was last-chance saloon and quite possibly the best chance of the game. Koya found himself unmarked in the box eight yards out, but he stumbled and could only prod a shot into the keeper’s hands as he gratefully smothered it to ensure a draw.
Musselburgh Athletic: Lewis Glennie, Liam Demarco, Aidan Garland-McGlynn, Robbie Wallace, Luke Caven, Kyle Cooledge, Ewan Graham, Dominic McLagan, Danny Worobec, Lewis Dyke, Maksymilian Dluzak, Liam Millar, Euan Duff, Kyle Kivichlin, Mateusz Lenart.
Bonnyrigg Rose Colts: Kadin Boak, Calum Glen, Lawrie Wilson, Blair Angus, Cameron Quinn, Nicholas Rietvelt, Arran Laidlaw, William Scott, James Scobie, Ryan Hodge, Chris McCallum, Kyle Burns, Ross Lynch, Linden Koya.