Broxburn Athletic boss Max Christie hailed his side’s fighting spirit after they sparked a spectacular second-half comeback to win 3-2 at Musselburgh after being two goals down.
Burgh were cruising after a goal either side of the break from right-back Kevin McLeish and there appeared to be no way back for the visitors, but two goals in two minutes from Nicholas Locke and a sensational Darren Dalrymple winner with the last kick of the game completed the turnaround.
“I’m delighted to get the win as they are a good team,” said Christie. “They’ve got good players, but we showed great spirit and when we got one back we were looking more likely but you still see Thommo [Steven Thomson] on the edge of the box, he’s a good player.
“It was a great junior game, I’m really pleased. It’s a big, big result for the club.”
The home side were awarded a controversial penalty early in the second half, with Christie believing Musselburgh winger Jack Wright was fouled outside the area.
“I thought that was a yard outside the box, but we got one back quite quickly from that, we didn’t capitulate, and we showed good spirit which is always great for a manager when you see them battling for each other.”
Having made it two away victories on the trot after a 4-2 success over Sauchie last week, Christie says their sights are now fixed on moving up the table rather than down, with the danger of getting dragged into the relegation play-off spot still mathematically possible.
“I think we’re too good to get sucked in [to the relegation play-off spot],” he said. “I’ve not even thought about it. We’ve got a few wins to get but we are looking up rather than down, we think we’ll be well away from it. We’re a good side, we’re not far away, and we’ve got a good bunch of boys who are good to watch.”
Locke tested returning keeper John Dodds after 13 minutes with a low free-kick from 25 yards out which he turned round the post.
Neat footwork from Broxburn striker Kieran Anderson inside the area allowed him to pull the ball back for Craig Scott, but his shot was deflected wide off the feet of Dodds.
McLeish scored a stunning opener on 18 minutes after a terrific run from his right-back berth. The 35-year-old rolled back the years from out wide, surging forward and exchanging a quick one-two with Sean Paliczka, before doing the same with Sean Jamieson on the edge of the box and he placed an effort into the top corner past Gary Maley.
Locke was placed well to equalise as Broxburn sought a quick response, but from three yards out he couldn’t connect with Ross Nimmo’s low cross.
Thomson then had a header inadvertently saved by Maley, his header from McLeish’s corner straight at the big keeper before it looped over the bar.
Referee Mike Taylor incensed the visiting support with the award of a 49th minute penalty after Mike Willems felled Wright on the periphery of the box. McLeish stepped up and saw his effort saved but he hammered in the rebound.
Broxburn’s Craig Young was subbed off much to his dismay as he exchanged verbals with assistant Brian McNaughton and he had departed Olivebank by the time Locke fired the visitors a lifeline with a well-taken strike inside the area.
Just two minutes later and they were level as Dodds didn’t take hold of Nimmo’s cross at his near post and Locke was on hand to knock in the rebound.
That brought out a response from the hosts, who had attempts from Thomson and Jamieson saved, but the visitors looked dangerous on the break as they too went for the jugular.
Jackie Myles was careless with a clumsy challenge on the edge of the box in added on time as he brought down Anderson. The striker dusted himself down and fired a low free-kick which Dodds palmed out, but the home defence were slow to react, Scott picking up the loose ball and pulling back for Dalrymple who tucked away.
Musselburgh boss Stevie McLeish couldn’t believe his side threw away their lead, he said: “It’s defeat at the jaws of victory. We were cruising and I thought we totally bossed the first half.
“When it went to 2-1 we panicked and they got their tails up – they got a bit motivation from what was a controversial penalty.”
Musselburgh Athletic: Dodds, Davie, McLeish (Swaney), Myles, Gibson, Hamilton, Wright (Christie), Thomson, Paliczka, Jamieson, McKenna.
Broxburn Athletic: Maley, Willems, M.Millar, Young (Lochrie), Rarity, J.Millar, Scott, Nimmo, Locke, Dalrymple, Anderson.