Super League champions Bonnyrigg had to dig deep into their character to see off the challenge of a well organised Musselburgh side who held out until the 80th minute when a strike from Adam Nelson decided the result.
Super League champions Bonnyrigg had to dig deep to see off Musselburgh who held out until the 80th minute when a strike from Adam Nelson decided the result.
Bonnyrigg boss Robbie Horn said: “I’ve said all season this squad has bags and bags of character and today was a great example. We weren’t at the races in the opening half hour when Musselburgh were on top, but we regrouped and the character showed. We had to grind out this result because it’s places like this where Leagues are won or lost. We knew Musselburgh would be well organised and fit so to come her and win is a good result for us.”
Musselburgh had four great headers at goal in the first half hour. They bullied Bonnyrigg who, with a strong defence, held out.
The game looked like heading for a draw until Musselburgh’s Michael Moffat was given a straight red card for a lunge on Adam Nelson in the 67th minute.
Bonnyrigg stepped up a gear and soon Musselburgh were under pressure.
They survived several chances until with 10 minutes to go Bonnyrigg made the breakthrough. A short throw-in found Nelson some 18 yards out and he drilled a low effort into the bottom corner.
Musselburgh manager Calvin Shand said: “We were brilliant today; we had a great first half. The sending off changed the game for us but that’s why Bonnyrigg are the champions because they can grind out a result when it matters. There wasn’t a great deal between the sides but you have to take the chances you’re given.”
Goalscorer Nelson knows just how difficult it is to get a result at places like Musselburgh, and said: “I played here with a lot of their players and I knew Calvin would have them set up well. We had to dig deep against a very good Mussy side and to get the goal at the right time was what we deserved.”
Musselburgh: Renton, McManus, Dunn, O’Kane, Murphy, Cherrie, King, Davie, Thomson, Spowart, Moffat. Subs: Ralton, Guiney, McKenzie, Porcher.
Bonnyrigg: Andrews, Horne, Donaldson, Stewart, Young, Hoskins, Turner, Kidd, McGachie, Nelson, McIntosh. Subs: Moyes, Gray, McLaren, Burrell, Rooney.