MUSSELBURGH ATHLETIC manager Stevie McLeish is confident his players can turn around their dreadful start to the season after the Olivebank men were defeated 2-0 at home by Hill of Beath.
McLeish’s men now prop up the Super League with not a point to their name after three matches, but Mussy’s boss believes last year’s Scottish Junior Cup finalists still have time to turn it around.
“It’s not the start to the season we were looking for,” admitted McLeish, “but there are still 27 games to go and we still have the time to turn things around.”
Musselburgh have lost a large chunk of last season’s squad and the job of replacing them in a short time was always going to be difficult. McLeish has drafted in several very experienced players such as Sean Jamieson, Kevin McLeish and Sean Palizcka and will need time to gel. However, Hill Of Beath are another team rebuilding after long-term boss Jock Finlayson retired at the end of last season and that factor can’t be used an excuse after the defeat by the Fifers.
After a first-half in which clear-cut chances were few and far between, Hill of Beath opened the scoring just minutes into the second period. Adam Moffat sent over a corner and Lewis McKenzie rose above everyone at the back post and power home a header.
They had to wait only a couple of minutes to grab their second. Again it was McKenzie who stole the show, running on to a defence-splitting pass and rolling the ball home to complete his double.
Musselburgh were reduced to ten men when Jackie Myles was sent off for a bad tackle, compounding a miserable afternoon for the hosts.
Musselburgh: Jackson, Christie, Martin, Gibson, Davie, Myles, Bracks, Hunter, Jamieson, Thomson, Hamilton. Subs: Palizcka. Tufal, McLeish, Connaghan.
Hill Of Beath: Hall, Wilson, Connors, Millar, Dair, Moffat, Adamson, Hay, Bryce, McKenzie, Smith. Subs: Breen, McCrindle, Mooney, Fleming.