Musselburgh boss Calvin Shand bemoaned the goals gifted to opponents Kirkintilloch Rob Roy as his side crashed out of the Scottish Junior Cup third round.
Burgh had clawed their way back into the tie with a super strike from Mathu King at the start of the second half but the West Super League leaders prevailed 2-1 at New Tinto Park, Govan.
“We gifted them their goals with some poor defensive marking and, against the side who top the West Super League, you can’t afford to do that,” said Shand.
“We came here and, after a shaky start, took the game to them and the players were brave in the way they fought back in the second half. But the two goals they scored could have been avoided.
“I’m really disappointed for the players because they deserved more from this game. They put a great deal into it. They passed the ball well, fought back to level terms, and did more than enough to at least take the tie back home next week.”
Musselburgh survived an early onslaught as Rob Roy threw everything at them as expected. They kept things tight at the back, though, until on the half-hour mark they gave the ball away some 25 yards out. Rob Roy’s Gary McMennamen picked up the ball and curled it into the far corner of the net catching goalkeeper Kieron Renton by surprise. Musselburgh then showed their battling spirit and, with half-time approaching, Ewan Ralton blasted a great effort at goal which brought out a superb save from Rob Roy keeper Jordan Brown.
Musselburgh stepped up a gear at the start of the second half and, within five minutes, had levelled the match with a fabulous strike from King. He raced onto a through ball which split the home defence and, from 30 yards, stroked the ball past the keeper.
Burgh kept the momentum up and created enough chances to win the game but all that came undone in the 65th minute with a bad mistake at the heart of their defence.
A high through ball was left to each other by the two central defenders allowing William Sawyers loads of space. His effort was brilliantly blocked by Renton but it fell to Chris Duff out on the left and he slammed the ball home from five yards.
Musselburgh tried hard but, although they still created chances, they couldn’t get the goal to force a replay.
Kirkintilloch Rob Roy: Brown, Buchanan, McKenzie, Walker, Green, Whelan, Gallagher. McMennamen, Sawyers, Fraser, Duff. Subs: Mackie, McGuire, Pearce, McCall.
Musselburgh: Renton, McManus, Lynch, Dunn, Hogg, O’Kane, Murphy, Cherrie, Ralton, King, Davie. Subs: Moffat, Thomson, Spowart, McKenzie.