Musselburgh Athletic goalkeeper Ally Adams celebrated his first move to senior football by signing off as a Premier League title winner with the club he’s been at since he was a teenager.
Adams will join League Two Berwick Rangers in the summer, linking up with former Bonnyrigg Rose manager Robbie Horn – a move which the 26-year-old just couldn’t turn down.
The stopper has been targeting a move to the senior ranks, having had spells at Linlithgow Rose and Tranent in between returning to Olivebank at the club’s No.1 last season.
Adams has made changes to his lifestyle off the pitch since his sour exit from Linlithgow, which has clearly paid off as he looks forward to a reunion with several of his former Burgh team-mates at Shielfield Park.
“Winning it on our own terms was the most important thing; not getting beat and Fauldhouse getting beat or something,” said Adams. “We’ve won it in a way we deserve to win it – at home on a nice day.
“We’ve been the best team by a mile, no doubt about it. A lot of people have said the teams in this league haven’t been good, but they have been – you seen Tranent knocking out Linlithgow the other night.
“We didn’t play that well today, we’ve had to work hard and that’s what we’ve done all season. It’s the first trophy I have won at Musselburgh, Jackie Myles as well, he deserves a bit of silverware if anyone does.”
Adams was impressed by Horn’s ambition and he wants to repay the faith shown by his new boss after offering him his chance at the big time.
He continued: “Robbie phoned me about six weeks ago, he had phoned Calvin [Shand, manager] first and he told me. I had a think about it because there’s a lot to take in, but when I spoke to Robbie he was ambitious and he speaks well and it just feels like a good fit for me. There’s a few ex-Musselburgh boys there so it’ll be good to play with them again.
“I knew I had a bit of rebuilding to do after Linlithgow, but I don’t think the reason I left there was because I was a bad goalie.
“I never did anything wrong there in my opinion, there was just people there that didn’t like being told the truth. I was immature with the way I rose to it.
“I knew I had to show that I can be mature, not in my game, but in the way I speak and the way I conduct myself and I think doing that has now paid off.”
Burgh knew they needed just a point to wrap up the league title, but visitors Dalkeith weren’t going to lie down to their hosts.
They gave the home side a scare after 23 minutes when Jordan Caddow lined up a shot from 25 yards out which had Adams beaten, only for the ball to cannon off the underside of the bar and bounce clear.
Striker Matti King had Burgh’s best chance of the opening half with a header, which goalkeeper Connor Easton got down well to stop.
Dalkeith looked the more likelier of the two sides to score after the interval, with Caddow flashing a shot just wide of the far post after cutting in from the right, before a midfield trialist headed straight at Adams.
The goal Burgh had been waiting for arrived on 56 minutes as Gary Cherrie played a neat one-two with King on the edge of the box and he swept the ball past Easton.
Sean Murphy’s shot from distance clipped the bar as the home side sought a second, which they secured two minutes from time as Michael Moffat made to knock over on the line from King’s header.
Centre-back John McManus then headed in a third from Cherrie’s corner to get the title party started.
Burgh boss Shand hailed his players for bouncing back in style after being relegated last season.
He said: “We didn’t want to be in this league, but that’s what we set out to do at the start of the season and we’ve done it.
“The boys have had a focus and a determination about them from day one. They deserve a massive amount of credit; they’ve been brilliant all season.
“We’ve still got three games to go, we’ve still got a points record to go and beat and we want to keep our unbeaten home record. It’s not done yet.”
Musselburgh Athletic: Adams, McManus, Lynch, Donaldson, Davie, Myles (Whyte), Cherrie, Murphy, Moffat, MacDonald, King.
Dalkeith Thistle: Easton, Caddow, McGlashan, Hall, McNeil, Wales, Trialist, McMillan (Buckley), Laing, Tansey, Murray (Trialist).