Tranent disappointed not to take all three points

Tranent, in maroon, were forced to settle for a point during a hard-fought encounter with Blackburn. Pic: Jon Savage
Tranent, in maroon, were forced to settle for a point during a hard-fought encounter with Blackburn. Pic: Jon Savage
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Tranent boss Gary Small believes it’s a sign of the progress being made at the East Lothian club that he and his players were disappointed not to emerge with all three points in this top of the table clash.

The Belters had the chance to go three points clear at the top of the South Division with a game in hand against co-leaders Blackburn, but found their visitors difficult to break down and had to settle for a point.

The home side had dominated the opening half, but were unable to take any of their chances in front of goal, with their visitors from West Lothian resilient in defence and Tranent were made to pay when Blackburn netted the opener out of the blue with an error from home keeper Sinclair Inglis in the second half.

“Going back ten years, this would be seen as a really good point for Tranent, but we were sitting in there disappointed because we’ve got a really good home record and feel we can beat anyone in this league,” said Small.

Former Haddington Athletic and Edinburgh United assistant Small gave credit to their fellow leaders, but rued his side’s profligacy when they had created endless chances in the opening half.

“I’m frustrated because I think for anyone at the game today, there was only one team trying to win the game,” he said. “It’s going to happen again and what has disappointed me in the end is the fact we could have lost. We need to take our chances when they come.

“Blackburn are a good team. They are organised side and they are hard to break down, but it’s just how we bounce back from this. We have to quickly learn because I think there will be more teams that will try and sit in against us because we are top of the league and we score a lot of goals, especially at home.”

Player-assistant manager Joe Murray had the first chance for the home side after 15 minutes, with his shot from the edge of the box pushed away by goalkeeper Connor Shaw.

The home side were causing Blackburn trouble down the right, with Stephen Manson using his pace to trouble left-back Darren McIntosh, although his team-mates were unable to convert his crosses.

Tranent continued to push forward, but they were still unable to make the breakthrough.

Youngster Ben Miller was inches away from finding the net with a header from a corner on the stroke of half-time before the former Berwick Rangers player went off with a nasty head knock in an aerial clash.

Tranent were made to pay for their missed chances ten minutes after the interval when goalkeeper Inglis didn’t deal with a passback from defender Ryan McKenzie and the ball slipped under his feet and into the back of the net.

The home side were shocked and looked for an immediate 
response, with substitute Hamish Hunter going close with a shot from the edge of the box which flashed just wide of the post with 20 minutes remaining.

The breakthrough arrived with ten minutes remaining when Joe Murray got his head on to Kenny Fisher’s ball from the right flank and he nodded past keeper Shaw.

Despite their dominance, keeper Inglis almost gifted the visitors the lead when he dallied on the ball outside his box, but recovered to clear in time.

Tranent had a penalty appeal waved away by referee George Calder when Murray went down in the box five minutes from time as Blackburn held on for a hard-fought point.

Tranent: Inglis, Patterson, Wojtowycz (Flynn), Gordon, McKenzie, Miller (Beaton), Manson, Smith, McMillan (Hunter), Murray, Fisher.

Blackburn United: Shaw, Greig, McIntosh, Lawrie, Mildrew, Williamson, Miller, Mackie, Cooke, Campbell, Spence.