Andy Findlay’s brace earned Edinburgh University a place in the third round of the Challenge Cup as they came from behind to beat Musselburgh Amateurs 2-1 at Peffermill.
In what was a highly competitive affair, Scott Lane almost provided the opening for an early goal for Musselburgh when he drilled the ball across the box to Christopher Stevenson, but his strike partner’s shot was over-hit, much to the relief of Uni keeper Scott Hainey.
Musselburgh kept pushing and probing in search of the opening goal but Uni were soaking up the pressure well thanks to some good organisation at the back. Musselburgh had another half-decent chance after 25 minutes when Sean Page sent Lane down the left flank and he burst into the area, only to send a shot from a tight angle into the side netting.
Uni started to come good before half-time. Michael Ness created a few yards of space on the left of the area before sending a shot at goal that keeper Ross Taylor held. Ness then almost turned creator for Uni when his corner picked out Dave Brathwaite six yards out, but the No.6 could not find the target with his effort.
Just as it seemed the half was destined to end goalless, Musselburgh caught Uni out on the break to go 1-0 up. Laurie Flynn got in behind the defence before rounding Hainey and sending the ball in from a narrow angle.
With the momentum in their favour it looked like Musselburgh would build on their lead in the second half, but they didn’t bet on the introduction of super-sub Findlay at the break. Uni held firm under pressure at the start of the second half and it paid off when he made an impact with 67 minutes on the clock. Uni pressed patiently up the park and after Phil McNicholas saw his long-range shot blocked, the ball broke to Findlay on the right. The midfielder then proceeded to cut in and whip an effort straight into the top left corner to make it 1-1.
Musselburgh came close when Lane wriggled free of his marker in the box before shooting just over the top. Then, at the other end, substitute Lewis Scott almost provided the crucial opening for Uni as he played a through pass from the left but it had just too much on it and so McNicholas sent his effort from a tight angle wide of the mark.
Musselburgh didn’t take note of the warning signs and minutes later Uni completed a spirited turnaround. With Musselburgh bodies forward in attack, Uni broke quickly upfield and Findlay lost his marker down the right before breaking into the box and picking out the far corner of the net.
It was clinical from Uni and although Musselburgh always looked like finding an equaliser at the death, the hosts just about rode out the storm to secure a place in the next round.
The catalyst for the comeback, Findlay, shared his thoughts after the game on a spirited turnaround from Uni.
“It was a really pleasing result, it wasn’t a pretty game but the way we responded to being a goal down and then ground out the result is something the boys need to take a lot of credit for. The lads showed great character and I felt we were unlucky to be one down at half time.”
Edinburgh University: Scott Hainey, James Connington, Greg Swan, Jordi Vila, Hamish Flet, Dave Brathwaite, Alex Hanan, Daniel Thornton, Phil McNicholas, Harald Buchardt, Michael Ness, Andrew Stavert, Paul McLaughlin, Joe Darvill, Andy Findlay, Lewis Scott.
Musselburgh Amateurs: Ross Cameron, Allan Cornet, Giovanni Crolla, Laurie Flynn, Jamie Kay, Michael Knox, Scott Lane, Michael Moffat, Sean Page, Eamonn Reynolds, Richard Rintoul, John Stanton, Christopher Stevenson, Ross Taylor, James Waugh, Scott Barclay.