Away league match played on 17 February 2024.
Kicked off at 2:30 PM

Burgh travelled to Kings Park to face fourth placed Dalkeith Thistle in much need of a better performance – and preferably points. Whilst we returned home empty-handed, it wasn’t for the want of trying with a battling, hard-working and gritty performance that was harshly punished in the closing minutes.

Jamie Fyfe slotted in at centre-back, a position he has played in previously, whilst Mitchell Sharp was restored to the forward line.

Sharp went close in the 31st minute with a header from a deep free kick from Ewan Coutts but his header was unable to find the target. Moments later it was a repeat combination with Coutts free kick from just inside the Burgh half finding the feet of Sharp to run on and force an excellent point-blank save from Dalkeith keeper Jones.

Burgh were doing well at keeping Dalkeith opportunities to a minimum and chances from Muir and Davidson failed to trouble Jack Foster in the visiting goal.

At the start of the second half Sharp had another good chance with a run, turn and shot that went just over. Whilst at the other end Gould submitted his entry into Miss of the Season when he did the hard work by rounding Foster and having all the time in the world and a largely open goal must have had visions of the Six Nations at Murrayfield as he skied the bar from close range.

That was a major let off for Newburgh and one, for a change, we punished in the 56th minute when Adam Wilson brilliantly floated a ball over the Dalkeith back line and Sharp raced on with keeper Jones rushing outside his area. Sharp got their first and flicked over the keeper as they collided. The Burgh number 9 was quickest to recover and finished from the edge of the area to make it 1-0.

The goal seemed to spark Dalkeith into life with a Clelland free kick from the edge of the area cannoning off the upright with Aitchison shooting the rebound over the bar.

The equaliser came in the 72nd minute when Aitchison evaded two tackles to slide a defence splitting pass across the box which was met by sub Mackie to knock home. Dalkeith then swung the game the other way in the 78th minute when Brown picked up the ball on the outside the right side of penalty area and he ran along the box before firing a shot through a crowd of bodies low into the corner past Foster.

In days gone by this goal would have sparked a collapse, but this wasn’t one of those occasions. Kellar Harris, who has been struggling with injury, came off the bench on 81 minutes and his impact was virtually immediate.

Josh Lindsay picked up the ball midway through the area and his through pass was deflected before reaching Sharp who flicked onto Harris who kept his cool to roll the ball passed Jones to make it 2-2 on 83 minutes.

With Dalkeith pressing again, the Burgh defence was doing their best to stand firm before a challenge in the 87th minute saw the referee pointing to the spot. Sub Callaghan converted from the spot and it looked over and done.

Credit to Burgh who still were not giving up and Kellar had another chance forcing a very good double save from Jones, whilst Fyfe was just unable to find the right connection from Kyle Tracey’s header across the area as Burgh went in search of a third.

As the visitors pushed for that equaliser deep in stoppage time, Callaghan lofted a ball into the Burgh half leaving it 2 vs 2 at the back with the ball played across goal by sub Brockie for Leslie to be the third home sub to score as he tapped home and kill the game.

Understandably the result was heart-breaking for Burgh and not a reward for their performance, but in the cold light of day, there were so many heartening performances and displays across the team which need highlighting and offers much optimism.

Committee Man of the Match: Mitchell Sharp

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