Away cup match played on 09 March 2024.
Kicked off at 2:30 PM

Burgh travelled to West Lothian for a fourth-attempt at getting the Kings Cup 2nd Round match against Pumpherston. Thankfully, the weather – albeit cold – was kind and largely dry as the visitors took the field on a bumpy Recreation Park pitch.

Mitchell Sharp’s persistence nearly paid off in the 2nd minute as he ran between hesitancy between keeper and defender to poke the ball between the two but he was unable to run on as the ball ran out of play.

The hosts had a chance in the 21st minute when a header from close range narrowly went over the bar from Rooney.

Sharp was causing all sorts of problems for Pumpherston with his running and he ran onto a long ball from Ewan Coutts to beat the offside trap and ran on towards goal. With the keeper advancing Sharp laid off the ball to his right for Owen McNally to make no mistake from about 8 yards out in the 22nd minute.

Ronan Hall then went close on 28 minutes with a shot from the edge of the area that was deflected behind for a corner, whilst McKeon turned well to get his shot away but keeper Jack Foster was more than equal to it in the Burgh goal.

On 41 minutes Sharp had a great chance to put Newburgh further ahead when he burst through one-on-one with the keeper, but the bobbly pitch made the chance harder for the striker and his shot looked mistimed with the bounce and went just off target.

The goal at that end, in particular, seemed quite uneven and appeared to have an impact on the Pumpherston equaliser early in the second half when a shot from the edge of the area by McKeon appeared to be covered by Foster’s dive before kicking up wildly in front of the keeper and going into the net.

Foster again appeared a little nervous with the bounce of the ball in front of him and had McNally to thank for clearing off the line after Foster parried a close range effort and the follow up was goalbound until the Burgh number 7 hacked clear.

At the other end Sharp again was through on goal and forced Pumpherston keeper Baxter into a good save with his feet in the 69th minute. Hall again had another chance saved by Baxter as he twisted and turned in between two defenders to get his shot away.

With time running out and the prospect of extra time looming, Man of the Match Harris Mitchell picked up a loose ball in the centre circle and picked out a defence-splitting pass to sub Ruairidh McPhate, who was being played onside by a slow-retreating left back to run on at goal. McPhate elected to go it alone with team-mates in support and his shot beat the keeper, who got a hand to it, to go into the net and seal an injury time winner.

There was still time for another chance for McPhate after Sharp appeared to escape an offside appear to latch onto a Josh Lindsay ball to set up McPhate whose shot was deflected behind for a corner.

The whistle soon blew for full time and the relief was for all to see as Newburgh picked up their first win in 14. There have been times of hard work but bad luck, but it was great to see the team record a deserved victory and a much-needed confidence booster.

The reward for Burgh is a trip to First Division Camelon in the 3rd Round on Tuesday 19th March (kick off 7.30pm). But for now, the players can be excused for enjoying a win that their efforts have merited.

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