The Burgh returned to action for the first time since December 3rd looking to make amends on that particular result at high-flyers Whitburn. For 45 minutes, it looked mission accomplished after falling behind to an early goal as they held St. Andrews on level terms. Sadly the home side were too strong and Burgh capitulated in depressing and devastating fashion.
Newburgh were back to a more stronger match day squad for the first time in quite some time and that gave a bit of optimism which was short-lived as Graham Hay headed home at the far post in only the 5th minute of the game.
The visitors were back on level terms, though, when in the 15th minute they were awarded a penalty after Rory Marshall’s ankles were clipped by a defender as the Burgh man looked to get a shot away. Cai Macdonald took the responsibility and made no mistake as he rifled his spot kick into the roof of the net to equalise.
Injury worries quickly returned when Harris Mitchell appeared to take an opposing players’ knees to the ribs in the 20th minute. After a spell of lengthy treatment it was clear the Burgh number 8 was in no condition to continue and he was replaced by Ryan Lawson.
Macdonald did well to intercept a stray pass on the edge of the St. Andrews area and laid off the ball to the onrushing Connall White whose shot was charged down and cleared on 30 minutes.
Macdonald again went close on the stroke of half time when he was brilliantly put through by Calum Anderson, but his shot was well saved by the advancing keeper, whilst a Lawson free-kick was held by Saints keeper Brodie moments later.
There was no sign of any trouble in the opening minutes of the second half as a Struan Grieve header at the far post from a corner clipped the bar, and Anderson had a shot charged down. But in the 58th minute the home side restored their lead when a long-range strike was well-saved by David Chalmers, but the ball fell neatly for Mackenzie to poke home the loose ball from close range.
On 63 minutes it was 3-1 when a Hay header rattled the bar and the danger wasn’t cleared and Reekie knocked home from just by the goal-line after a brief scramble.
Manager Allan Moody threw his remaining dice with a triple substitution in the 69th minute but the move quickly back-fired as St. Andrews own sub Sawers was given too much time and he ran on to smash home to make it 4-1.
The game was dead at this stage and it was largely one-way traffic at the beleaguered Burgh goal but it wasn’t until the 83rd minute that an excellent strike from White inflicted further damage to the Newburgh goal difference.
Still the Saints didn’t give up and they had two good chances in the same move with an effort cannoning off the bar and the rebound flew over the bar. Deep into injury time there was still time for one more goal as Redpath strolled into the Burgh area and firing a well-taken low effort into the corner of the net.
It was a very disappointing outcome in a game that always looked a difficult mission before kick-off, but the manner of the second half disintegration will have let down the management team greatly and their end of year report might well be marked with a categorical “must do better” pass mark.
A review of the game from St. Andrews viewpoint can be found: https://www.standrewsutd.co.uk/match/1009/20221231-newburgh?fbclid=IwAR1BKz4BugqKPsG7-IzvdBsyNeHo3mGb7szjXDeMQeG8U6oikYlTtH6Y5nE