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22/23 Lowland League Opener - Tranent Match Report

  • 22/23 Lowland League Opener
  • vs Tranent Juniors
  • Saturday 23rd July 2022, 3pm
  • Foresters Park
  • Full-Time Score: Tranent 2-3 East Kilbride

Jonny Page Celebrates Scoring The Deciding GoalJonny Page Celebrates Scoring The Deciding GoalGary Peacock

East Kilbride: Lyle (GK), MacDonald, Coll (Munro 61'), Page, Bronsky, Black (McManus 70'), R. Hughes, Miller (C), Elliott, McHugh (Victoria 61'), McLaughlin (Morgan 88')

Unused Kilby subs: Mortimer, McGuire, McLean (GK)

Tranent: Carter (GK), Donaldson, Greig, Barr, Anderson, Evans, Simpson, Maughan, Murphy, Docherty, Bauld

Tranent subs: Mason (GK), Renton, Somerville, Miller, Currie, Thomson, Stevenson

The Kilby opened their 2022-23 campaign away to newly-promoted Tranent Juniors. Having won the EoSFL Premier League last season, Tranent unfurled their 21/22 title flag in the East corner of Foresters Park before kick-off.

First-half

Tranent started with the ball, however, East Kilbride's high line pressed aggressively and earned a corner in the opening minute.

Early on and East Kilbride looked to attack along either flank, as Tranent were unable to get themselves out the gate.

Forward Bob McHugh was able to latch onto a loose ball and would be brought down by Tranent 'keeper Tom Carter for a penalty in the 10th minute. McHugh shot low to the right of Carter, however, he met McHugh's effort and parried out for a corner.

BJ Coll entered the referee's book following a foul on Tranent's winger in the 20th minute. Calum Elliot's men were unable to fashion an opener from the resulting free kick.

East Kilbride would launch an offensive, earning a free kick inches from inside Tranent's box in the 26th minute. BJ Coll's curling left-footed shot lofted narrowly over the crossbar.

The majority of the first half saw both sides battle for supremacy in the middle of the park, which brought with it contentious decisions. Neil McLaughlin was booked in the 37th minute following a 50/50 challenge which left him having to receive treatment.

Earning three successive corners between the 41st and 43rd minute, East Kilbride looked confident of breaking the deadlock.

The first half ended goal-less, however; East Kilbride had the more productive 45 minutes of the two. Defensively, EK were solid, with centre-half Stephen Bronsky contributing to the attack by lofting deliveries over Tranent's backline. Dylan MacDonald pressed well along the right flank, utilising his pace to cover defensively as well as moving forward.

Half-time (0-0)

Second-half

East Kilbride started the second half promisingly, as Ronan Hughes' half-volley went wide of Tranent's goal in the 48th minute following Jonny Page's free kick delivery.

Tranent Juniors started to open the game up for themselves, as East Kilbride eased into a more defensive shape. Earning a free kick 25 yards out, forward Jamie Docherty stood over it and fired past 'keeper Lyle in the 56th minute for Tranent's first goal of their debut SLFL campaign.

Kilby would not remain 1-0 down for long however, as Neil McLaughlin's corner found Cami Elliott at the near post, who headed across goal for Bob McHugh to equalise with an acrobatic half-volley in the 59th minute.

Andy Black becomes the third EK player to receive a yellow card on the hour mark, as Kevin Rutkiewicz lined up his first changes. BJ Coll and goal scorer Bob McHugh were swapped for Kyle Munro and Joao Victoria respectively as Kilby looked to take the lead.

Kyle Munro's early cross into Tranent's box from the left flank earned Kilby a corner with almost 20 minutes of regular time left. Neil McLaughlin's expert delivery found Ronan Hughes at the far post, whose bullet header saw East Kilbride go 2-1 up in the 69th minute.

Tranent pressed East Kilbride fiercely at this point, earning successive corners and free kicks in a four-minute span as the game headed into the final 10 minutes.

East Kilbride earned a corner on the right-hand side and looked to finish off Tranent Juniors. Neil McLaughlin's corner found Jonny Page towering in the middle of the box, as his low header managed to beat the hands of Tranent 'keeper Carter to make it 3-1 to Kilby on 81 minutes.

It ended up being a nervy last five minutes for East Kilbride, as Tranent centre-half Craig Barr were drilled an effort home to make it 3-2 in the 84th minute. Captain Gary Miller would be sent for violent conduct in the 87th minute after a tussle with Tranent defender Donaldson.

Conor Morgan was brought on for Neil McLaughlin in the 88th minute, as Kevin Rutkiewicz's men dug deep and left the capital with three points secured.

Full-Time (Tranent 2-3 East Kilbride)

A tough opening day of the 22/23 Lowland League campaign, but a strong three points to carry forward as we prepare for Rangers B at K-Park in a couple of days time.

Austin Benson.

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