A perspective from the terraces provided by BRYAN COPELAND.
For those who have counted, and I’m sure along with BU fan Henry Macintosh many will have, know after 195 days out playing home games at Carmuirs Park Camelon and a host of away games to start the season today is the day football returns to Newtown Park with the new 4G surface finally ready. We have to thank Camelon for working with the BU and allowing this to happen and a thanks also goes to the EOS and their fixtures guru for all the arrangements that have been made to assist the club.
The players have trained on the new pitch before today so should hopefully have a feel for it with what will be a very tough game coming up. These 2 sides met several times between league and cup games last season and 1 of them became the downfall of ex manager Steve Kerrigan losing 5 goals in one half of football and suffering a crushing defeat. Following his departure it was the man in the opposite dug out that day that arrived at Newtown Park and from there it has to be said Max Christie has never looked back and is doing a fantastic job at the BU. He took the team on a glorious unbeaten run towards the end of last season with some of the home games played away from home and also delivered silverware with the BU winning the league cup. Max and the boys will know that today will be tough as Tranent currently sit top of the league after a good start to the season. The home side have also had a good start still undefeated in the league which is a fantastic achievement given that every game has been away from home and most of them to very tough opposition. Fair enough there has been a stumble or 2 in cups but I’m sure if you asked Max what was more important this season his answer would be the league.
Given there has been such a good start to the season and the fact it’s the 1st game in the new park the usual large crowd will definitely be out today supporting the team and we are all hoping for the same thing, 3 points to christen the park in style.
Into the game and the BU playing in the traditional home kit of blue tops and shorts were shooting the old favoured way towards the Kinneil School end of the ground. Tranent likes up in Maroon tops and white shorts. The 1st talking point came 5 minutes in when a long ball forwards found Tranent heading towards the home sides box. Claims for a penalty went up but the attacker was instead booked for simulation. A free kick curled into the box was easily held by the hosts keeper. The game then settled with both sides having a bit of possession with only a long throw into the box for the BU defence to deal with. Morgan done well getting on a pass forward and cut the ball back for Keast who had a shot blocked before Donnelly follow up went wide. A long ball crossed in almost caused Murphy problems as he scrambled across his goal but the ball was cleared with no real danger. 25 minutes in and the opening goal came. Donnelly hit a shot that came off a Tranent body and into the net. I’m sure Donnelly will claim and the ball was possibly going in but it could also go down as an O.G. BU 1 - 0 Tranent. The home side had defending to do on 33 minutes as corner was swung in well and a strong effort was on target stinging the gloves of Murphy who palmed it away. The rebound was cleared from inside the 6 yard box by Hunter before Donnelly did well winning the ball outside the box. The visitors were enjoying a good spell of the game as the applied pressure to the BU defence but Syme, Jacobs, Campbell and Stevenson all done well soaking it up and clearing the ball well. Donelly then did brilliantly for the BU out muscling his opponent on the half way line and set off with the ball towards the box, no one was up with him to square the ball as he cut inside and in the end he has to shoot only for the shot to be blocked. A corner from the visitors was swung in and well defended before controversy as another corner was awarded the home side claimed on the pitch and from the terraces was a goal kick. In the end the corner came to nothing and was to be the last action of the 1st half.
BU 1 - 0 Tranent - Half time.
Into the 2nd half and after a quiet start from both sides it was the home side that got 2 chances within a minute of each other. 1st a great ball low across the box was put just wide by Donnelly before Grant down everything right controlling the ball and taking a touch onto his preferred foot before shooting over the bar. 19 minutes in and the 1st change was made by Max Christie as Grant was replaced by Henderson. The visitors got forward in what could have been a dangerous move but in the end it came to nothing. The visitors were enjoying a good spell for now as the BU had some defending to do with the best clearance being a great header back to Murphy from Hunter to totally relieve the pressure. The 2nd change was made by Christie as Keast was replaced by Ian Nimmo with 16 minutes to go. Forward came the BU and a good ball in was almost met by Morgan but the keeper was out quickly to clutch the ball. Hunter done well at the near post heading the ball away for a corner which was taken short before the ball came across and was punched away well by Murphy. Brian Morgan then had a shot wide at the other end for the home side. 10 minutes remaining and the visitors were the team getting forward yet again as another ball was cleared by the BU defence for a corner. Again it was taken short before being crossed in and cleared for another corner. The home side tried to get the ball out but it only went as far as the Tranent keeper who was almost on the half way line to send the ball forward again. It was now becoming a corner fest for the visitors as one followed another. The final corner came in and was initially cleared well but a good shot was fired goal bound and the visitors got their rewards for some 2nd half dominance as the ball absolutely flew into the net. BU 1 - 1 Tranent with 3 minutes left to play. The home side tried to get forward quickly but the ball was just too far in front of Donnelly. Forward came the visitors again and once more good defending saw the ball cleared before it was sent back towards the BU box this time a foul on BU keeper Murphy stopped play as the referee awarded a free kick right on the 90 minutes. The home side came forward and a throw into the middle of the box was met by Morgan who controlled it and tried to lay it off to Stevenson but the ball was nipped away by the visitors defence. 3 minutes into added time and a winner came which will probably leave the visitors feeling robbed as they dominated parts of the game but forward came the home side and trusted Captain Dougie was there with a good finish to make it BU 2 - 1 Tranent. The visitors centred the ball and that was to be the final kick.
Full time BU 2 - 1 Tranent.
On another plus note with other results today one being Musselburgh 6-2 Linlithgow the BU finish the 1st game on the new pitch as league leaders in the EOS Premier.