Tranent facing a real challenge
Published 10 May 2012 09:25 0 Comments
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Tranent (red) let slip an early lead against Haddington, going down by two goals to one. Picture: Craig Gordon
Tranent Juniors 1 v 2 Haddington Ath, Tranent Juniors 2 v 2 Livingston Utd
Given little had been expected from Tranent after sweeping personnel changes last summer it's to the credit of manager Tam Shields and his players that they faced two home games last week with the South Division title still a possibility.
Local rivals Haddington arrived at Foresters Park last Wednesday evening for an important derby match and again it looked as though there would be little to separate the teams.
Tranent were soon in the game and Andy Scott was twice denied by the alert actions of visiting keeper Hill.
At the opposite end, Sinclair Inglis brought off good stops from Cropley and Conaghan, in between which there were loud claims for a penalty against Haddington defender Slight for a challenge from behind on Scott.
Tranent had the better of the later stages of the first half and they made the breakthrough when top scorer Scott claimed his 27th goal of the season after the visitors' defence hesitated.
Scott might have had a hat-trick before half-time but twice from great positions he failed to get shots on target from inviting left-wing crosses from Dale Robertson.
Tranent were left ruing these missed opportunities when Conaghan nodded in the equaliser from close range just two minutes after the break and the same player scored what was to prove the winning goal from a similar position on 63 minutes.
There weren't too many chances for the hosts until injury time, when Darren Lavery's shot came back off the crossbar with Hill beaten.
Although technically promotion was still a possibility, the realists at Foresters Park on Saturday for the visit of Livingston United recognised it was highly improbable that either side on view would escape the South Division this year.
There were recalls for Grant Dick, Chris Inglis, Gareth Gray and Bob Branley.
It was a fairly well-balanced contest but the visitors went in front with nine minutes of the first half remaining through a Jaconelli goal.
They held the lead for only five minutes, however, as Tranent fought back, Scott adding to his impressive goal tally to ensure the teams went in at the break on level terms.
The second half was played out with neither side able to gain the upper hand until the first minute of injury time, when Tranent looked to have made sure of the three points courtesy of a goal from Brian Foster.
With a point of little use to either side, Livingston snatched a last-gasp equaliser, heading straight up the field from kick off and after Inglis was forced into a fumble Byle was on hand to round off the scoring.
Tomorrow Tranent face a real challenge away to Fauldhouse United, who as one of the title favourites are desperate not to drop points in the run-in.
On Wednesday evening Tam Shields' first season in charge comes to a close with another away fixture at Spartans Juniors.
This article appeared in East Lothian Courier 10 May 12