Fife & Lothian's Cup Quarter Final
Wednesday 19th April 2017
Musselburgh Athletic 3
O'Kane 49mins, Murray 71mins, Ralton 86mins
Blackburn United 0

Match highlights click here
( © Jim McQuillan )
In a Cup tie that might have been thought of as an inconvenience ahead of the all-important local derby at West Calder United that could confirm United's promotion, Mark and Jamie made a couple of changes to rest players carrying injury and, with the Super League side looking hungry for progression to the semi-final, the first half was one in which Blackburn sat deep and invited the hosts onto them. Without creating too much in the way of clear cut opportunities it was around the twenty minute mark that the Olivebank men really tested Gavin King who did well to block Ralton's point blank effort after he'd been set-up by Murray. Fifteen or so minutes later it was the same two Musselburgh players who threatened again, Ralton turning and hitting a shot that King stretched to save at full length before being agile enough to get back quickly to his feet and save Murray's follow up. Ahead of the interval McManus thought to try his luck too but from some distance out his shot flew past the left hand upright.

The second period hadn't gone five minutes when Musselburgh did eventually break the deadlock and in quite some spectacular fashion, Ralton rolling a pass from the left inside to O'KANE who sent a sizzling effort from some twenty two yards or more flying past King and into the net. Not long thereafter though United could have been back on level terms when Danny Campbell's cross from the right found Darren Fleming unmarked in the centre of the six yard box but his header lacked a little for conviction and it drifted wide. Five minutes later Andy McQuillan then put Campbell in on the left but as he tried to lift the ball over Renton from a tightening angle the 'keeper managed to get a hand to it and divert it past for a fruitless corner. With under twenty minutes remaining Campbell and Aaron Gowans linked to create space inside the box for Craig Young who was knocked off balance by a challenge and might have went down but, with possession lost, the hosts broke sharply to the other end and when Gillan forced the ball into the feet of MURRAY the striker was accurate with his finish. From around twenty five yards out Ross Williamson then had a pop that was too high but it was Musselburgh who came up with another cracker with only four minutes left when Gillan knocked a McManus cross down to the feet of RALTON who fairly rattled the ball behind King from around fourteen yards out. Just before the end a fairer reflection might have been put on the scoreline when Gavin McQuillan and Fleming linked well to put Andy McQuillan through on goal but his parting shot was saved by the diving Renton.

Blackburn United line-up: King, Williamson, Wilson, Mildren, Drummond, Spence (Gowans 61), Fleming, Young, McQuillan, Campbell (G.McQuillan 80), Cormack Subs (not used): Marshall, Herriot

Musselburgh Athletic line-up: Renton, McManus, Lynch, Hogg, O'Kane, Murphy, Murray, Davie, Thomson, Gillan, Ralton Subs: Cherrie, King, Moffat

Referee: Mr. Iain Snedden
Assistant Referees: Ms. Emma Hingant & Mr. Sean Redgrave