Date : 20th September 2022
Opposition : Heriot Watt University
Venue : Away
Scorers : None
Booked : Evan Smith, Rhys Dixon
Sent Off : None
TRFC Man of the Match : TBC
Attendance : 53
Team Lineup :
Jay Atkinson on for Michael Robinson 65 mins
Joao Vieira on for Craig Bell 73 mins
Programme Cover :
None, away game
Match Report :
Tweedmouth were finally beaten by a goal five minutes from time in a match which saw an enforced change of referee during the second half.
The students were fresh from beating higher league Whitehill Welfare in the East Qualifying Cup the previous Saturday. Rangers began against them with an altered 3:4:3 formation on the John Brydson Arena’s expansive artificial pitch.
The Edinburgh side settled quickly and were on the front foot for most of the opening quarter of an hour. By the end of the first 45 though the teams had effectively cancelled out each other, playing in similar style seeking to build attacks from the back. Reflecting the emphasis on constructive football was the fact that in the entire half, just two free kicks were awarded, one to each team.
Signalling what would also happen later on, Heriot Watt passed up several possible scoring opportunities. Left winger Matteo Crolla got past a couple of Rangers but trapped between a further two could only shoot wide. Inadvertently gifted possession by Jack Forster, Justin Hogg failed to seize the chance of an opener, hoisting the ball way too high. Immediately following Watt’s free kick, Tweedmouth keeper Stephen Mason stopped a shot with his foot.
On a couple of occasions, the visitors had every man inside their own half as they continued to snuff out the opposition. Inside the other half, their best moment came on 21 minutes. Craig Bell darted past two defenders but goalie Yura Boyko was smartly out of his goal to cover the eventual shot.
The bulk of the second half action occurred inside the away half. Playing with a higher line at the back, the hosts pressed and pressed. Some heroic defence and wasted chances prevented them scoring.
A poor Mason kick presented Hogg with an open goal but he sent the ball wide. By the post, Crolla should have turned a cross into the net. Instead, he put it outside the upright. Adam Robertson also plonked the ball past an open goal.
High drama as twice Mason was compelled to race out of his area, the second time again using his foot, now to thwart Kieran Richmond.
In the 73rd minute, referee Sean Duff suddenly pulled up and blew his whistle to halt play. He later confirmed an unexplained injury in his ankle region. After a few minutes delay, lineswoman Niamh Westwood took over in the middle.
On the resumption, Regan Graham tried to spark a rare Rangers attack by chipping the ball towards the lone man up front, Jay Atkinson. He managed to get a touch of it but was outdone by the cover.
Heriot Watt’s breakthrough came after another of numerous corners was cleared by Tweedmouth’s defence. Dan Potter returned the ball into the goal area. Mason reacted sharply to knock it away but camped near the line, Campbell Marr rifled it into the net.
Now obliged to throw caution to the wind, Tweedmouth pushed men forwards in a bid to salvage the point which for so long had appeared to be within their grasp. The closest they came was Rhys Dixon’s 25 yard effort which Boyko safely held.
A real nail biter for the away supporters as their team kept calm diffusing attack after attack helped by some poor home finishing. Could they hold out or would the students eventually get there? To lose so late on was very disappointing.
No photographer present.