Blue sky, lush green grass and in the foreground of the Ochil Hills, Beechwood Park was a true postcard setting as Sauchie Juniors rounded-off their league campaign. 

Manager Fraser Duncan made three changes from the team that was victorious in Penicuik last week, this included Brian Morgan who was made captain on his final league appearance for the club.

Both teams started the game brightly, creating a number of attacking efforts but certainly not enough to make either Sean Robertson or Daniel Laing work.

It was Danny Smith who came the closest in the first half, a looping shot hoping to catch Laing off his line, the ball falling behind for a goal kick.

The home side came out the better of the teams in the second half, an indirect free kick awarded for a back pass between an opposition defender and his goalkeeper.

Morgan was tasked to deliver from the inside of the box, unable to guide the ball goalwards as the crowded Musselburgh box breathed a sigh of relief.

Hoping for some firepower, top-scorer Ross Kavanagh and Mark Smith made their way onto the park for the final 25 minutes as Sauchie continued to search for a breakthrough.

In the dying embers of the game, Sauchie would be awarded a penalty for arguably a soft foul on Danny Smith inside the box, the referee having hesitations in pointing to the spot.

Smith stepped up as he has done countless times in the past, holding his nerve to fire past Laing from 12 yards and to secure the three points.

Goalkeeper Coach Greig Maitland re-iterated Smith’s reliability from the spot, saying: “Last minute of a game, anyone you want to step up, Danny’s your man, his record from penalties is second to none.”

Maitland was also happy giving some plaudits to his goalkeeper and the defence, adding: “Big thing for me is the clean sheet, another clean sheet but it shows that we are working right”

Attention for The Reds now turns to the League Cup next Saturday, a game against Hill of Beath Hawthorn with a place in the semi-final at stake. This is a 2:30 kick-off at Keirs Park in Hill of Beath. 

Sauchie Juniors: Robertson, Thomson, Muir, Caves, Smith, Davidson (Kavanagh 65’), Williamson, Willaghan, Docherty (Smith 65’), Fisher, Morgan (Sludden 86’)

Subs Not Used: Davidson, Massie, Burt

Musselburgh Athletic: Laing, Stevenson, Wilson, O’Kane, Evans (Woods 66’), Anderson, Court, Walsh, Khan, Smith (Barker 58’), O’Connor (Reid 90’)

Subs Not Used: Myles, Knox, Black, Jardine