No cross borders raid for Saints at Tweedmouth

Tweedmouth Rangers……..1St Andrews Utd…………..….0

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 2:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 2:44 pm
Fraser Anderson looks to win the ball back for Saints. Pic by Donald Gellatly
Fraser Anderson looks to win the ball back for Saints. Pic by Donald Gellatly

St Andrews United crossed the English border to play a competitive match outside Scotland for the first time ever.

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Unfortunately, the players were asked to journey south by car because of issues hiring a bus driver and they struggled to break out of their own half during the opening stages of the match due to attacking up a steep slope into a stiff breeze. Tweedmouth Rovers therefore created the first chance of the game when Regan Graham shot straight at Ben Swinton and the home team subsequently went close to opening the scoring following a rare error by Scott Reekie. However, Kieran Lindsay made a superb recovery tackle before Swinton pounced on the loose ball. Graham and Michael Robinson also blazed efforts over the bar as Tweedmouth sought to turn dominance of possession into goals and Saints’ first real chance did not arrive until the half-hour mark when Ross Cunningham’s shot was blocked for a corner. Rovers then moved straight back down the field and Robinson scuffed another tame shot at Swinton prior to blasting his next effort high and wide when it appeared easier to score. Thankfully, the St Andrews United boys grew into the contest as the afternoon progressed and Adam Davidson found himself in space after good build-up play, though his shot slipped past the post. Cunningham and the impressive Kyle Sneddon also hit weak efforts at home goalkeeper Niall Frampton as the first half drew to a close and the visiting fans were hopeful of seeing more attacking play over the course of the second period because United benefitted from the wind direction and slope. Indeed, Saints dominated large parts of the second half and Fraser Anderson missed three half-chances from his advanced central midfield position. Scott Reekie then missed the target with two headers when he looked odds-on to open the scoring but Jay Baverstock clipped the crossbar at the other end of the park following a clever counter attack. The same player went on to miss a glorious opportunity from close-range in the 75th minute when he smashed the ball over the bar and Drew Cummings fared little better a few moments later by miscuing a poor shot towards Swinton. The action was raging from end-to-end at that point as both teams pushed forward in search of a winner and St Andrews United manager Barry Cockburn replaced right back Lindsay with striker Scott Russell to finish the match with two centre forwards on the field. Saints almost grabbed that all-important first goal in the 84th minute when Frampton saved a terrific curling shot from Cunningham and Sneddon’s volley from the resulting corner sailed agonisingly over the top. The referee also waved away calls for a penalty after Reekie was pushed to the ground in the box yet the next passage of play at the other end of the pitch proved decisive. Tweedmouth broke quickly up the right wing and Robinson drifted into the box unmarked as Swinton hesitated whilst coming for the cross. The big striker consequently made up for his earlier misses by nodding the ball past Swinton from close-range and he thus scored a late winner over United for the second time this season. There was still enough time left for an Anderson header to be cleared off the line but the visitors faced a long drive home without any points when a draw would have been a fair result.