University town taught a lesson as Jags win at St Andrews
A great performance from The Jags sees them through at St Andrews
The Jags traveled to the picturesque town of St Andrews on a cracking day for football in good spirits following last weeks win at Bathgate.
The hosts have been having a tough time of it of late with a new manager appointed and a team line that contained no less than 7 trialists - mostly from East Fife U19s. But The Jags had a trialist in their starting line up too, giving young Cameron McBeth son of former Jag - Greg McBeth - a competitive debut for the first team, stepping up from the U19s. And what a performance the youngster put in - composed on the ball and ferocious in the tackle - it was hard to believe he is only 17.
The Jags were forced into a few other starting 11 changes too with Jordan Caddow, Ryan McQueenie, Duncan Muir and Stewart Adams drafted in in place of McMillan, McNeill, Whytes and Leslie. And it was the Jags who made all the early running in this game dominating possession from the kickoff.
The Jags took just 8 minutes to get the first goal when a Duncan Muir long throw-in was only cleared to the edge of the box where Paul Tansey gathered, took a touch them slammed in a left-foot drive through a ruck of players past the Saints keeper.
It was a great start for the Jags and they could have extended their lead on 12 minutes when Stewart Adams saw a header from a Tansey cross gathered by the keeper before Duncan Muir shot wide on 15minutes from a good position.
A minute later and the home side created two quick chances in succession which both fell to their lumbering forward No 15 who first shot past the upright then volley over the bar following a slip by Shaun Murray.
The Jags came storming back an Jordan Caddow got a touch on a cross whipped in by Tansey but the ball just went wide of the target from two yards.
The home side equalised on 24 minutes when another mistake at the back allowed Saints No 10 to pull the ball back from the byline where No 15 slammed home from a few yards out.
Saints joy was very much shortlived as The Jags hit back straight from the kickoff when James Laing picked the ball up some 30 yards from goal, looked up and then curled a beautiful shot over the keeper.
The wind was well and truly knocked out of the Saints sails and Blake Wales sent a teasing ball across the face of the goal on 29 minutes but there were no takers for what would have been a tap-in.
Saints won a series of free kicks on the edge of the Jags penalty box as half-time approached but nothing troubled Easton in the Jags goal and The Jags could have taken a two-goal lead into the break as first Stewart Adams burst through on goal - his effort deflected wide for a corner. The corner itself caused chaos in the Saints 6 yards box and Jordan Caddow saw his effort somehow gathered by the home keeper.
Into the second half and things were a bit more subdued as the Jags tried to get back into their stride shooting up the hill. Easton was rarely troubled but on 52 minutes he touched a cross from a corner over the bar.
In the 60th minute, there was a flashpoint when McBeth lunged for the ball in a challenge with the Saints No 15 who took exception to this and lashed out at the youngster with a sly kick. Once things had calmed down the referee booked both players for their part.
Then on 65 minutes, the Jags sealed the points when Ross Connell rose high to meet Tansey's free-kick from the left and power a header past the Saints keeper from around 12 yards. The Jags replaced the impressive McBeth with Dean Whitson and shortly after Keith Buckley came on for Muir.
The home side chucked it in at this point and looked a sorry side as wave after wave of chances cames the way of the Jags.
Tansey was controversially pulled up for offside on 67 minutes when clean through then blasted a similar chance over the bar on 69 minutes. A minute later and Stew Adams shot wide when well placed and on 72 minutes another Tansey corner fell to James Laing but he was unable to finish. Buckley came on for Duncan Muir Tansey saw a shot blocked following some great build-up play by Blake Wales.
Tansey was put through on goal again on 80 minutes and this time was onside but forced wide by a defender but his pull back to Stewart Adams saw the big striker rattle the crossbar with his effort, however all was not lost as the ball broke to James Laing and he slammed it home to notch his second of the match.
On 83 minutes Blake Wales saw his effort saved by the keeper and on 86 minutes the Saints saw themselves reduced to 10 men when the big No 15 earned his second yellow for scything down Whitson as he powered past him.
There was still time for more Jags chances and on 87 minutes another Ross Connell header was cleared off the line, and on 88 minutes Dean Whitson went on another powerful run which saw his shot deflected wide for a corner.
The corner was the last action of the match and could have led to a fifth goal when Buckley sclaffed his effort from a yard out.
All in all, it was a great performance from the Jags and they were well worthy of the three points and if they had had their shooting boots on the score could have been a whole lot worse for the home side. Manager Kevin Haynes was delighted by the scoreline and singled out Cammy McBeth for praise saying the youngster's performance was exceptional and he didn't look out of place. It was also a good send off for Dean Whitson who played his last match for the Jags before leaving for New Zealand on Wednesday.
The Jags now have a local derby at Arniston on Wednesday night before the visit of Fauldhouse on Saturday.
Dalkeith: Easton, McQueenie, Murray, McBeth, Caddow, Connell, Muir, Laing, Tansey, Wales, Adams Subs: Whitson, McQueenie, Whyte, Buckley, McNeil