Blackburn United 2 Musselburgh Athletic 4
Campbell 1, McLeod 54 Whyte 13, Ballantyne 23, 71, Miles 82
Straight from kick-off Blackburn pushed forward and Danny Campbell, making his first competitive appearance of the season, got on the end of a David Howe flick on inside the box and half-volleyed the ball past Paul Grant to open the scoring with barely 60 seconds on the clock.
It took the visitors a little while to get settled, but once they did their tricky forward line began causing problems. Dean Ballantyne wriggled free on the left but dragged his shot wide when well placed to score. However the equaliser came on 13 minutes when Mathu King slid in Bradley Whyte whose weak first time effort seemed to deceive Saunders and the ball hit the back of the net. Ballantyne then headed over as Musselburgh applied pressure and it was the same player who nabbed the second when he got on the end of a cross into the box to sidefoot the ball past Saunders to make it two.
On the half hour mark Blackburn carved out only their second real chance of the game when Campbell again got into a good position before shooting over. Just before half-time, Ballantyne again was causing problems on the right. he got on the end of a long back and squared to Mathu King, but his close range shot cannoned off the junction of bar and post, rebounded back to hit him and bounce behind for a goal kick.
Richie Hutton came on at half time for the injured Marley Redfern and it was the home side who took early control of the half. Five minutes after the restart good work by McLeod saw Campbell curl a shot across Grant only to see it rebound off the far post and cleared to safety. A minute later McLeod got on the end of a long clearance by his shot was straight at Grant who gratefully gathered.
However the equaliser wasn’t long in coming when Howe won possession in the middle of the park, the ball found its way out wide to Mildren on the right, his first time cross into the box saw McLeod rushing into the box to stab the ball home. Still Blackburn pushed forward and minutes later Justin Watson and Campbell combined and it was Watson who let loose an angled drive which Grant blocked away with his feet.
Musselburgh began to get themselves back into the game and their third came via an avoidable error. Drummond headed a through ball back towards Saunders who stretched to stop the bouncing ball going out for a corner, however he only succeeded in palming the ball to an unmarked Whyte who rolled to ball to Ballantyne who had the simple task of ramming the ball into the net.
With less than ten minutes remaining Blackburn carved out a chance to equalise when David Howe and Dominic Kane combined on the left, Kane swung in a cross but Mildrens glancing header slid agonisingly wide of Grant’s far post. However a minute later Musselburgh sealed the game when Ballantyne broke clear on the right of the box and rolled it to Jackie Miles to shoot across Saunders.
Blackburn United: Craig Saunders, James Mildren, John Drummond (Kieran Swanson 86), Martin Lawrie, Michael Browne, Domini Kane, Justin Watson (Kyle McClung 86), David Howe, Danny Campbell (Jordan Devine 86), Stuart McLeod (Laurie Devine 74), Marley Redfern (Richard Hutton 45). Unused subs: Finlay Anderson, Gavin King.
Musselburgh Athletic: Paul Grant, Jordan Orru (Lewis White 66), John McManus, Declan O’Kane, Josh Jeffries (Ethan Wynne 87), Conor Thomson (Callum Donaldson 87), Mathu King, Bradley Whyte, Bradley Donaldson, Dean Ballantyne (Kyle Somers 87), Liam Gregory (Jackie Myles 75). Unused subs: Liam Reid, Ryan McGurk.
Referee: George Calder Assistants: Cameron Doyle, Ken Boyd.