Fixture change: our opening pre-season friendly against Leith Athletic at the Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium will now take place on Monday 21st June with an 8.00pm ko, instead of Saturday 19th as previously advertised. Details on fan access will be confirmed nearer the game.
The draw for the South Challenge Cup was made Friday evening.
In a change from lthe last two seasons, the first two rounds will be played on a regional basis. We received a bye in the first round, and were drawn at home to newly admitted EoS members and old foes Stoneyburn in the second. Tie due to take place 16th October. From the third round, the draw will be region wide.
The Club are delighted to announce the return of striker Andy McQuillan to the Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium. With 178 goals in 268 appearances, Andy is the Club’s all time record goal scorer and has been signed from Livingston United.
Welcome home Andy.
More news on contract extensions to come.
In a statement released today by the East of Scotland League, the 2020-2021 season has been formally concluded
“Following a vote among the Full Member Clubs of the East of Scotland Football League it is now confirmed that Season 2020/21 is declared null & void. The Clubs voted for this course of action by a majority of 73% to 27%“
Clubs were asked to vote of whether to null and void, or try and conclude the season once football was given the go ahead again. The majority of clubs felt that this was an unrealistic prospect, and voted to end the season.
Therefore, we will retain our place in the Premier Division for season 2021-22. With contact training and adult matches being allowed to commence by the Scottish Government from the 17th May, it’s expected Mark and Jamie will look to start pre-season training not long afterwards with the season start date expected to be 17th July.
We all hope that fans will once again be allowed through the turnstiles when we get underway, and we’ll provide further updates once we have them.
The East of Scotland League updated members on the likliehood of this season re-starting
“Following the announcement by the Scottish Government that adult contact sport cannot commence until 17 May the Board have decided that unless that date is brought forward by a significant margin in the next Scottish Government review on 6 April we will in all likelihood have no other choice than to abandon this season’s league. A final decision will be made by the Board later that week.“
So a little longer to wait for clarity. We have already been advised by the Lowland League that the U20 Developement League season, which never actually began, has benn abandoned.
The statement from the SFA reads;
SCOTTISH FA BOARD CONFIRMS THREE-WEEK SUSPENSION OF PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL BENEATH SPFL PREMIERSHIP AND CHAMPIONSHIP
The Scottish FA Board met last night to discuss the escalating COVID-19 situation across the country and its impact on the national game at all levels.
While the updated Scottish Government guidance permits the continuation of professional sport, the board meeting, which followed a Joint Response Group discussion on the matter last Friday, nevertheless considered the implications of doing so at all tiers of the Scottish football professional pyramid, against a backdrop of increased positive cases across the country.
In particular, the board gave extensive consideration to making a decision in the interests of public health, taking cognisance of the government’s wish to reduce travel and possible contact with others whilst safeguarding commercial broadcasting contracts that sustain the professional game.
Following a meeting between the Scottish FA and the Minister for Public Health Sport and Wellbeing, both parties have agreed to impose a temporary suspension of all football beneath the Scottish Professional Football League Championship, encompassing all predominantly part-time tiers of the Scottish professional pyramid, from midnight tonight.
The impacted leagues are: SPFL League One, SPFL League Two, Scottish Women’s Football Premier Leagues 1 & 2, Highland League, Lowland League, East, West & South of Scotland Leagues, Scottish Junior FA Leagues and the North Caledonian League.
Based on the imperatives of acting in the best interests of public health and participant safety, whilst ensuring professional clubs’ survival, the SPFL Premiership will be exempt from the suspension, provided it continues to adhere to the stringent testing protocols.
The SPFL Championship will also be able to continue provided it commences weekly PCR testing.
The suspension of the game below the SPFL Premiership and Championship will be for three weeks, until 31st January, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis by the Scottish FA Board in partnership with Scottish Government.
The Scottish Cup will also be suspended, with any matches scheduled to be played prior to the 1st February to be rescheduled in due course.
Rod Petrie, Scottish FA President: “The Scottish FA is well aware of the efforts all clubs take to comply with the exacting protocols that were conditional on elite football being given an exemption to continue amid the pandemic.
“None the less the continuation of football at all levels has weighed increasingly heavy on me as President, my colleagues on the board and the Joint Response Group as we have watched the new strain of the virus spread rapidly.
“While the national sport has been afforded the privilege of elite sporting exemption, the risk of mass transportation of untested, largely part-time players is something that cannot be sustained as the cases continue to rise and available hospital beds become increasingly scarce.
“After discussions with the SPFL, the Premiership and Championship will continue on the proviso that both adhere to the existing testing regime. The vast majority of teams in those divisions are full-time professional clubs and so the risk of transmission remains manageably low. The cost implications to lower-division clubs was one factor but so too the realisation that many – with some notable exceptions – consist of part-time players who are either prevented from working due to the virus or have to work.
“In either case, the risk is currently too great amid the developing nationwide spread of the virus.
“Much has been said of football’s relationship with the Scottish Government during the pandemic. As President of the Scottish FA and Chair of the Joint Response Group, I am grateful for the clinical expertise provided by government specifically to football and for the timely award of £30m in grant and loan funding for the game.
“We reiterate our commitment to playing our part in the collective effort to eradicate the virus.”
The club would like to confirm that on Monday, we were informed by Track & Trace that a Musselburgh Athletic player who played in Saturdays match had tested positive for Covid19, all players and coaching staff were therefore advised to self-isolate for a period of 10 days until 4th January.
Subsequently on Wednesday, one of our players also tested positive for Covid19. It is unknown at this stage whether the player concerned contracted the virus on the pitch or elsewhere.
Our primary concern is with the welfare of the players and coaching staff, and all continue to self-isolate.
We have reviewed the events of Saturday and are satisfied that club personnel followed all Covid protocols required by Musselburgh, East of Scotland League and the SFA.
All training has been cancelled and we do not have a match scheduled this coming weekend. This does not effect any other team apart from the Seniors.
With Camelon’s Scottish Cup match against Brora Rangers re-scheduled for Saturday 2nd January, our match with Camelon on that day has now been cancelled. Our next match will now be 9th January at home to Penicuik Athletic.
Saturday 26th December 2020 – East of Scotland Premier League
Musselburgh Athletic 4 Blackburn United 2
C.Donaldson 44, Thomson 74, Ballantyne 78, 90+1
Campbell 15, MacLeod 90+3
Storm Bella arrived right on cue before kick-off, and it was Blackburn who won the toss and elected to play with the wind at their backs on a wet by playable Olivebank pitch.
With four minutes on the clock, Laurie Devine won the ball on the left and crossed into Danny Campbell but a defender nipped in before he could strike and knocked it out for a corner. From the corner Marc Smith has his shot blocked and cleared to safety. The opening goal came on the quarter hour mark when a loose ball from Brad Donaldson saw Danny Campbell nip in a head of John McManus and round keeper Paul Grant and fire the ball into the net.
It was Campbell again who produced the next chance as Blackburn took advantage of the wind, he pounced on another loose ball but this time his shot was gathered by Grant.
The lead should have been doubled on the 27 minute mark when Marty Lawrie slid in Devine on the left, he passed inside to Marley Redfern only eight yards out but he seemed to dither on the ball and Grant blocked his shot with his legs with the goal at Redfern’s mercy.
The first real chance for Burgh came on 35 minutes when Dean Ballantyne headed a Callum Donaldson cross wide, then at the other end, Marc Smith tried a shot from distance which slid past.
As time was running out in the first half, Burgh equalised when a Conor Thomson free-kick was well saved by Gavin King who pushed the low shot away but it was Calum Donaldson who was quickest to react to stab the loose ball into the net.
The teams swapped round with Blackburn now playing into the wind and rain, but four minutes after a restart there were claims for a penalty when Laurie Devine appeared to be barged over in the box but a corner was awarded, from the corner there were claims for a hand ball which were waved away.
Approaching the half hour mark a Nathan Evans effort flashed wide before Marc Smith again tried form distance, this time Grant easily gathered. Richie Hutton then fired in a cross cum shot from the right which Grant parried back out into the box but there was nobody there to pounce on the loose ball and it was cleared.
A second Burgh goal came out of nothing. A long Grant clearance eventually fell to Conor Thomson on the right edge of the area and he fired a curling shot past King into the far corner. Two quickly became three when after a Blackburn attack broke down the ball was launched upfield, Ballantyne was racing onto it and King appeared unsure whether to gather the ball on the edge of the box or clear it, he done neither and Ballantyne nipped in and rolled the ball into the net.
It was a fatal blow to a Blackburn side who had looked reasonably comfortable at 1-1. Into injury time and the lead was extended when an Evans angled shot was saved by King but the ball fell to Ballantyne who fired high into the net. Blackburn however hit back and grabbed a consolation when Stuart MacLeod stroked a free kick over the wall and over Grant high into the net, but it was too little too late.
A game which should have produced some much needed points ended in defeat.
Musselburgh Athletic: Paul Grant, Callum Donaldson, Jordan Orru, Jackie Myles (Liam Gregory 68), John McManus, Lloyd Fiddler (Liam Reid 37), Conor Thomson (Ethan Wynne 85), Bradley Whyte, Bradley Donaldson, Dean Ballantyne, Nathan Evans. Unused subs: Mathu King, Darren Downie, Ryan McGurk.
Blackburn United: Gavin King, Richard Hutton, Marty Lawrie, James Mildren, Michael Browne, Marc Smith (Jordan Devine 80), Danny Campbell (Stuart MacLeod 80), Justin Watson, Laurie Devine (Kyle McClung 85), Brian Ross (David Howe 73), Marley Redfern. Unused Subs: Craig Saunders.