Jeanfield Swifts made the journey down south to East Lothian, to face Tranent Juniors in the final game of the East of Scotland Premier Division season, on Saturday.
A dominating performance from the hosts ensured that they would lift the league title, with a first half double enough to confirm the victory and the all important three points.
Tranent, backed by a great home crowd, started the game on the front foot and were eager to get that opening goal as early as possible. Jeanie faced waves of attacks from the hosts and were under the cosh.
Tranent Juniors’ first big chance of the game came seven minutes in, a corner into the box was blocked at the first attempt, before the rebound was saved by Mark Mitchell and cleared away, then moments later a Ben Miller volley was held by the Jeanie number one.
Jeanfield then had their first chance of the game a minute later, with some neat passing football from Swifts creating a counterattack opportunity, Connor McLaren was played into space on the wing and crossed to the back post for Chris McLeish, with the ball just missing his head by a matter of inches, and rolling out of play.
13 minutes in and a Shaun Rutherford corner into the area was headed down and into the ground, but Mitchell got down low to pull off a great stop, keeping his side level. Seven minutes later, Mitchell was called into action once again; a powerful Miller strike at goal forced a brilliant diving save.
26 minutes in and Tranent got their wish. After a foul on the edge of the box the referee pointed to the spot, awarding a penalty to the home side. Jamie Docherty stepped up from 12 yards and sent Mitchell the other way, firing the ball into the right handside of the net, to nudge his side in front.
Tranent were on top of the game now, and the home fans were on top form too - really adding to the occasion. They almost added to their advantage 38 minutes in, with Euan Bauld rattling the post with a header.
The hosts then doubled their lead on the verge of half-time. An inviting corner into the box was powerfully headed home by Darren McCormack, who rose highest to thump the ball into the back of the net. Tranent Juniors were now in pole position, and it would take a lot for Jeanie to overcome this deficit.
Half-Time: Tranent Juniors 2-0 Jeanfield Swifts
The second half was a lot tighter than the first, but a lot of the intensity had dropped from the game - with Tranent now 2 goals in front they had that security, and Jeanfield were never really able to threaten them.
Tranent looked most like adding to their tally, Rory Currie almost scored three minutes into the second half. The forward drove into the box and fired a low driven strike at goal, which Mitchell got down to, and strongly saved.
On the hour mark Mitchell was called into action once again, with Currie nipping in behind the Jeanie defence and attempting to round the goalkeeper. However, Mitchell came out well and threw his body at the onrushing attacker, managing to stop him in his tracks.
Paul Simpson almost pulled one back for Jeanfield from range, with an audacious effort. Simpson took a neat touch and cut inside from far out, turning the ball onto his left foot and curling a shot in search of the top corner. Unfortunately for him and Jeanfield, his strike bent just past the post.
17 minutes from full-time, and once again it was Mark Mitchell who was called into action. An elevated shot on goal looked destined for the top corner, until the Jeanie Keeper managed to pull off an outstanding save, to tip the ball round the post.
Jeanfield Swifts were unable to pull themselves back into the game against strong opposition today, who looked destined to win in front of a packed home crowd. Tranent Juniors were the better side on the day, and got the win that confirmed their East of Scotland Premier Division title victory.
Full-Time: Tranent Juniors 2-0 Jeanfield Swifts
After the referee blew his whistle Tranent’s league title win was confirmed, provoking celebration around the ground, whilst for Jeanfield the season had ended with a solid 4th place finish.
It has been a season of ups and downs for Jeanfield Swifts, and the future is certainly bright. Thanks to the fans for all of their support during this campaign.