View Photo Gallery | Discuss the Match | Create a Souvenir Newsprint
Blantyre BC Yellow emerged victorious from this entertaining third round Scottish Cup tie despite a spirited late fight back by their visitors from Renton. The two sides produced an entertaining game despite the biting cold and driving rain. An even game was decided through Blantyre being slightly more clinical in front of goal when required and they can now look forward to the next round of the Scottish Cup.
The game kicked off and an early left footed free kick from Blantyre's Michael McGinty was easily held by Kyle Furphy in the Renton goal. Renton responded with an effort of their own from Jack Dickson following good set up play by David Connolly and Daniel Nagos. Both sides were looking to take control early on and were utilising the 3G surface well. The game was very tight following these early half chances however with both sides defending well to cancel each other out.
Renton were always looking to get Connolly on the ball and it was clear why as he often demonstrated good skill in tight situations and had a fine range of passing. Craig Biddulph was also looking to use the wind to his advantage with a long range free kick for Renton; his effort drifted harmlessly over however. Ryan McGuiness was leading the Blantyre defence dilligently, keeping any chances for Renton to a minimum, epitomised with a great block to prevent Nagos from opening the scoring.
Renton were enjoying marginally more possession but not creating much in the way of chances. They were to suffer a further blow when Blantyre went one up after twenty one minutes. For the first time in the game McGinty broke clear on the left and then showed excellent composure to turn back inside before laying the ball off to the onrushing Stuart Simpson. Simpson struck his shot relatively well but unfortunately for Furphy he was unable to hold onto it; Blantyre's Luke McPartlane gratefully took the opportunity to fire the ball into the empty net. Blantyre ahead and the game would now potentially open up.
It remained one nil to Blantyre until the referee blew for half time. Renton would feel a bit aggrieved to be one down but but an improvement in their final ball in the second half might bring about an equaliser . Blantyre had shown the importance of taking any chances that come along during the course of a game.
Half Time: Blantyre BC Yellow 1-0 Renton Craigandro
Reiss Mulvanney looked to extend Blantyre's lead early in the second half with a similar effort to Biddulph's for Renton in the first half. His effort went the same way however and out of play for a goal kick. Renton substitute George McCreadie then bustled his way through before shooting just wide. Connolly was then denied by Mulvanney as he threatened to cap his positive display with the equalising goal.
It was clear the next goal would be crucial in this game and Blantyre provided it in the 46th minute. This goal owed everything to the skilful persistence of Declan Conroy down the right, his driving run to the by-line led to him somehow keeping the ball in play with a pass to McPartlane. McPartlane showed good composure to square the ball to McGinty at the back post who tapped it in easily. Conroy picked up an injury following his efforts but consoled himself with the fact he had contributed massively to a vital goal for his team. Two nil to Blantyre and it looked like a big task for Renton to come back into it.
Renton never gave up however and reminded Blantyre they were not out of it with a couple of free kicks. Firstly Biddulph tested Jason Bruce with another long range effort before Kai O'Malley went even closer by hitting the inside of the post. It was a fantastic effort from O'Malley and an example of the margins by which football games are often decided. In the very next attack Blantyre's Simpson found himself clean through on goal, showing fine precision to knock it past the keeper. Three nil and surely game over now.
Despite the three goal margin however Renton were determined to at least score. They did so very quickly after Simpson's goal. Biddulph sent a cracking pass up field to find Connolly who burst into the box and lashed the ball in left footed off the underside of the bar. An emphatic finish and one from which Renton took instant confidence. Shortly afterwards they were very much right back in the game as they got their second; Jordan Timney finished coolly after Bruce dropped a cross. There were still ten minutes left and Renton felt they could at least now force extra time. Blantyre seemed stunned but quickly regrouped to restrict the pressure Renton were putting them under. Simpson missed a chance seal it for Blantyre before Connolly fired wide for Renton with the last chance of the game.
Full time then and Blantyre were delighted to have progressed to the next round of the cup. Renton could be pleased with their display but left it too late to be in with a chance here. Blantyre will be confident of facing any opposition, especially at home on the Jock Stein 3G surface where they look well at home. It will be interesting to see if they now progress any further in the competition.
Full Time: Blantyre BC 3-2 Renton Craigandro