Central Region (547)
Before the start of the game, the Seafar management had to reshuffle as centre half Hayden was unwell in the morning and therefore was forced to take a seat on the bench.
This game was beginning to kick into life well into the first half as there were quite a few challenges flying in, and the referee had to speak to the Gartcairn management and then the Seafar management on different incidents.
Just before half time, Seafar scored to make it 1-0 and we would say, Seafar just edged it. Just.
Seafar had to bite the bullet and finally we seen the hunger from them that was missing earlier on in the game. Winning tackles and creating chances from midfield, and when Gartcairn would break away on the counter attack we comfortably dealt with it. Seafar looked much more relaxed and comfortable in possession, and there was more and more chances being created.
Seafar ended up deserving 3-1 winners which we are sure the Gartcairn Staff would agree. Gartcairn are a solid good football team, who will take points off of all challengers we are sure.
Cleland were looking to continue with the good performances so far into this game with Redstar. Cleland lost 1-0 the week before, against Gartcairn even though they were far the better side but just couldn't convert chances into goals.
Cleland won the toss and decided to play away from the early morning sun. As soon as Redstar kicked off, Cleland made sure they wouldn't let the home side get time on the ball with very quick pressing. So it was only a matter of time before Cleland could put their foot on the game. The 1 & 2 touch passing really seemed to work for the away side.
A few minutes into the game, the ball broke to centre midfielder Aidan Melvin, and from 20 yards out he cracked a fierce shot which was well saved by the Redstar keeper only for Greg Taylor to follow up to pounce on the 2nd ball & cooly sloted away the opening goal.
1-0 quickly became 2-0, Greg Taylor got on the scoresheet again, when a high ball could only be parried by the Redstar keeper into the air, Taylor again was looking for the 2nd ball & was the first to react and tap the ball in from 5 yards out to double Cleland's lead.
Within a few minutes it became 3-0, striker Dominic Small dropped deep to pick up the ball, turned & began to make a cross field run, only to play a great through ball to Reece Watson who calmly slotted the ball past the Redstar keeper from the edge of the box.
Redstar then came into the game, they seemed to find there fight, for a large part of the 2nd half was pretty much a level game with both teams having there chances, both teams also missed a penalty each.
Redstar grabbed 2 goals in the space of a few minutes to reduce the defecit slightly.
Cleland's Greg Taylor grabbed his hat-trick with a powerful shot from the edge of the box to score Cleland's 6th goal of the game.
Redstar then added their 3rd of the game, before the scoring was rounded off with a header from Cleland's captain Antony Taylor from a corner kick.
It was a great result & performance from Cleland with some really good individual performances from Greg Taylor & Dominic Small.
We felt that the players that had started the game deserved at least another 10 minutes to prove to us that they deserved their place. After the stern words, It didn't take long for the message to sink home and within minutes we had Lanarkshire on the back foot we took the lead with Dylan McSharry whipping in a superb cross for Reece to head home at the far post. 2-1 to JBM.
Every player knows that the performance in the first half was one of our poorest showings so far but every players reaction and they way everyone of you took on board at half time showed in our performance in the second.
This first round league cup match was always going to be a battle and from the start it was clear East Stirlingshire were up for it! The home team started strong and were pressing high with 3 up top but Riverside handled the initial pressure well. After 4 minutes, it was only Riversides' second venture into the Shire half when Alex let fly from 30 yards and beat the outstretched keeper to hit the top corner. An excellent goal to open the scoring. 1-0 Riverside.
Riverside then started to get into a rhythm and were passing the ball better, creating the majority of the chances. Flemming, Stephen and Duncan all coming close to doubling the lead following good build up play and perfectly weighted through balls that Shire managed to stop before they reached Riverside players. The structure was good and the defenders were dealing well with the pressure from the long ball.
It was 8 minutes before half time when Riverside doubled their lead. Stuart played the through ball to Stephen W and he made a driving run to the byline, cutting the ball back to Fin and he fired it home at the back post. 2-0 Riverside.
East Stirlingshire were still dangerous on the counter and just before the break they played a neat one-two on the edge of the box and forced Lewis F to pull off a great one handed save to preserve his clean sheet.
Half Time: East Stirlingshire 0-2 Riverside FC
The second half did not start well for Riverside and within 30 seconds the home team had pulled one back. Shire raced out of the starting blocks and launched an attack in numbers down the right. A cross into the box and Riverside were sleeping as the Shire striker was given the freedom of Stirling as he nodded the ball home. 2-1 now, game on!
Riverside were quick to respond and Stevie played a nice through ball to Stephen who finished well to restore the 2 goal advantage. A slick passing move that was finished off in style. 3-1 Riverside.
It was Shire on the counter attack and a mistake at the back seen them back in the game at 2-3 with 10 minutes of the second half played. Dilly-dallying on the ball seen the striker nip in and score to reduce the deficit again.
It was a scrappy second half with East Stirling mixing strong midfield play and long ball, and using it to good effect. Riverside did not have the same attacking flow but still created a couple of chances. The home team then had a stroke of luck and a good Riverside line is caught out by a suspect offside decision but it was tight, and Shire equalised to take the game into extra time.
Full Time: East Stirlingshire 3-3 Riverside FC
Two periods of 15 minutes followed and thankfully it was Riverside that came out the blocks quicker in the first half that, putting the game out of reach in the first period. The first came from a corner, Bradley delivered a perfect corner and Scott attacked the ball at the back post to bullet his header into the roof of the net, making it 4 goals in 4 games for the big centre back. 4-3 Riverside.
With 2 minutes to go in the first period, Lewis W played a well weighted through ball to Fin who volleyed into the back of the net for his second of the game and to put the game (hopefully) out of sight.
The second period of extra time seen East Stirlingshire pushing forward, forcing 2 cracking point blank saves from Lewis in goal to ensure the game does not go to penalties this time!
Full Time AET: East Stirlingshire 3-5 Riverside FC
Overall a good Riverside performance playing the better passing football. It was a determined performance from the entire squad and the lads were praised for coming out in extra time, showing what they are made of to progress to the Quarter Final.