It was a cup game that included everything; from terrible weather conditions to two own goals so unfortunate it would be unfathomable to expect them in the same game. St Peters came out on top in a very even game and progress to the semi-finals of the cup competition, but were made to work for the victory by a disciplined Lasswade side.
Straight from kick off Lasswade pressed effectively putting pressure on St Peters, but the first real chance of the game fell to St Peters. Martin Smith, who was a real danger with his dribbling skills all game, broke free on the right wing in the opening minutes and floated a cross in that the Lasswade defence cleared. A few minutes later though, Smith got on the ball again and caused more trouble, this time in the Lasswade box. Driving in from the left wing this time, he beat a defender in the box, only to be tackled just before getting a shot away.
A theme throughout the game though was the eagerness of each goalkeeper to rush out of their box, and it must be said usually with great effect. Each sweeper keeper was tested in the first 10 minutes with challenging one-on-ones. First, Tyler O’Neil breaking free for Lasswade, only for Jamie Stevenson in goals to rush off his line and clear the ball. Minutes later the exact same situation arose at the other end, with St Peters Kyle Girvan racing clear of the Lasswade defence only to be met by the onrushing Jake Grandison.
Grandison was tested again shortly after in the ninth minute as Smith found some room in the box, tricked a defender and fired a shot at goal. The keeper got down well though and saved the shot, the ball going out for a corner. Throughout this St Peters pressure though the Lasswade defence stood firm, with the left back Robbie Walker proving a great outlet for this team, carrying the ball well out of defence and using it effectively.
As the half progressed, St. Peters seemed content with dropping the pace of the game and trying to exploit set pieces as a way to go ahead, and for a while this worked. A series of corners ensued, with the best chance falling to Girvan, who shoot wide from close range in the 18th minute.
Lasswade really began to up the tempo of the game after that though, not allowing St Peters any time to rest. Taking quick throw ins and free kicks whenever possible, they began to unsettle the opposition and almost reaped its reward in the 22nd minute, as Ben Lewis embarked on a great run only to be stopped just on the edge of the box.
Stevenson, in the St. Peters goal, almost suffered a calamitous own goal in the 25th minute. A loose ball from Lasswade was played through and a combination of the firm ground and wet conditions resulted in it bouncing over the onrushing keeper as he tried to collect it. Thankfully for his team though, he managed to recover it just in time before it crossed the line.
Then, in the 28th minute the deadlock was finally broken. A great one-two between Calvert and Smith carved a hole in the Lasswade defence, leaving Calvert one-on-one with the goalkeeper. He shot firmly, the keeper made a great save, but the onrushing defender was caught in the firing line. The ball, rebounding out, took a big deflection off of Blair Short and looped into his own goal. A horrible goal to concede, it took some time for Lasswade to grow back into the game after it.
Prior to half time, the last real moment of quality came courtesy of Short himself. Keen to make amends, he stepped up to a free kick in the 35th minute, just outside the box on the right hand side. Left footed, he curled a shot high into the top corner which for all the world looked to be the equaliser, until Stevenson leapt and saved the ball, palming the ball out of his top left corner at full stretch. A great moment showcasing a lot of ability, followed by the half time whistle.