Bringing together two teams from either side of the country was the showpiece event in youth football as Knightsridge Vennie travelled down the M8 to the Clyde Gateway Stadium for this second round clash.
One of the few trophies to elude Glencairn last year was the Scottish Cup and they were keen to set that right, despite their surprising low position in the league they remain the team that lifted three cups and are fast becoming a force to be reckoned with at national level despite only being founded four seasons ago.
Their opponents today are even newer kids on the block entering only their second season but they were already making noises of their own in the South East league and currently sat second in division two behind leaders Rosyth, who they narrowly lost out two 1-0 a few weeks ago.
Kicking off playing from left to right the Glens seemed keen to prove an early point and their first chance fell to Terry McMullan following a run and cross from midfielder Dale Simeon but his well-timed volley was just over the bar.
Next up was left back Nathan Ward who showed the kind of skill that saw him taken on trial by Nottingham Forest in the close season as he sped past his opposite number before driving a left footed shot goal wards from a narrow angle but Ryan Johnston in the Vennie goal was equal to it as he dove low to block before saving the follow up effort from Callum McRobbie.
Johnston would be called upon again soon after as Dale Simeon was toppled outside the box for the award of a free kick, the set piece was well struck through the wall by Kieran Chalmers but the custodian was once again equal to it.
The Rutherglen side were starting to turn the screw now and yet another opportunity for Simeon was blocked by Jordan Laing for the loss of a corner and when the resulting ball was floated in Johnston found himself stranded as Ryan Clougherty arrived unmarked to nod past him for the opening goal of the game on 12 minutes.
Next up was McRobbie to try his luck again after being played through by Beau Longridge and thumping an effort straight towards the top corner but Johnston yet again showed his class by getting both hands to it and claw it over the bar before turning another effort from Ward around the post seconds later.
McRobbie was not to be denied though and was soon clean through again and despite blocking the initial effort the goalkeeper was helpless to stop the ball spinning back to the striker who lifted it over him on the second attempt to double his sides lead.
Superb interplay between McRobbie and Simeon then led to a third as the striker played in the midfielder who rode the challenge of Laing well and committed Johnston before cutting the ball back for the forward who stroked the ball into the unguarded net.
The referee was also having an excellent match and chose to play advantage when Ward was brought down as the ball broke to Robert O’Donnell on the left wing who drove to the by-line before cutting the ball back perfectly for Longridge to crash home the fourth goal of the game.
Despite having conceded a handful of goals at this point Johnston was still having a superb game and keeping side somewhat in contention and he was saving more than not and when he was wrong-footed by Simenon’s shot he was able to change his movement in time to get his left leg to it and keep it out.
However by now the Glens had hit their stride and were showing the level of class that made them champions last year and when goalie Laith Al-Naeme rolled the ball out to right back Nadeem Zeb who broke forward and played the ball inside to McRobbie to tee up Clougherty for the fifth goal of the game the ball had gone from one end of the pitch to the other in less than 15 seconds you couldn’t help but admire the quality on show.
McRobbie and Simeon combined yet again soon after and when the formers shot spun back off the keeper Ward was on hand to control well and stroke home number six on 39 minutes, moments later Zeb pushed the ball forward for Clougherty who rammed the ball in off the stantion from the narrowest of angles to make it seven and two minutes after that he had his fourth after converting McMullan’s assist in what was turning into an extraordinary half of football.
The final act of the period would occur when Clougherty had his shirt pulled in the box and the man referee awarded a penalty which was coolly converted by McMullan who made it nine going into the interval.