South East Region (403)
A flurry of goals, late in each half, aided Glenrothes Strollers in their clinical performance against Real Fife Blues in the Fife football development League.
Strollers could not have asked for a better start in the fixture when Dylan Ritchie showed some brilliant pace down the right-wing to eventually cut-in and strike one into the top left corner in the second minute, giving the hosts an early lead.
Strollers were unlucky not to double their lead straight away, but a strong hand from Real Fife Blues keeper Hamish Rankie denied the powerful effort from Harvey Christie in the sixth minute. Unexpectedly, after absorbing a good amount of pressure, Real Fife Blue’s went on a dangerous counter-attack which resulted in a close ranged finish from target man Craig Meston, levelling things in Glenrothes in the seventh minute of the match.
Christie was once again denied by a brilliant stop from Rankie in the 15th minute, who was undoubtedly going to have a very busy match between the sticks. Bailey Patterson was up next to test Rankie, but once again the keeper won this duel, in the 27th minute.
The long period of pressure from the hosts eventually paid off when a perfectly weighted cross from captain Innes Roberts found the head of the tall Ellis Davie who expertly headed home and put the home side deservedly in front, in the 34th minute. Strollers instantly got themselves a third when Robbie Westwaters latched onto a loose ball out on the left-wing and comfortably slotted it in the far-right corner in the 37th minute. The momentum continued late in the half when Mitchell Sharp created space for himself and got the Strollers their fourth of the match in the 38th minute and being the climax of the half.
Reuben Flapan stood his ground to save the crucial penalty from Igor Sobiesiek in a dramatic Charles Kelvin Cup semi final on a blustery winters morning at Balerno High School.
Currie Star Colts raced into an early lead on 13 minutes but found themselves going into the break down by two goals.
However the home side fought back twice in the second half to force a penalty shoot-out, including a last minute equaliser from Ben Smyth.
Civil Service Strollers started the brighter of the two, as Marc Shortel guided a loose ball onto the foot of a post before Jamie Kerr curled over the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Currie Star were at their best on the counter attack in the early stages, goalkeeper Rory James came to smother a few crosses, as well as Smyth and Santosh Rowe both going close.
The breakthrough for Currie Star came through the impressive Rowe, who picked the ball up from Patrick Milne on the left wing before drifting inside and rifling a shot into the top left corner past the helpless James in goal.
The equaliser came almost moments later, Shortel showed some nimble footwork to reach the byline, before looking up and rolling to Sobiesiek inside the area. The midfielder sidestepped a challenge before drilling the ball across goalkeeper Flapan and into the bottom right corner.
The visitors then turned the score on its head on the 20 minute mark as Calvin Paterson got the run on his marker to prod home at the near post from a corner.
Chances followed at both ends in the lead up to halftime, Flapan swiped away to clear a bobbling strike from Kerr and then Smyth passed up two reasonable chances to equalise at the other end, the second of which - a towering header from a corner which was held onto by James.
With the half coming to a close, Sobiesiek picked out Adam Smith with an inch-perfect diagonal free kick. Smith then brought the ball down for teammate Shortel, but the striker saw his attempt smartly stopped as Flapan parried behind.
A corner followed, and as the ball fell to Smith, he still had a great deal to do. The winger spun with a neat dragback before bending the ball perfectly into the top right corner from the edge of the area to double his side’s lead on the stroke of halftime.
Templehall Rovers hold on to a vital victory, that send them level on points with top of the league, after seeing their captain dismissed against a resilient East Fife side.
Coming into the match Templehall had mixed results, however they were unbeaten in their last three matches and were unbeaten in their last two home games. On the other hand East Fife were looking to make it three away wins from three as they travelled to Kirkcaldy.
Templehall Rovers started off the better of the two sides with some impressive passing moves falling apart in the final third. However the Kirkcaldy side finally made the breakthrough after Louix Cumming pounced on a loose ball from a corner whipped in by team mate Scott Graves in the 18th minute.
Graves would have scored himself later in the first half if it wasn’t for a vital block from East Fife defender Robbie Lumsden. Moments later Graves was denied again, this time his attempted dink finish was tipped behind for a corner by East Fife goalkeeper Tyler Wilson.
Going into the half time break it was certain that Templehall Rovers would be the happier of the two sides. The instructions from the Templehall Rovers coach must have been to put away more chances and continue to creatively pass through the midfield. For East Fife on the other hand they had to put more of a threat on the Templehall Rovers defence after only creating very few chances.
A flurry goals in either half without return helped a clinical Edinburgh City side progress with ease into the 4th round of the South East Region cup. Hat-tricks from James Clare and Luke Rathie were accompanied by goals from McNamara, Elliot, Gilmour and Turnbull to finish off the rout.
The outcome of the match seemed difficult to predict, with City experiencing a mixed start to their league campaign with 3 wins being matched with 2 losses, whereas Thistle tasted victory in both of their fixtures so far.
Despite the even predictions in the build-up to the cup tie, the gulf in class was evident very early from kick-off. Cai McNamara was first to get his name on the scoresheet for City with just a minute on the clock. His determination to break beyond the defence set the tone early on as he raced through and slotted the ball beyond the goalkeeper.
Bathgate barely had any time to register what had unfolded before the ball was in the back of the net again, this time through one of their own players, but at the wrong end. Elliot raced down the wing – a sight that would become familiar – and crossed a ball into the path of Clare who attempted to get a flick, but the final touch appeared to come via a defender.
City – who could only name one substitute due to a shortage of numbers – showed their ruthlessness again as the notched up another two goals before the tenth minute. Clare took the ball in the centre and drove beyond the defence with scorching pace, rounding the goalkeeper and slotting in, with his second goal an exact carbon copy of his first, with the same outcome.
McNamara, one of many attacking forces for the Edinburgh side, looked capable of scoring whenever he burst forward, and added a second goal to his tally on 15 minutes. On this occasion, it was a simple tap in from just yards out as Elliot’s searching cross into the area left him with an easy finish.
Clare turned provider when put through on goal, lifting a ball over the head of the onrushing goalkeeper and leaving Elliot with a header from 3 yards out which he duly converted. Composed strikes inside the penalty area from the towering Rathie, and his diminutive midfield partner Danny Turnbull took City into the break with an impressive-lead.