We have new leaders at the top of the Lowland League and four clubs have made it into the hat of Round 3 of the Scottish Cup
east stirlingshire 0-1 kelty hearts
By Ronan Alexander
Nathan Austin’s 19th league goal of the season five minutes in to the second half sent Kelty Hearts to the top of the Lowland League table after a narrow win over fellow high-flyers EastStirlingshire at the Falkirk Stadium on Friday night.
With Bonnyrigg Rose in Scottish Cup action, Kelty took full advantage of their game in hand with a crucial three points.
It was Derek Ure’s side who had the best opportunity in the first half when Nicky Low went close three minutes before the interval.
But it was the visitors who opened the scoring after 49 minutes when the ball came into the box and popular hashtag #FeedTheFash reacted quickly and found the back of the net.
With the rain lashing down in the second half, Shire had a couple of chances from free-kicks to grab an equaliser but they couldn’t beat Ben Mackenzie and Barry Ferguson’s men took all three points.
bonnyrigg rose 2-0 buckie thistle
By Damon Main
Red smoke from the Bonnyrigg fans under the terrace drifted across the park as referee Alan Newlands blew his whistle to start this 2nd round tie. Given the rain that had fell down continuously since mid afternoon in Midlothian, the New Dundas Park pitch was in far from a pristine condition for what was an eagerly anticipated match in front of the BBC live cameras.
If anything was clear from the opening 15 minutes it was that both sides were going to rely on set pieces to open each other up. For Buckie, Andy McAskill looked lively buzzing around the penalty box area probing the Bonnyrigg Rose backline but chances in reality were few and far between.
Despite the big crowd the wet weather was putting a little bit of a dampener on things with fans huddled under umbrellas and stand roofing.
For Bonnyrigg the industrious confident forays of right full back Dean Brett down the right were causing the Buckie backline some problems. However his final ball always seemed to be missing and his shooting was quite frankly wild.
On 33 minutes a shout for handball was made against the tall Buckie defender after another Brett foray but referee Newlands ignored appeals. With balls regularly getting knocked out of the intimate ground play was regularly breaking down not allowing either side to mount any sort of positive attacks.
On top of the muddy pitch which was clearly cutting up the tie was not any sort of spectacle.
Scrappy and nervous neither side was seemingly able to rise to the big occasion which was surprising given the goalscoring form of both in domestic league football.
With the tie drifting towards half-time the players were beginning to slip around on the wet pitch and neither keeper had much to do in the way of saves. The only chances of note came from a tricky ball into the box from McAskill which was cleared by Brett, while the only shot of note on target in the half came midway through from Bonnyrigg’s Turner.
Despite manager Graeme Stewart calling Buckie Thistle the ‘underdogs’ in this tie prior to the game the visiting side started the second period confidently and fluently.
Firstly Robertson showed pace and athleticism to drag a shot wide of the post while McAskill also had a shot from distance that flew just over.
Backed by a travelling crowd of 350, the early minutes looked a little bit more open than the first half with proceedings flowing better and Bonnyrigg looking slack at the back.
The best chance of the match came on 50 minutes when Murray clean was through on goal but could not get his shot past the home keeper. In reply, the home side’s Ross Gray responded with a snap shot but a lack of power meant Herbert scooped up easily.
Just as Buckie began to get a foothold in things Bonnyrigg Rose made a pivotal breakthrough.
Out on the right Dean Brett played a pass to captain Stewart whose quick floating cross from 30 yards looped into the net past the perplexed young visiting goalkeeper. A fluke of a goal but one celebrated all the same by the home fans.
Two chances then came and went both from headers. Firstly Uruquart had a chance for Buckie then Ross Gray for the home side placed a header past the post when scoring looked far easier.
On 67 minutes Bonnyrigg Rose went 2-0 up thanks to George Hunter via a wonderful goal. Collecting the ball out on the right Hunter strode into the box before placing an angled finish past the goalkeeper.
With 15 minutes or so left the pitch had cut up badly making it hard for the now desperate Buckie side to move the ball around freely. In truth Buckie Thistle continued to try and play football when long dangerous balls into the box would have been a far more productive tactic.
On 78 minutes Mark Weir continued his good form in the home goal with a great save from Adams. Diving to his right he showed good technique using a strong right arm to knock the strike out and away from goal.
That was that really, and the home fans were dancing and singing knowing that a place in the next round had been secured.
For a club with a long and rich Scottish Cup history Buckie Thistle will be disappointed to come away from Midlothian with a 0-2 defeat. The visitors looked a confident bunch in the crucial period just after half time but the first, and it has to be said, very fortunate Bonnyrigg Rose goal simply knocked the stuffing out of the Moray side.
On what was a miserable night when the rain never stopped Bonnyrigg Rose were highly deserving of the win. With the Hunter goal the home side showed the one moment of true class in what was at times a very scrappy affair on a far from ideal surface.
Robbie Horn’s side will now face Montrose at New Dundas Park in Round 3.
lochee united 1-1 bsc glasgow
By Martin Fleming
It was a stalemate at Thomson Park as BSC Glasgow took the Dundee Junior side to a replay.
The pitch clearly caused issues for both sets of players as the rain pelted down and had everyone slipping in the opening ten.
There were little chances for either side in the first half. A Declan Hughes free kick was able to find the head of captain Ross McMillan but Lochee keeper John Sinclair got down well.
It was the Junior men that found the net first – despite Ryan Marshall making a terrific save after a Lochee free kick, Grant Lawson was there to turn the rebound in for the hosts.
Just before the break, a chance for an equaliser came BSC’s way when a Hughes corner found Tom Orr whose header rattled off the bar.
It was Ross McMillan that found the equaliser for Stephen Swift’s men after leaping in the air and putting the head on another Declan Hughes corner. Only ten minutes later, Tom Orr (after receiving a yellow earlier on) received another yellow card for simulation putting the men in yellow down to ten.
In the closing minutes, a massive chance fell for Lochee – a perfect header came from one of Lochee’s men but Ryan Marshall made one of the saves of the tournaments to keep the game level.
The replay will take place next weekend on Sunday at The Indodrill Arena.
east kilbride 3-1 gretna 2008
By Liam Govey
East Kilbride will be in the hat for the third-round draw of the Scottish Cup following their 3-1 win over fellow Lowland Leaguers Gretna 2008.
Things got off to a perfect start for Kilby, as Ruari Paton turned in Bernard Coll’s cross to give the hosts the lead after five minutes. The Anvils may have been fearing the worst given their woeful form prior to the tie, but they levelled twelve minutes later through Ryan Rogers after his initial effort was parried by Matthew McGinley.
The restored parity didn’t last long for Gretna, however, as Kieran McGrath’s lovely effort from just inside the box nestled into the bottom left-hand corner to give the hosts a deserved lead. Japhet Mata came close to levelling the scores again, but his close-range effort sailed agonisingly past the far post before half-time.
Kevin Connelly almost levelled after the break following a long ball forward that the striker almost beat McGinley to in the Kilby goal. Moments later Ruari Paton almost increased EK’s lead after a nice run into the box, only to find the side netting.
Kilby weren’t to be denied that vital third, however, as McGrath grabbed his second of the afternoon, heading in from Sean Winter’s brilliant cross. With ten minutes remaining, Kilby’s third goal was the decisive blow in an entertaining cup tie.
formartine united 2-2 gala fairydean rovers
By Martin Fleming
The men from Galashiels were able to gain a replay up in Aberdeenshire after the home side grabbed an equaliser in the last fifteen
In a classic Lowland vs Highland Scottish Cup tie, it was the Lowland side that broke the deadlock first. Just after the half hour mark, Scott Taylor McKenzie took a low strike from outside the post which bounced its way past Formartine keeper Kevin Main.
The home sides equaliser didn’t come until the second half Garry Wood was able to put the ball home and get the Highland side on level terms.
On the 69th minute, Gala’s Niall Kelly was able to pick out Jacob Campbell who ran into the box and put the ball over Kevin Main.
However, only 8 minutes later, Daniel Park round the equaliser for Formartine confirming a replay at Netherdale.
spartans 0-2 queen’s park
By Damon Main
Anyone who has ever followed The Spartans for some time will know that If you ever drive to Ainslie Park – from the south of the city – just take a look to your right before Ainslie Park appears and memories of the former home City Park will not be far.
It was at City Park that Spartans enjoyed some of its best ever Scottish cup days. Games against the likes of Buckie Thistle, Alloa Athletic, Arbroath, St Mirren and Livingston are immortalised inside Ainslie Park in photographic imagery.
The move to Ainslie Park has seen the advantage of the City Park slope go but Spartans have continued to be a match for many SPFL sides at the more modern Ainslie Park arena. Most notable have been the wins over Greenock Morton and Barry Ferguson’s Clyde in 2014.
Sadly this match up against Queens Park was not to be another of those great afternoons in The Spartans long Scottish Cup history. Sitting mid-table in the very competitive Lowland League Dougie Samuel’s side struggled to get any sort of grip on this 2nd Round fixture eventually losing to two first half goals from the visitors.
Explaining the manner of the defeat will be as hard for manager Samuel as it will be for anyone watching. With Queens Park struggled in SPFL2 this was the perfect opportunity for Spartans to progress to the 3rd round where bigger teams would await.
Crucial for Spartans when the teamlines were announced was the absence of Captain Adam Corbett who was suspended for this game. Manager Dougie Samuel did his best to shuffle his his pack as best he could to counter the threats Queens Park had but the home side struggled to get any sort of tactical dominance going against a very young Queens Park side.
A few half chances came and went for both teams before the first real moment of drama arrived. In the 9th minute a handball shout in the box for a home penalty was waved away by the referee Grainger.
Queens Park tried to get into things with the young side taking turns to build attacking forays down the wings. Strong running at goal by Agyeman was most notable with the home side defenders having to time tackles well as the forward bore down on goal.
The home keeper Carswell was then called into action and he saved well from McGrory however there was little the Spartans goalie could do with the opener in the 32nd minute.
Ciaran Summers crossed in a deep ball from a corner kick and it wasn’t cleared by the numerous defending players in the area. Out of nowhere the main dangerman Italian Alfredo Agyeman pounced to fire home from just 6 yards and in truth this goal just seemed to kill the game from a Spartans perspective.
If that goal was a hammer blow to the home side’s spirit and tactical plan they suffered again when Queens Park scored a rather weak second goal. Agyeman again showed pace to get to the bye line before his cross found it’s way to midfielder Galt who converted, much to the joy of the small band of 50 Queens Park supporters standing behind the north goal.
Spartans found themselves two goals behind and both goals were avoidable.
Dougie Samuel made a key change with danger man Nicky Reid coming on at the interval but overall Spartans were a subdued side in the second half and they never really looked like scoring or bring any cheer to the fans who had come out to support.
Numerous free kicks awarded to Spartans in semi dangerous areas were wasted while the home side’s corners struggled to get past the first defensive man. At the other end only a few good saves by the home keeper stopped Queens Park from going further ahead.
As the referee blew for full time many of the home players could not wait to get off the pitch such was the disappointment of the performance.
Mark Roberts youthful side were fully deserving of the win in Edinburgh with Spartans having in all truth a pretty miserable afternoon.
elgin city 3-1 berwick rangers
By Ronan Alexander
Berwick Rangers fell short of a cup upset at Borough Briggs on Saturday as the hosts triumphed 3-1 to the next round and set up a tie with Alloa Athletic.
The hosts took an early lead when Brian Cameron fired the hosts in front after only four minutes.
However, the Wee Gers hit back on the half hour mark when Lewis Barr found the back of the net. Ian Little’s side went into the break level, but Elgin scored foy=ur minutes after the restart again this time through striker Kane Hester.
The result was put beyong doubt 12 minutes from time though Shane Sutherland.
university of stirling 0-2 linlithgow rose
By Craig Edwards
A double from Tommy Coyne ended University of Stirling’s Scottish Cup run at the second round.
The University side were hoping to reach the third round as they did 12 months ago but instead it was the East of Scotland Premier Division side that booked a tie against Falkirk in the next round.
It was an even tie at Forthbank with Stirling arguably the better of the two sides with the visitors looking dangerous on the counter attack in the opening half but an early penalty in the second would prove to be the key.
Ross Allum was brought down in the area and Coyne slotted the ball into the net to give Rose the lead and in the dying minutes, he double his and Linlithgow’s tally to book their spot in the next round of the Scottish Cup.
For University of Stirling, the focus returns to the Lowland League with a trip to East Kilbride on Saturday.