Perhaps it was a case of ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’, but this was a crushing anti climax after the fervour of two Scottish Junior Cup semi-final ties against Ayrshire giants Auchinleck Talbot.
Lochee United never really got going against a determined Jeanfield outfit and lost to a goal midway through the second half. Playing with a strong wind at their backs, the Bluebells found it more of a hindrance than a help as too many long balls overhit their intended target and rolled harmlessly behind.
One early long ball did, however, find Bryan Deasley, who tried to chip Swifts keeper Mark Mitchell, but the effort was weak and the keeper saved easily.
The first real goal threat came from the visitors after 18 minutes when Keith Dewar headed a corner kick narrowly over the home bar.
Lochee replied with a Logan Davie effort that went past the post.
There was a let-off for Swifts on 27 minutes when, from a Scot McComskie free kick, defender Craig Smith headed against the post.
Down at the other end just a minute later, Jeanfield’s Jamie Reid saw his header from a corner go narrowly wide.
Scott Webster then came to Lochee’s rescue with a well timed tackle on Andrew MacKenzie, but Lochee almost surprised their visitors with a 40-yard free kick from Stephen McNally. The full back tried to catch out keeper Mitchell who had to dive to his right to push the shot away.
The half time whistle came with no breakthrough but the Perthshire outfit almost broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half. A good ball from Gary Fergus was latched on to by Tony Holt, but the Swifts man blazed his shot well over the bar.
Lochee were forced into a substitution on 59 minutes when Webster appeared to suffer a hamstring injury and was replaced by Reece Ritchie.
McNally switched full back positions with Greg Kirk moving back from midfield to left back.
The best chance of the game so far fell to Lochee on 65 minutes. Mitchell’s clearance cannoned off McComiskie and Connor Birse beat Mitchell to the loose ball. Birse flicked it past the keeper only to see player-boss Ross Gunnion get back to clear the ball off the line.
That was to prove decisive as, just three minutes later, Jeanfield grabbed the winner. A misplaced pass was picked up by HOLT who strode past a couple of defenders before beating Stewart with a low drive into the corner of the net.
The Bluebells tried hard to get back on level terms but it wasn’t their night. Too many passes were going astray and some dogged defending by Swifts kept them out.
Their best chance came from a Jamie Reid (Lochee version) corner kick which Danny Millar headed against the bar two minutes from time. From another Reid corner kick Kirk’s header looked goalbound until it skimmed off the head of a Swifts defender.
Overall, a disappointing performance from the Scottish Cup semi-finalists but credit to Jeanfield for a hard earned win.
FT: Lochee United 0 Jeanfield Swifts 1
Lochee United: Stewart, Webster (Ritchie 59), Millar, Smith, McNally, McComiskie, Kirk, Davie (Lawson 76), Reid, Birse, Deasley.
Jeanfield Swifts: Mitchell, Yates, Deans, Gunnion, Scott, Holt, Kelly (Mills 77), Dewar, Reid, Fergus, MacKenzie (Mackie 75).
Written on 25 April 2018