Gartcairn FA 0 Lochee United 2

This clash between two unbeaten teams lived up to its billing as a close contest but it was Lochee United who prevailed and go into the next round of the Macron Scottish Junior Cup. A goal either side of half time from the Bluebells settled the tie.

Gartcairn were forced to play this home game at Petershill Juniors ground as their ground was deemed unfit for Junior Cup ties but they were unfazed by having to travel as they won away to Kilbirnie Ladeside in the last round.

Bluebells boss George Shields had a few more bodies to call on this week, although he was without three of last week’s starting eleven in Garry Kenneth, Scott McComiskie and Greg Kirk, with Craig Smith, Reece Ritchie and Bryan Deasley coming in.

The first chance fell to Lochee’s Connor Birse who headed a Stephen McNally cross into the arms of keeper Chris Smith, but the Dundee side were almost rocked a minute later. From a corner kick on the right, Ross Donnelly headed against the upright and Thomas Kilmartin ballooned the rebound well over.

Lochee were playing the better passing football and a Deasley, Birse, Ritchie move ended with Ritchie’s shot going just wide.

However, Gartcairn were dangerous coming down the flanks and a good run and cross from Michael Williams fell to Martin Shiels, whose shot was blocked.

A few minutes later a similar move ended with Donnelly with the ball at his feet on the edge of the box, but with plenty of time to pick his spot, the forward blasted the ball well over.

Lenny Ewing, who hadn’t had a lot to do so far, had to move sharpish to go down at the feet of Gartcairn’s Barry McGeechan, but it was at the other end that a goal nearly came.

Ritchie put Birse through one on one with the keeper but, though looking certain to score, he managed to drag his shot wide.

Seven minutes before half time another chance presented itself to the ‘home’ side. James Thomson was dispossessed by McGeechan who slipped the ball in to Donnelly, but once again, the striker was well off target.

Thomson and Smith had been combining well at the heart of the Lochee defence, along with McNally and Scott Webster and keeping the ‘Cairn threat to a minimum.

Five minutes before the interval Lochee should have taken the lead. Birse and Jamie Reid combined to set up Grant Lawson but Smith miraculously blocked what looked a certain goal.

A minute before the whistle Lochee took the lead. Reid passed to Lawson who once again saw his effort blocked by the Gartcairn keeper but LAWSON was on hand to get to the rebound first and stab it over the line.

Lochee started the second half well with Reid testing keeper Smith who did well to parry the shot away for a corner.

But the keeper was beaten a minute later when Lawson crossed for BIRSE, a man unafraid to spoil his new hairstyle, who headed home.

Gartcairn hit back and only a great block by Webster prevented sub Liam McLaughlin from pulling one back. Dougie Cameron was a rock in midfield for Lochee as ‘Cairn tried to get back into the game.

On 70 minutes Ritchie’s surging run upfield found Birse whose through ball was netted by Reid but the linesman’s flag was up for offside.

Gartcairn made two good chances as they pushed forward to rescue the tie. Kilmartin was clean through but hit his shot well wide and Donnelly was through but foiled by the outrushing Ewing.

With nine minutes left Lochee brought on Logan Davie for Ritchie and five minutes later Alan Tulleth for Deasley.

Lochee’s last chance to increase their lead came thre minutes from the end when a great move involving Birse, Davie and Lawson ended with Reid shooting over the bar.

In the dying seconds Gartcairn’s Donnelly was red carded for a challenge on Ewing.

So, Lochee once again prevailed on their Scottish Cup travels. Gartcairn proved tough opponents but they were for the most part unable to trouble Ewing in the Lochee goal.

Gartcairn FA: Smith, Williams, Spooner (Morris 46), McMullen, Ross (Amos 75), McGeechan, McGuigan, Hepburn, Kilmartin, Donnelly, Shiels (McLaughlin 50).

Lochee United: Ewing, Webster, Smith, Thomson, McNally, Reid, Ritchie (Davie 81), Cameron, Lawson, Birse, Deasley (Tulleth 85).

Written on 27 October 2018