BLUEBELLS BRACE DOWNS BERRYPICKERS

Lochee United 2 Blairgowrie 0

Lochee United won their third Thorntons Property League Cup game and put themselves into pole position to qualify from their section. A draw against North End at Thomson Park will be enough to see them through.

But this wasn’t a vintage performance against a stuffy Perthshire side and two goals in the first half were enough to see the home side triumph.

The Berrypickers actually started quite brightly and had the better of the opening 10 minutes, twice getting shots in, though without troubling keeper Lenny Ewing.

It was Lochee who went closest on 12 minutes when Stephen McNally’s ball across the face of goal was just missed by Kevin Buchan.

A Jamie Reid cross then caused problems for Blair goalie Gordon O’Brien before he was able to palm it away to safety.

The visitors replied through Mark Adam’s fierce drive which just went over the Lochee bar, but the home team went back up the other end to open the scoring.

Reid’s cutback went to McNally, whose shot was blocked, but Grant LAWSON, from the edge of the box, coolly picked his spot in the top corner of the Blair net.

Lawson then set up Reid, and the keeper did well to keep the effort out, but he was beaten again on 35 minutes when BUCHAN rose highest to head home a Dougie Cameron corner kick.

At half time Bryan Deasley and Connor Birse came on for Buchan and Reid, but the second half was to prove a big disappointment, with very few chances being created by either side.

Deasley did see a curling shot go narrowly wide, but apart from an altercation between Scott Webster and Blair’s Ryan Beedie, which resulted in both players being booked, there was nothing much of note, with the linesman’s flag for offside continually disrupting the flow of the game.

On 72 minutes Reece Ritchie came on for Greg Kirk who had been injured in a challenge.

Birse might have added another for Lochee when the ball fell to him but O’Brien was out quickly to block.

Blair had a couple of chances for a consolation goal, firstly when Ewing spilled a free kick and then at the death when Ian Plenderleith tried an audacious long range chip, trying to catch Ewing out.

Blairgowrie seemed happy to keep the score down, having now lost all four of their section games.

Lochee United: Ewing, McNally, Kenneth, Thomson, Kirk (Ritchie 72), Webster, Reid (Birse 46), Davie, Cameron, Lawson, Buchan (Deasley 46).

Blairgowrie: O’Brien, Gray, Beedie, Middleton, Simpson, Neave, Bell, Plenderleith, Adam (Kelly 74), Norrie (Scott 62), Axworthy (Brown 66).

Written on 12 January 2019