SEMI-FINAL BECKONS FOR BLUEBELLS FEB 23, 2019

Troon FC 0 Lochee United 2

Lochee United returned from Ayrshire with yet another Scottish Cup victory and a place in the semi-finals for the second year running.

But home side Troon made it a difficult passage for the Bluebells with a spirited display, particularly in the second half.

The only change in the visitors’ line-up from last week’s win over Tayport was Logan Davie in for Danny Cavanagh in midfield.

The visitors were up against a driving rain and wind in the first half but were first to threaten with a Scott McComiskie shot that was well held by Troon keeper Scott Johnstone.

Scott Webster then made a strong run into the Troon box but was eventually crowded out.

The home side had their first serious attempt at goal on 12 minutes when left back Jack Sherrie’s 20-yard shot was excellently pushed over by Jordan Millar. Minutes later, a free kick in a dangerous position saw Dean Keenan’s effort being diverted round the post for a corner.

Lochee were soon back up the other end and Davie’s ball into the box just failed to find Grant Lawson or Connor Birse.

On 20 minutes a superb driving run down the left wing ended with new boy Ross McDonald’s effort being blocked by the outrushing Johnstone.

There were chances at both ends but Lochee broke the deadlock on 32 minutes. A great move down the left involving Lawson, McComiskie and McDonald ended with LAWSON slamming the ball into the net from close range.

Lochee just deserved their half time lead and were looking forward to playing with their backs against the conditions, but the second half had barely started when the wind and rain eased.

In the first minute Sherrie had a chance at the back post which Millar hacked clear for a corner.

On the hour mark Lochee had an opportunity to kill the game. Birse beat the offside trap and burst clear but his dink over goalkeeper Johnstone was cleared off the line by Sherrie.

Troon brought on their first sub, Ross McCrea for Dean Fulton and his presence re-energised the home side who were beginning to win the midfield battle.

Jamie Martin had a shot parried by Millar and cleared by Webster, but despite having more of the ball they rarely seriously threatened the visitors’ goal and, in fact, Webster almost made it two for Lochee when his effort was cleared away for a corner. When Dougie Cameron’s corner came over McComiskie was within a whisker of connecting with his head.

Although being pressed back somewhat, there was no way through the Lochee defence and two great blocks by Cameron illustrated that the lead wasn’t going to be surrendered easily.

A bad mistake by Andy Strachan saw him give the ball away to Birse but neither he nor McComiskie could find a way past Johnstone in the home goal who made a double save.

Then, in the last minute of normal time, Lochee wrapped things up. Davie made the running down the right and when his cross came over, McCOMISKIE was there to hit the ball with the outside of his boot and send it past Johnstone.

So Lochee made it through to another semi-final but credit to Troon who made them fight all the way.

Special mention also to the referee, who was excellent and kept the action flowing.

Troon: Johnstone, McCreadie, Sherrie, Clark, Strachan, Keenan, Fulton (McCrea 62), Murphy (Maley 73), Pooler, Stevenson, Martin (Chatham 73)

Lochee Utd: Millar, Kirk, Kenneth, McDonald, Webster, Cameron, Davie, Lawson, McNally, Birse, McComiskie. Subs not used: Reid, Cavanagh, Ritchie, Deasley, McWalter.

Written on 23 February 2019