Hermes 2 Lochee United 2 (Hermes win 12-11 on pens)

Match report by Jim Davie

Four goals, 28 penalties and 10 bookings would appear to indicate a cracking game of football in this Signature Signs cup-tie, but nothing could be further from the truth.

This was a match punctuated by fouls on a rock hard playing surface, with precious little to enthuse about.

From the off it was clear the home side weren’t going to let the visitors settle and were in their faces right from the whistle.

A speculative long range effort from left back Lee Smith just dipped over the Lochee bar, but it was the Bluebells who opened the scoring. On 11 minutes a Dougie Cameron corner kick was played back to him by Grant Lawson, and when the midfielder launched the ball back into the goalmouth, there was Garry KENNETH stealing in at the back post to head home.

Lochee’s joy was short-lived though, and two minutes later Hermes were level. A high bounce caught out James Thomson and keeper Jordan Millar could only tip the ball against the woodwork. When it came back out Connor McKENZIE pounced to net the equaliser.

The Bluebells were looking unusually rattled and Hermes were finding space to run with the ball and pressurise a nervy defence and the home side might have taken the lead on 19 minutes but for a good block by Thomson.

Hermes ‘get stuck into them’ tactics were unsettling Lochee and the normally fluent Thomson Park side were finding it difficult to establish a rhythm.

Frustration was getting the better of the away team and Greg Kirk and Thomson found themselves in the ref’s notebook, along with the home team’s David Stevenson.

Hopes that Lochee might rouse themselves at the start of the second half were dashed as Hermes sensed a shock victory and Millar had to save with his legs from Andrew Close.

Dangerous left back Smith had two efforts blocked, the second one going for a corner as Lochee failed to get a grip on the game.

They did have the ball in the net on the hour mark through Scott McComiskie, but offside had already been given against Connor Birse.

Stephen McNally and Kenneth both picked up bookings, Kenneth’s for a foul on the edge of the penalty area, which was to prove costly. Hermes’ STEVENSON drilled the ball through the entire defence and into the corner of the net on 68 minutes.

With Reece Ritchie on for Logan Davie, Lochee roared back in search of the equaliser. A McComiskie free kick brought out a fingertip save from Lee Sweeney. Just prior to that, McComiskie and Lawson were also booked, bringing the visitors’ tally to six, compared with one to the home side, which seemed ridiculous considering how physical Hermes were.

The referee eventually booked a further three home players to even things up somewhat.

Lawson thought he’d equalised when his lob beat Sweeney, after he had been challenged by sub Bryan Deasley, but the ball was headed off the line.

With time ebbing away, Lochee grabbed the equaliser. Kenneth had a shot blocked and, as the ball bounced around the goalmouth CAMERON coolly placed it beyond the keeper into the corner of the net.

And the Bluebells almost clinched it in added time when, after good play involving McComiskie and Birse, Lawson saw his shot cleared off the line.

So, it was on to penalties and, after every player had taken one, the score stood at 9-9. Cameron and McComiskie both scored from their second penalties of the afternoon, but Ritchie, who had scored his first, missed with his second, leaving Hermes to net with their fourteenth of the afternoon to progress into the quarter-finals.

Hermes: Sweeney, Nash, Smith, McKenzie, Close, McRae, Stevenson, Cairns, Burr, Dawson, Innes.

Lochee United: Millar, Thomson, Kenneth, Kirk (Cavanagh 89), McNally, Cameron, Davie (Ritchie 68), Lawson, McDonald (Deasley 78), Birse, McComiskie.

Written on 23 March 2019