The game only went ahead after a morning pitch inspection and was played on a very heavy surface which made good football extremely difficult.
But it was the visitors who adapted better to the conditions and triumphed thanks to goals from Grant Lawson and Scott McComiskie.
Apart from Mark Fotheringham in place of Mark Stewart in goal, Lochee were otherwise unchanged from last week, but they took a while to settle.
Meadow looked up for the fight and the Bluebells had to survive a tough opening spell. After only six minutes Ben Black forced Fonzy into a great save. From the angle of the penalty area the striker curled in a shot which looked bound for the top corner until the keeper managed to tip it round the post for a corner.
It was 10 minutes before Lochee were able to mount a serious foray into the home half but Lawson’s shot went high and wide.
The visitors came more into the game and keeper Shaun Newman had to race from his line to foil Connor Birse after Ben Carson had slipped and allowed the Lochee man through. Lawson then had a shot saved by the keeper’s legs.
Lochee’s midfield was finding it tough going on the claggy pitch and the home side began to dominate again. A scramble in the Lochee box saw a header from Medda’s Eddie McTernan hooked off the line by Craig Smith.
The homesters came close again when McTernan’s close in effort was palmed away for a corner by Fotheringham.
A free kick on the edge of the box gave Stephen McNally a chance to open the scoring but his shot was diverted over the bar by Newman.
Danny Millar and Paul Lunan were having a hard time coping with the eager Medda forwards and when Danny misjudged a through ball McTernan was on to it like a shot. His pass across goal to the inrushing Connell Boyle looked certain to result in a goal until Greg Kirk appeared and blocked the winger’s shot.
On 36 minutes Lochee took the lead. Smith saw his shot blocked but the ball fell kindly for LAWSON who drove it home from 10 yards.
Lawson had a chance to put the Thomson Park side two up five minutes from the interval but he shot wide with the keeper rooted to the spot.
The half time whistle blew with Lochee perhaps just a shade fortunate to be in front. It hadn’t been their best performance but there’s no doubt the pitch had a part to play.
Within seconds of the restart Medda might have equalised when Boyle burst through and shot straight at Fonzy but that was to be their last shot on target for the duration of the game.
They did come close on 54 minutes though when substitute Graham Boyd got a touch to a McTernan cross and sent the ball dangerously across the face of Fonzy’s goal.
With Lunan mopping up everything the Medda forwards could throw at Lochee, the visitors began to take control and Scott McComiskie came close to making it two with a shot that went just wide.
There was a good claim for a Lochee penalty when Reece Ritchie went down in the box but the referee, who was having a good game, waved play on.
Things got a bit feisty midway through the second half when Kirky was injured in a challenge and three home players, along with Cameron, went into the book.
Kirky didn’t last too much longer after this before being replaced by Scott Webster.
Lochee virtually put the game out of sight of their hosts with a second goal on 68 minutes. Good play down the right involving Smith, Ritchie and McCOMISKIE saw Scott latch on to a cute backheel before placing the ball into the far corner.
McComiskie had another chance with 10 minutes left but he shot straight at the keeper.
Medda were throwing everything they had at this stage in an attempt to save the tie but Lochee were reasonably comfortable, introducing Jamie Reid and Logan Davie for McComiskie and Birse.
There was slight panic as the 90th minute approached when sub Boyd raced through on goal but somehow he managed to blaze his shot over the bar.
This was a terrific win for the Bluebells at a tough venue against a team that fought hard but lacked the quality that Lochee possessed. Man of the match for me goes to Paul Lunan who won almost everything in the air and blunted Meadow’s attacks.
FT: Irvine Meadow XI 0 Lochee United 2
Irvine Meadow XI: Newman, McQuilken (Hannah 65), McLennan, Begley, Buchanan, Carson, Devlin, Carnwath (Willet 72), McTernan, Black, Boyle (Boyd 53).
Lochee United: Fotheringham, McNally, Kirk (Webster 65), Millar, Lunan, Cameron, Ritchie, Lawson, McComiskie (Reid 82), Smith, Birse (Davie 86).
Written on 17 February 2018