Amateur Cup: Harestanes through but Minerva go out

Harestanes celebrate their second goal against Salvesen
Harestanes celebrate their second goal against Salvesen

Amateur sides Harestanes and Campsie Minerva kicked off 2018 with contrasting fortunes in their Scottish Amateur Cup fifth round ties.

Harestanes, winners in 2015, made it safely through after coming from behind to defeat Edinburgh side Salvesen 4-2 at Merkland.

But there was disappointment for Minerva who went down 3-0 to Kilwinning side Kilbride Thistle.

Both sides served up a hard fought, entertaining match amidst the freezing conditions at Merkland’s astro.

Johnny Black - man of the match (ably supported by Broadfoot) for Harestanes - came close to giving Harestanes an early lead in the fourth minute.
He fought his way towards the box - pushed grabbed, fought, fouled – all the way, the keeper did well to dive and put Black’s curler out for a corner.

Black was again involved with a run down the right, an accurate pass to McKinney on the six yard line: his rasping shot was goal bound with venom till the keeper again pulled out an excellent hand to claw the ball out for a corner.

Broadfoot, cheekily but impressively, curled the ball over everyone to nestle into the top right and the Kirkintilloch side were ahead.

Harestanes were now settling down and dominating the play.

The only real danger from Salvesen came from their number seven. Salvesen, however, were now beginning to come into the game.

A goal-line header from Broadfoot preserved the lead, McCormick cleared a shot over the bar and O’Boyle pulled off a point-blank stop.

However Salvesen’s pressure finally paid off with an equaliser: their number seven had his first effort blocked but managed to recover the ball an score from a very acute angle.
Barclay came close for Harestanes but was just wide with a header from a Broadfoot free.

They were then rattled when Salvesen took the lead in the 37th minute with a low strike, number seven again, into the left corner.

The second half was a whole different story. The set-up was changed, nerves were gone and Harestanes went into fast, accurate passing, one/two touch mode and attacked Salvesen on all fronts. It was a joy to watch.

Four minutes saw Harestanes equalise: Munn sent a long ball for Black to collect, a little dance to lose the defender and a shot under the keeper.

In the ninth minute of the half Black was again on hand to put Harestanes ahead, if somewhat untidily.

Broadfoot was unlucky not to increase the lead with a cracker off the bar, a bounce on the line and out. Harestanes were now singing and Salvesen were reeling. Fitzsimmons completed the day with a back-post header into the far left from a Broadfoot cross.

Meanwhile Minerva travelled down the Ayrshire cost for what they knew would be a tough test against Kilbride Thistle.

Minerva made a positive start, Callum Linning in particular seeing a lot of the ball, but the first chance fell to Kilbride striker Ryan Wilson who should have done better from six yards out.

The deadlock was broken after 14 minutes. Connor McAully latched on to a cross inside the Minerva box and fired past Brendan Shaw in goal to put Kilbride 1-0 up.

After 21 minutes Linning went close with a free-kick from 25 yards but the shot was just wide.

A minute later Shaw in the Minerva goal had to look sharp as he saved well from Darren Fry. But Minerva were up against it when, with 11 minutes of the first half to go, Johnny Howat cleared of his own line but the rebound was netted by McAully to put the home side two goals to the good.

Five minutes from the break Andy Graham was unfortunate to see his headed effort from eight yards out beat the keeper but come back off the bar.

Minerva in this half were limited to few chances as the home defence played with vigour, vibrance and an indefatigable confidence.

However their defence was almost breached right on the half-time whistle, this time a Calum Hendrie shot rebounding off the post.

Minerva started the half with it all to do but still found it difficult to break down a well marshalled Kilbride back four.

With half an hour remaining Stuart Tullis made his first Minerva appearance for over a year after a long injury lay-off. He linked well with Hendrie but both continued to be restricted to half chances.

With 22 minutes remaining Brendan Shaw made a great one to one stop from Ryan Wilson to keep Minerva in it.

Linning tried his luck from 20 yards out on the 70th minute but Hugh Differ in goal for Kilbride was equal to it.

Kilbride wrapped the game up with five minutes left when Wilson beat Shaw in goal to cap off a good individual display and put Kilbride into the next round with some ease.