Holders Hares cut it fine but edge home in cup replay

Harestanes are safely through to the next round of the Scottish Cup
Harestanes are safely through to the next round of the Scottish Cup

Holders Harestanes repeated their win of last year at Aberdeen side Woodside to move into the fourth round of the Sottish Cup.

On a snow-covered Harestanes, who were held 1-1 at Merkland in the first match, started the better and took the game to Woodside.

But despite the one-way traffic Hares found it hard to cut out a definitive chance and when a long punt from the back in the 21st minute was poorly defended the Woodside striker met the ball perfectly to fire it past Travers from 20 yards.

Harestanes remained one down at the break but went for it right from the start of the second half and on the now heavy pitch their fitness was staring to show.

A succession of Harestanes corners kept the home team penned in but the goal eluded them until Paul McLaughlin came into the game with 25 minutes to go and everything changed.

A free-kick was fired over by John Thompson and the big striker rose above everyone and his header narrowly missed the target.

His next involvement resulted in a free-kick which was cleared, but when he was then upended again Thompson smashed the free kick past the Woodside ’keeper to square the match.

The play was all one way now and with four minutes remaining Harestanes took the lead. Stuart McClune, with a with grace and balance that defied the gluepot surface, he glided past two players and fed Paul McLaughlin and he in turn slid the ball along the 18-yard box to Mark Fitzsimons who found the bottom corner.

With the time running out for Woodside, McLaughlin was hauled down inside the box and McClune, who stood out all day long, stepped up to send the ’keeper the wrong way and Hares into the fourth round.