A late winner got Kirkintilloch Rob Roy past Pumpherston and into the third round of the Macron Scottish Junior Cup, reports Neil Anderson.
In a closely contested tie at Guy’s Meadow, which saw plenty of chances created at both ends, Gary Carroll’s header five minutes from time saw them through.
The Roy attacked from the start and in the opening minutes the ball bounced off the post and bar as Pumpherston’s keeper Jamie Bowman was put under siege. Efforts from Ewan Macpherson, Sam Mackenzie and Scott Forrester were all denied by the woodwork.
However home keeper John Hutchison had to be alert in the ninth minute when he blocked Rees Smith’s follow up after spilling John Batt’s shot. Two minutes later Batt’s shot from the edge of the box was taken by Hutchison as the visitors started to get into the game.
But the clear chances were coming at the other end. MacPherson’s effort was cleared off the line and then Mackenzie’s shot was tipped over by Bowman who was called into action again to save from MacPherson.
However it was Pumpherston who broke through in the 33rd minute when, after Smith broke through the Rob Roy defence, the ball fell to Batt in plenty of space to beat Hutchison with a low shot.
A stunned Rob Roy looked for a quick equaliser and in the 42nd minute Martin McBride found MacPherson free at the edge of the box but the striker’s shot hit the post with the keeper stranded.
After the break Forrester fired over from Mackenzie’s corner and on the hour McBride’s shot was parried to safety by Bowman. A minute later McBride released Grant Brennan but the winger was unable to make contact.
However Pumpherston were dangerous on the break and Smith was again through on goal but fired wide.
Rabs continued to pursue a goal but it was Batt’s angular shot that went wide two minutes later that caused concern. Batt then headed wide from a Beaumont corner.
But relief finally arrived for Rob Roy in the 68th minute when a mix-up between Bowman and Michael Adams saw the ball headed across the box to a free Brennan who fired into an empty goal.
A David Gray free-kick was scrambled clear and Scott Walker’s effort from 22 yards scraped the bar as Rob Roy looked for a winner. To their credit Pumpherston were also looked for another goal and Adams’ shot from distance was well wide.
Just as the home support began to make their plans for a trip to West Lothian for the replay, Mackenzie broke down the left in the 85th minute and from his cross substitute Carroll deftly headed the ball beyond Bowman and in at the back post.
This time it was the turn of the visitors to be stunned but the Roy made sure they kept the defence tight to hold on.
Rob Roy could have put the game out of sight with better finishing but a plucky Pumpherston side made it an enthralling Scottish Cup tie.
Sponsor Brian Gilmour presented the Supporters’ Man of the Match Trophy, kindly donated by Roddy the Dog Walker, to Scott Walker.