Kirkintilloch Rob Roy exit Scottish Junior Cup after loss to Thornton Hibs

Rob Roy lost out to Thornton Hibs in the Scottish Junior Cup
Rob Roy lost out to Thornton Hibs in the Scottish Junior Cup

Rob Roy crashed out of the Scottish Junior Cup at Guy’s Meadow on Saturday at the hands of Fife side Thornton Hibs.

Stewart Maxwell’s side paid the price for wasteful finishing as the visitors booked their place in he fourth round with a 3-1 victory.

The visitors started off brightly and created the first chance after five minutes when Shaun Keatings’ cross found Garry Thomson who drilled a shot narrowly past.

At the other end a John Kelly free-kick was headed over the bar by Willie Sawyers as Rob Roy started to make some better moves.

However the Fife side was playing neat, passing football and were always dangerous on the break, with the Rabs defence at times looking vulnerable.

Midway through the first half Scott Walker came close to opening Rob Roy’s account when his 25-yard low shot was pushed clear by keeper Ryan Linton.

A minute later, from a Gavin Mackie corner, the ball was only partially cleared to Lee Gallacher 20 yards from goal but his snap shot was blocked.

Then Connor Hughes broke free down the right hand side but his cross was too strong for Sawyers to get a connection in front of goal.

Rabs continued to press but inept finishing prevented them taking the lead.

Nevertheless the Rob Roy defence did not deal with a long ball from Linton and Ben Anthony blasted the ball over the bar as the visitors reminded the Roy they were still a danger.

Sawyers then saw his glancing header go past the post before Rabs’ keeper John Hutchison was flattened by Scott Orrock when collecting a cross from Keatings.

Five minutes before the break Sawyers had a shot from distance parried by Linton and when the follow-up fell to Hughes he could only fire the ball into the arms of the keeper.

On the stroke of half-time disaster struck for the Rabs when Hutchison shouted for a cross from Daniel McNab but failed to make proper contact with the ball, which then bounced off the head of Thomson and rolled into the empty net.

The Roy pressed from the start of the second half for an equaliser. However in the 51st minute, after Linton had saved a header from Joe Slattery, Hibs broke down the left through Thomson, who had been a thorn in the Rob Roy’s defence since the opening minute, and he cut inside to calmly curl the ball past Hutchison to double the Fifers’ lead.

A minute later the same player should have increased the lead when he fired a low effort just wide of the post.

Rabs replaced Hughes with Alberto Vezza in an attempt to add some spark up front; however it was Thomson who continued to torment the Rob Roy defence and from his 35-yard free kick Hutchison did well to push the ball wide.

Rabs forced a number of corners but failed to trouble a resolute defence, which was content to sit deep and defend their lead.

Kelly saw his piledriver from 40 yards fly over the bar and then Sawyers nearly broke through but Gallacher’s pass was well intercepted by Ian Hepburn.

After Hutchison had saved well from substitute Andrew Adam, Thornton put the game beyond Rabs’ reach of Rob Roy in the 85th minute when Anthony was left free in the box to knock the ball into the empty net.

The Roy did manage to score a consolation goal three minutes later when substitute Gary Carroll challenged Linton for a high ball which then broke to Sawyers who drilled the ball home.

However it was all too late and at the final whistle the Hibs’ players and supporters celebrated wildly as their side progressed to the last 32 of the competition.

A very disappointing display saw the home support leave scratching their heads at how the Roy had not managed to make a proper contest of a game that they were more than capable of winning.