Kirkintilloch Rob Roy win at Burghead Thistle in Scottish Junior Cup

Rob Roy rose to the challenge in their Scottish Junior Cup tie at Culter
Rob Roy rose to the challenge in their Scottish Junior Cup tie at Culter

Rob Roy eventually overcame their plucky Highland opponents in a closely fought Macron Scottish Junior Cup third round tie.

It was a match which could never be termed a classic, but the Kirkintilloch side will be happy to progress comnfortably into the last 32.

In bright, sunny conditions it was the Rabs who started on the attack with David Green’s shot deflected wide by Craig Smith.

A minute later Jay McInally had the ball in the Burghead net but the assistant had flagged for offside.

Then the Roy’s keeper Matthew Kerr did well to parry a Jamie Davidson effort wide as Thistle came into the match. Burghead kept up the pressure on the Rabs’ defence with James Fraser’s shot on goal being scrambled clear.

As play flowed from end to end, McInally was unable to connect with a Green through ball and the chance to take the lead was lost.

In the 23rd minute Grant Brennan sent a clever pass inside to Alan Kelly who saw his curling effort flash past home keeper Adain MacDonald’s left-hand post.

The hosts however should have taken a 27th minute lead when poor marking allowed Lewis McAndrew an unchallenged free header in front of goal, but the Thistle man could only send his mistimed effort weakly past the post.

Three minutes later Rabs squandered a chance of their own to go in front when Michael Tuohy’s inch perfect pass to McInally resulted in the striker blasting the ball over the bar with MacDonald well beaten.

Thistle were always dangerous on the break and Kerr showed a safe pair of hands to take Fraser’s cross comfortably. However the sides went into the interval with the game goalless.

The first chance of the second half fell to Green who was off target with his shot. Then, at the other end, Matthew MacLeod fired well wide.

Nevertheless the deadlock was broken in the 51st minute when Tuohy sent a 25-yard snap shot past MacDonald, much to the relief of the great Rob Roy support who had travelled to the Moray coast.

A minute later only MacDonald’s superb double save from Brennan and Green prevented Rabs increasing their advantage.

But as the half progressed it was the Roy who looked more likely to add to the tally with Kelly’s volley taken low by MacDonald and then the Thistle keeper blocked Joe Irvine’s effort with his feet.

However Rabs deservedly increased their lead in the 71st minute when, from a Kelly cross, Brennan slotted the ball into the net at the back post.

With ten minutes remaining Kerr made a fantastic save from substitute Jordan Clark, tipping his drive over the bar.

Then in the 82nd minute Kelly smashed his shot against the Burghead cross bar with MacDonald beaten.

As the game petered out to its conclusion, Smith fouled Green on the edge of the penalty box and although he picked up a yellow card for his troubles the Roy could not take advantage.

Sponsor Ken McAllister presented the Supporters’ Man of the Match Trophy, kindly donated by Roddy the Dog Walker, to Scott Forrester.

Report: Neil Anderson