Rossvale ran out comprehensive winners over Lanark United in their Scottish Junior Cup third round tie on Saturday.
The Central First Division One table toppers hit five wightout reply in a battle of the league leaders against a Lanark side setting the pace in the Central Second Division.
There was some doubt as to whether the game would go on and a light dusting of snow caused slippery underfoot conditions as the first real sign of winter greeted both teams.
And for the first five minutes Rossvale couldn’t seem to find a way to get the ball out of their own half as Lanark started off on the front foot, pressing at every opportunity.
It took Rossvale a full six minutes to mount some form of resistance to the early Lanark pressure and to show that they meant business.
Ryan Coll’s ball into the Lanark penalty area caused some indecision between the Lanark defences which Corey Irvine capitalised on, but his right foot effort squirmed wide of Finnigan’s right hand post in the Larkhall goal.
From this Rossvale began to get a grip on proceedings and their own pressure was rewarded three minutes before the half hour mark with a penalty award and a resulting dismissal.
Within quick succession both Ryan Coll and Fraser Team had goalbound efforts blocked by Lanark’s Lawson, the second of which was judged to be a deliberate hand ball by the referee and resulted in a spot kick award and a straight red card for the unlucky Lawson.
Chris McQuade’s resulting penalty strike left ’keeper Finnigan rooted to the spot.
This seemed to knock the stuffing out of Lanark and seven minutes after taking the lead Rossvale doubled it.
Irvine passed the ball forward to the feet of Jay McKay who sidestepped a challenge and drilled the ball low just inside the helpless keeper’s right hand post.
Just on the stroke of half-time the lead was trebled when Renwick passed the ball back towards his ’keeper not knowing the he was on his way out to collect and leaving Fraser Team with the easiest of finishes into an empty net.
Despite their numerical disadvantage Lanark began the second period as they had the first and Christie’s overhead kick attempt went high over the bar of Bowskill’s crossbar seven minutes after the restart.
But 11 minutes into the second half Rossvale got another penalty when Ryan Coll was tripped as he was about to pull the trigger.
This time the responsibility fell to Alex Cassells who made no mistake by sending the ’keeper to his right while the ball went high to his left.
Rossvale went nap 16 minutes from time when substitute Joe Bradley fired in a low pass to Team and the Lanark full-back’s slip on the surface allowed Tean all the time in the world to pick his spot just inside Finnigan’s right hand post.
The score line would suggest a comfortable victory for Rossvale but this couldn’t be further from the truth as they were made to work hard for this one.