Rob Roy 0 St Roch's 1: Rabs crash out of League Cup

Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell had one eye on Saturday's match with Auchinleck Talbot
Rob Roy boss Stewart Maxwell had one eye on Saturday's match with Auchinleck Talbot

For the second season in succession, Rob Roy have been knocked out of the Central League Cup by lesser league opponents.

Woeful finishing by the home side and a superb goalkeeping display by 17-year-old schoolboy goalkeeper Aeden Houston saw to Rob Roy's downfall as they lost 1-0 to St Roch's at Guy's Meadow on Wednesday night.

Boss Stewart Maxwell had made no secret of his intention to select his line-up with one eye on Saturday's Super League title crunch against Auchinleck Talbot.

Rob Roy, beaten by St Anthony's in last season's quarter-final, began brightly and had the ball in the St Rochs net after only two minutes but Kevin Watt’s effort was ruled offside.

Rabs continued to attack with Andrew Johnstone’s cross blocked for a corner then the same player’s snap-shot drifted wide before Chris Duff’s header from a Gavin Mackie corner was defected over the bar.

St Rochs showed their danger on a number of raid on the Rabs goal but were unable to make the breakthrough although Jordan Halsman came close, bringing out a fine diving save from home keeper Michael McKinven in the 21st minute.

Danny Boyle had a shot cleared off the goal line by Martin Shields then saw his header crash against the crossbar minutes later.

But just before the interval St Roch's took the lead when Shields took advantage of slack home defending to pounce on a loose ball then advance through on goal before slotting the ball past McKinven.

The second half began with the same pattern of play, with Rabs enjoying the bulk of possession but unable to break down dogged deep defending by St Roch's in which ex-Rabs captain Jon Carter was playing an impressive role.

As Rabs pushed for the equaliser substitute Shaun Fraser had a net-bound shot blocked then Kevin Green’s header was easily saved by keeper Houston, making his Candy Rock debut.

The keeper was in action minutes later, this time brilliantly tipping a Boyle header over the bar from a Lee Gallacher corner kick.

Carter fouled Fraser on the edge of the penalty box, Fraser took the kick himself and smashed it against the bar with Houston beaten. Carter cleared off his goal-line then for the third time the woodwork denied Rabs opener when Green headed the ball against the bar.

The Provanmill side attempted to hit Rabs on the break with substitute Boboucar Musa bringing out a diving save from McKinven at the edge of the penalty box.

In stoppage time Houston did well to push away a Gallacher free-kick. With experienced skipper James McKnight controlling matters at the back the Central First Division side held out to progress into the third round of three competition.