A dramatic late goal saw Rob Roy knock out Scottish Junior Cup holders Glenafton after a tense and tight affair looked to be heading for a replay.
Due to the ongoing adverse weather conditions the third round match was switched to the neutral Petershill Park and in the opening phases it was clear that both sides were a bit tentative after several weeks of inactivity.
The Glens started to show threat down the right hand side and Michael McCann shot wide after good set up play between Kyle McAusland and Ryan Borris.
The Roy responded and following a Gavin Mackie free-kick, Danny Boyle’s header fell to Gary McMenamin but his attempt at goal was well blocked by the Glenafton defence.
The game was flowing end to end and following a Shaun Fraser shot being saved by keeper Brian McGarrity, the Glens broke quickly and Joe Andrew ended up putting the ball in the net but had been flagged beforehand for offside.
However the Rabs suffered a blow after 16 minutes when skipper Gary McMenamin suffered a serious injury in the process of clearing his lines. Taking an extra touch allowed Andrew to slide in and challenge for the ball, resulting in a bad knock to McMenamin’s left leg and he had to be taken to hospital.
Kevin Watt was causing problems with his close control and turns but his good work wasn’t being converted into goal chances. Glenafton were showing better use of the ball when in possession and McAusland and Borris continued to be a threat as the Glens looked for an opening goal.
After 35 minutes however the play became a bit frantic and scrappy resulting in two quick yellow cards for Glens’ Ryan McChesney and Craig Menzies.
Roy’s Joe Slattery was beginning to cause problems for the visitors with his mazy runs and after he had been brought down, Fraser’s free-kick was deflected wide.
It was a similar pattern up to half time with both sides creating chances but not producing anything on target.
The second half started with both sides being more open and after Slattery shot wide the Glens responded with a similar effort from Borris.
Many further attacks from both sides were then thwarted by offside decisions, as referee Smith became the focus of attention from both sets of supporters.
Slattery again caused problems for the Glens but as before there was no end product from the Roy to test keeper McGarrity.
In the 75th minute a tremendous passing phase between Scott Walker and Fraser ended up with Willie Sawyers finding space in the box but he was pulled up for offside as he prepared to shoot.
Three minutes later a head flick from Sawyers released Watt and he controlled the ball on the turn but his shot went wide.
At the other end Gary McCulloch did well to clear after another good move between McAusland and Borris, before Rabs keeper Steven McNeil made an excellent save from a Borris cross.
In the final 10 minutes it was the Roy’s fitness that began to shine through and they started to make a push for a breakthrough as more space opened up.
Walker’s effort was blocked for a corner after good set up play between Slattery and Fraser, and then Boyle headed over from Andy Johnstone’s cross.
However there was a momentary scare at the other end when Danny O’Halloran’s headed back pass fell short but the danger was well cleared by Danny Mackenzie.
Both teams made substitutions in the closing stages and it was Rob Roy’s change that proved to be the more significant.
In the 90th minute Gary Carroll’s pace down the left beat the Glens’ defenders and as he cut in to the box he set up Fraser. His shot at goal was parried by McGarrity and Kevin Watt was on hand at the back post to slam the ball high in to the net much to the delight of the Rob Roy supporters.
The injury time phase was very tense and both teams were going end to end. McNeil again showed safe hands when called upon and Watt’s effort from another Roy attack was blocked for a corner, as was Fraser’s after he won a tremendous tackle in midfield.
However the final whistle sounded with no further goals and it was Rob Roy who came out on top after showing great determination and commitment until the end.
Sponsor David Hughes presented the Supporters’ man of the Match trophy, kindly donated by Roddy the Dog Walker, at the end of the game to Shaun Fraser.