EDINBURGH South Vics produced a remarkable comeback to progress to the East of Scotland Cup second round after a 4-3 victory over East Dunbartonshire side Barrhill AFC at Croy 3G.
Vics seemed destined to crash out of the competition at the first attempt after trailing 3-1 with 20 minutes remaining, but fought their way back to set up a second-round tie with AFC Milton on Saturday.
It was Vics who took the lead though after 20 minutes. Paul Murray managed to block a short goal kick and the ball deflected into the path of Lee Cairns, who knocked in from close range.
However, the visitors found themselves going in at the break 2-1 down after goals from John Gorman and Paul Devine.
Vics goalkeeper Graeme Lennie then a saved spot-kick just after half-time but Ian Johnston did make it 3-1 for the home side soon after.
Murray’s square ball across goal picked out Cairns, who added his second of the game after 70 minutes to make it 3-2 before Cairns returned the favour to find Murray who netted to level the tie.
With three minutes remaining, Vics ensured their journey back to the Capital would be a happy one when Murray found space on the left, and he cut in before delivering an angled drive which went in via the far post.
Vics coach John Love was delighted with the commitment shown from his players in grinding out the victory. “They were a very young and fit side where their running off the ball was very good,” he said, “but we made a tactical change at 3-1 down putting Peter Gilhooley back into midfield and we started to control the match. The team showed great spirit to comeback so I am delighted to get through.”
Meadows United crushed Dunbar Athletic 5-0 to move away from the bottom end of Edinburgh East Division after a comfortable victory at Hallhill.
Grahame Dawes-Salazar got the ball rolling with a fine volley before Danny Casillas made it two with an expertly-chipped effort from 20 yards after the break.
Dawes-Salazar got his second, and United’s third from close range before Iain Wallace and Casillas rounded off an emphatic victory with the fourth and fifth goals respectively.
Dawes-Salazar said of his side’s recent resurgence: “We have been playing well but just haven’t been getting the results, but we have a committed bunch of guys and a regular goalkeeper. I think we can climb the league table now.”
Loanhead MW progressed to the third round of the East of Scotland Cup after a 3-1 victory over Premier Division 2 opponents North Merchiston Vale at King George V Park.
Gary Steele opened the scoring for the hosts when he struck from the penalty spot, but Stephen Notman equalised for Vale when he capitalised on some defensive frailties in the home ranks.
Craig Gallagher restored Loanhead’s lead after the interval when the Vale defence failed to clear their lines and Craig Robertson added a third late on.
Linlithgow Thistle moved to within three points of Premier Division 2 league leaders Fernieside after a 2-0 victory over Lochend at Kettil’stoun Mains Park.
With neither team able to break the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes despite both sides creating several opportunities, Thistle upped the tempo in the second half and got their reward. Scott Greig’s blistering strike from distance found its way into the top corner which gave the home side a slender advantage. Their victory, however, wasn’t secured until the 80th minute when star striker Callum Heeps showed great composure to lob the ball over the Lochend goalkeeper and into the empty net.
Thistle’s Derek Oliver admits his players have produced better performances this season but was delighted with the three points all the same.
Oliver said: “I’m pleased with the result but the performance wasn’t the best, but we’ve had a great start and it’s another important three points. The new assistant manager that has come in has really made the team gel.”