Gary Sutherland applauded his Craigroyston side’s character as they emerged from 2-0 and 3-1 down to claim a semi-final spot in the Central Taxis League Cup with victory on penalties against Edinburgh University.
Two goals by Joe Aitken and a strike by Dan Ward gave Uni the upper hand, but Craigie fought back through a double by Gary McCormack and a John Dunn goal. Davy Jefferies, Chris Inglis, Paul Greenhill, and Dunn all netted for Craigie in the subsequent shoot-out, but only Stuart McFarlane, Jan Maelger, and Vince Coleman were on the mark for Uni.
“The boys showed real character and desire to get back into the game,” said Craigie assistant boss Sutherland. “Gary McCormack caused them all sorts of problems. Our goalkeeper, Craig Burnside, was superb and had several terrific saves in the game and during the shootout to win the game for us.”
Uni boss Dorian Ogunro was left to reflect on a fixture that proved unkind to his team.
“We were excellent and completely dominated the game,” said Ogunro. “We should have won in normal time and had enough chances to win three games. Unfortunately, two defensive mistakes in the first half let them in. Once it went to penalties, our luck wasn’t there.
“I can’t fault the team, as they put in a great performance. Sometimes you just have to accept that it’s not your day.”
Craigroyston will face the winner of tomorrow’s Stirling University v Spartans tie on Saturday at St Mark’s Park, with a place in the cup final on Saturday May 10 up for grabs.
Craigie’s Sutherland said: “It’s a game the gaffer and I know we are well capable of winning if we show the same application and workrate as we did on Saturday.”
Also in the running for a cup final spot are Central Taxis First Division champions Hibs, who swept aside Berwick Rangers Reserves with a 3-1 win at East Mains through goals by Max Todd, Jordan Sinclair, and Jamie Beaton. Hibs will, on Monday next week, entertain the winner of another postponed tie, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale versus Leith Athletic, which is rescheduled to be played this weekend.
In the Central Taxis First Division, Murray Cheyne’s Ormiston remain in danger of finishing bottom of the table after a 4-0 loss at Peebles Rovers.
Cheyne said: “Peebles played some not bad football but we are a better team than we showed today. We have fallen victim to having a severely depleted squad, but that’s football.”