Dalkeith Miners Welfare were resounding winners and led the way for six more Lothians teams to progress into the third round of the Scottish (Saturday) Amateur Cup.
The Midlothian side and fellow Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur FA side Victoria Loco were in a group of half a dozen teams to win through in the national tourney.
Fernieside, East Linton, Sandys and Arniston MW also joined 16 LEAFA sides who had progressed a week previously to the third round, the first stage of the competition that sees teams from all over Scotland pitted against each other following two regional draws.
Dalkeith overwhelmed Fife opponents Bayside Ams 4-1 after a 5-5 draw seven days beforehand, and club secretary James Steedman admits it was in spite of a below-par performance that the Miners came out on top after trailing 1-0 at half-time.
“The first game was one of these days where it was all attack and no defence, so the replay was just a matter of getting through,” said Steedman. “It was hard work, but we made it hard work. First half, we were shocking. The managers told them a few home truths at half time, and we showed two or three moments of quality in the second half to win the game.”
Within a quarter of an hour of the restart, Dalkeith turned the game around, Mark Brown and Craig Brown with the goals. The latter doubled his account midway through the second period and Laurie Flynn struck in the final quarter of an hour to seal a handsome victory for the hosts. Steedman, whose club was able to name a full squad for the first time in weeks following player departures and holidays, is hoping for a home tie in the next round.
He said: “Everybody likes an away tie for the social side, but ideally a home tie would be great because of the cost implication more than anything. You want a good run, but you want to enjoy it as well. It’s unlikely we’ll win the Scottish, but we’ll take anybody in the next round.”
At other second round replays in the Lothians, Craigmillar side Sandys edged a ten-goal encounter with Loganlea United 6-4, and East Linton thrashed Forth Thistle 5-1 in East Lothian.
There were casualties among clubs in and around the Capital, with Tranent Juniors losing 3-2 at home to Kirkcaldy Rovers.
Dunedin Athletic and Bathgate Thistle both fell to Borders sides in Hawick Waverley and Linton Hotspur respectively, and Edinburgh East league side Civil Service Strollers lost heavily at their Edinburgh West counterparts Victoria Loco by 5-2.
Strollers emerged the more lively team from the outset but were unable to capitalise on their early pressure. Brothers Shaun and Robbie Dunn combined at the other end for the latter to hand Loco the lead, then James Spence and Paul Dickie extended the hosts’ lead to 3-0 by the break.
Richard Lane struck a fourth for Loco before two consolation goals for Strollers sandwiched Shaun Dunn’s penalty.
Loco player-manager Kevin Dunn is pinning his hopes on a trip along the M8 to ignite east-west rivalry in the next round of the competition.
“We would like a Glasgow team as all the players here are Jambos and Hibs fans, so we’ve got a thing against the Glaswegians!” joked the 25-year-old midfielder. “I think we can go pretty far if we keep our mind to it. We’re lacking a bit of fitness but football-wise, we keep the ball down as we do at training. It’s a new team, and we can do well. I wouldn’t rule us out of getting through another couple of rounds.”
The ex-Barca-Milton, Whitson Star and Heriot Vale player said he was optimistic of success this term but that the league campaign represented a greater priority than cup competitions.
“I think we’ll definitely get promoted,” he said.
“We’ve had a few silly draws, but we create loads of chances. I want to get out of the bottom league first – that’s my highest priority – but if we get a good run in the cups, that’s a bonus.”
Meanwhile, the all-Lothians clash between Whitson and Newcraighall Leith Vics was postponed and is rescheduled to take place this Saturday at Wardie.
City sides Edinburgh Rose, Edinburgh South Vics, Lochend Ams, Lothian Star, Standard Life, Tollcross Thistle, and Cramond all progressed in amateur football’s most prestigious competition ten days ago, joining fellow Lothians clubs Newtongrange Star ‘A’, Loanhead MW and Musselburgh Ams at the next stage of the national tourney.
West Lothian outfits LBG Strollers, East Calder United, Linlithgow Thistle, Livingston AFC, Uphall Station, and Whitburn also enter the draw for the third round.