Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale manager Raymond Carr believes his players have to learn to be more ‘streetwise’ despite earning a replay in the William Hill Scottish Cup second preliminary-round against Girvan.
The two sides will do battle again this weekend in Ayrshire after the East of Scotland League champions were pegged back twice at Saughton Enclosure.
Dean Cummings netted both goals for Lothian but will miss Saturday’s replay after a late dismissal for dissent.
The former Tynecastle player thought he had won it with 13 minutes to spare when he headed in from a Darren Smith cross.
But Lothian were penalised just moments later when Eddie Mearns was cautioned for handball on the edge of the area with the referee pointing to the spot.
Paul Cameron stuck away the penalty for the visitors, although Lothian missed two golden opportunities late on that would have secured a place in the next round.
Carr was pleased that his young side managed to handle the physical strength of their Junior opponents but insists they must learn to cut out their indiscipline and be more shrewd against stronger opposition.
“We scored the second goal when we were in the ascendancy and for that reason there is disappointment that we are not in the next round of the cup,” Carr said.
“We were sluggish at the start of the second half but we came into it, we matched them for possession and chances created and unfortunately, their player has flicked the ball up against Eddie’s arms when they’ve been at his side and managed to get a penalty and been very clever in the process.
“Experienced players can be a bit more cute and we’ve got to match that, we need to concentrate on the game in hand and stop arguing with each other when things aren’t going well.”
Carr admitted he didn’t have a good view of the contentious decision but is anticipating a completely different challenge at Hamilton Park next week.
“The replay will be a different type of game, we’ll have to alter our style a bit but I’m confident we can go through there and give another good account of ourselves and come away with a positive result,” he said.
Girvan were first to threaten after just 50 seconds when Robert Paterson shot over from inside the area after Kevin Swain parried his initial strike.
But it was the hosts who took the lead against the run of play on 11 minutes when straight from a Swain kick out, Cummings’ shot on the turn flew into the net.
Lothian’s lead lasted for just fifteen minutes when Paterson equalised after Grant Munro misjudged the flight of the ball and the Girvan striker was on hand to prod the ball past Swain.
Scott Gormley went close for Lothian just before the break after a neat one-two with Smith ended in the striker clipping the ball off the outside of the post.
The visitors made a stronger start to the second half with Paterson and danger man David Cunningham going close and although Cummings’ header looked to have won it for Lothian, Cameron’s penalty ensured both sides will be in the hat for tomorrow’s first-round draw at Hampden.
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale: Swain, Moore, Taylor-McKenzie, Crawford, Munro, Mearns, Hare (Wilson), Cummings, Moffat, Gormley (O’Donnell), Smith. Subs; Wilkes, Gibb, Joint, Cook.
Girvan: Douglas, Maxwell, Mossie, Cargill, Danny Cunningham, Cameron, Reid, Dunwoodie, David Cunningham, Paterson (Allan), Dyer (D.Boyd). Subs; C.Boyd, Marshall, Nairn, Gallacher, Wilson.