United Alba’s Scottish Cup journey comes to an end

Edinburgh United Alba battled on but in vain
Edinburgh United Alba battled on but in vain
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Edinburgh United Alba’s Scottish Cup journey came to an end as they were convincingly beaten 3-0 by Strathclyde outfit Dennistoun Vale at Paties Road.

Edinburgh United Alba’s Scottish Cup journey came to an end as they were beaten 3-0 by Strathclyde outfit Dennistoun Vale at Paties Road.

Alba got off to a slow start in the cup tie with their opponents immediately looking dangerous going forward. Despite the balance of play, the Edinburgh team had the first opportunity of the game. Kevin Kesson whipped a free kick in from the left and John Diver tried to lash the looping ball with a volley, but his effort could only end up over the top of the bar.

Vale then carved out the perfect response by creating their own moment in front of goal and taking it. Darren O’Donnell did the legwork down the left before squaring the ball for Craig Hughes who powered home from seven yards.

Alba were struggling to dictate the game with their opponents looking well organised across the park, but they still managed to create despite the lack of space. John Kerr sent Sean Lawson past Vale’s right back William Driver and he put the ball into the back post where striker Ciaran Duffy waited. With little time to think on the ball, Duffy sent his shot straight at keeper John Cassidy who pounced on it.

It was a close call and Vale had to be on their toes again minutes later. Diver made space before trying a 25-yard strike at goal, but the ball ended just wide of the left-hand post.

Despite Alba creating the odd opportunity, Vale were in control of proceedings and they scored a second with 15 minutes of the first half to go. As Alba switched off at the back O’Donnell again made his mark, this time sending a composed finish into the back of the net from close range.

It had been a below par showing from the Edinburgh side in the opening 45, and manager Craig Nisbet made sure they knew it at the interval. When they came out in the second half, they had fire in their bellies, but still were struggling to carve out many clear goal-scoring opportunities.

Lloyd Dignan and Johnny Mackay came off the bench and showed grit and determination, but neither could get on the end of balls into the box from Kesson and Kerr as Alba upped their efforts in attack.

With Alba bodies forward chasing the game, Vale capitalised in the tie with 20 minutes remaining. David Milne got in behind the last line of defence with Vale on the break and he rolled the ball past keeper Gary Dalgleish to make it 3-0.

With nothing to lose Alba began to play their best football of the game, and really should have had something to show for their efforts. Diver made a run down the flank before whipping a ball into the box and although Cassidy got a hand to it, nobody was there to turn in the rebound.

Diver did well again down the left wing before cutting in, but his effort at goal was easy enough for the keeper.

With the game gradually fizzling out, Alba continued to press for a goal, but it just wasn’t to be their day. Mackay almost delivered the goods when his cross found the head of Dignan, but his effort finished wide of the goal at the death.

Edinburgh United Alba: Gary Dalgleish, Joe Boyle, Bruce Callan, Neil Dewar, John Diver, Ciaran Duffy, Leslie Hallett, Keith Harper, James Howe, John Kerr, Kevin Kesson, Sean Lawson, Johnny Mackay, Barry Salvona, Danny Smith, Lloyd Dignan.

Dennistoun Vale: John Cassidy, Bryan Booth, Anthony Boyce, William Driver, Mark Gourlay, Ross Gourlay, Stephen Grant, Ian Laing, Thomas McCourt, Barry McKenzie, William McVey, David Milne, Darren O’Donnell, Gary Paterson, Robert Paterson, Duncan Wilson.