Ruthless Tranent Colts under 14s quashed any hopes of a cup upset as they brushed aside Alnwickhill to ease into the third round of the Scottish Cup with a 6-0 away victory.
It was always going to be a tough task for Division 3 side Alnwickhill, who came into the fixture on the back of a demoralising 8-0 league hammering, but you couldn’t fault their effort as they chased and harried Tranent all afternoon.
Alwnickhill’s centre-back pairing of Lewis Kerr-Rogers and Dylan Tillbrook held strong until the 15th minute when they were undone by a Tranent corner. Defender Rhys Kerr found himself in a forward position for the away side on the edge of the box and when the ball broke out from the corner, Kerr unleashed a powerful strike which Alnwickhill keeper Nathan Wright was unable to stop.
Tranent doubled their lead soon after when powerful striker Lomond Gray latched on to a defence-splitting pass and fired into the top corner inside the box. Tranent were in goal-hungry mood and would have added to their lead if it hadn’t been for the defending of Lewis Gulland and Callum Henderson, who each put in two superb challenges to keep their side in the tie.
Alnwickhill began the second half brighter than their opponents but they fell further behind when Harry Thomson slid the ball under Wright after Gray had played him in.
Gray then found himself in the right spot for a tap-in and the striker sealed his hat-trick with another poacher’s effort as he slammed in the rebound from Thomson’s initial shot to make it five for Tranent.
Alnwickhill didn’t offer much of a threat going forward but Tranent centre-back Kerr was imperious as he marshalled his defence with aplomb. Darin Waugh sealed the win with his side’s sixth goal after a fine solo run took him into the box and he finished exquisitely past Wright.
Meanwhile, under-19s Division 1 side North Merchiston – flying high domestically – carried their red-hot form into the Scottish Cup with a 9-0 away battering of Bathgate Thistle CFC Blue in the second round.
Hamish Law and Nathan Evans both got in on the act with a hat-trick apiece for Merchie, who were a class above their opponents. Law scored a double inside the first few minutes. His first was a tap-in at the back post after a swift attacking move and his second owed much to his pace as he ran Bathgate’s defence ragged before netting.
The striker wrapped up his hat-trick with another strike before half-time, and Jake MacDonald and Callum Baptie put further daylight between the sides. Evans was next to cash in for Merchie with a brilliant second-half hat-trick and then Callum Windram scored the goal of the match with a superb long run from midfield which ended in a composed finish past the Bathgate goalkeeper.
Bathgate were unable to offer much in return, but did have the opportunity to reduce the arrears with a penalty. They missed, however, summing up their luckless afternoon.
Elsewhere, league rivals Edinburgh United 17s and Peebles met in Scottish Cup action with United enjoying a 2-0 home win.
Played in sunshine, the match gave no indication that October was approaching with both teams passing the ball around on an excellent surface.
Ben Smyth gave United the lead after 17 minutes with a simple finish after the Peebles goalkeeper was unable to hold onto a long-range effort. Peebles had chances of their own in the first period, but they were unable to find the net and United made them pay on 61 minutes. A long throw on the left found the feet of Hugh Brown, who squared it perfectly for Nick Marshall and he fired into the bottom corner to double United’s lead.
Peebles were controversially denied a penalty and a potential route back into the tie on 70 minutes when United captain Grant Belcher felled a Peebles attacker on the edge of the box, which sent him tumbling into the area. The referee deemed the foul to have taken place outside the box and from the resulting free-kick, Peebles hit the bar.