A TEDIOUS Centenary Cup tie between Mashucubia and Clermiston Star had flattered to deceive until a moment of madness sparked a pitch invasion at Silverknowes and three players were sent off.
At one stage, the second-round match looked as though it was likely to be abandoned after spectators from both sides flooded the pitch, but credit must be given to to referee Kenny Swan who restored order before play continued, and Clermiston held on nervously for a 3-2 win with just eight men.
A much-changed Clermiston side, who had made nine alterations from their East of Scotland Cup defeat – clearly taking precautions ahead of this weekend’s Scottish Cup fourth round – took a first-half lead through Lee Greenan after Andrew Balloch’s shot from the edge of the box deflected off his team-mate on route to Nick Lowery’s goal.
Mashucubia were level after 20 minutes, though, when Michael Burns capitalised on Clermiston goalkeeper Scott Gibson’s error when failing to clear, and the striker rolled the ball into the net.
However, Edinburgh East side Clermiston restored their lead before half time through David Lewis. The striker did well to get his shot away after Lowery had closed down the angle, with Mashucubia’s Rodrigo Tena trying in vain to clear his curled shot off the line.
Early in the second-half, Clermiston went 3-1 ahead when Grant Cullen’s delivered an inch-perfect cross from the left and Richard Wilson was ideally positioned to side-footed into the net.
Graeme Stewart was given his marching orders for Clermiston on 70 minutes after his last-man challenge brought down a Mashucubia attacker on the edge of the box.
Mashucubia were unable to make much of their free kick on the edge of the box, but minutes later Gabriel Kovaclio found the bottom corner from inside the area with just ten minutes left.
Josh Little had the chance to send the tie to extra time with just over five minutes remaining but his low free kick from the edge of the box was gathered easily by Gibson.
Then, from out of nowhere Andrew Morris of Clermiston and Burns went head to head on the edge of the box before Clermiston’s David Menzies got involved as the pitch became swarmed with spectators.
Referee Swan brought an end to the brawl when he sent off Morris and Menzies of Clermiston and Mashucubia’s Burns, before Clermiston held on to set up a third-round home tie against The Spartans.
Meanwhile, Fernieside secured their first league win of the season and a vital three points in LEAFA’s Premier 1 with a 2-0 win away to The Spartans.
Alistair Anderson fired a double for Fernie to increase the gap between themselves and basement club Loanhead MW to four points. Striker Anderson put the visitors in front early in the first half after he cut in from the left, beating a couple of Spartans defenders before firing across goal into the bottom corner. He then produced a carbon copy for his second shortly after, to double his side’s advantage.
Fernieside manager Stevie Shanley was pleased with the “overdue” league win.
He said: “ I felt that we deserved the win. Hopefully the win can spur us on as it was important to bounce back from getting knocked out of the Scottish Cup recently.”
Elsewhere, struggling Premier 1 side East Linton eased into the second round of the Miller Cup with a 3-0 win at Memorial Park over Edinburgh Central League’s Melville Rovers.
Both sides haven’t been getting results recently in their respective leagues, but Jamie Wilson put East Linton ahead on 25 minutes after cutting in from the right wing before his shot got the better of the Rovers goalkeeper.
East Linton were in control and soon doubled their lead, Wilson claiming his second on 55 minutes when he tapped in from close range. Craig McIntosh sealed the win with a delightful 25-yard strike into the top corner with 20 minutes remaining.
East Linton secretary John Baptie was pleased to get back to winning ways.
He said: “We were on top for the majority of the game and were rarely troubled. It was a pretty comfortable win in the end.”