Amateurs: Links United lose out to Fifers

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Burntisland United advanced to the second round of the Foster’s Scottish Amateur Cup after a comfortable 2-0 win over Links United at Broughton High School.

The Fifers, who ply their trade in their association’s Premier Division, started in confident mood and they were two goals ahead within half an hour.

With both sides entering the unknown, having never faced each other before, the tie – as expected – got off to a frantic start as they looked to test each other out.

Burntisland’s Michael Salmond was first to put Links goalkeeper Gordon Stuart under scrutiny with a shot from the edge of the box, which the keeper stopped, though he was helped out by a Links defender who cleared.

Dale Wright then forced a great diving save from his opposite number – Burntisland’s Craig Downie – with a 25-yard drive, which was heading for the bottom corner until Downie got a hand on it to tip it wide.

With Links’ defence all over the place, Burntisland capitalised after 12 minutes. From a ball over the top, Stuart was slow to react and Salmond got on the end of the pass and dinked the ball over the goalkeeper.

The opening goal was always going to be important in this Scottish Cup tie and with Burntisland settled, they were looking for a second. It came from a corner when tall defender Iain Millar nodded into the net just before the half hour mark.

Burntisland were well on top as the match headed towards half-time, but a resurgent Links emerged after the interval intent on getting themselves back into the cup tie.

Indeed, the home side were inches away from pulling a goal back early in the second half when Andrew McGhee’s cross from the left wing found Wright at the back post, but he nodded just wide.

Subsitute Jordan Young then had a chance to reduce the deficit after a long run down the right took him into the box, but his shot at the front post was blocked by Downie.

Those missed chances were certain to cost Links and Burntisland were unlucky not to increase their lead further with Aaron Hutton, Craig McCall and Iain Thomson all denied for the away side in the last 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh Academicals were unlucky not to take their Scottish Cup tie to a replay after narrowly losing 2-1 away to Premier 1 outfit Newcraighall Leith Victoria.

In what would have been a major cup upset, with Accies mid-table in the Edinburgh East league and Vics third in the top division, the away side came close with a spirited display.

Newcraighall went ahead just before half-time when striker David Turnbull rounded off a good move to finish past Accies goalkeeper Mark Blair.

Accies were level minutes after the break after a quick counter attack down the left by Suru Oke set up Thomas McFarlane, whose shot from the edge of the box arrowed into the bottom corner.

With both sides looking for a winner, Accies goalkeeper Blair had to be alert to keep Vics at bay and he produced two great saves to keep the scores level.

Turnbull grabbed his second of the match to put Vics in front midway through the second half but the home side had to survive an Accies onslaught in the last 15 minutes as they went in search of a leveller.

Elsewhere, Musselburgh Ams were made to work hard for victory in their Logan Cup 2nd round tie against Civil Service Strollers but prevailed 7-2 winners in the end.

Edinburgh Central side CS Strollers were intent on giving their Premier 1 opponents a scare and they did – with a battling first-half showing.

Jamie Waugh gave Musselburgh the lead after five minutes only for William Wells to equalise for the Strollers.

Alan Cormet and Dave McLeod put the home side 3-1 ahead but Lyall McGinn pulled one back with a header before the interval.

Premier 1 side Musselburgh’s extra fitness shone through in the second half, though, and two goals by Kieran McCluskey plus one each by Lawrie Flynn and McLeod eased them into the third round.