Striker Guillermo Lamarca struck a hat-trick as North Merchiston Vale booked their place in the second round of the RJM Sports East of Scotland Cup with a 4-3 victory over Edinburgh Thistle at Harrison Park.
Championship outfit Vale were made to work hard for the win against their plucky Intermediate league visitors, who refused to lay down to their hosts. Merchie only secured their progression with a late double.
Lamarca was ruthless in front of goal and had his side two goals to the good within the opening 15 minutes when he got on the end of two through balls to slot past Thistle’s goalkeeper.
The visitors pulled one back before the break when Garry Mabon pounced on the loose ball on the edge of the area from Lee Niven’s blocked shot and swept home on 35 minutes.
Thistle pulled level on 60 minutes when Joe Mitchell’s lofted cross into the penalty area was taken under control by substitute striker Gordon McGovern, who fired an unstoppable over-head kick into the left-hand corner.
Lamarca secured his treble ten minutes from time when he headed Alan Bannon’s cross home, but almost straight from kick-off Thistle hit back with McGovern netting from close range after Niven crossed in.
Any hopes of a late comeback were quashed five minutes from time when Luke Leiper pounced to regain Vale’s lead.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Caledonian continued their fine start to the Sunday Premier Division campaign with a 5-0 defeat of Stables to make it four league wins on the trot.
The only surprise was it took 35 minutes for the home side to take the lead. Roaming right-back Alex Stewart sparked the opener with a run down the wing before laying the ball on a plate for Nigel Hanson on the edge of the box and he fired home
Less than a minute into the second half, Caley doubled their advantage when Terry Pearson’s through ball played in Chris Jones to slot into the bottom corner.
Nick Byrne caught Stables’ keeper off guard with a 45-yard drive for 3-0, before Sam Ingram came off the bench, and to the delight of manager Andrew Moffat, capitalised on a defensive error to ruthlessly find the net from Chris Dolan’s pass.
Caley saved the best until last when substitute Stephen Murray surged from the half-way line before finding the bottom corner to score his first goal for the club.
Redhall Star were 3-0 winners over Shotts Thistle on home soil as they continued their impressive start to the season in the Championship.
Stevie Mullen got the opener for Star when he was picked out by Josh McCabe’s incisive pass and struck across goal and into the far corner.
Scott Aitken doubled their lead from a free-kick after he was brought down, before McCabe set up Mullen again after a fine run as the striker rounded Shotts’ keeper to find the net.
Edinburgh Univeristy secured their place in the second round of the East of Scotland Cup with a 6-1 home rout of Raploch Hearts.
Bruce Scott hit four for the students, while further goals from Fraser Guthrie and Fergus Spence ensured a dominant victory.