Tollcross Thistle’s Scottish Amateur Cup dream ended at the fourth-round stage on Saturday as they crashed to a 4-2 defeat at home to Blantyre Celtic.
The Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur Football (LEAFA) side were regarded as one of the association’s biggest hopes in the competition, but they didn’t perform when it mattered and Blantyre ended up worthy winners.
It could have been an entirely different story, however, had Adam Perry converted a penalty in the eighth minute to put Tollcross in front. Strike partner Michael Yuill was impeded inside the box and Perry stepped up but his weak attempt was saved comfortably by Patrick Finnigan.
Tollcross had no answer to the Blantyre team which gradually settled and they were well on their way into the next round after racking up a 3-0 lead going into the interval.
Centre-half Faron Gribben could have no complaints when referee Alastair Burt awarded a penalty to Blantyre after 25 minutes, with the defender clumsily bringing down Alan Litster from behind and Ross Fletcher put the South Lanarkshire side ahead.
It was 2-0 to Blantyre just three minutes later as Fletcher added to his first goal. The winger found space inside the box and his pinpoint strike found the bottom corner of the net to leave goalkeeper John Nisbet with no chance.
Yuill was close to pulling one back for Tollcross shortly after when he was played through on goal. His shot beat Finnigan, but a Blantyre defender intervened with a goalline clearance which prevented a certain goal.
Kevin Boyle then effectively put the tie out of reach when the little striker somehow jumped ahead of his marker to nod in from a corner for Blantyre’s third after 38 minutes.
Blantyre continued from where they had left off just four minutes after the interval when Litster made it four after a lovely cutback from the impressive Nicholas Robinson.
Tollcross showed a bit of fight and four minutes later they pulled a goal back. Perry found Lee Heinemeier at the back post with an inch-perfect cross and the winger headed into the net.
The home side put three at the back and piled players forward as they attempted to reduce the deficit. Perry reduced Blantyre’s lead to two from the penalty spot after referee Burt had spotted an infringement in the area with 15 minutes to go. Tollcross were unable to threaten Blantyre much more, though, as the visitors held on for a deserved victory and Tollcross manager Alan McKay will be hoping for an improvement in performance when they face Tynecastle in Centenary Cup action this Saturday.
Meanwhile, Premier 1 side Newcraighall Leith Vics are through to the fifth round of the Scottish Amateur Cup after a 3-2 home win over East Kilbride Rolls Royce.
Newcraighall had missed a few chances early on before David Turnbull put them in front in style after 30 minutes with a left-foot volley which almost burst the net.
East Kilbride were reduced to ten men early in the second half, but Newcraighall weren’t able to use the extra man to their advantage and the visitors got their equaliser on 75 minutes.
The home responded well and striker Bob Bennett scored a quick-fire double on 80 and 82 minutes. East Kilbride pulled a goal back in added time to ensure a nervy last few minutes for Vics, but they held on to advance into the fifth round.
Elsewhere, Edinburgh Rose secured their place in the fifth round of the national cup competition with a 4-3 win at Peffermill against Garrowhill Thistle. Murray Milne gave Rose the lead from the penalty spot before the Glasgow team were back on level terms midway through the first half.
Stuart Morrison put the LEAFA side back in front after a good passing move which ended with the striker beating Garrowhill’s goalkeeper from a one-on-one. The lead didn’t last long though as the visitors were level again before the break.
With 20 minutes left, Craig Stewart found himself in the right place to put Rose 3-2 ahead after a cross somehow evaded the Garrowhill defence to find it’s way to the midfielder, who got a touch to divert it goalwards. Darren Smith headed into the net for Rose’s fourth before Garrowhill pulled a goal back. Milne then saw his penalty rattle off the crossbar.