Tollcross Thistle booked their place in the semi-finals of the East of Scotland Cup with a convincing 3-1 win over Edinburgh South Vics at Saughton.
Top-flight Tollcross proved too strong for Vics, who weren’t able to repeat the heroics of the Champions Cup which they won back in August. Their long unbeaten run – stretching back to the start of pre-season – came to an end on Saturday.
In what was a last-eight tie played at the home park of both sides, Tollcross were eager to get off the mark early and they found the back of the net after 20 minutes. Midfielder Stewart O’Neill’s low ball to the back post found striker Chris Cairns and he knocked home.
Vics had yet to trouble Tollcross goalkeeper John Nisbet, yet they soon found themselves two behind as Rees Allan’s free-kick into the area was prodded home by Nick Coull. It was a sloppy goal to concede from Vics’ point of view. Nisbet was soon called into action, with Vics’ Lee Waterston forcing the towering stopper into a good save, while Tollcross struck the bar in search of a third before the break.
Riding high at the top of the Lothian East table with eight victories from eight, Vics are clearly a good side. They showed glimpses of their talent after the interval, creating numerous opportunities, but found Nisbet in inspired form. They did finally breach Tollcross’ goal on 60 minutes when striker Paul Murray took the initiative and fired home from inside the area.
Tollcross weren’t to be denied their last-four spot, however, and sealed the win soon after when Cairns’ ball found Scott Millar, who was ruthless in his finish past goalkeeper Graham O’Brien.
Standing in Tollcross’ path to the final is an away tie against Bonnybridge or Stenhousemuir AFC and manager Alan McKay is hopeful his side can go all the way. He said: “We are delighted to be in the last four after a tough game against undefeated Vics and we are determined to get to the final.”
Salvesen also secured their spot in the semi-finals on Saturday as they came through a hazardous away tie against Syngenta to prevail 3-2 winners. Goals from Jaimie Butler, Greig Hogarth (penalty) and a 92nd-minute Dean Cunningham strike got them the victory, with their opponents in the last four yet to be confirmed with two ties still outstanding.
• Barca Milton 97 march on in Scottish Cup
Barca Milton 97 continue to fly the flag for LEAFA alongside Craigshill Thistle in the Scottish Amateur Cup as they sealed their place in the last 16 of the national competition with a 1-0 victory at St Mungo’s AFC.
Scott Smith lashed home an 87th-minute spot-kick to set up an away tie against Motherwell-based outfit Cambusnethan Talbot AFC.
Sandys put the disappointment of their Scottish Cup exit behind them as they took a big step towards the Premier Division title with a comprehensive 3-1 victory away to nearest challengers Edinburgh Rose. The win extended their lead at the summit to eight points.
St Bernards also took a step closer to securing their league crown with a 9-1 thumping of Newcraighall Leith Vics in the Championship.
Pencaitland, meanwhile, leapfrogged Musselburgh Windsor into second in the Lothian East standings with a 3-0 home triumph.
In the Sunday section, West End United were 4-0 winners over Burgh Vale, while Meadowbank Wednesday edged out South Edinburgh 4-2.