A double from Johnnie Niven helped Tollcross Thistle to defeat Premier League rivals Sandys 3-1 in the second round of the RJM Sports East of Scotland Cup.
Last season’s finalists proved to be too strong for the reigning Premier League champions on the 3G at Saughton.
The match started at a frantic pace as both sides looked to gain an early advantage in the cup tie. The hosts broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark through Sam Scott. He was left unmarked by the Sandys defence and he duly took advantage to fire home Stewart O’Neill’s free-kick.
Both sides squandered further chances ahead of the interval, but it was Tollcross who registered the crucial second goal after the break.
O’Neill got his second assist of the afternoon in the 60th minute when his through ball to Niven wasn’t dealt with by Sandys’ left back and Niven pounced to fire home.
The visitors pulled a goal back ten minutes later through former Musselburgh Athletic man Connor Spowart. The ex-Burgh ace shifted the ball on to his right foot and sent a powerful strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Any hopes of Sandys comeback in the cup tie were extinguished five minutes later, however, as Niven was alert to capitalise on a defensive error to complete his brace.
• Queensferry race past Colts
Lothian West outfit Queensferry Athletic booked their place in the third round of the East of Scotland Cup with a comprehensive 3-0 win on home soil over Westfield Colts.
Queensferry were dominant from kick-off, with the only surprise being it took them until midway through the first half to break the deadlock.
The opener came thanks to tireless work from frontman Danny Gemmell who forced the Westfield rearguard into making an error. The striker harried a visiting defender, who suffered a lapse in concentration, leading to a mix-up between himself and his goalkeeper, with Gemmell taking full advantage to net.
It didn’t take long for Queensferry to make their dominance count shortly after the interval. Gemmell was involved again, this time playing a quick one-two with Iain Harrison, before Harrison cut the ball back for Lewis Bain who sent an unstoppable effort into the bottom left-hand corner.
Queensferry’s progression to round three was secured 15 minutes from time, when Ryan Beveridge followed up the rebound from Gemmell’s close range attempt, to hammer home.
• Salvesen are six shooters
East of Scotland Cup holders Salvesen continued their impressive start to the season with a 6-0 dismantling of Clackmannan Community.
Jamie Butler put the Championship leaders ahead when he lobbed the visiting keeper.
Dean Cunnigham then followed with a fine strike of his own, volleying into the net just before the break to double the lead.
Salvesen continued to dominate after the interval with striker Michael Yuill netting following a through ball, before Omar Ali won his side a penalty and then netted from 12 yards.
Matthew Duncan made it five for the rampant home side, before keeper Tim Capstick preserved their clean sheet when he saved a penalty. Ali tapped in late on to make it six and round off an emphatic afternoon.