Civil Service Strollers through to South Region Challenge Cup final

Steven Froude put Civil Service Strollers ahead in extra-time. Pic: Thomas Brown
Steven Froude put Civil Service Strollers ahead in extra-time. Pic: Thomas Brown
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Civil Service Strollers will play BSC Glasgow in Sunday’s South Region Challenge Cup final after their 4-2 extra-time victory over Vale of Leithen at Christie Gillies Park.

Alex Cunningham now has the opportunity to end his tenure as manager on a high before handing over to former Edinburgh City boss Gary Jardine.

It was the Innerleithen side, though, who made the breakthrough in the Capital when Tommy Patterson made no mistake from the penalty spot.

However, Strollers levelled before the half-time interval as Andy Mair’s terrific strike flew past former Spartans keeper Ross Gilpin in the Vale goal.

A defensive mix up then allowed Lyle Smith to restore Vale’s lead. However, Cunningham’s men sent the match into extra time as Jack Downie’s well-placed effort nestled in the bottom corner.

The home then went ahead for the first time in the tie when Steven Froude fired Strollers into a 3-2 lead at the start of the second half of extra time.

The visitors tried to respond but former Leith Athletic striker James Hainey, who has endured a frustrating first season at the club through injury, had other ideas as he ensured Strollers’ passage to the final with a rasping drive from 25 yards that left Gilpin helpless.

In the East of Scotland League King Cup second round, Tynecastle secured their place in Friday’s semi-final after they edged past Coldstream 2-1 at Saughton Enclosure. The King Cup winners face Preston Athletic in the last four.

They had to come from behind however, when the Borders club gained the upper hand after half an hour.

However, Craig O’Reilly drew the home side level two minutes before the break and Ryan Mayer won it for Stevie Vinter’s outfit on the hour. Tynie are still in the hunt for a cup double before Vinter steps down due to work commitments.

Leith Athletic will look to secure their place in the last four when they host Stirling University at Peffermill tonight.

The winner will travel to league champions Kelty Hearts in the last four on Friday night.

Kelty have been promoted to the Lowland League after a 10-0 aggregate victory over South of Scotland League champions Threave Rovers.