Last season’s East of Scotland Cup finalists both fell at the first hurdle despite valiant efforts against Lowland League foes.
Cup holders Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale were defeated by a solitary strike from Stirling University’s Dan Fitzpatrick at Saughton Enclosure midway through the second half, despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Kevin Swain to keep the ball out.
Lothian missed a series of opportunities to draw level, with Willis Hare and Scott Moffatt both going agonisingly close for the East of Scotland League Champions.
Lothian manager Raymond Carr felt his team were robbed of a result in the aftermath, believing his side should also have been awarded a penalty.
“It’s a squad with an average age of 21 and they feel like they have been robbed,” said a gutted Carr. “Whether it was down to bad luck or a lack of composure, we created a host of chances in the last 25 minutes and forced seven corners, so we had them on the back foot.
“I felt we should have had a penalty when Scott Moffatt was fouled and Willie Hare struck the post having done everything right to set himself up for a strike at goal. I also felt they were a bit lucky to end the match with eleven on the park, but the referee makes the decisions and you have to accept it.”
Carr’s side now begin their East of Scotland League season against their rivals and tenants at Saughton Enclosure, Tynecastle this Saturday.
“Everyone is looking forward to that,” he said. “Both sides will know the surface and with a few of the Tynecastle boys having a Hutchison Vale background it should be a really good game.
“Today we saw once again that the gap between the East of Scotland and Lowland League is not a big one, and we’re not going to win every game we play.”
Meanwhile, Lothian will face Girvan in the Second Preliminary Round of The William Hill Scottish Cup at Saughton on September 5, after the Ayrshire club’s 3-0 win over Amateur Cup Winners Harestanes at the weekend.
There was also heartbreak for Leith Athletic, who lost 4-3 to Gala Fairydean Rovers despite going in 2-1 at the interval at Netherdale.
Having claimed the scalp of Stirling University and Edinburgh City in last season’s route to the final, Athletic – who have won their three opening Qualifying League Cup games – were not fazed by the prospect of facing Lowland opposition.
But despite first half goals from Neil Lowson, Grant Burns and a first goal of the season for Gavin Kneeshaw in the second period, Gala rallied late on with Ross Aitchison netting a double to earn a second round tie against Stirling University.
Craigroyston booked an East of Scotland Cup second-round clash with Lowland League side Vale of Leithen after a 4-2 win over Coldstream at St Mark’s Park.
Andy Brown’s side had to come from a goal down after Hagen Steele put the visitors ahead after just six minutes.
Craigroyston’s response was instantaneous when Craig Dickson equalised two minutes later and he increased the lead on the half-hour mark when his shot was fumbled over the line.
Steven Moncur made it 3-1 two minutes later after Euan McIntosh had hit the post for Craigroyston and although Coldstream’s record goal scorer from last season, John Crawford, pulled one back on 47 minutes, Moncur netted his second of the afternoon on 67 minutes to complete the scoring.
“We played some really good football today and both Craig and Steven could have scored a few more for us,” said Andy Brown, who has signed Oliver Fleming on a one-year loan deal from Raith Rovers.
Ormiston secured a second-round berth against Lowland League champions Edinburgh City after a 3-2 win over Heriot-Watt University on Saturday at Recreation Park.
Michael Osbourne scored two goals for the East Lothian outfit – one direct from a free-kick – with Chris Robertson also on the scoresheet.
“We deserved to win the game but Heriot-Watt never make it easy and today was no exception,” said Ormiston boss Brian Johnston.
Chris Donnelly netted the goals for the Students, with one coming from the penalty spot.
Image Printers Cup East of Scotland Second Round Draw: Civil Service Strollers/Whitehill Welfare v Selkirk, Duns v Edinburgh University, East Kilbride v Tynecastle/Eyemouth United, Edinburgh City v Ormiston, Gala Fairydean Rovers v Stirling University, Preston Athletic v Gretna 2008, Spartans/Burntisland Shipyard v Hawick Royal Albert, Vale of Leithen v Craigroyston.