Civil Service Strollers claimed their third Lowland League scalp in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup after a 2-1 win over Vale of Leithen to progress to the semi-finals.
Having already knocked out Whitehill Welfare and Selkirk, the East of Scotland side were not intimidated at the prospect of going up against Mikey Lawson’s outfit, who were playing their first competitive fixture since November 28.
But Alex Cunningham’s side started on the front foot at a soggy Victoria Park and took the lead through a superb individual goal from Jordan Finnie after 27 minutes. Finnie has now netted in all of Strollers’ last four matches.
On 55 minutes, Strollers doubled their lead when David Stewart netted on the rebound from a penalty and although Jay Stevens hit a late reply for Vale, Strollers will be in the hat for the semis along with a trio of Lowland League outfits – East Kilbride, Gala Fairydean Rovers and Spartans. The ties are scheduled for Wednesday, February 17.
“The boys did really well on a very tough playing surface and I’m delighted for them,” said Cunningham. “Jordan Finnie’s goal was another superb solo effort. He’s beaten three Vale players to make it happen and he’s in really good form for us just now.
“It can be difficult trying to keep everyone happy when you’re on a good run as everyone wants to play, but we have a friendly match arranged this week and a lot of league games to catch up on so there will be opportunities for everyone.”
In the East of Scotland League, Spartans EoS missed the chance to cut Leith’s 15 point lead at the top after a 2-1 defeat to Burntisland Shipyard at Ainslie Park.
Blair Atkinson netted his 13th goal of the season after 16 minutes to put Spartans ahead, with Ian Thomson going close for the hosts in the second half.
That miss was to prove costly as two late strikes from Kevin Masson ensured the points for Shipyard.
Ormiston fell to a 2-1 defeat to Coldstream at East Mains Training Complex after the match was switched from their Recreation Park ground. George Cunningham netted for Ormiston in the first half, but second-half goals from Paul Crawford and Ash Langford ensured the points for the Steamers, with Shaun Hill impressing for Ormiston following his loan from Haddington.
Heriot-Watt-University were 1-0 winners at Craigroyston, with Chris Donnelly netting his 20th goal of the season. Steven Togneri was sent off for Craigroyston.
All other East of Scotland League matches were postponed.