Seaforth HIGHLANDERS ran out 3-0 winners against Tollcross Thistle in the first round of the Logan Cup to avenge a defeat against the same opponents just seven days earlier.
The week before, Thistle had knocked their LEAFA Premier Division 2 rivals out of the Centenary Cup, however it proved to be Seaforth’s day in another knockout competition thanks to second-half goals from Craig Guild, Alex Demalnczuk and Dale Simpson.
After a 15 minute delay to the kick off at Royal High School due to loose goalposts, the Seaforth defence stood strong under huge amounts of pressure but still managed to get to half-time with their clean sheet still intact.
The first Tollcross chance came after six minutes when Lee Heinemeir’s long-range shot hit the right side netting.
A few minutes later, Stewart O’Neill’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was tipped wide by the low diving save of Seaforth goalkeeper David Ferner.
Then, Greig Hogarth combined with O’Neill with a delightful one-two passing move. Hogarth’s first shot was parried and his second effort went narrowly wide of the left post.
After half an hour, Rees Allan played a through ball to O’Neill, who found himself one-on-one with Ferner but his chipped shot went over the crossbar.
Before half-time, O’Neill’s long-range shot was tipped over the bar and Tollcross would be left to rue their missed chances. Seaforth nearly grabbed a goal at the other end before the break, when Demalnczuk played the ball to Guild inside the penalty area, but the latter’s shot hit the side netting.
The game was turned on its head in the second half as Seaforth began to dominate. Within five minutes of the restart they took the lead through fortunate circumstances. Greig Hogarth misplaced a pass across his own penalty area and Seaforth striker Guild intercepted before planting a simple finish into the right hand side of the net.
Seaforth continued to pressure the Tollcross defence with Alan Bannon the driving force from the centre of the midfield. Bannon’s cross found John Higgins, but his header flew over the crossbar.
Tollcross proved as profligate in the second half as they had been in the first, Michael Yuill’s half volley flying wide after O’Neill’s deep cross in what was the visitors’ only real chance after the interval.
Seaforth doubled their lead with 25 minutes still to play when Higgins’ pass beat the offside trap and Demalnczak found himself one on one with Stuart Hogarth. He placed the ball to the left of the former Edinburgh City goalkeeper into the net.
Simpson completed the scoring after 80 minutes, capitalising on another Tollcross defensive mistake. All three Tollcross players named Hogarth were involved in conceding the third goal as the visitors took a straightforward throw-in midway in their own half. Greig threw the ball to his brother Alan, who dwelled on the ball for a second too long, and Seaforth’s Simpson nabbed the ball and rounded goalkeeper Stuart Hogarth before shooting powerfully into the middle of the net.
Alan McKay, the Tollcross Thistle manager, knew that the result could have been completely different if his team had been more clinical in front of goal. He said: “I’m extremely disappointed. In the first half we dominated the game but we didn’t take our chance and Seaforth took theirs. A defensive mistake put them in front and for the second goal one of their players has managed to run past four of ours.”
Seaforth Highlanders manager, Kevin Watt, felt his team’s performance in the first half left a lot to be desired, but praised his team’s efforts in the second half. He said: “We were slightly lucky. Our first-half performance was pretty poor but in the second half we played much better. We didn’t have as much possession as I would have liked but in the second half we took our chances well and created a lot.
“We used the ball a lot better and we’re a lot happier with our second-half performance than our first. We worked really hard and I’m happy with that.
“We’ve won two and lost three in the league so we’ve left it a bit difficult but I think we can push on and win a lot more games. We can hopefully use this as a springboard to pick up some points in the league as well and we’ll hopefully get a few cup runs too.”
Seaforth Highlanders: David Ferner, Gavin Ross, Michael Drever, Alan Bannon, Paul Colford, David Gardner, David Meechan, Alex Demalnczuk, Craig Guild, Dale Simpson, John Higgins, Scott Harris, Fraser Peacock, Paul Johnston.
Tollcross Thistle: Stuart Hogarth, Greig Hogarth, Chris Cornhill, Rees Allan, Alan Hogarth, Callum Roberts, Lee Heinemeir, Stewart O’Neill, Craig Pinnons, Sean Mossman, Ian Adams, Jamie More, Michael Yuill, Adam Robertson, Glenn Waddell, Euan McCraw.