Edinburgh University endured a difficult afternoon at The Pennypit on Saturday as they lost 0-5 to Hurlford United in their William Hill Scottish Cup preliminary round replay.
Goals from Neil McGregor, Steven Masterton, Paul McKenzie and a double from Stewart Kean ensured passage for the Scottish Junior Cup holders.
Edinburgh Uni were forced to play the final 33 minutes with ten men after Tim Rawlinson was somewhat harshly shown a straight-red card by referee Duncan Williams.
Uni boss Dorian Ogunro revealed he was expecting a better performance from his side following last week’s 2-2 draw.
He said: “I didn’t really expect us to play like that to be honest. Last week we played well – today we didn’t start very well. I don’t know why, maybe the occasion got to the boys but we didn’t do the basic things that we normally do.”
Hurlford thought they had opened the scoring in spectacular style after just seven minutes. Ross Robertson sent a stunning volley flying into the top corner from distance, only for the referee to penalise the striker for controlling with his arm. The East Ayrshire club did take the lead on 13 minutes when centre-back Neil McGregor was left with a simple close-range finish after Uni keeper Mark Tait could only parry Robertson’s header.
The home side lacked a cutting edge when they found themselves in promising positions, and Hurlford doubled their advantage three minutes before the break. Robertson sent a wicked low delivery across goal and Kean returned the ball into the far corner.
The tie was beyond doubt five minutes after the restart. Calum Watt – whose effort had come back off the post just seconds earlier – saw his strike deflected into the path off Steven Masterton, who fired low across Tait.
Things went from bad to worse for Ogunro’s men seven minutes later when Rawlinson was sent for an early bath after a late tackle on Robertson, although the midfielder had appeared to slip as he made the challenge.
Kean missed the chance to make it 4-0 from the spot on the hour mark after Robertson was tripped in the area, just beating a Uni defender to the ball. The former St Mirren man stepped up but was thwarted by a fine save from Tait who kept the ball out with his legs.
Kean was not be denied for long however as he pounced on Duncan Black’s short backwards header to lob the ball first-time over Tait for Hurlford’s fourth on 66 minutes.
It was not the Peffermill side’s day, and that was typified by the manner of the visitors’ fifth goal. The ball fell to Paul McKenzie on the edge of the area, and his curling effort bounced off the underside of the bar and, according to the assistant on the far side, over the line to complete the scoring.
Ogunro felt his team were very much in the match until conceding the second shortly before half-time, but admitted they were simply outclassed after. “We gave them the initiative but until even the second goal, there was nothing really in the game. Second half we’ve got to be a bit more aggressive but they’re a top side.”
Ogunro knew his charges were facing a long second half following Rawlinson’s sending-off – a decision he disagreed with. “It’s difficult when you’ve gone down to ten men, which I don’t think was a sending off – he’s clearly slipped. I’m surprised that the referee gave it.”
Edinburgh University: Tait, MacFarlane, Sutherland, Flett, Black, Daniels, Ward, Rawlinson, Guthrie (Willaghan 55), Hodgson (Darvil 59), Patterson (Frain 34).
Hurlford Utd: Brown, Cameron, Byrne, McGregor, Robertson, Masterton, McKenzie, Cochrane (Wilson 65), Kean (McHarrie 76), Robertson (Dempster 69), Watt.