LOTHIAN Thistle Hutchison Vale manager Raymond Carr hailed a “sensational” result as the Captial side knocked Montrose out of the Scottish Cup and dedicated the victory to a trio of players who missed the match.
The East of Scotland League side travelled north for their second-round replay with the League Two outfit without a clutch of key players through injury and suspension, including captain Grant Munro, Eddie Mearns and Scott Moffat.
However, Carr’s shock troops defied the odds by drawing 1-1 in normal time thanks to a Scott Gormley strike and then scoring seven minutes into extra-time through Willis Hare to seal a 2-1 win and book a winnable third-round tie away at Huntly.
“This result is dedicated to the boys we were missing tonight,” Carr said, “and it’s a sensational result for everyone connected with the club. I’m thrilled for everybody.”
On the prospect of taking on Highland League outfit Huntly, Carr added: “We won’t be fazed by them.”
Lothian Thistle, who knocked out Super League champions and crack Junior outfit Kelty Hearts in the last round and drew 1-1 in the original tie at Saughton Enclosure two weekends ago, made a bright start at a foggy Links Park, with Scott Taylor-McKenzie and John Kerr both going close.
But Lothian were in dreamland after 15 minutes when Gormley curled in his shot into the far corner after seeing his initial shot blocked by Montrose defender Terry Masson.
The League Two side threatened on 25 minutes when Scott Johnston fired a shot wide, but the equaliser for the home side came on 31 minutes in some style when Masson fired into the bottom corner with a well struck effort from 25 yards.
However, Lothian mastered the 3G surface very well and were worthy to go in level at the break with both Taylor McKenzie and Matthew Joint impressing in the full back berths.
Masson was lucky not to receive his marching orders for a two footed lunge on Darren Smith at the start of the second half. Gary Fraser then flashed a header wide from a Ferguson cross on 59 minutes as Lothian survived an anxious moment, although they continued to harry their opponents in the middle of the park with the hosts guilty of some sloppy passing.
Montrose centre half Andrew Steeves was almost punished for a slack pass back to Ross Salmon that Gormley almost seized upon but the keeper spared his blushes.
Lothian could have had a penalty with five minutes of normal time to spare when O’Donnell was clattered by Salmon on the byline before Kevin Swain made a superb save to deny Fraser.
Lothian missed a golden chance to win the game on 88 minutes when Ryan Fox and Dean Cummings were thwarted by a double save from Salmon as the game went into extra-time.
Hare had the first chance in extra-time with a shot that was stabbed wide as the game remained very open for both sides, but he put Lothian ahead on 97 minutes with a deflected effort as the Lothian bench went into delirium.
Swain then touched over a looping Fraser effort in the second period of extra time as Lothian survived an anxious last 15 minutes to cap off a sensational result.
Montrose: Salmon, Harwood, Ferguson, Masson (Milne) Pascazio, Steeves, Johnston, McCord (Malin), Fraser, Campbell (Mallagaray) Webster. Subs; Reoch, Reid, McLeod, Milne, Butter
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale: Swain, Wilkes, O’Donnell, Crawford, Taylor-McKenzie, Smith (Fox), Kerr, Cummings, Brown, Moore, Gormley (Hare) Subs; Ogilvie, Joint, Fox, McDonough.