Lowland League duo Whitehill Welfare and Spartans both suffered losses on the road in the William Hill Scottish Cup second round.
Whitehill were aiming to make the third round for the first time since season 2010/11 but it was always going to be a struggle for the Lowland League’s bottom club to get anything out of a trip to League Two outfit Elgin City, other than the chance for some team bonding on the long bus journey.
“We went in as huge underdogs therefore we set out to stay in the game and then have a real go in the second half and maybe sneak something,” said midfielder Ryan Gay.
“Unfortunately, conceding the second goal right on the stroke of half-time gave us a hard task. The game could have been a lot different if their keeper hadn’t managed to pull off the save from my free-kick. However, in the second half we more than matched them.
“They are a decent side and punished a couple of small mistakes we made. I was very proud of our players and the recent results are not reflective of the team we are. I am more than confident we will get our season really going from here.”
Greg Morrison fired the Borough Briggs club ahead after 12 minutes after goalkeeper Ross Jardine had initially saved.
Whitehill’s best chance of a goal looked to be from free-kick specialist Gay, with the former Penicuik Athletic midfielder twice bringing home keeper Thomas McHale into action in the first half.
Welfare had held their own in the opening period, but they went in two behind at the interval as Darryl McHardy netted on the stroke of half-time.
The visitors were reduced to ten men with 20 minutes remaining when Kevin Keane saw red, although the Rosewell side kept plugging away and came close to pulling a goal back when on-loan Berwick Rangers youngster Marc Malloy pulled an effort just wide.
Spartans suffered a 3-1 loss at Lowland rivals East Kilbride despite taking an early lead through Adam Corbett, as a Craig Malcolm double and Sean Winter strike set up another home tie against Gala Fairydean Rovers for managerless Kilby.