Sandys need extra time to see off league rivals Star in cup tie

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Sandys progressed into the fourth round of the East of Scotland Cup after beating league rivals Whitson Star 4-2 at Saughton 3G.

Both teams, from Lothian and Edinburgh AFA Premier Division 1, scored two goals in the second half to take the match into extra time. But Sandys, the holders of the Logan Cup and Cairns Cup, shone in extra time to win through to the next round.

Midfielder Scott Thomson was unlucky to be on the losing side, after scoring both Whitson goals in spectacular fashion. His team’s first opportunity came after three minutes when John McGinn played a chipped through ball into the path of Gordon Wilson, inside the penalty area, but his shot was parried away by Sandys goalkeeper David Bald.

After 13 minutes, Sandys’ Graham Mills dribbled past the Whitson defence and his powerful low shot was saved by the impressive Whitson goalkeeper Scott Walker.

David Garries missed a good opportunity to put Whitson Star ahead on the half hour mark. His shot went narrowly wide of the left post from the right hand side of the area after Peter Newby’s pass.

Walker continued his heroics in the Whitson Star goal two minutes after the restart. He blocked Thomas Crease’s low shot and reacted well to catch Robert McKenzie’s rebound attempt.

Sandys found a breakthrough after 50 minutes from the penalty spot. Whitson defender Mike Riley was booked for a high tackle on James Reid and James Clarkson powered his penalty into the bottom left corner of the net. But Whitson Star equalised nine minutes later. Bald was left helpless after Thomson’s 25 yard free-kick dipped beautifully into the top left corner of the net.

Thomson had an opportunity to score another goal with 19 minutes of normal time remaining. This time, the set piece specialist’s free-kick went the wrong side of the left post.

With 76 minutes played, McKenzie nearly scored a spectacular goal for Sandys. His dribble started well inside his own half, and he drove all the way into the penalty area. However, the move deserved a better finish and his shot from ten yards went into the side-netting.

Two minutes later, another spectacular goal for Thomson put Whitson in the driving seat. He picked up a pass on the left side of the penalty area before attempting a delicate lob over Bald, which ended up bouncing into the right side of the goal.

Sandys left it late to find an equaliser. With three minutes remaining, McKenzie took advantage of a Whitson defensive mix up, chipping the ball over Walker before placing it into the open goal.

The match went into extra time and Whitson Star had a number of opportunities to take the lead for the third time.

On 97 minutes, Blair Cormac’s shot from close range was struck straight into the arms of Bald and, six minutes later, Gordon Wilson’s speculative 40-yard effort bounced off the crossbar.

On the verge of half time, Riley’s shot went over the bar from 20 yards out.

The second half of extra time was dominated by Sandys. McKenzie’s free-kick was launched into the penalty area and David Aitkenhead rose highest to head the ball into the top left corner of the goal from seven yards.

They put the match beyond doubt five minutes later, McKenzie set up sub Daniel Waddell, who hammered the ball into the net from close range.

Whitson Star manager George Thompson felt that their lack of bodies was crucial to the result. He said: “We were four players short and I think if we had a few substitutes then the score might have been different. If we had managed to score again and take a two goal lead, I think we would have gone on to win the game. The referee did not seem to give many decisions our way either.We have not played many league games recently and we can hopefully push up the table once we complete our games in hand.” Sandys manager Alex Handyside is hoping to go further in the East of Scotland Cup, and harbours ambitions of winning the league. He said: “It was a bit of a scrappy game. I think either of the two teams could have won it. Coming to extra time, we were just a bit stronger. The wind did not help matters and all credit to Whitson Star. They played good football in the first half. We took our chances and we are pleased to be through to the next round. We were let down today by other players not turning up but the guys who played did really well.

“We are looking to go further in the cup and have two home ties coming up which we will hopefully win. The league should take care of itself. We are in third place at the moment with a game in hand, and if we win that match we can go top.”

Whitson Star: Scott Walker, Scott Thomson, Mike Riley, Neil Ferrier, Peter Newby, Dean Cunningham, John McGinn, David Garries, Mike Garries, Blair Cormac, Gordon Wilson, Jai Craft.

Sandys: David Bald, David Craig, James Reid, Dale Miller, Ian Crease, Graham Mills, James Clarkson, David Aitkenhead, Robert McKenzie, John Robertson, Thomas Crease, Daniel Waddell.