Tollcross Thistle warmed up for their East of Scotland Cup semi-final this weekend by knocking out Sandys from the Blaikie Cup in a penalty shoot-out.
Saturday afternoon’s encounter at Saughton 3G pitted the two Premier Division 1 sides together in the quarter-final stage of the tournament, and it was the higher-placed Tollcross who prevailed.
Tollcross took the lead in the first half. A ball was played to striker Adam Perry, who pounced on it and eventually saw his shot find the bottom corner for 1-0.
The game increased in intensity after the interval with five goals. Firstly, Sandys got back in the game. Centre back Daryl Coll rose the highest to bullet home a header from a corner kick to level proceedings.
Tollcross then regained their lead, a corner not being cleared by the Sandys defence and Jason Bell made no mistake from six yards.
Sandys would not give up and equalised again with the goal of the afternoon. Terry Carlin received the ball on the right, around the halfway line, advanced forward with no closing down and he unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner from 35 yards.
Tollcross went ahead for the third time with just ten minutes left, Stuart O’Neill tapping in a rebound that Sandys number one had spilled for 3-2.
Incredibly, Sandys were not done there and got their third equaliser with almost the last kick of the game. Left midfielder Liam Todd was played through on the left side and opened up his body to calmly curl the ball into the back of the net. Regular time finished with the score at 3-3, sending it to extra time.
There were saves at either end in overtime to ensure the game went to a penalty shoot-out. Tollcross scored all four of their penalties, the decisive one coming from John Diver, who sent the keeper the wrong way to put Tollcross into the semis.
Vale sink Lochend
HERIOT VALE saw off Lochend 2-1 on Saturday to set up a Challenge Cup semi-final showdown with Fernieside.
A goalless first half saw both sides frustrated in front of goal as they tried to get ahead in the cup tie.
Home side Vale broke the deadlock after the interval when Eddie Magnan got on the scoresheet. Good work from Ryan D’Angelo on the left wing followed a pass to Magnan, who took the ball past two Lochend players before blasting home from just outside the box.
With just over an hour played, Lochend got themselves back in the game. A foul was given 30-35 yards from goal and Lochend’s Mikey Smith hit the outrageous free-kick into the top corner to get the equaliser.
However, Lochend couldn’t build from that and Vale got the winner with ten minutes remaining. D’Angelo was involved again as he crossed to captain Rees Allan, whose first header rebounded off the goalkeeper, but his second reached the back of the net for 2-1.
Heriot Vale striker Pieyam Khosrowpour said: “They are a good team but we had enough in the end to beat them. We’re hoping to win this cup after losing to Edinburgh Rose last year.”
Lyall brace fires Fernie
CRAIG LYALL scored two as Fernieside triumphed away to Musselburgh to reach the last four of the Blaikie Cup. The Premier Division 1 side won 2-0 and will face either Tollcross Thistle or Sandys at the semi-final stage.
The opener came when an early free kick was delivered and Lyall flicked the ball out wide to team-mate Ally Graham. Graham delivered the ball first time into the box, it being met by Lyall who headed back across the goal and into the top corner for 1-0.
A Musselburgh defensive mix-up was capitalised on by Marc Robertson who drove towards goal before being brought down for a penalty. Lyall stepped up to convert from 12 yards, sending the Musselburgh goalkeeper the wrong way with the ball flying high into the top right corner of the goal.
Fernieside’s goalkeeper Scott Walker said: “Defensively I thought we were terrific, with blocks flying in and myself making a couple of crucial saves to deny Musselburgh.”