Whitehill Welfare manager Mike Lawson spoke of his delight at seeing the goals being spread amongst his players after his side defeated Coldstream 3-1 in the first round of the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup at Ferguson Park.
All the talk prior to kick-off had been centred on Whitehill striker Wayne McIntosh, who had netted seven goals in just three appearances, the current top-scorer in the Lowland League.
However, it was McIntosh’s strike partner Jordan Finnie who stole the show with two astute finishes of his own in a match where the home side’s supremacy never really appeared under any real threat.
Lawson said: “We’re spreading the goals about, which is very pleasing so early on in the season. We’ve got a good squad and everyone has managed to start at least one game so far.
“The disappointing thing for us was losing a goal as we’ve not had a shut-out this season. We’re back to the Lowland League on Saturday, where we’ve got Vale of Leithen, so it’s a huge, huge game for us as they’re going well.”
The home side made their intentions known from the start, pressing their opponents’ defensive line, but also using the ball well when in possession.
A superb cross from McIntosh after five minutes found Andrew Kidd lurking in the centre of the penalty box, but he couldn’t direct his towering header on target as the ball drifted wide of the left post.
Finnie then tried his luck from distance, watching the ball as it fell from the sky before sending a powerful volley which Coldstream No. 1 Mark Walters did well to hold.
Finnie was proving a real menace up top as he flashed a shot across goal after 20 minutes, before Whitehill had an appeal for a penalty waved away as Aaron Punton appeared to clatter into the back on McIntosh inside the area.
The visitors were struggling to create opportunities, with only the pace of Jonathan Simpson carrying much hope in the final third.
And it wasn’t much of a surprise when the hosts drew first blood four minutes before the interval through Andrew Kidd’s powerful header from a Craig Manson cross from the right.
Whitehill continued their search for more goals minutes into the second half as Walters had to tip over William Kidd’s attempt from ten yards.
The Coldstream defence was undone for a second time after 51 minutes when a terrific interchange between McIntosh and Andrew Martin allowed the former’s shot to be blocked by Walters, but only as far as Finnie, who produced a deft chip over the keeper and into the corner of the net for 2-0.
Ten minutes later, Whitehill made it three from the penalty spot. A long ball created a chase between Finnie and Walters and as the striker got his toe to the ball first, the Coldstream stopper clattered into the No. 10 bringing his run to a halt.
Finnie dispatched the resulting kick into the bottom left corner to seal his side’s passage into the next round.
Finnie then turned provider as his pinpoint cross was headed back across goal by substitute Daniel Noon, but the post came to Coldstream’s rescue and the ball was cleared.
Wayne Sproule’s rasping effort wasn’t too far away as Whitehill continued to threaten, before the visitors did pull a goal back through Simpson after 73 minutes when he benefited from team-mate’s Greg McCrudden’s tame effort to divert the ball into the net.
Whitehill Welfare: Young, Dolan, Sproule, Bruce (Hall 64), W Kidd, Dodds, Manson, A Kidd, McIntosh (Noon 59), Finnie, Martin (Shearer 59). Subs: McLaughlin, Thom.
Coldstream: Walters, Birkett, Allan, L Cannon, Punton, Hebdon, Wales (Heugh 70), Lambert, Crawford, T Cannon (McCrudden 64), Simpson (Turner 76). Subs: Baxendale.