Salvesen kept their impeccable league record intact with a comfortable 2-0 win in dire conditions over LEAFA Sunday’s Division 1 basement club Pumpherston Thistle.
The sides came into the league clash with a massive 15 points separating the visitors Pumpherston from high-flyers Salvesen, who were after their eighth straight league win.
The hosts, who have had little trouble in finding the net in recent months, with big wins over Premier 1 and Premier 2 outfits, should have been out of sight by half-time.
A combination of stoic Pumpherston defending – they played ten men behind the ball for much of the first half – and Salvesen’s profligacy in front of goal was the reason that the home side only took a one-goal lead into the interval.
With the wind behind them, Salvesen were eager to shoot from distance and they signalled their intentions four minutes in when Marc Walsh’s shot flew inches wide.
The visitors from West Lothian were finding it incredibly tough playing into the fierce winds and when a clearance inside the area was rifled high into the air goalkeeper Euan Anderson had to be alert to prevent a freak goal after the ball spun backwards.
Salvesen were beginning to pepper the Pumphertson goal, with Walsh arrowing a shot wide of the post and then centre-back Dean Clark close to giving his side the lead with a header midway through the first-half which Anderson did well to stop. Walsh then looked certain to grab the opening goal, but incredibly from just three yards out his shot was palmed away by Anderson, before team-mate Ross Gunn spared the striker’s blushes. The midfielder found himself in the right place after the ball had broken out on the edge of the box and he calmly stroked the ball into the bottom corner after 30 minutes.
With the wind behind them in the second half, Pumpherston no doubt thought they could nick a goal after a first period in which they had not mustered a shot on target. It was the home side who threatened most after the restart, though, with Clark again venturing forward. His shot at the back post was well saved by Anderson, however.
On 55 minutes Salvesen got their crucial second. A long throw into the box from Dean Cunningham found striker Walsh, who made up for his earlier missed chances with a deft header from six yards.
Hermiston win through
Hermiston Vale face a home tie against amateur giants Hurlford Thistle in the fifth-round of The Foster’s Scottish Amateur Cup after a 1-0 win away to Carrick AFC in their fourth-round replay.
Opponents Hurflord, who won the competition in season 2011/12, stand in the way of Edinbugh Central side Vale and the last 32 of the national cup.
Left-back Alan Rutherford was the hero for the visitors on an afternoon in which the weather conditions played a major part in the final outcome.
Vale were denied what appeared a stonewall penalty after just five minutes when Darren Suddaby was brought down in the area, only for the referee to deny them and wave play on despite protests from the travelling Vale players.
Rutherford was ambitious with his corner taking and it was straight from a corner that he gave Vale the lead, in freak circumstances, just two minutes before half-time.
With the aid of the wind, the left-back whipped in his flag-kick towards the 18-yard box and the ball came flying into the penalty area and into the net past the Carrick goalkeeper.
Hermiston Vale’s head-coach Darren Black said his side deserved the win, but felt the conditions hampered the match. He said: “Everything was determined by the weather, although we were by far the better side. We didn’t test out their goalkeeper often, but our goalkeeper, Patrick Hutton, didn’t have much to do at all.”
Miller time for Tynie
The goals came raining down on Saturday at Meggetland when LBG Strollers and Tynecastle met in the second round of the Miller Cup. Tynecastle prevailed 3-2 winners, but the match was in danger of abandonment, when one of the goals were blown over in the battering winds.
Visitors Tynecastle, who were making a return to what had been their home for 20 years, couldn’t have hoped for a better start when they went in front after, incredibly, just ten seconds.
Stuart Crozier scampered down the left wing straight from kick-off and his cross found Josh Froude lurking in the box and he fired home.
It was 2-0 for Lothian East side Tynecastle on five minutes, when Lee Cairns’ superb strike from inside the box rattled off the underside of the bar and in.
Matthew Gaunt got the Strollers back into it midway through the second half though, when his right-footed effort from the edge of the box found the net, and then Greg Wallace levelled with a tap-in. Cairns won it for Tynie when he pounced on a rebound from Paul McLear’s long-range strike late on.