Tranent boss Calum Elliot hails 'best I've seen' after emphatic Scottish Cup win over East Stirlingshire

Ben Miller scores for Tranent in their 4-1 win over East Stirlingshire in the Scottish Cup first round.Ben Miller scores for Tranent in their 4-1 win over East Stirlingshire in the Scottish Cup first round.
Ben Miller scores for Tranent in their 4-1 win over East Stirlingshire in the Scottish Cup first round.
Tranent Juniors boss Calum Elliott labelled his side’s opening 45 minutes of their emphatic 4-1 Scottish Cup win over East Stirlingshire as the "best I've has seen at this level".

The East of Scotland Premier Division League leaders toyed with their opponents at Foresters Park and found themselves four goals to the good at the break.

And although the Lowland League visitors did reduce the arrears just after the hour mark, the East Lothian men’s place in round two was never in doubt.

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The hosts flew out of the traps despite the horrendous conditions and went ahead inside four minutes.

Former Edinburgh City winger Adam Watson, who was a constant menace all afternoon, found space on the turn and drove a well-placed effort beyond Ross Connelly into the far corner.

Watson turned provider 12 minutes later when his cross from the right was prodded home by Kayne Paterson.

Tranent then found themselves in dreamland when they effectively killed the tie off with a third shortly before the half-hour mark.

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Fine link-up play between Rhys Craigie and Aaron Ponton saw the latter’s cutback finished off by on-rushing midfielder Ben Miller, cue the wild celebrations from the players in maroon.

And Elliot’s men weren’t done yet as three became four right on the stroke of half-time when Lewis Hawkins’ effort trickled over the line from close range.

The visitors looked shell-shocked with manager Derek Ure tearing into his players at the side of the pitch.

And although ex-Spartans midfielder Jamie Dishington’s wonderful effort proved the only goal after the break – a consolation for the well-beaten Shire – referee Alastair Grieve’s full-time whistle was a moment to savour for all those connected with Tranent.

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“The first half was outstanding and as good as I’ve seen at this level of football,” a delighted Elliott said afterwards. “It was relentless stuff with the game being played in their half. After the break they’ve scored a wonder goal but apart from that I always felt really comfortable.

“The first 45 minutes, regardless of the conditions, we were exceptional. It was four but I thought it could have been more. To a man the players were just immense so I cannot speak highly enough of them. We gave them a game-plan and they stuck to it. They absolutely delivered for the club.

“There’s always a danger you can get caught if you show teams in higher leagues too much respect and we knew they were a good side with some very good players. If you give these individuals time then they can punish you.

“But we were right at it from the very start and they delivered a performance which merited us going into the next round.

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“We are a good side but it’s now imperative we build on it but we can’t look too far ahead because we’ve got a massive game against Musselburgh on Wednesday. It’s important we recover from this and are ready to go again.”

Tranent: Adams, Hawkins, Ponton, McKenzie, R Miller, B Miller, Watson, Craigie, Paterson, Murphy, Thomson. Subs: Renton, Lander, Hamilton, Greig, Reilly, Moffat

East Stirlingshire: Connelly, Orr, Wylde, Tappins, Malone, Gibbons, Dishington, Low, Brown, Watson, Gray. Subs: McColm, Murray, Smirra, Young, Henderson, Kearney, Ure.

Referee: Alastair Grieve.

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