Gartcairn v Maud – Match Report

Gartcairn 3 Maud 1

Courtesy of Gartcairn Facebook – Photos by David Rankin

Gartcairn’s love of the Scottish Junior Cup continues after they make the draw for the 4th round and stay in the competition.

In a mirror image of last year’s season, Cairn enter 2018 putting two northern region teams out of the Scottish Cup and still remain in the west cup while sitting near the top of the Central District Second Division. This must be something their league opponents must be relishing after last year’s cup run ultimately took its toll on their league promotion ambitions.

Davy Greig rang the changes, dropping Ross and Amos to the bench and giving Johnstone his first start for Cairn alongside Morris with the ever-present Williams and Spooner on either side of the centre backs.

There were also changes through the middle with McEwan and Easton getting the nod on the flanks, with Bowie and Van Nuil benched alongside veteran Tait. Leaving Leslie and Hepburn feeding the lone striker Donnelly with his new strike partner Kilmartin cup tied.

The early exchanges were all through the middle of the park with neither side getting near goal, the Cairn support did have hearts in mouths in ten minutes when Cairn keeper Priestly needlessly came out his box and almost missed a header just beyond the Maud attacker who was closing him down.

The first Cairn chance came in 13 minutes when Donnelly found himself one on one with only the Maud keeper to beat and stroked it low past the left stick.

It was eight minutes later when Cairn took the lead with some great inter play between Donnelly and Hepburn who squared the ball to McEwan who had the simple task of squaring the ball into the net. 1-0 Cairn 21 minutes.

The remainder of the first half was drab and boring affair with Cairn being lethargic and slow through the middle with little penetration from the flanks.

Half Time: Gartcairn 1 Maud 0

The 2nd Half was to be far more entertaining and from the off Cairn looked to have more desire to ensure there was no trip long trip north for a replay next week.

That notion was soon dispelled however when Cairn Keeper Priestley once again had a rush of blood to his head and got caught far too far out his box when a hopeful Maud punt up field caught him flat-footed on the edge of the box, and an awkward bounce left him with no other option but to handle the ball a yard outside the 18-yard line.

The referee had no choice as the last man to send him for an early shower and Cairn were down to 10 men with 40 minutes of the game remaining.

Billy whiz aka Michael Williams took the no 1 jersey and gloves, but the Gaffer had other ideas and made an immediate substitution before the free kick was taken. Goal scorer McEwan was hooked for the ever-versatile Tait who was instructed to take the gloves.

His clean sheet lasted five minutes when Cairn were caught far too deep and poor defending brought Tait into his first action when he was unable to hold the Maud shot and it creeped over the line. 1-1 61 minutes.

Greig made a further change bringing Van Nuil on for the tiring Ryan O’Donnell who had put in a shift for his team.

The remaining 20 minutes were as good as a good old fashioned Scottish cup tie as you could watch with both sides having chances.

It was Billy Whiz (Mick Williams) who broke Maud’s hopes in 86 minutes when he pinged the ball into the back of the net after a good old-fashioned goal mouth stramash in front of goal saw him poke away the 2nd Cairn goal and some extraordinary celebrations involving the players and the coaching showing the relief at possibly avoiding an arduous journey North next Saturday.

The game wasn’t over however with Maud winning a succession of corners where they threw everything including their goal keeper into the Cairn box trying to pull back an equaliser.

It was from the final corner that Van Nuil, who was left in marked in the centre circle broke away with Jall (Jamie Leslie) in support, the ball was squared to the afore mentioned Jall just inside the box who finished the tie off with an assured and confident conversion. 3-1 Cairn Leslie 93 minutes.

Health Rewards MOM Ryan Donnelly who although unusually didn’t score chased and harried every chance in his sole role upfront for Cairn

League duty next at home for Cairn taking on Carluke Rovers Ko 13.45

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