Scottish Junior Cup First Round



by Mark Inglis

THISTLE were bemoaning a controversial goal, red card and a lack of firepower up front as they exited the Scottish Cup in a dull encounter against Yoker Athletic.

The hosts were missing Del Kennedy through suspension and the unavailable Scott Reid and Gordon Wilson with Jordan Bruce, Jack Robertson and Paul McKay replacing them in the starting line-up.

Yoker were also missing a few regulars with new signing Hashim Cole included in midfield.

Clearcut chances were few and far between in the game, with both teams appearing defensively sound but lacking a cutting edge in attack. Thistle defender Michael Holden blocked a Ryan Hynes shot early on and at the other end Ryan Morrow shot wide when cutting inside having received a pass from Bruce.

Yoker opened the scoring just after the half-hour much to Ardeer's chagrin, as although Hynes made a smart run on the right flank to receive a long diagonal pass he was marginally offside when doing so.

It was a difficult call for referee Blair Fraser though without the benefit of assistant referees and Yoker capitalised on the opportunity, Hynes squaring for Greg Maitland who was left with an easy finish past Paul McCann.

Ardeer tried to equalise before the break, Morrow again going for goal, but shooting off target while a Bruce volley was blocked by a defender.

The hosts were a goal down at the interval but continued to look for a leveller when play resumed. Matthew Stevenson saw his effort go wide from a Morrow pass before the hosts chances took a blow when they were reduced to ten men in the 50th minute. The versatile Andy Thomson was shown a straight red card for a late tackle on Andrew Campbell, with the general consensus post-match being that the challenge probably looked worse than it was and a yellow card would have been more justified.

Yoker didn't really make much use of their numerical advantage but at the same time weren't overly threatened by Ardeer whose final ball was lacking, giving the Whe-Ho keeper Marc Wilson a quiet afternoon. Andrew Rankin dragged a shot wide for the visitors and Maitland had a goal-bound shot deflected away for a corner by Ardeer manager Derek Gemmell, who came off the bench in the second half. At the other end fellow substitute James Maxwell connected with a volley but the ball came in to him at an awkward angle and sailed well away from the goal.

Ardeer's numerical disadvantage meant that the game never really came into life as they tried to force a replay and Yoker held out to progress to round two. Overall, a draw would have been a fair result but Ardeer's focus this season was always going to be on league duty and they will prepare for their home fixture against local rivals Saltcoats on October 7.

ARDEER THISTLE McCann; McKay, Thomson, Donnelly, Holden, Stevenson, Morrow, Robertson, Turner, Bruce, Kean. Subs: Sewell, Maxwell, Gemmell, Johnston, Nyame.