Macron Scottish Junior Cup Quarter-Final



By Calum Corral

NINE-man Buffs were flattened by rampant Largs Thistle, who soared into the showpiece semi-finals. Even though the record books will show Chris Strain’s side lost their discipline in the second half with two ordering offs, it takes nothing away from the high calibre of the Largs performance.

Buffs, who had beaten Largs 3-1 at Abbey Park in the league only seven days before, didn’t know what had hit them.

Kilwinning admittedly had a selection headache going into the game after fringe players had impressed in their league victory over Largs. From the opening minute, Largs had Kilwinning on the backfoot with Graham Muir slipping an effort just wide.

Scott Adam crashed an effort off the crossbar from the left in 18 minutes and it seemed only a matter of time before they broke through.

Score they did and it was a masterful move as Mark Millar’s interception broke up a Kilwinning attack and the ball was fired forward with Black’s pace leaving the visiting defence stretched. The former Meadow winger rounded the goalie before slotting home an angled strike in 20 minutes. Kilwinning’s only real chance came from the head of Tommy Maitland following a rare Buffs corner.

Thistle started the second half in bullish mood and won a penalty in 50 minutes as Nicky Jamieson was fouled in the Kilwinning penalty area. Adam slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner. Moments later, the real flashpoint came when a quick Thistle passing move was broken up by a sliding challenge on Black as he attempted to scurry through on goal. Both keeper and defender appeared to slide in with visiting goalie Adam Strain being ordered off but video evidence later showed that the defender actually brought Black down.

The third goal arrived on the hour from Millar’s corner as skipper Creag Little went towering in to head home. And number four arrived from the cultured foot of Millar in 61 minutes. The experienced former Dundee United and Livingston midfielder sent a curling bending effort which gave rookie keeper Taylor no chance.

Buffs had few openings with only ex-Morton man Carlo Monti breaking up play with a long range effort which skied the Largs crossbar.

In 65 minutes, Thistle made it five with a long range free-kick from Millar. Things went from bad to worse for Kilwinning through as Bryan Boylan saw an immediate red card for an off-the-ball challenge.

KILWINNING RANGERS: Strain; Coleman, Maitland, Pettigrew, Syme, Fleming, Monti, Lewis, Boylan, Wardrope, Nisbet. Subs: Whyte, Curragh, McCloskey, Smith, Taylor.