Mayfield & Easthouses progressed to the semi-final of the Ian McDonald Cup with a convincing 3-0 victory over Seaforth Highlanders at Roseburn Park.
The Midlothian outfit are enjoying a rich vein of form after thrashing Lothian East league leaders Danderhall MW 5-1 last week to swing the pendulum in their favour in the championship run-in.
Peter Coyle gave the visitors a first-half lead after a cross into the Seaforth box was not properly dealt with by the home side’s defence and he volleyed home a terrific strike.
Darren Mitchell then doubled his side’s lead during the second half when he finished off a fast-flowing move before David Gillan ensured Mayfield & Easthouses’ place in the last four with the second volleyed goal of the match 20 minutes from time.
M&E coach Robert Hogg admitted his side didn’t perform to their capabilities but was pleased to progress in what is going to be an important few weeks for the club. “It was a bumpy pitch so we didn’t play that well but did enough to win the game,” he said. “We had a tremendous result against Danderhall so we’re playing catch-up on them but it’s now within our own hands. We’ve got a lot of big games coming up so we’re looking forward to the remainder of the season.”
Rankin is at the double
Lochend came from a goal down to emerge with a 3-1 win over Premier Division 1 outfit Tollcross Thistle in the second round of the Challenge Cup at Meggetland.
Lochend, who play in Premier Division 2, will now face a tricky quarter-final tie after being drawn away to yet another Premier Division 1 side in Heriot Vale.
Mark Bissett’s strike gave Tollcross a 1-0 advantage at half-time, but Lochend returned to the field for the second 45 and proceeded to take the match to their opponents.
Firstly, Craig Rankin finished off a fine move to bring his side level before Tollcross were awarded a penalty following a fooul in the box.
• John Lawson fired his kick over the crossbar, however, and worse was to come for the Premier Division 1 outfit when Lochend moved ahead after Rankin showed great composure to drill his shot into the back of the net for his second goal of the game from Martin Cairney’s clever cutback.
With Tollcross pressing for an equaliser, Lochend sealed victory on the counter-attack when Kyle Hay showed great awareness to lob the ball over the Tollcross keeper for 3-1.
Lochend coach Michael Riley was delighted with the application shown from his players and is now hopeful they can go all the way.
Riley said: “It was a good team performance so it’s good to beat a Premier Division 1 side. I don’t see why we can’t go on and reach the final.”
Tollcross’ Alan McKay said: “We did well, but Lochend edged it on the night. This was our fourth game in six days and that seemed to hit us hard.”
Dander’s up once more
• Lothian East side Danderhall MW recovered from their heavy loss to Mayfield & Easthouses to take all three points after a 3-0 victory over Dunedin Athletic at Danderhall Recreation Park.
Danderhall remain current league leaders, however, Mayfield & Easthouses have six games in hand and are now only 14 points adrift in second-place. The two sides will meet for a final time in a couple of weeks in what could be a title decider.
Danny Stewart’s perfect delivery was powered into the back of the net by Steven Igoe’s clever header before Graeme Cole set up James Laing to drill his shot into the bottom corner to put Danderhall two-up at the break.
Igoe then claimed his second of the match after the interval with a neat finish to kill off any hopes of a Dunedin revival.
Danderhall’s Alan Shepherd said: “We’ve only got three league games left and they are all at home so it’s going to be a tight finish.”