A hat-trick from man of the match Stewart Adams was added to by strikes from Greg Douglas, Christopher Barron and Kris McLoughlin to earn a thoroughly merited victory.
Lochend managed to conjure four goals of their own, but were well beaten by Cavalry on the night. After the match, Cavalry coach Jason Dalglish said: “It was a close encounter and to be fair, Lochend are a very good side. We deserved to win the game with the amount of chances we created. Our standard of play since Christmas has come on leaps and bounds and we’ve exceeded expectations.”
The match was as full of chances as its ten-goal scoreline suggested and it was Cavalry who were to strike first on 17 minutes. After Greg Douglas received a through ball, the midfielder showed great confidence in bombing towards the byline, before cutting the ball back to striker Kris McLoughlin, who has the simplest of tasks to tap home from close range.
Lochend tried to hit back on their opponents, but were to concede a second shortly after when Adams opened his account for the evening. The frontman beat the offside trap after a long ball and drilled his shot low across the goal, deflecting in off keeper Ross Wood’s right-hand post.
A frantic five-minute period was completed on 22 minutes when Lochend halved their deficit. Alan Murray watched a superb ball come over his right shoulder, and was able to volley his effort past goalkeeper Andrew Mackay, to take the score to 2-1.
Despite three goals and some superb football from both sides, the first period was to prove tame compared to the closing half, and it was Lochend who had the first say in the second 45, by squaring the match shortly after the restart.
Jonathon Robertson was the man responsible for levelling the score, as his volleyed strike found a route to the bottom corner, leaving Mackay hapless to try and make a save.
This provided a much needed wake-up call for Cavalry, who had blown their two goal advantage, despite proving the more dominant side, but they would soon show their class by adding three more strikes to open up a 5-2 lead. The first of three well-worked goals came courtesy of Barron, who rifled the ball home after Adams had cleverly picked his compatriot out, inside the penalty area.
Cavalry then made it 4-2 soon after when Douglas notched his solitary strike. The midfielder was played in by the skilful McLoughlin, who showed great feet in a tight spot before picking out his team-mate for an easy finish. And the game looked to have been put beyond reasonable doubt on 65 minutes when Adams header made it 5-2, leaving Cavalry in cruise control.
Lochend looked like a defeated side for much of the second period, but were able to claw a way back into the match through a fortunate free-kick. Centre-half Conor Inglis’ set-piece was played into the danger area, and Cavalry’s failure to clear resulted in the ball bouncing clean through and into the back of the net.
Inglis then made it 5-4, this time with no element of luck, as he smashed another free-kick from 25 yards, low into the bottom corner to set up a tense finale, Cavalry, however, regained their composure quickly and put the final nail in the Lochend coffin near the end. Again, it was Adams who struck, tapping home from six yards after McLoughlin picked his strike partner out inside the box.
Lochend: Ross Wood, Frazer Notman, Mark Heard, Alan Murray, Scott Fergus, Connor Gannucci, Scott Laidlaw, Jonathon Robertson, Selos Styris, Callum Young, David Ireland, Andrew Keighren, Kevin Hamilton, Conor Inglis.
Cavalry Park: Andrew Mackay, Chris Joyce, Dale O’Hara, Lyle Finney, Greg Douglas, Christopher Barron, Stewart Adams, Sean Guiney, Kris McLoughlin, Steven MacGregor, Fraser McKinlay, Fraser Andrews, Alex Borthwick, Tyrone Marcus Jiminez, Michael Park, Jonny Malcolm.