West of Scotland Cup First Round



By Richard Henderson

TROON were the convincing victors in a potential banana skin Cup encounter at Portland Park, against a tousy Maryhill side.

The hosts began the post-Jonny Baillie era in nervous looking fashion as their nervy play invited pressure from their League One counterparts, and the ‘Hill front pairing of Brian Ashe & Ged Dobbs were causing problems.

In 10 minutes, Jack Easdon won the ball high on the right and swung a great cross in for Dean Keenan to head to safety. Andy Strachan was next to the rescue after good work from Julien Bolard and Ashe saw the number nine lead into the box, but “der Kaiser” stretched out a leg and poked the ball to safety for a throw. Ryan Stevenson, on the eighth anniversary of his first Scotland call-up, started to dictate the tempo from his midfield role. But it wasn’t until 43 minutes that Troon made their quality show, as Dylan Poole tapped home after Garry Black had blocked Dean Fulton’s initial effort.

Maryhill came out for the second 45 with a second wind and started strongly, but any glimmering hope of a comeback was quickly extinguished by the impressive Dean Fulton in 53 minutes. Good work from Ben Reilly and Scott Chatham saw Deano put clean through on goal and he ran across his marker as he entered the box before expertly slipping the ball past the keeper. Troon suffered a blow just before the hour when a Maryhill corner saw Steven McGinty elude any marker to head past the stranded Scott Johnstone. But the Seasiders showed their determination when they launched an attack almost straight from kick-off. Ryan Stevenson released Ben Reilly down the Troon right, and his pin-point cut-back was smashed high into the net by Scott Chatham for 3-1.

But Chappy wasn’t finished as he kept the best for last, and he executed his trademark “Cruyff turn” twice in the box to evade the visiting defence and complete the move with a lovely left-foot finish.

In other weekend games Maybole hammered Saltcoats Victoria 9-0 away. Jordan Banks bagged five goals and Andy Stevenson a double, while Jai Holland and Robbie Hannah were also on target in another first round tie.

Michael Reilly netted a consolation goal for Whitletts Vics as they went down 2-1 to Benburb.

Girvan took a major scalp in the West of Scotland Cup. The League One team defeated Premiership side Cumnock 3-2 at Hamilton Park. Cumnock boss Paul Burns quit 24 hours later. Troon will visit Ardrossan Winton Rovers in the second round, while Girvan will be at home to Newmains. Maybole are at Cambuslang Rangers.