SAUCHIE JUNIORS were left ruing ill-discipline as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat in Perth at the hands of Jeanfield Swifts. 

Clear blues skies and a pristine surface might have created the perfect conditions for the Reds to pull themselves up the table but the writing was on the wall by half-time. 

Swifts’ Rhys Davies had rifled home from the spot on 27 minutes, before Brian Morgan was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Christopher Scott just before the break. 

The away side’s miseries were only compounded after the restart when Scott’s header doubled Swifts’ advantage and Darren Cummings received a second yellow for a perceived act of dissent. 

It was all over 13 minutes from time when Jamie Reid finished off a neat move from the home side to send Sauchie back down the A9 with plenty to mull over. 

The frantic opening period didn’t really allow for any flowing football but the away side could well have gone in front in the opening period. 

Conor Kelly drew a foul on the left, which allowed Cummings to cross a ball into the box. The ball was cleared only as far as Iain Syme who blazed an effort over the bar. 

Another free-kick was awarded as Kelly was brought down again on 20 minutes. This time Cummings ran over the ball, leaving Brian Morgan to drive a low effort on target, which Matt Curtis managed to parry clear. 

The home side should have broken the deadlock on 22 minutes, as Scott collected the ball from deep and threaded the ball through for Davies. The target man showed the presence of mind to square for Daniel Kelly, who rolled an effort on to the post from inside the area. 

However, they didn’t have to wait long for an opener when Lewis Mackie was brought down inside the box and after a staggered run-up Davies lashed the ball high into the net to make it 1-0. 

A major flash point in the match arrived on the stroke of half-time when an overeager lunge from Morgan saw Scott tumble to the ground. 

It was a challenge that merited a yellow card but the referee showed no hesitation in brandishing a straight red to Sauchie’s captain, much to the distaste of teammate Cummings who was booked for dissent. 

Within two minutes of the second half the Clackmannanshire side had a mountain to climb, Gary Fergus ghosted into the box and was picked out expertly by Scott’s ball from the left, leaving the winger to nod home unchallenged. 

If it was a mountain to climb at 2-0 then the task they were faced with on 49 minutes was reminiscent of scaling Everest. Cummings was shown a second yellow for swearing at the referee, despite the forward insisting he was in fact swearing at himself in frustration. 

The two man advantage allowed Jeanfield to remain comfortable in possession, as Sauchie climbed across the pitch in a desperate bid to cover the increasing amount of space. 

Swifts should have put the game beyond all doubt on 69 minutes, when the impressive Scott danced into the area from wide and fed the ball to Kelly, who skipped past his man but could only bend the ball wide. 

It was game, set and match with 77 minutes on the clock when Scott, exuding confidence, burst down the left flank and cut the ball back across goal. Kelly showed the awareness to dummy and leave the ball for Reid on the edge of the box, who fired home past the helpless Greig McGuinness. 

Arguably Sauchie’s best chance of the match fell in the 88th minute, when a cross from Kelly made it’s way to Craig Comrie, whose effort was deflected on to the bar and cleared from danger. 

Sauchie manager Fraser Duncan lamented a poor performance after the match, stressing that his side need to show more if they want to stay in the league. 

He told Advertiser Sport: “Nothing today, absolutely nothing. From last week, a totally different side. It’s difficult to fix, we’ve done absolutely nothing. 

“The two sending offs have killed us. Gave away a penalty, it’s a bad mistake. The two sending offs, two bad mistakes. Three vital mistakes that have cost us the game.

“The first one is ludicrous. The first one is absolutely scary. If referees are sending people off for that then the game’s going to go down in five or six years time.”

Sauchie Juniors: McGuinness, Houston, Syme, King, Hewitt, Comrie, McTaggart, Morgan, Morrison, Cummings, Orru. Substitutes: Sharp, Bell, Kelly, Graham, Gourlay.