Sauchie Juniors......…3

Largs Thistle..............1

Scottish Junior Cup, 2nd round

SAUCHIE progressed to the third round of the Scottish Junior Cup with a sensational victory over Largs Thistle.

After a cagey first half, Darren Cummings put Sauchie ahead with a stunning strike, only for Largs to equalise soon after.

However, Iain Syme put the home side back in front with ten minutes to go, before substitute Josh Flood made sure of the victory in stoppage time.

Manager Fraser Duncan had to contend with a threadbare squad, with injuries and suspensions depriving him of several players.

Sauchie started brightly and Conor Kelly almost found a route to goal, but the Largs defence managed to smother the chance and get the ball away from danger.

The striker was menacing in the opening stages and was only denied by a terrific last-ditch challenge from one of the visiting defenders, before Jordan Orru’s searching cross was just too deep to find Cummings who had made a late run to the back post.

The visitors looked threatening but were mainly reduced to half-chances, a cross-come-shot from Alex McWaters sailing wide of Darren Dolan’s far post midway through the half.

But Sauchie were on top and both Craig Comrie and Jordan Orru went close with free kicks which tested Sean Graham in the Largs goal.

Kelly was Sauchie’s biggest threat in the opening period and when he went clear on the half-hour mark it looked for all the world like he would open the scoring, but Graham made an excellent save to keep the home side at bay yet again.

Ant McTaggart and Stuart Bell were both forced into goal-saving tackles in the space of a few seconds as the visitors enjoyed a period of pressure on the Sauchie goal, but the pair’s heroic defending proved enough as the game remained scoreless at the interval.

The break at half-time seemed to do the trick as Sauchie took the lead barely five minutes into the second period. McTaggart controlled the ball and clipped it through to Cummings, who beat his man and lashed an unstoppable shot beyond Graham and into the far corner of the net.

Largs threw everything forward in an attempt to get back into the game and almost succeeded when Graham Muir tried his luck with a volley, the ball flying just wide of the target.

McWaters then raced clear but was flagged offside just as he shaped to shoot.

Sauchie were by this point reduced to attempting to hit the visitors on the counter-attack and Kelly almost got the goal his performance deserved when he raced onto a bouncing ball, but with Graham closing him down all the time he could only send the ball wide of the post.

Adam then had the ball in the net for Largs but was flagged offside. However, that proved to be a warning Sauchie would not heed as they were pegged back moments later.

A loose ball bounced around the box and Largs’ Kevin Struthers was first to react, firing the ball through a pile of bodies and into the bottom corner to draw the visitors level.

But almost immediately Sauchie were back in front. Syme raced onto a loose ball on the left hand side of the box and lashed a perfectly-struck shot across the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner to restore his side’s advantage.

And as the visitors went in search of a second equaliser, Sauchie struck again. Flood beat the offside trap to latch onto a clearance, and with no defenders in sight, kept his cool to slide the ball into the bottom corner and make the points safe.

It was a stunning result for Sauchie and one which not only keeps them in the hat for the third round draw, but also gives them momentum to carry into Saturday’s Super League meeting with Carnoustie.

SAUCHIE: Dolan, Houston, Syme, Bell, Hewitt, Comrie, McTaggart, Morrison, Kelly (Sharp), Cummings (Flood), Orru.