SAUCHIE took East Stirling to the death in the second round of the South Challenge Cup but it wasn’t enough to progress.

The Reds headed to the Falkirk Stadium to play East Stirling in the cup, taking an early lead through the ever-reliable Ross Kavanagh.

Their lead was cancelled out in the second half, taking the match to extra time for the chance to progress.

A late winner for East Stirling cut Sauchie’s hopes short, but assistant gaffer Darren Cummings was full of praise for the team.

He said: “We started off really well, moving the ball about pretty quick, the ground suited us to a tee.

“We took the lead through Ross Kavanagh, great bit of football over the top and he’s ran onto it with his pace and got it in the back of the net.

“We had chances but we just never took them, it’s been our story for a wee while, when we get chances we aren’t clinical enough.

“From our point of view, it was a freak goal - it’s went up 30 yards and dipped over Chic [Bell] and got them back into the game.

“After that, the game went back and forth until extra time. The game was dead on its feet but East Stirling looked fresher, they had about five or six subs they could bring on.

“They’ve had more legs, we switched off a bit from a cross, they’ve went up the park and nicked it.

“Disappointing but we can’t fault the boys at all for their performance, they were tremendous.”

Cummings’ praise carried over onto several individual performances, lauding some of the boys that came in from the bench.

Due to player commitments, many senior members of the squad were unavailable for selection last weekend, forcing Sauchie to call up some players for some much-needed minutes.

“We had a few boys missing,” Cummings added “We had a bit of a depleted squad. We had to patch our squad together so this was a chance for some of the boys who had been on the bench to come in.

“Ally Peacock slid in at left back and he did a fantastic job. We brought in Sam Muir in the middle of the park with Lucas [Williamson] which was a new partnership.

“We knew it would be tough and it was a big ask for them to go in there but the boys did a fantastic job.

“On another day, we could’ve won.”