SAUCHIE JUNIORS lost out on a spot in the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup fourth round as they lost 3-1 to Tranent.

The Reds travelled to Foresters Park looking to replicate their success in last season’s campaign, in which they reached the final of the competition.

Sauchie went a goal ahead in the early minutes of the match, with Mark Smith getting himself on the scoresheet inside 10 minutes.

Smith thought he had doubled Sauchie’s lead not long after but his effort was ruled out for offside.

The Reds headed into the break with the advantage, eager to kick on and put the tie to bed with another goal.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be as Tranent came out the interval the better side, putting three past Sauchie to cruise into the next round.

Afterwards, manager Fraser Duncan conceded he was disappointed to drop out of the cup at such an early stage.

“Last night’s away defeat to Tranent sees us exit the cup,” Duncan said. “3-1 was a little harsh on us but Tranent are a very good side with some outstanding players and played some very good football.

“We started the game brightly and I felt we were the better side first half going in one nil up, I was a little disappointed as I felt Mark’s second goal was onside but can’t be sure.

“We urged the players at half time to dig deep but unfortunately being 12 players down is hard and Tranent made us work and move all over the pitch which made life very hard for us.

“It’s a hard one to take but it’s been a really difficult season so far, frustrating and difficult to accept the amount of injuries and players missing.”

Sauchie were set to embark on a tough away visit to Musselburgh Athletic, but the game was called off due to heavy snowfall.

Now, they look ahead to getting back to Beechwood as they host Hutchison Vale in the League. Duncan hopes the break can be used to hopefully get some players back into the squad.

“We need to dust ourselves off and try get some players back,” he added. “This wouldn’t have happened in time for [last Saturday] I’m afraid and we will also be missing Lucas who has been influential and key in defence for us.

“We face a challenging few weeks and hope to get through the next few games and pick up points to give us a little hope of salvaging something from a frustrating season but still a long way to go.”