BetFred Cup – Match Day 1 Review

Group A

Falkirk 4-1 Strling Albion

It was a comfortable win for Peter Houston’s side after the Bairns defeated Stirling Albion. Falkirk took the lead through former East Fife forward Nathan Austin before Joe McKee doubled their lead just two minutes later. It was the latter who set up number three six minutes before the break with summer signing Alex Harris scoring on his competitive debut. Stirling’s manager Dave Mackay would have been looking for a better defensive display in the second period but just 12 minutes into the second half, Ross McGeachie handled the ball in the penalty area and it was up to Aaron Muirhead to try fire Falkirk four ahead. The former Annan and Partick defender slotted the ball into the bottom right-hand corner. The Binos were to finish the game off with a goal, however, when Darren Smith fired in a late consolation for the League Two side.

Attendance: 2044

Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3-0 Brechin City

John Robertson got his second spell in charge of Inverness off to the best of starts with an opening day victory in the BetFred Cup against Brechin City. Club Captain Garry Warren put the hosts in front on 21 minutes after Liam Polworth’s corenr and it was the same due who combined just 17 minutes later to see Darren Dods’ side fall further behind. It wasn’t third time lucky for City, however, as the Jags tripled their lead from another corner kick. This time it was Iain Vigurs to swing in the delivery and new signing, George Oakley, headed the third and final goal of the match to see a comfortable victory for the home side in the Highlands.

Attendance: Not Disclosed

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Falkirk 1 +3 3

2. Inverness 1 +3 3

3. Forfar 0 0 0

4. Stirling 1 -3 0

5. Brechin 1 -3 0

Group B

Dunfermline Athletic 6-0 Elgin City

The Pars won by the biggest margin – and scored the largest amount of goals – on match day one of the BetFred Cup. It was a storming start by Allan Johnston’s side. Ex-Rangers striker Nicky Clark headed in an early doubled before the strikers cut-back was cut-out in the box before Michael Paton followed it up to make it three with just over half-an-hour played. The prolific striker got his hat-trick just 100 seconds later though with another header and Elgin down and out. The away side couldn’t keep the new number 10 at East End Park out long when the second half began, either. With just 3 minutes on the clock in the second period, Kallum Higginbotham’s corner was smashed home for Clark’s fourth of the game. After the introduction of youngsters Scott Lochhead and Callum Smith, the Pars failed to add to their tally with Elgin keeper Marc Waters making a few smart stops to keep the home side at bay further, until the last kick of the game, when 17-year-old Smith raced onto a through ball by Lochhead and calmly slotted home to end off a resounding victory for Dunfermline.

Attendance: 1757

Peterhead 1-0 East Fife

Newly relegated Peterhead started off their season in positive fashion after defeating East Fife. Rory McAllister scored the only goal of the game for the Blue Toon in the 18th minute after cooly slotting past Ryan Goodfellow. With Darren Young’s resources already stretched to maximum level, the new Bayview Boss could only name 4 substitutes on the bench – one of which was Young himself. It was a well-earned win for Jim McInally’s men who have a break mid-week before travelling to face Dunfermline net Saturday.

Attendance: 454

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Dunfermline 1 +6 3

2. Peterhead 1 +1 3

3. Hearts 0 0 0

4. East Fife 1 -1 0

5. Elgin 1 -6 0

Group C

Cowdenbeath 4-2 Buckie Thistle

It was an exciting game at Central Park as Cowdenbeath came out victorious in a 6-goal thriller. Craig Dorrat opened the scoring for last season’s Highland League champions before David Syme grabbed the equaliser for the Fife side twenty minutes later. It was the Blue Brazil who grabbed the lead on the stroke of half-time with striker Cameron Muirhead firing the ball home. Drew Copeland came on for the visitors just six minutes in the second half and instantly made an impact scoring a stunning equaliser from a difficult angle. Eleven minutes later, former Kilmarnock and Partick defender David Syme grabbed his second of the afternoon before substitute Ryan Connelly scored late on to complete the win for Billy Brown’s side.

Attendance: 308

Dundee United 2-0 Raith Rovers

A new look Dundee United side ran out 2-0 victors against Raith Rovers at Tannadice on Saturday afternoon. Winger Paul McMullan fired Ray McKinnon’s team in front just before the hour mark before Iain Davidson fouled Sam Stanton – on loan from Hibs – inside the area and it was Stanton’s former Easter Road colleague James Keatings who stepped up and fired the penalty past Aaron Lennox in the Rovers goal to seal an opening day win for the Tangerines.

Attendance: 3753

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Cowdenbeath 1 +2 3

2. Dundee Utd 1 +2 3

3. Dundee 0 0 0

4. Buckie 1 -3 0

5. Raith 1 -3 0

Group D

Hibernian 4-0 Montrose

Newly promoted Hibs secured an opening day victory against League Two side Montrose. Simon Murray opened the scoring for the hosts before youngster Fraser Murray doubled the Edinburgh side’s advantage ten minutes later. It was former Dundee United marksman Simon Murray who scored Hibs’ third eight minutes into the second half before Brian Graham – who has been told he can leave Easter Road – coming on to slot home a late pnealty to round off a comfortable victory for Neil Lennon’s men.

Attendance: 5226

Ross County 2-0 Alloa Athletic

After last season’s shock victory for the Wasps against Jim McIntyre’s men, this was an intriguing tie in Group D of the BetFred Cup. However, there was no giant-killing this campaign with the Premiership side sealing a 2-0 victory against Jim Goodwin’s part-time side. Marcus Fraser opened the scoring five minutes before half-time with a stunning strike from just outside the area. On 69 minutes, Englishman Craig Curran scored a second for the Staggies to seal an opening day win in Dingwall.

Attendance: 1108

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Hibs 1 +4 3

2. Ross Co. 1 +2 3

3. Arbroath 0 0 0

4. Alloa 1 -2 0

5. Montrose 1 -4 0

Group E

Ayr United 1-0 Kilmarnock

It was the Ayrshire Derby which opened up the 2017/18 Scottish Football season on Friday evening. In the keenly contested match, it was Ian McCall’s side who came out with an all important 3 points. Andy Geggan scored the only goal of the game, heading in an inswinging corner on 39 minutes. Lee McCulloch will know his side have a lot to work on with Jordan Hart barely being tested while Jamie MacDonald made a few smart stops to keep out the Honest Men’s attack.

Attendance: 6417

Clyde 2-1 Annan Athletic

Jim Chapman faced his former employers in his first game in charge of Clyde. It was the Broadwood side who took the lead on 57 minutes when former Celtic and Hamilton youth player Jack Breslin scoring with a header to the bottom left hand corner. Scotland cap David Goodwillie doubled the Bully Wee’s advantage with just one minute to play but Steven Swinglehurst pulled one back for Peter Murphy’s men in stoppage time. Unfortunately for the Galabankies, it was too little too late as they head home with nothing.

Attendance: 415

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Clyde 1 +1 3

2. Ayr 1 +1 3

3. Dumbarton 0 0 0

4. Annan 1 -1 0

5. Kilmarnock 1 -1 0

Group F

Berwick Rangers 0-1 Greenock Morton

Oliver Fleming scored an own goal to gift a win to Championship club Morton in the opening fixture of the BetFred Cup. It was a strong performance from Jim Duffy’s side with RobbyMcCrorie making some crucial saves to keep the Ton at bay on his competitive debut. The on-loan Rangers keeper was voted Beriwck Rangers’ Man of the Match in an online internet poll after the match with the teenager proving a good capture for John Coughlin’s side so far. With the return of Jai Quitongo, Morton will be hoping for another big season and Saturday’s victory has got them off to the perfect start.

Attendance: 701

Queen’s Park 1-5 Motherwell

Stephen Robinson’s Motherwell started off their season with a resounding victory at Hampden Park. Chris Cadden – who has been linked with a move away this summer – opened the scoring for ‘Well after latching onto a knock-down from Alex Fisher. Former Fir Park defender Adam Cummins levelled after Trevor Carson was unable to fully clear a header after a free-kick to the Spiders. It was a dominant second half display, however, with Craig Tanner making the most of a defensive blunder by the hosts to put the Premiership team back out in front. Substitutes Ryan Bowman and Louis Moult came on, with Bowman grabbing two before Moult fired in a free-kick late on.

Attendance: 1590

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Motherwell 1 +4 3

2. Morton 1 +1 3

3. Edin City 0 0 0

4. Berwick 1 -1 0

5. Q. Park 1 -4 0

Group G

East Kilbride 1-3 Hamilton Academical

Martin Canning’s Premiership side faced a tricky trip to K-Park on Saturday afternoon for an opening BetFred Cup fixture. T was Darian MacKinnon scored a volley to open the scoring for Accies as Billy Stark’s men went in behind at the break. However, it was the Lowland League champions who levelled matters on 69 minutes after Craig Howie drew a foul out of experienced defender Georgios Sarris inside the penalty area. Former Stranraer man Sean Winter stepped up and fired the ball home. Two late goals, from Louis Longridge and Ali Crawford saw Hamilton avoid a defeat in this opening day fixture, which some saw as a potential banana skin for the Lanarkshire club.

Attendance: 531

Stenhousemuir 1-3 Queen of the South

Gary Naysmith saw his side come from behind to defeat Stenhousemuir at Ochilview. In the 16th minute, Shaun Rooney, signed in the summer from York City, fouled Martin Scott inside the area and new recruit Mark McGuigan took the penalty and scored. It took until twenty minutes to go for the Doonhamers to draw level, when Stephen Dobbie equalised before Shaun Rooney made amends; with seven minutes to play, it was Dobbie who this time turned provider, flighting in a free-kick that the full-back headed home. To compound matters, Dobbie doubled his tally late on as Stenny pushed for a second equaliser, seeing Brown Ferguson’s League Two side start off with a defeat to their Championship opponents.

Attendance: 384

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Hamilton 1 +2 3

2. Q.O.S 1 +2 3

3. Albion 0 0 0

4. E. Kilbride 1 -3 0

5. S’housemuir 1 -3 0

Group H

Livingston 1-1 Partick Thistle (Livingston win 3-1 on Penalties)

The Tony Macaroni Arena saw the first penalty-shoot-out of the 2017/18 league season after Livingston and Partick drew one each. Chris Erskine fired Thistle ahead early on before Keaghan Jacobs equalised for David Hopkin’s side just 60 seconds into the second perod. Stuart Bannigan and Dylan Mackin both scored either teams opening penalty before misses by Christie Elliot, Blair Spittal and Kris Doolan saw Livingston win the tie on penalties. Josh Mullin and Keaghan Jacobs were the Livi penalty takes who also successfully scored from 12-yards.

Attendance: 1119

Strnaraer 1-4 St Mirren

Jack Ross saw his Championship side overcome an early setback to take full points from a tough encounter at Stair Park. Former Buddies’ midfielder Scott Agnew opened the scoring for Stevie Farrell’s side early on before Gavin Reilly – who struggled for games and goals at Dunfermline last season – equalised for Saints a short while later. Four minutes later, new signing Ross Stewart fired the Championship club ahead before Lewis Morgan added a third before half-time. Gregor Buchanan bravely headed in a fourth from Ian McShane’s corner to round off the scoring on a successful afternoon for Ross’ men.

Attendance: 849

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. St Mirren 1 +3 3

2. Livingston 1 0 2

3. Partick 1 0 1

4. Airdrieonians 0 0 0

5. Stranraer 1 -3 0

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