BetFred Cup – Match Day 4 Review

Group A

Falkirk 4-0 Forfar Athletic

Myles Hippolyte scored a first half double as Falkirk eased into the next round of the BetFred Cup. The Englishman scored in the 8th minute before adding his second half an hour later. Sandwiched in between was a goal by Nathan Austin in what was a dominant first-half by Peter Houston’s men. Former Livingston man Hippolyte completed the scoring as he grabbed a hat-trick just five minutes into the second period, with Gary Bollan’s men unable to cause much panic in the Bairns defence to see the League One side come away with 0 points as well as 0 goals.

Stirling Albion 2-0 Brechin City

After losing 2-0 on penalties last midweek to Inverness, it was the Binos turn to win 2-0 and succeed from 12 yards. This time, however, both goals were to happen in regulation time, with a penalty in either half the difference between Dave Mackay and Darren Dods’ side. The Championship newcomers conceded a first half penalty after Ewan McNeil was fouled by James Dale. Peter MacDonald stepped up and the experienced striker made no mistakes from the spot to fire the League Two side ahead. The game looked destined to finish 1-0 but in the dying seconds, Forthbank was to see a second goal with Liam Caddis also converting a penalty, this time after Callum Morrison was fouled by Euan Spark, Darren Dods will have a lot of thinking to do, I am sure, before the opening league game in 10 days time.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Falkirk 3 +9 9

2. Stirling 4 +1 7

3. Inverness 3 +1 5

4. Brechin 3 -5 2

5. Forfar 3 -6 1

Group B

East Fife 3-2 Elgin City

East Fife came out victorious in a thrilling second half at New Bayview. Thomas Reilly opened the scoring after a crossed free-kick went straight through and in on 49 minutes. Chris Duggan equalised soon after before Mark Docherty slammed home a penalty just twenty one minutes into the second period. With eleven minutes remaining, Thomas Reilly grabbed his second from close range to fire Elgin level but just moments late, the winner came as Paul Willis tapped home after a Nathan Flannigan shot had been saved by Marc Waters. Jim Weir’s side remain on 0 points with the City gaffer bemoaning the refereeing decisions which are currently costing his side dearly.

Peterhead 2-1 Heart of Midlothian

The Blue Toon secured a major shock in Tuesday’s BetFred Cup action to make Group B a 3-horse race for the number one spot. Jim McInally’s side were ahead early on when Jason Brown headed home a Willie Gibson corner. Kyle Lafferty equalised not long after for the Jambos, with the Northern Irishman making it 3 goals in 4 appearances so far for Ian Cathro’s side. As the game edged closer to a penalty-shoot-out, it was a spot kick itself which decided the tie. Arnaud Djoum – an African Cup of Nations Winner with Cameroon – fouled substitute Jordan Brown in the box to conced a spot kick in the 89th minute. Up stepped top marksman Rory McAllister to coolly tuck home the penalty and seal a big win for the League Two favourites. With Dunfermline away to Hearts on Saturday, while Peterhead visit Elgin, it leaves tonight’s visitors fighting for the right to remain in the competition, while the home side are still eyeing up the prize of automatic qualification through finishing first.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Dunfermline 3 +10 8

2. Hearts 3 +3 6

3. Peterhead 3 -2 6

4. East Fife 4 -3 4

5. Elgin 3 -8 0

Group C

Buckie Thistle 1-6 Raith Rovers

It was a resounding victory for Barry Smith;s side – and it really could have been more. Jason Thomson was infringed early on by Lewis MacKinnon, allowing Lewis Vaughan to score his second of the season. John McLeod levelled matters for the Highland League outfit on 27 minutes, but, from thereon in, it was all Rovers. Vaughan was the provider this time as Greig Spence opened his account since returning from Alloa in the summer to put the League One side back in front just before the break. Vaughan then grabbed his second of the game right on half time to kill the game off as a contest. It took the Rovers twenty minutes into the second half to get going but a quick fire double from Liam Buchanan had the Kirkcaldy club on easy street before Ross Matthews completed the scoring four minutes from time.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Dun dee Utd 3 +8 9

2. Dundee 2 +3 6

3. Raith 3 +2 3

4. Cowdenbeath 2 -1 3

5. Buckie 4 -12 0

Group D

Hibernian 6-1 Arbroath

After an early scare, Hibs overcame Arbroath to win comfortably at Easter Road. Simon Murray scored against his former club to put the Hibees ahead before Steven Doris levelled before half-time. But, a first senior goal by Ryan Porteous on the stroke of half-time eased the worry in the stands heading into the interval. Neill Lennon’s side were dominant in the second half and scored four more goals to complete the rout. Simon Murray grtabbed a quick fire second before John McGinn – who had a lively evening with a bird “business” reportedly landing on the Scotland international during the match – increased the Premiership returnee’s advantage. Porteous grabbed his second on 98 minutes before Murray endeared himself to the home fans further by grabbing the match-ball after firing home his third, and Hibs’ sixth, in injury time.

Montrose 2-1 Alloa Athletic

The Gable Endies ended their BetFred Cup campaign with a win after defeating Alloa at Links Park. Kerr Hay fired Montrose ahead before the Leaguer Two side doubled their lead on 50 minutes through Paul Watson. Iain Flannigan did pull a goal back for the Wasps but it was to end in disappointment for Jim Goodwin’s side, who have struggled to pick up points in their three group games so far.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Ross County 3 +8 8

2. Hibernian 3 +9 7

3. Arbroath 3 -1 5

4. Montrose 4 -13 3

5. Alloa 3 -3 1

Group E

Ayr United 5-1 Clyde

A memorable campaign for Ian McCall’s side so far continued after a confident performance against Clyde. A morale-boosting victory against local rivals Kilmarnock was followed up with a win away to Championship side Dumbarton but the Honest Men fell behind early on when David Goodwillie scored for the Bully Wee to put Jim Chapman’s team in front. However, Jordan Hart was rarely tested after that with Robbie Crawford and Craig Moore firing Ayr in front before half-time. Michael Moffat scored his first goal since his return to Somerset Park this summer before Moore grabbed his second of the night. The scoring was complete on 75 minutes when ex-Partick attacker Declan McDaid adding salt into the wounds of the Leaguer Two side as Ayr edge closer to qualifying for the next round.

Dumbarton 0-0 Annan Athletic (Annan Athletic win 4-3 on Penalties)

A drab 90 minutes saw very little action on the field of play in terms of football, however, there were 2 separate red cards to see either team end the match with 10 men. An apparent handball had enraged Christian Nade with no penalty being awarded. The protestations of the striker was too much for the linesman who called the referee over; after consulting with his linesman, the Frenchman was sent off with a straight red card. Owen Moxon was also sent off; the former Queen of the South youngster picked up two yellow cards and got his marching orders as the Galabankies and the Sons headed for penalties. Christopher McLaughlin and Mark Stewart missed the opening two penalties for Stevie Aitken’s side before Dan Orsi missed for the League Two club. However, Ryan Stevenson – formerly of Dumbarton – stepped up to win the bonus point for Peter Murphy’s side.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Ayr 3 +7 9

2. Kilmarnock 3 +3 6

3. Clyde 4 -4 6

4. Annan 3 -3 2

5. Dumbarton 3 -3 1

Group F

Berwick Rangers 2-3 Queen’s Park

An entertaining match at Shielfield Park saw 5 goals on Tuesday evening. Greg Rutherford opened the scoring within 60 seconds but Ross Millen, the former Dunfermline defender and son of Andy Millen, converted a penalty just eight minutes later after Anton Brady was brought down by Keiran Stewart. Brady himself scored on 33 minutes to double Queen’s Park’s lead. David Galt – later booked for doing keepy-uppies while preparing to take a corner – scored a third for Gus MacPherson’s side before half-time to have the Spiders in the ascendancy. Steven Thomson did grab a second Berwick goal but this wasn’t enough for John Coughlin’s side, who lose out to League One opposition in their final home game before the league starts on the 5th of August.

Edinburgh City 1-2 Motherwell

It was almost panic stations for Premiership side Motherwell, after Edinburgh City came mightily close to causing a major upset. Ashley Grimes, the impressive summer signing from England, fired Gary Jardine’s side ahead with twenty one minutes remaining but Stephen Robinson’s side drew level just six minutes later when Chris Cadden scored his third goal of the competition, in his third game. ‘Well won the game late on through Elliot Frear, with that goal securing the Lanarkshire club’s progression to the Second Round.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Motherwell 3 +3 9

2. Queen’s Park 4 0 7

3. Morton 3 -3 5

4. Edin. City 3 -4 2

5. Berwick 3 -2 1

Group G

Stenhousemuir 1-2 East Kilbride

A final day victory sees Billy Stark’s Lowland League East Kilbride bow out of the 2017/18 BetFred Cup in good fashion after defeating Leaguer Two side Stenhousemuir at Ochilview. Brown Ferguson’s side are tipped to be challenging for the title in the fourth tier of the SPFL structure this season but they fell behnd just two minutes into the second half when Sean Winter, previously with Stranraer – put EK ahead. Jamie Longworth restored parity on 50 minutes after his shot from outside the area found the bottom corner. However, it was Winter again to grab the all-important winner after he slotted the ball home after being teed up by Craig Howie.

Albion Rovers 4-4 Hamilton (Albion Rovers win 4-2 on Penalties)

In a remarkable game at Cliftonhill, Albion Rovers came out on top against Premiership opposition. Despite the crowd being less than 500, rhe spectators who did turn up were treated to a classic with Alan Trouten scoring past debutant Ryan Fulton in the Accies goal. Hamilton drew level through Italian Massimo Donati before Shaun Want scored to put Martin Canning’s side ahead in injury time of the first half. Trouten levelled matters on 53 minutes but Want added his second to put Accies ahead again just four minutes later. Trouten, the former Brechin City and Ayr United attacker, grabbed his hat-trick in a crazy opening to the second half and with 25 minutes to go, we were still two goals away from the final outcome. Alan Reid fouled Rakish Bingham in the penalty area and the Englishman stepped up himself to fire the ball home to put Hamilton 4-3 ahead. The drama wasn’t over there though, as, in the third minute of injury time, Ross Davidson fired a cracker in to the bottom corner to level the tie and bring penalties into the equation. Massimo Donati and Greg Docherty missed their opening kicks as Hamilton fell behind in the shoot-out early on. Despite successful kicks by Ali Crawford and Rakish Bingham, it was Alan Trouten who became the hero of the evening as he stuck home the winning penalty to gain Albion a bonus point – which puts them top of Group G – while also securing a famous victory over Premiership opposition at Cliftonhill.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Albion 3 +3 6

2. Hamilton 3 +2 6

3. Q.OT.S 3 +2 5

4. East Kilbride 4 -4 5

5. S’housemuir 3 -3 2

Group H

Airdrieonians 1-2 Partick Thistle

It was a hard-fought win for Alan Archibald’s Partick side on Tuesday evening against a young and managerless Airdrieonians side. Kris Doolan had the Premiership side ahead after 10 minutes before Blair Spittal doubled their advantage five minutes before the interval. Dean Cairns pulled a goal back for the Diamonds after a Ryan Conroy cross but it wasn’t enough for the League One side who remain on 3 points after 3 matches in Group H.

Stranraer 2-4 Livingston

David Hopkin’s side knew a victory would secure a place in the Second Round for newly promoted Livingston. The Championship side fell behind early on to former Lion Morgyn Neill who put Stevie Farrell’s side in front. Scott Robertson scored an own goal just five minutes later before two goals were scored within a minute. Dale Carrick – who was on loan to Cowdenbeath last term – fired Livi in front for the first time before a penalty was conceded straight from kick-off. Craig Halkett was deemed to have infringed the attack by Ryan Thomson and a spot kick was awarded. Scott Agnew stepped up and confidently stroked the ball past Neil Alexander to make the scoreline 2-2 with 33 minutes on the clock. Substitute Nikolay Todorov was to score on 61 minutes, with the Bulgarian (onh loan from Hearts) putting Livingston in front again. Former East Fife midfielder rounded off the scoring with a strike on 80 minutes to secure Livi’s passage through to the next stage of the BetFred Cup.

Table

Position Name Played GD Points

1. Livingston 4 +5 11

2. Partick 3 +6 7

3. Airdrieonians 3 -1 3

4. St Mirren 3 -3 3

5. Stranraer 3 -7

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