Keith 2 v University of Stirling 3
STUDENTS DUMP MAROONS OUT OF CUP
Keith had the perfect opportunity to win a home Scottish Cup tie for the first time in 23 years, when all time top scorer Cammy Keith fired them into the lead, only for two quick fire 'Varsity goals to knock the stuffing out of them.
Although the Maroons had a rather threadbare looking squad, the starting line-up should have been more than capable of ending that Cup drought. However, 'Varsity's double substitution 28 minutes from the end seemed to unnerve them and the students ended up handing out a harsh lesson.
On a sunny, but windy afternoon chances abounded at both ends in the first half, with Greg Simpson clearing his lines after only nine minutes, whilst visiitng goalie Ben Fry did well to hold a Max Berton effort.
The opener came seven minutes from half-time when the home side failed to clear their lines, and Conor Doan slammed a low drive home from 10 yards. A minute later the Maroons were denied a penalty when Craig Macaskill appeared to be sent tumbling inside the box, but the referee didn't give it a second look.
Three minutes after the break it was game on when Macaskill's 20 yard free kick carried too much power for Fry to prevent the ball from crossing the line. Berton then skied over the bar after Cammy Keith nodded the ball into his path.
With 59 minutes on the clock, the Maroons looked set for the second round draw when Cammy Keith gleefully rifled home his 7th Scottish Cup goal for the Club to equal Jim Campbell's long standing record set back in 1955.
Sadly, the introduction of Calum Heath and Robbie McGale in the 62nd minute gave the students fresh purpose. Within five minutes it was all square again. Perhaps a stroke of luck following a corner, with the Maroons claiming that Greg Simpson had been impeded, but Matthew Burrows reacted to scramble the ball over the line.
Their heads were clearly up and Simpson produced a superb one handed save to keep his side in the match. The homesters were struggling to keep cool, and it was no surprise in the 72nd minute when the unmarked Heath made no mistake from 12 yards.
Simpson had to look lively again in the 84th minute, and the nearest Keith came to an equaliser after that saw 18 year old Fry brilliantly tip over Ryan Spink's drive.
A bitterly disappointing outcome after edging ahead and seemingly in the driving seat, but 'Varsity ended up being the side in the hat for the next round.
KEITH - Simpson, Young, Yeats (Donaldson 80), Robertson, Spink, Smith (Brownie 71), Macaskill, Thomson, Keith, Berton (Gray 71), Selfridge. sub unused - Simmers.
Referee - Mr S Luke
Saturday 21st September 2019, KO 3pm
Report by Charlie Simpson