Cambuslang Rangers 4-2 Blantyre Victoria
Sectional League Cup
Wednesday 15th August
At Somervell Park
Cambuslang Rangers good start to the season when they came from a goal down to defeat Blantyre Vics 4-2 last Wednesday evening. Stuart Gauley's 2nd hat-trick of the season kept the Lang in pole position of group 5.
Manager Andy Cunningham, back from holiday, went with the same side that had beaten East Kilbride a few days earlier.
Blantyre posted their intentions early on and almost took the lead on 5 minutes, a viscous cross was swung over by Brown but Webster was unable to get on the end of it before the defence eventually cleared the danger. Cambuslang replied immediately when Balmain rifled in a shot from 20 yards but it flew just over the bar. A mix up in the Blantyre defence presented Billy Holmes with a chance, keeper and defender seemed to leave the ball to one another allowing Holmes to get in but he knocked the ball dangerously back across the face of goal but there were no Lang players to take advantage. Hesitation at the other end allowed Webster a sniff at goal, Doak and Kavanagh hesitated in going for the ball but Webster slid his shot past the upright. Cambuslang then found themselves a goal behind. McHarg sprung the offside trap to sprint away from Kavanagh before stroking the ball past Wardlaw. Blantyre then had 2 players booked in quick succession, Reilly and Boyd for poor tackles. The home defence were given a let off when they were caught napping, Brown put over a cross into the box and McHarg had the easiest of chances to put Blantyre 2 up but he somehow headed wide from close range. Cambuslang then had Doak and Gauley yellow carded.
It didn't take the home side to get back on level terms, 5 minutes into the second half , skipper Billy Holmes was on hand to knock Gauleys cross into the net. Keeper Wardlaw had to be on his toes minutes later to punch clear a dangerous cross. Lang's Paterson then fired in a rasper of a shot from all of 25 yards but it went just wide. On 70 minutes Stuart Gauley scored his first of the night when he robbed Allan on the edge of the box and knocked the ball home to put the Lang back in front for the first time. With 15 minutes remaining Blantyr changed things around a bit in an effort to get back level, they replaced Potter with McCulloch, and it seemed to pay immediate dividends when they drew level through McHarg, he got up between Lang players Devanney and Mitchell and sent his header past the despairing dive of Wardlaw. Blantyre will still celebrating their goal when the Lang went back in front, this time Gauley latched onto the through ball from Devanney and despite vain appeals for offside, Gauley scored his second of the night. As Blantyre players remonstrated with the female assistant, some too strong for the referee's liking, this resulted in a second booking for Reilly who took an early bath. Cambuslang were quite happy to settle for that and changed things at the back to shore up the defence. Coulter made his first appearance of the season to replace Paterson and Watson came on for Devanney. Blantyre were not finished yet and had a succession of corner kicks that keeper Wardlaw was quite happy to punch away. The visitors should have equalised in the last minute when McHarg struck the post and the rebound fell to Brown but the ball just wouldn't come down for him and Jim Kavanagh came to the rescue and cleared upfield. The game was all over in injury time when Gauley capped a fine display with his third, good work by Maxwell down the left saw him fire in a shot which rattled the post but fell kindly fell for Gauley who tapped home.
Wardlaw, Devanney (Watson 86), Farmer, Doak, Kavanagh, Mitchell, Paterson (Coulter 85), Balmain, Holmes, Gauley & Maxwell
Subs not used McDougall (Gk) Simpson & Taylor
Mennie, Reilly, Kerr, Harkins, Allan, Potter, Brown K, Webster, Brown J, Boyd & McHarg
Subs from McCulloch, McNab, Wilson & Johnstone