East Kilbride News
Nine is fine as EK annihilate Gretna
East Kilbride interim boss Martin Fellowes praised a professional performance from his squad after they hammered NINE goals past sorry Gretna without reply to book their place in the Lowland League Cup quarter-finals.
Defending champions Kilby showed no mercy for their opponents, who parted company with manager Michael McIndoe in the build-up and were without 13 regular players.
And Fellowes was also pleased with how his side handled incoming gaffer Mick Kennedy watching the game from the stands at Raydale Park.
Rampant Kilby were an incredible 7-0 up at the break to leave their hosts shell-shocked as they went into the halftime interval for a welcome breather.
A Bob McHugh penalty after just two minutes got them off and running before Danny McManus made it 2-0 inside eight minutes. McHugh slotted home his second and Kilby’s third with just 20 minutes on the clock before Kyle Connell made it 4-0 five minutes later.
Ben Hughes put the game beyond all doubt with the fifth goal in 34 minutes and Connell grabbed his second of the afternoon less than 60 seconds later.
There was still time for Dylan McDonald to squeeze in a seventh before the half-time whistle.
And there was no letting up in the second half as Connell completed his hat-trick in the 58th minute when he hammered home from a BJ Coll cross
McHugh fancied a hat-trick as well and duly got his in the 84th minute when he arrowed in a free-kick to complete Gretna’s misery and reach the quarter-finals.
Fellowes said: “It was a good day. It was one of those days where you could feel it was going to be like that from the warm-up.
“The boys were bang at it and there was a real desire to start the cup campaign strongly.
“We were in control from the moment we scored the penalty after two minutes.
“Gretna had their own issues to contend with. They had 13 players missing and their manager left through the week, but we put in a professional performance.
“Everyone was looking to impress the new manager as well. There’s a lot of professional guys in that dressing room as well and there was certainly never going to be a situation where they wanted to do anything else than win the game.
“It’s not easy when you’ve got stuff going on with a new manager and players wondering what is going to happen next season, so credit to the players because they have handled the past few weeks very well.”
Fellowes is remaining in charge with assistant Mark McKenna for the duration of the competition and he added: “Mark said that me and him came down here 10 years ago in our first game as East Kilbride Football Club and let’s make sure it’s not our last [in interim charge].
“That was the message and we are
Interim boss Fellowes delighted to be in the quarter-finals.”
A much tougher test now awaits on Saturday when EK travel to Tranent.
The sides fought out a 1-1 draw last month in the league and Tranent finished a place above sixth-place Kilby in the standings.
Fellowes said: “It was a cracking game last time and both teams could have gotten more out of it.
“We played really well and it was the first time where I could see what we had been working on with the group.
“It’s not an easy place for anyone to go and Rangers B found it difficult there so it will definitely not be as straightforward as the Gretna result.
“We will go there looking to book our place in a semi-final and if the guys give us the same as last Saturday we’ll have a good chance.”