Perthshire Advertiser

Gunnion wantsmore cupruns

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KELTY HEARTS .................... 2 JEANFIELD SWIFTS ............ 1 Matthew Gallagher

They were historymak­ers even before a ball was kicked.

But Jeanfield Swifts were left pondering what might have been after falling agonisingl­y short in the first round of the Scottish Cup.

The proud Perth club made the 25-minute journey to New Central Park, home of Kelty Hearts, for a debut appearance at this stage of the famous competitio­n.

Excitement had meandered through the streets of the Fair City in the build-up to Saturday afternoon’s date with destiny. While the Fife hosts were flying high at the top of the Lowland League, Swifts had a dream.

The theme song from Scottish comedy-drama ‘Local Hero’ blasted out over the tannoy as captain Aaron Whitehead led his teammates onto the field of play. For many, these Perth guys were indeed local heroes.

They were not here to make up the numbers, though. A

Captain Aaron Whitehead almost sends Swifts into the lead (main). Above left, Dylan Easton was Kelty’s man of the match. And below, Fraser Smith on the ball. Photos: kayem photograph­y ball somewhere in and around the goal.”

Striker Mark Smith came off the bench and quickly struck the post, allowing Chris McLeish to tuck home the rebound for 2-1.

Gunnion said: “Mark was unlucky not to start because he’s played really well recently.

“I just felt the way they can control games, we needed the extra man in midfield.

“He came on and showed what an asset he is. It maybe gives me something to think about in the weeks ahead to not leave him out again.

“It wasn’t a game of massive opportunit­ies but what it did show is that our players can compete with the best in the Lowland League.

“Let’s be honest, Kelty are winning the Lowland League at a canter at the moment. We want to be promoted to that league – and not just get promoted, but compete.

“I never like losing games but when the players give me everything they’ve got, I can’t argue. We need to reset and assess what we could’ve done better. I genuinely believe there is more to come.”

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Desire

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