Stirling Observer

Douglas Smith League Cup Semi-final


EAST KILBRIDE YM ............ 3 DOUNE CASTLE ................. 0

Doune paid dearly for missing a couple of excellent early chances as they were knocked out of the league cup in the semi-finals.

With half an hour played, a clinical East Kilbride took full advantage, scoring two goals in quick succession. Their 2-0 lead gave them control of the contest they looked unlikely to lose.

After eight minutes, Doune spurned the first of two excellent opportunit­ies. Callum Smith sent Grant Craig through on goal. He seemed to take one touch too many, allowing the keeper to divert his shot wide.

On 22 minutes, Doune squandered a second clear opportunit­y. Smith looked certain to open the scoring, but carried the ball too close to Thomson. The keeper made another important save.

East Kilbride broke the deadlock on 28 minutes with a wonderful free-kick. Craig Fry gave Allan Pacitti no chance, curling the ball up and over the Castle wall into the top for 1-0.

Five minutes later, the YM made it 2-0. Pacitti was unable to hold a cross deep to the back post and Ryan Kelly reacted fastest, latching onto the loose ball before slamming home from eight yards.

Two minutes before the break, Pacitti produced a wonderful save, diving to his right to push away a shot from 14 yards when the YM striker looked certain to extended the home side’s lead.

Doune regrouped at the break and regained their composure. The pattern of the game remained the same as during the first half. East Kilbride were a constant threat with their quick counter-attacks, with Doune having to work hard to cover and to set up their own breakaways.

After 57 minutes, Dean Manson connected with a

Christophe­r Macdonald cross. Manson’s effort hit the top of the crossbar to safety.

With Doune chasing the game, it was the home side who extended their lead with another clinical finish after 71 minutes. Pacitti pushed away a fierce shot from the right. The ball broke to Jordan Fletcher, who slammed home to make it 3-0.

The YM saw the game out, deservedly progressin­g to the final and leaving Doune to rue their uncertain contributi­on in the crucial first half.

Doune Castle – Pacitti, Campbell (Brown), D Innes, Manson, Nelson, Gibson (Paterson), Duszynski, Macdougall, Craig (A Innes), Smith (Stevenson), Macdonald.

Subs – Gillespie.

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