BSC Glasgow advanced into the quarter finals of the SFA South Region Challenge Cup

BSC Glasgow 2 - 1 East Stirlingshire SFA South Region Challenge Cup :: 11th November, 2017

Scottish Lowland League leaders BSC Glasgow advanced into the quarter finals of the SFA South Region Challenge Cup as they saw off a spirited East Stirlingshire side in what was a highly competitive match.

Goals either side of half time from the familiar pairing of Jack Smith and Gary Redpath proved to be enough to see off the Stenhousemuir side after a late Andrew Rogers strike threatened to spoil the BSC party.

In what was a fractious first half, neither team was able to get a proper grip on the game with both sides seeing big chances go begging. BSC’s Robert Jones, in for Martin Grehan, would have been disappointed not to make the most of an early defensive error from the Shire, seeing his shot hit the side netting after being in one-on-one with keeper, Jamie Barclay.

Perhaps a more glaring miss was to follow from Stephen Murray as he somehow shot wide from close range after excellent work down the left from Jones. Despite these opportunities going awry for the Glasgow side, East Stirlingshire looked threatening throughout with Paul Sludden and Liam Allison causing the BSC defence some bother. But for an inspired display from goalkeeper, Ryan Marshall, the outcome of this match may well have been different.

Just when it looked as if the stalemate would remain unbroken as we went into half time, BSC captain, Ross McMillan, rose highest at the back post to get on the end of a free kick from Murray. His header, directed back across goal, found Smith in the six-yard box who powered the ball past a flailing Barclay to give the Lowland League leaders a half time lead.

BSC were to make the most of the momentum that the Smith goal had generated minutes after the teams had kicked off for the second half when Robbie Duncan made the most of space that opened up in the Shire defence to burst through on goal. His unselfish cut back across the onrushing Barclay meant Redpath couldn’t miss. A touch of ruthlessness either side of half time left the Shire with it all to do.

However, the second goal appeared to spark the game into life as East Stirlingshire began to up the tempo of their attack as they sought a way back into the cup tie. Sludden and Allison seemed to cause the BSC defence problems time and again but this push for a goal left them exposed at the back. The devastating pace of Jamie Mills from left back was hurting the Shire and, but for better finishing, BSC could have put the game out of sight.

East Stirlingshire were persistent in their assault on the BSC goal, though, seeing a couple of shots brilliantly saved by Marshall as well having one cleared off the line by Ross McMillan. They eventually got their reward about five minutes from time when a slip from Ciaran Donnelly allowed Andrew Rogers in on goal with the striker curling one off the post beyond Marshall.

Nonetheless, it appeared the familiar case of ‘too little, too late’ for the visitors as a disciplined BSC defence saw the remaining minutes out. A return to league action for the leaders next week as they face mid-table Cumbernauld Colts at the Indodrill Stadium in an attempt to make it four wins on the bounce.

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