Tannahill 1 Stewarton United 0
Stewarton were sent crashing from the Scottish cup in a miserable encounter at St James Park, Paisley on Saturday by Tannahill of the P&D first division.
Just as the large jets from nearby Glasgow Airport did, Stewarton got off to a flyer after Stuart Dick had a glorious one-on-one chance to clinch his first of the cup campaign and the day’s opener after only two minutes, only for the ball to take a nasty bobble and the young midfielder to strike straight at the Tannahill keeper.
The game was struggling early on with a congested midfield area seeing most of the play, however for all their possession Stewarton’s new five-man midfield could not clinch the elusive opener.
Lavery, United’s best player so far this season, and Scott were linking well causing massive problems for the home defence, however they were time and again undone by bad luck and an increasingly brilliant performance by Glen in goals.
Last week United’s own keeper Darren Wilson kept them in the game however, Stewarton’s number one was almost redundant in the first half as Tannahill struggled to cause Stewarton any real problems. When Wilson was called into action on the half hour mark, he saved well at his front right-hand post, and United escaped with a warning.
However, it was ultimately a warning that United chose not to heed after failing time and again to profit from their dominance and superiority.
Five minutes into the second half and Lavery was replaced by McNaughton, and the striker immediately linked well with Scott. United were completely dominant with Thomson and Taylor causing massive problems for the home defence, but it was evident that United would be made to pay for failing to find the net.
After a baffling double substitution which saw Currie, who was supreme at the back for United, and Kilpatrick swapped for McCluskey and Waddell, United’s defence looked to be in disarray. The 3-5-2 formation that Stewarton had been forced to adopt was working well largely because of Currie’s work rate, however with Brown stepping into left-back the Ayrshire team looked shaky, and this was to be their demise.
On 72 minutes Brown, as had the referee all game, was found out of place to allow harmless Tannahill possession to be converted to attack from which Robertson took advantage to make it 1-0, at which it would stay.
United heaped on the pressure in the last 20 minutes only to be denied again by fine goalkeeping and bad luck. Scott and Dick both had great chances saved after fine work by Thomson and McNaughton, and McNaughton himself almost benefited from Thomson’s work only to narrowly shoot over.
A disappointing cup run that never really took-off for United ended with a crash landing.