Rob Roy on trail of cup glory to round off season

Rob Roy's season continues on Wednesday when they take on St Anthony's at Guy's Meadow for a place in the semi-finals of the Euroscot Engineering Central League Cup.

Lee Gallacher nets Rob Roy's goal against Bellshill
Lee Gallacher nets Rob Roy's goal against Bellshill

The Kirkintilloch side booked their place in the last eight with a penalty shootout win in their third round tie with Bellshill Athletic at Guy’s Meadow on Monday.

Defeat for Stewart Maxwell’s side would have meant the end of their season as they have now completed all their league fixtures.

But the 3-1 shootout success after a 1-1 draw means that should they overcome Central First Division St Anthony’s they will be through to their second cup semi-final of the season, where they will face either ‘landlords’ Cumbernauld United or Greenock Juniors.

The battle with Bellshill was a hard fought and evenly balanced affair.

As play swung from end to end Bellshill came close to taking the lead with striker Chris Paton sending a low drive past the post.

Rob Roy replied instantly with Gavin Mackie firing over the bar.

Athletic’s ‘keeper Mark Peat did well to smother Paul Finnigan’s low shot before Lee Nicol sent a hooked effort over the Rabs crossbar.

As the match continued at a frantic pace Gary McMenamin was unlucky to see his 12-yard shot rebound from the Bellshill bar with Peat beaten.

Peat was in action again minutes later, diving to save McMenamin’s 20 yard powerful free-kick.

In the period leading up to the interval both sides had half chances with the Super League First Division side dangerous when breaking up field but finding Rabs defence in an unyielding mood.

The first real chance of the second half fell to John Henderson in the 54th minute when he broke into the penalty box from the right before sending his effort across the Rabs goalmouth.

At the other end a minute later Finnigan’s cross was headed on by Willie Sawyers to Gavin Mackie but his drive from an angle flashed wide.

There was a scare for Rabs when Finnigan’s slack pass back was intercepted by ex-Rob Roy player Scott Morton but keeper Jordan Brown did well to block the Athletic player’s shot.

As Rabs pushed forward for the opener substitute Lee Gallacher had a chance when through on goal, but sent the ball wide of the upright.

Then, from a Sawyers lay- off, McMenamin fired over the bar.

In the 87th minute Rabs grabbed the lead when Gallacher collected Jordan McGuire’s cross into the penalty box before taking a couple of touches then dispatching it low past Peat.

But the home support’s cheers had hardly died down when Bellshill snatched a last minute equaliser.

Lee Nicol sent a long searching free-kick into the Rob Roy penalty box and there appeared to be some defensive indecision between Barr and Carter, allowing Barry McGowan to slot the ball through the legs of Brown.

That took the match to a penalty kick decider in which Brown was Rabs hero, making two smart saves as Rabs won 3-1 on spot kicks with Gallacher, Duff and Sawyers making their kicks count.