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Enjoyable read of Penicuik v Lochee Utd. Not just a match report but a little bit of history thrown in. I'm covering Lochee v Pumpherston today.  I do Lochee website report so no problem to copy and paste it on here if it's not stepping on any toes.

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Lochee United progressed into the next round of the DJ Laing East of Scotland Cup with a comfortable 2-0 home victory over West Lothian visitors Pumpherston, first half goals from Grant Lawson and Paddy Deane being enough to see the Bluebells through.

The home team threatened from the kick off and a deep free kick from keeper Jordan Miller to Deane and then on to Lawson caused problems for the visiting defence.

They were in trouble again on seven minutes when another deep ball from the on-loan Montrose keeper found Connor Birse who played it to Logan Davie via Deane. Davie’s effort was headed off the line by Pumpherston’s Neil Hastings into the grateful arms of keeper Connor Shaw.

A minute later though, and the away team almost took the lead. Mark Wilkins sent a great ball through for Jack Ogilvie whose 12-yard shot was smothered by Miller.

Five minutes later Pumpherston carved out another great opportunity. Dougie Cameron’s slack pass was picked up by Wilkins and again he sent through a great ball for top scorer Ally McRitchie. His shot squirmed through the legs of Miller but Craig Smith was there to hack the ball away from danger.

It was the visitors’ goalie who had to be on his toes just moments later when Davie picked out Reece Ritchie in the box, blocking the midfielder’s shot.

Deane appeared to open the Lochee account on 23 minutes when he forced his way past a couple of defenders and walked the ball into the net but the referee awarded a free kick for a perceived foul on the Pumphy keeper.

However, the opener was only delayed another four minutes when LAWSON picked up the ball on the edge of the box and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner.

Goalkeeper Shaw brought off a couple of excellent saves, firstly from Deane and then from Birse and saw his side almost get back on level terms when his opposite number Miller brought off a fine save from McRitchie.

A minute or so before half time the home side gave themselves some breathing space with a second goal, a combined effort between Birse and Lawson setting up DEANE to fire home.

Pumpherston knew that if they could get a goal back they were right back in the game and they started off the second half in determined fashion. Colin Page got on the end of a corner kick and forced Miller into a fine save, turning the ball round the post.

McRitchie then found himself through on goal but Smith was there to help out his keeper and clear the danger.

Jack Beaumont fired a free kick over the bar as Lochee appeared to take their foot off the gas, possibly feeling the job was done.

Time and again the home team found themselves in good positions but the final pass was poor and Shaw’s goal was rarely threatened seriously.

The visitors brought on another sub, Ed Mangan for McRitchie and six minutes from time Scott McComiskie came on for Birse.

There was no further scoring though and Lochee deservedly go through.

Jordan Miller in goal had his fourth successive shutout since signing for the Bluebells but will no doubt give some of the credit to Craig Smith who strolled through the game in central defence and twice came to his rescue.

Smudger was signed as a forward player but has been deployed in central defence in recent games by manager George Shields due to injury problems and the young player has been a revelation.

FT: Lochee United 2 Pumpherston 0

Lochee United: Miller, Webster, Smith, Kirk, McNally, Ritchie, Cameron, Davie, Birse (McComiskie 84), Deane, Lawson. Subs not used: Fotheringham, Lunan, Whitehead, Millar.

Pumpherston: Shaw, Millar, Rendall, Page, Hastings, Carroll, Wilkins, Beaumont, McRitchie (Mangan 78), Sneddon, Ogilvie (Hepburn 57). Subs not used: Muir, Nicholson.

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Super League

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2 Lochee United 3

A second half hat-trick from Connor Birse was enough to rescue a half time deficit and earn the visiting Bluebells three hard earned points.

At a tidy Keirs Park Lochee United ran out deserved winners despite a determined effort from the home side.

The pitch was cutting up quite a bit and both sets of players found the footing tricky, but the visitors were first to show their hand with a Jamie Reid header over the bar in the opening minutes.

Lochee continued to dominate the opening period and had another chance on 11 minutes, but, despite the best efforts of Reid, Grant Lawson and Craig Smith, they just couldn’t find the net.

The home side began to come into things and only a great clearance by Danny Millar prevented them from going ahead. Millar’s clearance actually ran all the way through for Smith but his cross was booted away for a corner.

Then a Lawson cross was headed towards his own net by Kevin Connors who was relieved to see the ball blasted clear off the line.

And, a minute later, on the 20-minute mark, Haws took the lead. Lewis Elder broke upfield and Connors, this time at the other end, had a deflected shot hacked off the line by Stephen McNally but the ball fell kindly for Aaron HAY, who drove it past Mark Stewart in the visiting goal.

Haws tails were up and Elder had another chance which Stewart smothered.

On the half hour mark, Stewart misjudged a ball into his box and was beaten to it by Elder, who could only fire his shot wide.

Lochee had lost some of their earlier impetus but, eight minutes from half time Smith was presented with a chance, but he delayed too long and was dispossessed.

There must have been something in the half time tea because Lochee came out all guns blazing in the second half and, within four minutes, had taken the lead. Sixty seconds in, a McNally free kick from the left was headed in by BIRSE from almost on the goalline.

Three minutes later the Bluebells were ahead. The ball fell kindly for Lawson in the Haws box and he fed BIRSE who guided it into the net from 12 yards out.

Reece Ritchie then had a chance which he blazed over the bar but the home side weren’t out of it and Daniel Watt had a shot cleared off the line by McNally. The Fifers’ striker then hit the bar but was adjudged offside.

A superb through ball from Reid put Ritchie one on one with the keeper but Stuart Hall did well to come out and block Ritchie’s effort.

On 70 minutes Scott McComiskie came on for Reid and, three minutes later, Greg Kirk replaced Paul Lunan.

With 15 minutes left, Haws levelled, a cross from the right was headed down into the path of WATT, who lashed the ball home.

Birse had a strong claim for a penalty when his cross appeared to be handled by a defender, but the Lochee man made sure of the points when he headed home the winner seven minutes from time when Ritchie sent McComiskie down the left to fire over a perfect cross for the inrushing BIRSE to make it 3-2.

FT: Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2 Lochee United 3

Hill of Beath: Hall, Grierson, Connors (Denton 73), Harrower, Wright, Hay (Schiavone 61), Mitchell, Smith, P Allan. Elder, Watt.

Lochee United: Stewart, Millar, Whitehead, Lunan (Kirk 73), McNally, Lawson, Cameron, Ritchie, Reid McComiskie 70), Birse, Smith.

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Despite a strong wind that made good football almost impossible, Lochee United coasted through to the next round of the Scottish Junior Cup with an ultimately comfortable win over their Lanarkshire visitors.

However, they were almost shocked in the opening minute when Dougie Ryan found himself one on one with goalkeeper Mark Stewart. The striker had all the time in the world to net the opening goal but struck his shot at Stewart’s outstretched legs.

And how the visitors paid for that miss with the Bluebells taking the lead 90 seconds later! A rather harsh hand ball was given against a Thistle defender and, from 25 yards out, Stephen McNALLY sent his free kick powering past keeper Martin Meek.

With a gusty wind at their backs Lochee kept up the pressure and Reece Ritchie’s ball into the box was just too strong to find a team mate.

On 15 minutes the home side doubled their lead. Greg Kirk did well to keep the ball in play and fed it to Ritchie who in turn found Scott McComiskie and Scott’s ball across the face of goal was turned into the net by Connor BIRSE.

Ritchie had a chance to further extend the lead when he intercepted a loose passback but he shot over the bar.

The wind wasn’t doing Lochee many favours as the ball was frequently overhit and East Kilbride gradually came into the game. Paul Lunan was unlucky to handle on the edge of the home box and David McKean’s free kick just went wide of the left hand post.

The visitors had another free kick just minutes later with Ryan just failing to connect with the ball into the penalty area.

Craig Smith was first to go into the book after a clash with Chris Faulds, the first of four bookings for the home side as against two for East Kilbride, but the game was never dirty and Grant Lawson’s yellow card late on was particularly dubious. The other Bluebells to go into the book were Kirk and Dougie Cameron.

As the half ticked away Smith and Lawson combined to put in a dangerous cross for Birse, but the Lochee player just couldn’t reach it.

Thistle came out for the second half in determined mood, reckoning that if they could get an early goal back they might be in with a shout and it very nearly happened.

Just three minutes in, McKean burst into the Lochee box and with just Stewart to beat, managed to blast his effort high and wide.

The Lochee defence came under some pressure at this stage but good work by the back four of McNally, Lunan, Kirk and Danny Millar saw them hold firm and kept the danger away from Stewart.

It was pretty even stevens at this stage but Lochee punctured the Thistle hopes with a third goal on 61 minutes. A good move down the left involving Birse and Lawson saw SMITH convert Lawson’s cross past keeper Meek.

The visitors made a triple substitution at this stage but the home side were coasting now. Logan Davie came on for Ritchie on 65 minutes and three minutes later the game was all but over when Cameron’s cross from the left was tapped home by BIRSE for his second of the match.

Stewart had to look lively to punch away a powerful Scott Hadden free kick but the home side struck again on 70 minutes. Substitute Davie started it by picking up the ball on the halfway line before passing to Birse. Birse then found Smith to Lawson then a ball into the box where DAVIE had continued his run to smash the ball into the goal for Lochee’s fifth.

Jamie Reid then came on for Smith and Scott Webster for Cameron as the Bluebells tightened their grip on the game. Thistle were pretty demoralised at this point but credit to them for some nice football and for having a real go in tricky conditions.

FT: Lochee United 5 East Kilbride Thistle 0

Lochee United: Stewart, McNally, Millar, Lunan, Kirk, McComiskie, Ritchie (Davie 65), Cameron (Webster 78), Lawson, Birse, Smith (Reid 71).

East Kilbride Thistle: Meek, Barclay, C McLean, Faulds (White 61) Marshall, S McKean, Morgan, Hadden, Ryan (McLaughlin 61), D McKean, Gillespie (McClune 61).

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Lochee United moved into the quarter-finals of the Scottish Junior Cup with a battling 2-0 win away to Irvine Meadow.

The game only went ahead after a morning pitch inspection and was played on a very heavy surface which made good football extremely difficult.

But it was the visitors who adapted better to the conditions and triumphed thanks to goals from Grant Lawson and Scott McComiskie.

Apart from Mark Fotheringham in place of Mark Stewart in goal, Lochee were otherwise unchanged from last week, but they took a while to settle.

Meadow looked up for the fight and the Bluebells had to survive a tough opening spell. After only six minutes Ben Black forced Fonzy into a great save. From the angle of the penalty area the striker curled in a shot which looked bound for the top corner until the keeper managed to tip it round the post for a corner.

It was 10 minutes before Lochee were able to mount a serious foray into the home half but Lawson’s shot went high and wide.

The visitors came more into the game and keeper Shaun Newman had to race from his line to foil Connor Birse after Ben Carson had slipped and allowed the Lochee man through.  Lawson then had a shot saved by the keeper’s legs.

Lochee’s midfield was finding it tough going on the claggy pitch and the home side began to dominate again. A scramble in the Lochee box saw a header from Medda’s Eddie McTernan hooked off the line by Craig Smith.

The homesters came close again when McTernan’s close in effort was palmed away for a corner by Fotheringham.

A free kick on the edge of the box gave Stephen McNally a chance to open the scoring but his shot was diverted over the bar by Newman.

Danny Millar and Paul Lunan were having a hard time coping with the eager Medda forwards and when Danny misjudged a through ball McTernan was on to it like a shot. His pass across goal to the inrushing Connell Boyle looked certain to result in a goal until Greg Kirk appeared and blocked the winger’s shot.

On 36 minutes Lochee took the lead. Smith saw his shot blocked but the ball fell kindly for LAWSON who drove it home from 10 yards.

Lawson had a chance to put the Thomson Park side two up five minutes from the interval but he shot wide with the keeper rooted to the spot.

The half time whistle blew with Lochee perhaps just a shade fortunate to be in front. It hadn’t been their best performance but there’s no doubt the pitch had a part to play.

Within seconds of the restart Medda might have equalised when Boyle burst through and shot straight at Fonzy but that was to be their last shot on target for the duration of the game.

They did come close on 54 minutes though when substitute Graham Boyd got a touch to a McTernan cross and sent the ball dangerously across the face of Fonzy’s goal.

With Lunan mopping up everything the Medda forwards could throw at Lochee, the visitors began to take control and Scott McComiskie came close to making it two with a shot that went just wide.

There was a good claim for a Lochee penalty when Reece Ritchie went down in the box but the referee, who was having a good game, waved play on.

Things got a bit feisty midway through the second half when Kirky was injured in a challenge and three home players, along with Cameron, went into the book.

Kirky didn’t last too much longer after this before being replaced by Scott Webster.

Lochee virtually put the game out of sight of their hosts with a second goal on 68 minutes. Good play down the right involving Smith, Ritchie and McCOMISKIE saw Scott latch on to a cute backheel before placing the ball into the far corner.

McComiskie had another chance with 10 minutes left but he shot straight at the keeper.

Medda were throwing everything they had at this stage in an attempt to save the tie but Lochee were reasonably comfortable, introducing Jamie Reid and Logan Davie for McComiskie and Birse.

There was slight panic as the 90th minute approached when sub Boyd raced through on goal but somehow he managed to blaze his shot over the bar.

This was a terrific win for the Bluebells at a tough venue against a team that fought hard but lacked the quality that Lochee possessed. Man of the match for me goes to Paul Lunan who won almost everything in the air and blunted Meadow’s attacks.

FT: Irvine Meadow XI 0 Lochee United 2

Irvine Meadow XI: Newman, McQuilken (Hannah 65), McLennan, Begley, Buchanan, Carson, Devlin, Carnwath (Willet 72), McTernan, Black, Boyle (Boyd 53).

Lochee United: Fotheringham, McNally, Kirk (Webster 65), Millar, Lunan, Cameron, Ritchie, Lawson, McComiskie (Reid 82), Smith, Birse (Davie 86).

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