(Above, Gregor Lamb’s birthday conincided with yesterday’s match)
Peebles Rovers bowed out of the first round of the League Cup, after Lothian Thistle overpowered the away side at Saughton Enclosure.
Ger Rossi’s side arrived in the capital for this game slightly more relaxed than usual – with progress in this cup considered a bonus. Against a Lothian Thistle side that have destroyed all that have stood before them in the league, Rovers knew they were in for an eventful evening.
Much has been made of Thistle and their capacity for fast football, but any dreams of an early goal for the home side was quickly quashed by a workmanlike Rovers, with the midfield barrier of Ger Rossi, Gregor Lamb and Ross Lamb providing the first line of defence against a proactive Lothian.
Louis Swanson was at his tricky best, with the midfielder testing the Rover’s resolve as he skilfully carved through the defence on 16 minutes – with a swift save from Ben McGinley shutting the former Tynecastle man down before anything could happen.
Swanson would prove to be the chief architect of much of the home side’s attacks, with the play maker running riot as a neat through-ball from him nearly penetrated the box – had it not been for Rossi blootering the ball to safety.
In truth, it was a very tight match – for all of Lothian’s attacking qualities, Rovers were defending stoutly and, in the instances where Peebles could break out of their own half, they looked handy going forward.
The first-half was tight and tense. with a daring double-save from Ben McGinley after an O’Donnell break-away on 38 minutes keeping the score-sheet blank.
Going into the break, it was a huge testament to the Rovers that they had been able to stifle this Lothian team – the only question was who would be first to break the stalemate?
For a time it looked like Rovers could do something, with a Ross Lamb free-kick and a half-chance from Alan McMath keeping things frosty. It wouldn’t last however.
You wait all match for a goal, then two come along at once – John Sherlock opening the scoring for Hutchy after 78 minutes following a Swanson ball, with the right-back left with a simple swipe at the ball to fire past McGinley.
The capitulation continued just two minutes later after Lothian broke clear and dashed forward, with Sean Wringe lashing the ball home to round off the scoring.
Peebles: McGinley, Mackay, Brown, Smith, Newell, Rossi, R Lamb, G Lamb, Lindsay, Fleming, McMath
Subs: Sterricks, Renwick, Schulz-Keith, Cockburn, Dodds, Zavaroni, McEwan