By Neil Hobson at East Mains
Peebles Rovers marched on in their quest for the Alex Jack Cup, as they comfortably disposed of Ormiston 0-3 in the first round at the Hibernian Training Centre.
An early goal from Gregor Lamb set the tone for what was to be a dominant performance from the boys in red and white.
Saul Schulz-Keith added a second just before half-time, slotting home from a neat Rossi through-ball before notching again in the second-half with another composed strike.
In typical Rovers style, Rossi’s men charged into battle straight from the first blow of the whistle. A thunderous storm of activity generated as the midfield churned and raged as both sides battled for the ball.
Gregor Lamb looked menacing, even in these early stages, like a horseman of the apocalypse as he tormented the Ormiston defence with his tricky footwork and movement on the ball.
It came as little surprise then, when he was the man on hand to pounce on an early cross and stab the ball past Jordan Dunsmore.
With just seven minutes on the clock, Rovers had landed a decisive body-blow.
After a start that was the equivalent of an enthralling footballing explosion, the remainder of the first-half descended into a rather scrappy affair.
Ormiston were good value in the middle of the park, but lacked the quality to pierce the Peebles defence in any meaningful way.
Alan McMath and Gregor Lamb looked to extend our lead, with the latter carving out five fine chances to no avail.
For a time, it looked as though neither side had that cutting edge as the game deadlocked in midfield. Fortunately, a sweet turn from Ger Rossi saw his beautiful pass latch onto the grateful boot of Schulz-Keith on 40 minutes.
Taking a moment to compose himself, the big man turned and tucked away the ball in the bottom-right corner to the rapturous applause of the Rovers support.
Ormiston knew they had to respond if they had any hope of salvaging a result.
Flying into the eye of the storm, Nathan Stokes jigged and swigged down the right-hand side looking to carve through the Rovers defence and into the box.
Alas, any ideas he had of scoring were swiftly put to bed as the heroic figure of Robert Sterricks smashed him off the ball before booting it clear.
By now, the Rovers were hitting top-gear; some fiendishly clever play from Lindsay saw McMath storm through the breach- denied only by a timely tackle from Zack Walker.
Lee Zavaroni entered the game on 68 minutes, quickly making his mark on proceedings a few moments later as he muscled the ball off his man as if he wasn’t even there on the right-hand side.
He slipped the ball through to Schulz-Keith, who galloped off, a man in his element. Like a Spitfire, he dodged and danced through the Ormiston defence before squeezing the ball nice and low once again.
Ormiston couldn’t respond, and we successfully saw the game out, with Colin Smith hitting a booming effort just before full-time.
Through to the next round, a Rovers win and a clean sheet- have a great weekend, everybody!
Peebles: McGinley, Dodds, Smith, Sterricks, Fleming, Schulz-Keith, Rossi, R. Lamb, G. Lamb, Lindsay, McMath
Subs: Cockburn, Brown & Zavaroni