Scottish Junior Cup Third Round
Saturday 19th November 2016
Blackburn United 2
Mildren 30mins, McQuillan 60mins
Girvan 5
Cunningham 5mins, 10mins & 39mins, Stevenson 46mins, McDowall 86mins

United made the worst possible start when a Jardine corner from the right was helped on by Frame and fell kindly for CUNNINGHAM to fire past Gavin King with little more than five minutes on the clock. But for some last gasp defending and brave goalkeeping it might have been two quickly thereafter but Patterson was twice denied before the visitors lead was indeed doubled in ten minutes, CUNNINGHAM turning onto Reid’s throw-in on the right corner of the area to flash a half volley behind King and into the net. Blackburn, though, found their feet as the game progressed and from a Craig Young free-kick debutant Ross Donnelly was unlucky to see his header well saved by Johnstone in the Girvan goal before he found himself through on the ‘keeper with Johnstone having to race from his line to narrow the angles and pull off another fine save. Fraser Spence was then next to try his luck but again Johnstone was equal to what was being thrown at him. A United goal was only delayed though and deservedly arrived on the half hour mark, Ewan Herriot picking out Donnelly on the right and when he made enough space to deliver a low one onto the near post James MILDREN was first to it to thump a shot into the roof of the net from the corner of the six yard box. Spence then saw another effort on goal blocked after being set up by Aaron Gowans before Martin Lawrie came agonisingly close to equalising, clattering the right hand post with a twenty yarder after stepping past Frame and onto a Gowans pass. However, as can often be the way, the men from Ayrshire re-established their two goal lead against the balance of play when King prevented Patterson from converting Jardine’s cross only for the ball to rebound into the path of CUNNINGHAM who had the easiest of tasks to complete his hat-trick.

Thirty seconds after the resumption Blackburn’s task of clawing their way back into the tie was made all but impossible when Mildren misjudged a Jardine delivery from the left to allow the ball to fall perfectly for STEVENSON who gleefully thumped past the exposed King. Chris Marshall then set up Andy McQuillan for a pop at goal that Johnstone saved before a Spence cross also picked out the striker moments later but his header from a tight angle was too high. It was to be third time lucky for McQUILLAN on the hour mark though when he timed his arrival into the heart of the eighteen yard box to perfection to accept Gowans cut back from near the byeline and roll the ball home past Johnstone. A dipping volley from eighteen yards with just under twenty minutes remaining then almost brought McQuillan a second goal but as the pace of the game began to subside and with United committing more and more men forward in search of the goals that were necessary it was the Hamilton Park me who rounded off the scoring with just five minutes to go, McDOWALL running in behind and onto a Patterson through ball to beautifully lift a shot high over the advancing King to put a wholly unrealistic look on the final scoreline.

Blackburn United line-up: King, Herriot, Lawrie, Mildren, Drummond, Spence (Calvey 72), Gowans, Young, McQuillan, Donnelly, Marshall (Williamson 82)  Subs (not used): Fleming, Govan, Meekison

Girvan line-up: Johnstone, Reid, McCreadie, Frame, Dinwoodie, Cunningham, Patterson, McDowall, Doolan, Stevenson, Jardine Subs: Auld, Mossie, Cameron

Referee: Mr. Mr. Garry Doherty
Assistants: Mr. Gary McGregor & Mr. Sean Anderson

Match photographs click here
( © Fiona McGinty )
Match highlights click here
( © Jim McQuillan )