Scottish Cup hopes crushed

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Beith kicked off this second round tie of the Scottish Cup at Bellsdale Park, with Glasgow playing against the slope, on a surface far removed from their bowling green of a pitch at Garscube.

It was evident within a few minutes, that Glasgow faced an uphill battle, not only against the slope of the pitch, but also against a robust Beith team. The West Super League Premier Division champions dominated this match from the first whistle and exerted their class throughout the 90mins.

Beith’s mixture of direct football and tough tackling, proved too much for Glasgow, who had reached the 2nd round for the first time in 35 years. This gulf in class became apparent, with only a minute gone; when Beith had an effort on Glasgow’s goal, which Andrew Livingstone had to be alert to.

It was a glimpse of what was to come, as Glasgow suffered a period of sustained pressure from Beith, which saw them having to defend deep in their own half. Wave after wave of attack from the home side eventually paid off, as they forced an early corner from Glasgow. The resulting corner was swung high into Glasgow’s six yard box, where it was met by the head of O’keane, who rose unchallenged on the 7 minute mark to make it 1-0. It was a sloppy first goal to concede and set the bench mark for the rest of the 90 minutes.

It was a case of déjà vu, just 4 mins later; as yet another corner was headed into the Glasgow net to make it 2-0. Again this corner was poorly defended, this time allowing Sheridan a free header. Glasgow was making things far too easy for Beith, and they handed them another gift on the 17 minute mark. From, you guessed it, yet another corner that was converted into a goal.

It was Groundhog Day for the travelling support and Beith looked like they could happily do this for the rest of the day. To be 3-0 behind so early in the game was a shattering blow to Glasgow’s cup hopes. They will surely ask questions of how 3 goals can be given away in such a manner, with corners going unchallenged in the box and with no attempt for any of them by Glasgow’s goalie, who was rooted to his line.

It was backs to the wall time for Glasgow, they had to try and get back into this game, but they struggled to get out of their own half. Things started to look up for the students after 30 mins, when Olafsson had Glasgow’s first shot on goal. 5 mins later they won their first corner of the game, Ruddy, the goal hero from the last round, became goal provider with his resulting kick and Ewan Rothnie leapt to power a header into the back of net to make it 3-1.

Glasgow took some renewed confidence from this and started to progress further up the steep slope, but just as they were getting back into this match Beith’s Joe Bradley struck to make it 4-1. Before anyone could draw breath it was 5-1, as McGarvey slotted home for Beith. Glasgow would have been praying for the half-time whistle, to escape to the sanctuary of the dressing room. But just before the break they had a chance of their own, again it came from a corner, which led to a scramble in the box, Captain Calum Tevendale battled well to win the ball, before hitting his shot off the post. It was the last action of a hard fought 45 mins for the visitors.

Glasgow kicked off the 2nd half, playing down the slope this time, but it could be deemed to have all gone downhill from here. Again Beith had an early shot to test Livingstone in goal and the pressure was back on for Glasgow. On the 58 minute mark, Glasgow’s Gatzky, had a rush of blood to the head as he scythed down Beith’s attacker to concede a penalty, he could have had no complaints, it was a stonewall foul. Andy Reid stepped up to expertly finish and make the score 6-1 to the home team.

Things were going from bad to worse for Glasgow, as just a few minutes later Olafsson was shown a red card for a reckless challenge right in front of the home dugout. He gave the referee no option but to send him for an early bath and he let his team down with a moment of madness, as the ball was going to roll harmlessly out for a shy. Glasgow were forced to shake things up in their formation, they started by hooking Michael McKay and replacing him with Joseph Watson. Mckay cut a forlone figure out on the wing for Glasgow, he started on the right wing, before switching to left, but seemed to be off the boil in this game and he made the substitution decision an easy one for Glasgow’s manager. Beith then threw caution to the wind, perhaps with one eye on their next League game, by making a triple substitution. The fresh legs heaped more pressure on Glasgow and the tired challenges were resulting in bookings and free kicks, Beith seemed to be that half a yard sharper than Glasgow, resulting in numerous fouls.

Glasgow made further subs with goal scorer Rothnie making way for Michael Gruba and finally captain Tevendale, who despite the score line, had a composed game at centre back. He made way for Andrew Black. Beith took their foot off the gas and allowed Glasgow back in the game for a short spell, with Gatzky surging forward, but with no real support from his midfield. But just as they were pushing for a goal, Beith countered to make it 7-1, as Craig slotted his shot past the hapless Livingstone. 3 mins later it was 8-1, as Kenny Mclean hit the pick of Beith’s goals, a shot from the edge of the box with the outside of his boot that rocketed into the far corner of the net.

The final whistle came as a relief for Glasgow and brought the curtain down on their historic Scottish Cup run. They were well beaten by a high flying junior team and they can take consolation from the fact they were handed a tough away draw, not many teams could have defeated Beith on this form.