MATCH REPORT: ARTHURLIE 2-1 ROSSVALE
By Ross Lafferty
Conference A leaders Arthurlie continued their progress in the West of Scotland League Cup with a third round victory over Premier League Rossvale.
Manager Andy McFadyen freshened up the team with four changes from the line-up that took on Whitletts last week, perhaps with one eye on the midweek fixture against Maybole, as Garry Black, Conor Bradley, Lee Roulston and Gary Smith all started at Dunterlie.
With both teams feeling each other out in the opening stages there was little to talk about in terms of goalmouth action, a last ditch challenge from Lance Pearce on Jordan Logan preventing an early effort from the visitors on 5 minutes.
Mikey McWilliams did get a shot away three minutes later but his effort was easily gathered by Garry Black in the Arthurlie goal.
The home side were taking a bit of time to warm up but Lee Roulston managed to get a shot in on 13 minutes when his drive from a tight angle was well held by ex-Arthurlie man Craig Gordon in the Rossvale net.
On 25 minutes ‘Vale should’ve been in front. Left-back Johnny Kavanagh worked his way into the Arthurlie box and cut the ball back to James Dolan, but his effort from only 8 yards went way over the bar.
Substitute Darren Ramsay, who had earlier replaced the injured Andrew McLaughlin, tried his luck on the half hour but his well-hit half-volley from 25 yards was straight at Gordon.
Brad Rodden then had a long-range effort safely held by Black before ‘Lie had their best moment of the game so far.
A loose ball on the right of the visitors’ box broke to Alan Dunsmore on 40 minutes and, from the edge of the box, his curling effort with the outside of his right foot crashed off the crossbar.
Gary Smith tried to convert the rebound with a spectacular scissor-kick but a Rossvale defender managed to get his body in front of the ball and deflect it away.
With the half drawing to a close, and the scores still level, Arthurlie stepped up a gear for a moment to take the lead.
Roulston played a one-two with Smith and upon receiving the ball back hit a first time shot that Gordon could only parry on to the post and into the net.
Arthurlie came out after the break looking to add to their lead and Tam McGaughey worked himself into space well in the first minute before setting up Smith who sent his shot over the bar.
With an hour of the game gone, it became Rossvale’s turn to feel the effects of Aaron Healy’s talents. The 18-year-old burst free on the left wing and showed a clean pair of heels to Robbie Torrance before smartly slotting past Gordon to double the lead.
On 70 minutes, Smith almost scored what would have been the undoubted goal of the season. Dunsmore turned and twisted on the right to create himself some space before dinking a cross into the centre that Smith cracked against the crossbar with a perfectly executed overhead kick.
It was a close call that would prove a problem for Arthurlie 10 minutes later when Rodden’s shot from 20 yards somehow dribbled through Garry Black’s legs and into the net.
Three minutes later Black stopped the away side claiming an equaliser, however, getting across goal well to parry Dolan’s shot wide.
After absorbing a spell of Rossvale pressure Arthurlie broke up the park on 85 minutes, Healy weaving his way into the box again from the left before setting up McGaughey whose right footed effort was blocked by Gordon.
Simeon and Smith also came close soon after but both efforts went wide of Gordon’s right hand post.
As the game approached the end ‘Vale were pushing hard for a leveller and it almost came with practically the last kick of the ball. A ball from the left was put across goal to Rodden but he made a huge mess of his left footed effort and sent the ball way off target with the goal gaping.
And with that, Arthurlie saw out the last few seconds to claim a second top division scalp in just ten days to make their way into the fourth round.
Arthurlie team: Black, Dunsmore, Bradley, Pearce, MacNeil, McLaughlin (Ramsay 10 (Simeon 68)), McGaughey, Leyden (c), Smith, Roulston, Healy
Subs not used: Nolan, Zeb, Amponsah, Carroll, Scott (GK)