By Ross Lafferty


Arthurlie: McGaughey (1, 5, 15, 20, 52, 77, 90), Simeon (72, 89), Smith (75)

Harthill Royal: Gardner (6)

AFTER the trauma of a points deduction in midweek, it was the start of this season’s Junior Cup campaign on Saturday for Arthurlie and an opportunity to start recovering from that WoSFL inflicted blow.

Having reached the quarter-finals in the last campaign, Craig Palmer’s men will be looking to go a couple of stages further this time round, and they got off to the best possible start against their East of Scotland opponents, Harthill Royal.

The visitors put up a brave show but were ultimately caught short against their West Premier Division opponents, who will now go on to face Lugar Boswell Thistle in the second round.

The result here was never in doubt though, ‘Lie capitalising on space in behind the visiting defence in the first minute, Tam McGaughey running on to an Ali Miller through ball to open the scoring.

Five minutes later McGaughey added a second, again beating the offside trap and this time dinking the ball over the onrushing David Thomson.

But Harthill immediately hit back, the referee being the only person in the ground to notice an infringement in the area and awarding a penalty that was converted by William Gardner.

Lance Pearce and Dale Simeon both came close to adding to the home side’s tally before the quarter hour mark had even been reached in what was an all-action start to the match.

And on that fifteen minute mark, McGaughey was at it again, rounding Thomson before slamming home what must be one of the fastest hat-tricks in Arthurlie history.

Only five minutes passed before he added a fourth, converting from close range after a good save by Thomson.

With the game having calmed down a little as it approached half-time, Simeon capitalised on an error by Thomson before appearing to be pulled down by the Harthill number one.

The referee, not for the first time, however, saw things differently and, with the crowd expecting a penalty to be awarded, brandished the yellow card in the direction of the Arthurlie forward for diving.

The home side were clearly eager to get this game in the bag, arriving back on the park five minutes before the opposition, and only a couple of minutes after the restart they were handed a golden opportunity to add a fifth.

McGaughey was again at the centre of the action, being upended in the box for a penalty, but Gary Carroll cracked the resulting spot-kick off the crossbar.

On fifty-two minutes they did grab a fifth, McGaughey getting beyond the Harthill backline again and sending a first time lob over a resigned looking Thomson’s head into the net.

It was another twenty minutes before a sixth was added, another ball over the top proving the failing of Harthill, this time Simeon running on to slot past Thomson.

Three minutes later substitute Gary Smith got in on the action, slamming in off the post from a tight angle.Little over two minutes passed before McGaughey beat the offside trap again to claim his own sixth, sending the ball into the net low to the goalkeeper’s left.

Conor Bradley and Simeon both saw efforts saved by Thomson, and Jordan Leyden had a pop from the halfway line, as last season’s Conference A champions piled on the pressure in search of further goals.

And with just a minute of the match remaining, Simeon slammed home the ninth, and his own second, following a brilliant run and pass from Aaron Healy.

The scoring wasn’t finished there though, McGaughey still had one last party piece to display, cutting in from the right in the final minute to rifle home a tenth!

Arthurlie team: Scott, Pearce (Dunsmore 68), Bradley, Nolan (Shields 68), Leyden, McLaughlin (Magee 60), Miller (Warnock 60), McGaughey, Simeon, Healy, Carroll (c) (Smith 60)

Subs not used: O’Hare, Roulston

Harthill team: Thomson, Townsley, Redpath (McKee 65), Williamson (McDonald 72), Macneil (O’Kane 46), G.Johnston, Bonnes, Gardner, Campbell (McAlorum 46), Carmichael (Smart 65), I.Johnston