MATCH REPORT: ARTHURLIE 4-0 LUGAR BOSWELL THISTLE
Scorers: Simeon (15) & Leyden (pen 60, pen 69, 90)
By Ross Lafferty
It was Scottish Junior Cup action this week for Arthurlie as WoSFL Third Division side Lugar Boswell Thistle visited Dunterlie.
The two sides were Conference A rivals last season but now find themselves four divisions apart following contrasting seasons.
Having defeated their East Ayrshire rivals in both meetings during the last campaign Craig Palmer’s men will have been looking at this as an ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways following a troubled start to their time in the Premier Division.
And the home side almost made the perfect start, Lee Roulston seeing a header from a corner come back off the bar in the second minute.
Three minutes later the woodwork again came to Lugar’s rescue, Ali Miller crashing a Tam McGaughey cutback off the crossbar.
Lugar should have taken the lead on 12 minutes, however, first seeing a shot blocked from close range before turning over in the goalmouth scramble that followed.
They were to regret those misses 3 minutes later when ‘Lie took the lead, Dale Simeon heading high into the net from a pinpoint Alan Dunsmore cross.
On 32 minutes the lead should have been doubled but the normally clinical Mick MacNeil headed narrowly wide from close range.
Simeon could have doubled his own tally a few minutes later but was denied by the inspired Scott Johnstone in the Lugar goal.
With less than 2 minutes of the half remaining Lewis Warnock sent McGaughey through on goal but the winger’s left-footed effort rebounded off the post and safely into Johnstone’s arms.
After a drab start to the second half the home side spurned a glorious chance to add a second on 55 minutes when Dunsmore’s cross from the right was turned wide at the back post by Simeon.
But the lead was eventually extended 5 minutes later, Jordan Leyden converting from the penalty spot after a McGaughey cross had been handled in the box.
Leyden was back on spot-kick duty 9 minutes later, successfully converting once again following a foul just inside the box.
Having went 3 down, things then got even worse for Lugar, Dean McLaughlin seeing red for a second yellow when he was harshly adjudged to have dived 30 yards from the Arthurlie goal.
With the game drawing to a close, and ‘Lie safely into the third round, Leyden got to round off a fine afternoon’s work when he grabbed his hat-trick with a low left-footer into the bottom corner.
It was a fitting end to a convincing win, with Arthurlie growing stronger as the game went on and hopefully boosting confidence ahead of next week’s trip to Hurlford.
Arthurlie team: Scott, Dunsmore, Bradley, MacNeil, Leyden, Warnock (Shields), Miller (A.McIntyre), Roulston (J.Catlow), McGaughey (A.Catlow), Simeon, Carroll (c) (McMillan)
Subs not used: Pearce, Anderson (GK)