Crossgates Primrose 0-3 Hill of Beath Hawthorn
Humbug Park, Crossgates
Football Nations Cup 3rd Round
Hill of Beath eased into the 4th round draw at the expense of local rivals Crossgates. Derbies don’t come much closer than this one, with not much more than the width of the A92 separating the two villages. It was the visitors that took the bragging rights thanks to goals from Kevin Conners, Callum Adamson and Lyle Kellichan.
It’s less than three weeks since we put up the new calendars but this was the second meeting of these two sides this year already. Haws won the league meeting 4-1 at the start of January and, as a result, went into this one as favourites. Both sides were at more or less full strength and both lined up with a straight forward 4-4-2 formation.
It was Hill of Beath that settled quickest, finding their rhythm and taking the game to the hosts right from the first whistle. It took the Haws just 11 minutes to make the breakthrough, Conners getting the visitors off to the perfect start.
After a week of stormy weather, we work up to a bright enough day in Fife but it was frigid cold and Primrose were taking their time to warm up. It took until 20 minutes in before they registered their first genuine attempt on goal, Archie Campbell having a go, but Hall had it well covered.
Haws enjoyed the lions share of first half possession without really putting too much pressure on the Primrose goal. For all they had the upper hand, it would have been a stretch to call it domination. There was no real drama for them in defence, but they struggled to get Watt and Adamson on the ball in the danger area. O’Neil had things under control at the back for Crossgates, but attacks were few and far between and the hosts were restricted to half chances only as the first half smouldered away nicely without ever really catching fire.
Haws started the second half well too, but couldn’t make the pressure count. Primrose gradually began to edge their way back into the game and the chances started to come. With Moffat providing the energy in midfield, the hosts were finally getting into their groove as the Haws 1-nil lead looked more & more precarious.
Although Primrose were edging it in possession terms, Haws were doing a decent job of soaking up the pressure and hitting on the break. With the game in the balance, the next goal was always going to prove pivotal. It came in the 70th minute, Adamson using his pace to beat the offside trap and lobbing the ball over Mooney to double the lead and swing the pendulum back in HoB’s favour.
Number three came within five minutes, after Grierson and Leishman combined to win a corner on the right wing. Kellichan took it, curling it deep to the back post where Mooney could only flap at the ball as it crept straight into the far corner.
The last fifteen minutes were pretty uneventful, Haws not needing to take too many risks and Primrose trying in vain to grab a consolation goal. The scoreline was a little harsh on Crossgates to be fair, there certainly didn’t seem to be three goals between the sides. It was actually a pretty even affair but Haws had that little bit of composure in front of goal and that was the real difference. Campbell has scored plenty of goals throughout his career, but he’s a striker that thrives on supply and he wasn’t really getting much of that today. Firing high balls into the wee-est man on the park was never going to work for Crossgates.
Although it was a watchable game, it was kinda tame for a cup tie between two local rivals. Without too many incidents to deal with, the referee didn’t have a lot to do and kept the game moving with just a couple of lectures when needed.
Its back to league business for these two next week, Primrose with a Friday night under the lights at Broxburn while Haws play host to Camelon as things start to get tasty in the top half of the table.
Man of the Match: in a packed midfield, most of the moments of quality came when the ball made it out to the wide areas. Any one of the wide men could have got the nod, Leishman, Kellichan and Elder all having a good afternoon. But it was Russell Grierson who edged it, playing n the right side of midfield and providing the ammunition to drive his side forward.
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