KIRKCALDY YM manager Colin Downie praised his team after they came close to causing a cup upset against one of junior football’s big spenders on Saturday.
YM were knocked out of the East of Scotland Cup at Ore Park, home of Ballingry Rovers, who splashed out on a number of big-name signings during the summer.
However, the Kirkcaldy men, who have also invested heavily in new players this season, gave the Premier League outfit a run for their money, losing out 4-3 after an entertaining contest.
Downie told the Press: “I feel for our players because they put a lot of effort into the game and I felt they deserved something.
“It was a good team performance, and we matched them all over the pitch, but individual errors cost us.
“Ballingry are a good side, most of their team played pro last year, but I was confident I would get a good performance because we have players who can rise to the occasion.
“It was a very good game for the neutral. There was a lot of good football played, it’s just a pity we were on wrong end of the result.”
It was ex-East Fife player Bobby Linn who broke YM hearts with a double – both coming from the penalty spot.
The home side opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Craig Smart rifled home from 10 yards giving goalkeeper Chris Gay no chance.
YM hit back three minutes later when Gregg Meikle scored at the second attempt after his first shot came back off the post. Rovers soon regained the ascendency though as Linn put his side ahead from the spot following a Sean O’Neil challenge.
The home side were fortunate to gain a two goal advantage in the 34th minute when YM defender Gary Greenhill turned the ball into his own net.
YM were not going to lie down and captain Shaun Greig brought them back into the game three minutes from the interval, his perfectly placed shot left Kyle Allison helpless.
Ballingry’s Smart then stupidly lashed out at O’Neil and referee Scott Lambie had no alternative but to show him the red card. Linn seemed to secure victory for the 10 men with his second penalty strike putting the hosts 4-2 in front.
YM never gave in and when Jamie Gilfillan scored with 17 minutes left on the clock it looked like they could salvage something from the game.
In the remaining time YM threw everything at the Ballingry defence but could not get the equaliser which would have taken the tie to a penalty shoot out.
This Saturday, YM get back to league duty as they welcome derby rivals Thornton Hibs to Denfield Park.
Downie added: “This game is more important than the Ballingry cup game - and it won’t be easy.
“It’s a local derby so form goes out the window. It doesn’t matter where you are in the league it’s always a tough game against Thornton.
“The most important thing for us is getting promotion, either by finishing first or second. That’s our aim this year and it’s no secret.
“It’s not an easy league to get out of but I’m encouraged by the consistency we’ve shown in our recent competitive matches.”
Dundonald Bluebell progressed to the last 16 of the Scottish Cup with a 2-0 win away to Johnstone Burgh with goals from Lee Duffy and Craig McCreadie.
This Saturday, they will bid to reach the quarter-finals as they welcome Camelon to Moorside Park.
Thornton Hibs scored a last minute equaliser to earn a 2-2 draw at Newburgh.