St Andrews United: Scott Reekie sent off as United exit the League Cup at Sauchie Juniors
East of Scotland League second division United contained their premier division opponents on their own ground until a key incident on 72 minutes which was to change everything.
Less than five minutes after Ryan Dignan had blasted a great chance over for Robbie Raeside’s underdogs, United defender Scott Reekie looked to have done brilliantly to block a shot from Morgan on his own line at the other end.
Yet referee Hobbs deemed that Reekie had used part of his arm as well as his thigh.
Mr Hobbs thus issued Reekie with a straight red card and Danny Smith blasted the ensuing penalty low to Calum Brodie’s left to give Sauchie the lead.
New United signing Mitchell Sharp and teenager Jay-Jay Hutchison subsequently replaced James Collins and Lewis Grant and the former promptly earned a corner when his first shot was deflected past the post.
However, the resulting cross was easily cleared by the home defence and Sauchie began to dominate.
Jack Docherty, Smith and Ross Balmer all forced Brodie into making further good saves but the goalie made a rare error to concede a second goal in the 79th minute.
Smith hit a corner towards the near post and Brodie could only push the ball into his own net whilst under pressure.
Sam Davidson, Darren Carroll and Kameron Jackson then went close to increasing Sauchie’s lead as 10-man St Andrews tired yet a third goal duly arrived in the 90th minute through Smith, when the striker looked offside.
Referee Hobbs blew his full-time whistle a few seconds later as the rapidly dropping temperature meant parts of the pitch were frozen. United exited the League Cup in the first round for the second successive season but they have bigger fish to fry in the weeks ahead.
United visit Camelon in the King Cup third round this Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm.