Rovers connect to knock in four

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Methilhill Strollers...................1

Pittenweem Rovers...................4

PITTENWEEM travelled to Herd Park, Methilhill, for this Foster’s Fife Cup third-round tie, and the third encounter of the season between the two sides.

Pittenweem were looking to add to their two previous victories and overhead conditions were perfect, but the long grass proved to be a nuisance for both sides.

Pittenweem (in black and white stripes) were denied an early chance to go ahead in the fifth minute. Gardner broke from midfield and his cut-back found Ireland in the box but he was well tackled.

This allowed the home side to counter and only a last-ditch tackle, from McLauchlan, kept the stalemate intact.

Ketchen was next to try his luck for Rovers as he fired a shot over from 20 yards, following some good work down the right hand side of the park.

It wasn’t long before Pittenweem did open the scoring, however, when Young converted an in-swinging corner from the left in the 14th minute.

Unmarked, he could not believe his luck when the cross eluded all the defenders and he casually knocked the ball home with his thigh, beyond the ‘keeper’s grasp.

Pittenweem were unable to build on the early lead and continued to have to defend well. They just managed to scramble clear as Methilhill tried to force home from close range.

It was now the visitors’ chance to counter and it was Gardner, again, providing the ammunition as he sent a drive across goal but there were no takers with the ‘keeper helpless.

Pittenweem’s pace up front was causing Methilhill defenders some concern, resulting in the left-back receiving a caution for felling Gardner on the half-hour mark as Rovers continued to press for the second goal.

Methilhill’s resilience paid off, however, when, just before half-time they were able to stab home a cross from the right after Pittenweem made a meal of clearing the danger, to make it 1-1 at the break.

Pittenweem started the second period brightly, with Ketchen’s drive just clearing the crossbar on 47 minutes.

Both teams settled but the visitors always appeared more likely to add to their tally, as they increased the pressure on the Methilhill rearguard.

The 65th minute saw Ketchen elude his marker, only to be hauled down as he closed in on goal, resulting in a free kick 20 yards out and a red card for the defender.

Marc Cameron stepped up and blasted a left-foot drive under the defensive wall and into the net to put Pittenweem 2-1 up, much to the delight of the travelling support.

Cameron almost increased his own tally minutes later when he met Ketchen’s cross from the left, only to see his towering header hit the crossbar.

Ireland effectively ended the tie when he bundled the ball home in the 76th minute after the keeper did well to thwart the first effort, to make it 3-1 for Pittenweem.

Neale Smith almost made it four a minute later when his driven effort flashed just wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Bowman replaced Tarvit in the 80th minute and completed the scoring right on the final whistle.

Ireland broke through and drew out the keeper before unselfishly squaring the ball to the substitute, who tapped into the empty net to make it 4-1, sending Pittenweem into the fourth round.