The full card of Stafford Cup quarter final matches was played today in some great weather around the North Coast — and some 25 goals were scored between all four matches.
Brora Wanderers 5 Lochinver 3
Brora and Lochinver served up an eight goal thriller at School Park which went the way of the home side to send the Wandies through to the semi-final. The opening goal went the way of the visiting team when Ally MacLeod hit the net a free kick which found the top corner. Lochinver’s lead didn’t last long, however, as Brora struck back, Kyle Sutherland slamming home the rebound following a Ryan Patterson shot that had rattled the crossbar. Brora took a 2-1 lead soon after when Jon Campbell finished a fine solo effort.
Brora took the second half initiative and the man Campbell was involved once again this time sending a ball through to marksman Scott Miller who scored Brora’s third of the afternoon. A Ryan Patterson free kick caused havoc for the Lochinver custodian and Garry MacLeod pounced on the loose ball to make it four. Moments later, Patterson himself netted directly from a corner to take the score to 5-1. Brora’s commanding lead was reduced in the latter stages when Lochinver scored through Fin Crook and Ken Morrison.
Golspie Stafford 4 Inver 0
Cup holders Golspie Stafford made it two wins in four days with another high scoring win, this time against Inver. There was a familiar ring to the scoresheet also with Eoghann Davie bagging another hat-trick.
Stafford were one goal to the good at the end of the first half when Shaun Urquhart fed Robbie Murray in on goal and the striker placed his shot into the bottom corner.
Golspie extended their lead shortly after the restart when Joe MacNamara found Eoghann Davie who headed beyond Aneek Khan. With twenty minutes remaining, Golspie put the game beyond their opponents with a goal from the penalty spot, awarded after Gary Mackenzie had been fouled. Eoghann Davie converted well from 12 yards and then completed the treble moments later to make it 4-0.
Invergordon SC 1 Helmsdale United 5
Invergordon Social Club – playing in their first ever Stafford Cup tie – got off to a flying start against Helmsdale United at the Recreation Grounds. Social Club took the lead in the fourth minute when Kyle MacLeod chipped a high ball into the box and David MacCormack netted at the back post. Helmsdale pushed for an equaliser and it took a last ditch tackle from MacCormack to block a goal-bound shot from Stewart Atkins. United’s Paul Gordon came close when he fired over the crossbar from an acute angle as the home side’s goal remained intact until the break.
But the tie was turned on its head in a frantic 20 minute spell at the start of the second half. It was all-square in the 48th minute when Paul Gordon scored from close range after good work by Jonah Martens. The visitors were 2-0 up five minutes later when Stewart Atkins scored with a free header at the back post. The Social Club defence, which had looked solid in the first half, began to crumble, and two wonder goals from Martens in a five-minute spell put United out of sight by the 64th minute. Kevin Cairns completed the scoring a couple of minutes later with another glorious finish.
Lairg Rovers 4 Tain Thistle 3
In the early kick off at Ferrycroft Park, Lairg Rovers had put three past their Division 1 opponents Tain Thistle after just 20 minutes. Liam Mcleod opened the scoring with a good finish from six yards on the end of a Michael Newlands cross. Michael Newlands doubled their advantage four minutes later when he pounced on a loose ball and rounded the keeper. Newlands netted again on twenty minutes getting on the end of a clearance from Craig Ross, but shorty after, Thistle reduced the deficit with a goal following a penalty award for a foul on Finn As-Chainey; Liam Rostock putting away the resultant spot kick. Lairg remained undettered in their first half assault though, and Adam Mackay added a fourth before the interval, scoring with a neatly hit volley which cannoned in off the post.
Thistle stemmed the tide in the second half and on 55 minutes, Darran Goller reduced the scoreline to 4-2 after rounding the keeper. The comeback continued as Goller netted again just five minutes later heading home a Cammy Mackintosh cross, leaving just a goal between the sides. Thistle were given further hope when Craig Ross was red carded with half an hour remaining — but there was to be no equaliser as the home side resolutely held on to advance to the semi-final.
The Stafford Cup semi-finals will be played on Saturday May 4th, as follows:
Golspie Stafford v Helmsdale United
Brora Wanderers v Lairg Rovers