Civil Service Strollers 4, Newton Stewart 0
This William Hill Scottish Cup first round tie was dominated from start to finish by the East of Scotland Premier League side with the visitors failing to make inroads.
The onslaught started early with Newton keeper Harry Fidler being called on in the first minute to make a save and turn the ball around the upright for a corner.
Newton were awarded a free kick after five minutes which was deflected for a corner which was then cleared and that was about their highlights of the first half.
Strollers were producing some good football and went close after 20 minutes with an O’Neill header as they continually pushed Newton back towards their own goal and in defensive mode. The home side had showed how dangerous they were with every set piece and when they were awarded a corner on the right, the ball was swung across to the unmarked Darren Aird at the back post to head into the net.
Fidler had no chance with this effort but had been keeping his side in the match to this point with some good handling. To make matters worse for the visitors, central defender Lewis Richardson sustained a leg injury making a last-ditch tackle and although he tried to continue he had to be substituted around the 40-minute mark which meant the team structure being changed to accommodate his loss.
With the half-time interval looming, Fidler was again on the ball to make a superb one-handed save to leave the home side with a single goal advantage to take into the break.
Newton started the second half livelier than they been in the first period and Gary Smith’s shot from 18 yards just missed the target but, to be fair, hardly troubled the home keeper who was having a much quieter day than he could ever have thought possible before the match.
With 56 minutes on the clock Strollers doubled their scoreline when the ball was squared to Craig Pinnon who had the easiest of tasks to place it into the bottom left corner of Fidler’s net.
Six minutes later, the match was over as a contest when Steven O’Neill was rewarded following some good outfield play when he found time to make space to curl the ball into the bottom corner again.
Newton Stewart played the ball about well without troubling the home defence, who seemed to be content with the lead that they had taken but with the visitors pressing for a consolation goal O’Neill struck again with a curling effort in the final minute of the match for goal number four.
Newton Stewart were again found wanting in the national competition and although they were up against a competent rather than great side, they never got going. Had they produced the form of the previous week against Threave Rovers then the scoreline would have been much closer.
Very few Newton players received pass marks but young Lewis Dunn again showed some great talent and skills against players much older and stronger than himself and was rightly named as Newton’s man of the match.