Date : 11th March 2023
Opposition : West Calder
Venue : Away
Scorers : None
Booked : None
Sent Off : None
Attendance : 44
Referee : Jordan Kelly
Team Lineup :
Jake Gibson on for Joao Vieira 85 mins
Match Report :
Hermand Park passed a morning pitch inspection enabling hosts and visitors to play this King Cup Second Round tie after each received byes at the first stage of a competition currently restricted to clubs in the lower divisions of the East of Scotland League.
Injuries and unavailability depleted Rangers’ squad with Jake Gibson, who stopped playing earlier in the season after relocating to Newcastle, answering the call to swell the number of subs on the away bench to one.
The game’s opening corner in the 6th minute almost led to the opening goal. Off Regan Graham’s short kick, Drew Cummings curved the ball towards the far heights of home keeper Dean Shaw’s net but it bounced off the bar.
United responded by piling on the pressure, in the process notching up a quartet of corners of their own. The first was quickly followed by another which Evan Smith headed away from the line. Another was won when Rhys Dixon got the ball away after keeper Niall Frampton palmed Liam Whyte’s long shot from the left wing. Frampton punched out this one but his team immediately conceded another, their defensive work in numbers admirable with Dixon making some crucial tackles to stop orthodox winger James Miller ( switched to the opposite wing for the second half ) and Jack Forster popping up everywhere to disrupt Calder’s momentum.
The siege over, Drew Cummings tested Shaw with a strike he only held at the second attempt. Rhys Bloomfield’s pace caused problems on United’s left side but Tweedmouth were unable to translate his yards gained into anything more substantial. They came closest just beyond the 30 minute mark. Drew Cummings was the link, playing the ball on to Craig Bell but Shaw was too close for him to get in a decent shot.
Bloomfield went all the way himself before hitting the ball a few yards over. Shaw was forced to come far out to beat the oncoming Bell and Jack Cummings to a loose ball before a goalless first half came to an end.
Once again, Tweedmouth fell victims to an early second half goal. Twice in the opening 45, Steven Jackson had tried to break the deadlock with strikes from distance. It was third time lucky for ‘Cheeko’ when he headed the ball away from Frampton’s reach after it was crossed from the right by first half substitute Gary Livingstone.
Only a short spell passed before Calder brought on more fresh legs with a double substitution. The lead was doubled around 70 minutes. Frampton tipped a corner ball over the bar resulting in another one from the opposite flag which Alistair Morgan swung over and in at the far post.
Rangers’ heads never dropped. Jack Cummings had a chance but his shot needed more power and Bloomfield got through again but was thwarted by Shaw’s outstretched arm.