Tweeddale Rovers 3

Pencaitland 1

THE last four of the South of Scotland Cup beckons for Tweeddale Rovers after a stirring 3-1 win over former Border Am rivals Pencaitland AFC.

The Lothian and Edinburgh Championship side commanded respect having had up to now a strong season and currently sit second in their league.

But this was a different Tweeddale team to what they knew from their Border Amateur days.

Driven on by the energy of youth, Tweeddale are currently on an eight-match unbeaten run as they look to turn around what was at one point looking to be a poor season.

Tweeddale started the match on the front foot, as they harried, hustled and closed down every loose ball.

This strong start almost paid immediate dividends as good closing from Joe Robertson and a miscued defensive clearance almost let in Michael Robertson.

The young striker wasn’t to be undone and more strong pressing from the front resulted in a deflected goalkeeping clearance that allowed Robertson in and he confidently found the net to give Tweeddale a dream start.

Pencaitland’s defence seemed bewildered at the pace of Tweeddale’s pressing and attacking and it wasn’t long until the Peebles team made it two.

A fast break and some good work down the right allowed Robertson in to pick out McDonald who had the goal at his mercy.

Somehow the goalkeeper managed to stick out a hand and push it onto the post, but McDonald chased down the loose ball and was clumsily bundled to the ground - giving the referee no choice but to award a penalty.

Michael Robertson stepped up and confidently converted putting The Dale two up.

Pencaitland began to enjoy plenty of possession but despite their best efforts they were never allowed to create much.

And Bertram in goal dealt well with any corners or attempts that came his way.

The Tweeddale lead at the break was a deserved one, but the start of the second half largely belonged to Pencaitland as they moved the ball around with purpose.

But the midfield and back line of Tweeddale repelled attack after attack as players consistently threw themselves into tackles and in front of shots to keep the East Lothian side at bay.

As the second half progressed Tweeddale continued to prove themselves a danger on the counter attack.

Rhys Evans missed a glorious chance after a good passing move down the left-hand side.

And they were punished for the miss when a cross from Pencaitland and an innocuous looking challenge from a Tweeddale defender had the referee pointing to the penalty spot.

The Pencaitland striker duly converted.

It was game on, and tempers started to flare as Pencaitland were reduced to ten men when one of their players reacted angrily to a booking.

The final 10 minutes saw every Tweeddale player defend strongly.

This effort was rewarded as from a Pencaitland corner, Tweeddale cleared, and substitute Robbie McNaughton ran a full 30 yards with the ball at his feet and stroked home to spark wild scenes of jubilation amongst the Tweeddale players and touchline.

Tweeddale will play Hawick United in the semi finals.

Tweeddale Rovers: Bertram, F.Moffat, C.Robertson, Johnson, Thomson, Rathie, Meikle, M.Robertson, Latto, J.Robertson, Mcdonald. Subs: Mcleod, Shortreed, Collins, McNaughton, Evans