East Kilbride booked their place in the third round of the Scottish Cup after overcoming Whitehill Welfare 4-0 at Ferguson Park.
Whitehill kicked off on a windy Sunday afternoon and were immediately on the back foot due to East Kilbride’s high press.
The first chance of the game fell to East Kilbride’s Gavin Millar after three minutes. The left winger got on the end of a long throw and drove toward goal down the left, but fired his shot wide of the far post.
East Kilbride went close to taking the lead following a fortuitous cross from left-back Conor Bell. The defender curled a high cross in from the left that swerved towards goal, forcing Welfare keeper Ross Jardine to acrobatically tip the ball over the bar.
East Kilbride continued to dominate the game and deservedly took the lead after 27 minutes. Central midfielder Lewis Doherty had the ball in the centre of the pitch about 35 yards out and found Jay McInally with a superb through ball. McInally kept his composure and slotted past the left of the onrushing Jardine.
Millar then came close to grabbing East Kilbride’s second. The winger received the ball in the middle of the park, beating one player before lashing a right foot shot from 25 yards that Jardine parried over.
Whitehill Welfare struggled to create clear-cut chances and their striker Declan Knox became increasingly isolated.
McInally would have grabbed a second if not for a fantastic reflex save from Jardine. The ball fell at McInally’s feet following a corner and the forward blasted a close-range shot at the Whitehill Welfare goal, only for Jardine to tip the ball wide of his near post.
The referee soon blew his whistle for half-time with East Kilbride narrowly leading by one.