Goals from Liam Kearsley, Gregg Clarke and Cameron Dalziel were enough to beat the visiting Rothes Juniors at a windy Pitreavie playing fields, which saw a very even contest with good quality from either side.
The match saw a very stubborn start, with both teams showing glimpses of having enough to beat each other’s strong defences. The attacks seen in the early stages of the game were primarily channelled through Pitreavie’s tricky winger Lewis Johnstone and powerful forward Aaron Cunningham, with Rothes striker Ewan Taylor also showing the potential to make a big impact on the game.
The first real chance of the game didn’t fall till the 18th minute of the match and it resulted in the games first goal. Clarke swung in a dangerous ball from a corner, which was then met by a towering header from defender Kearsley, which ended up in the top left corner, putting the hosts ahead.
As is so common in football, the first goal resulted in a series of chances for either side. Lewis Petrie attempted to double Pitreavie’s lead, but saw his long-ranged effort sail over the bar in the 20th minute. This was closely followed by Rothes first chance of the match, when Taylor managed to get himself in the way of a defensive clearance which cannoned off him and ended up being inches away from the goal in the 22nd minute.
Rhys McGlashan was next to threaten an equaliser for Rothes, but his effort from the edge of the box went just to the wrong side of the post in the 30th minute. The visitors continued to press as the wind started to pick up and suddenly defender Marcus Brookshank broke through and fired a low driven shot at Pitreavie goalkeeper Jay Anstruther, but the keeper comfortably denied the chance in the 35th minute.
The hosts managed to weather the storm and really started to take the game by the scruff of the neck in the few minutes that remained of the first half. Rothes keeper Ryan McIntosh was called upon in the 36th minute when Petrie shrugged off a defender and fired a shot but was expertly rejected by the Rothes number one. McIntosh was brought into action once again when Clarke had his effort saved by the powerful keeper from close range in the 40th minute.
However, with seconds remaining of the first half, the ball was swung in by a Pitreavie midfielder and fell to Clarke who wasn’t going to miss this time as he fired his shot from the back post into the bottom left corner, past McIntosh putting the hosts two ahead going into the break.