Red Star battle through in cup thriller

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RJM Sports Scottish Amateur Cup, second round

Lochgilphead Red Star 3 – Lanarkshire Forrest 2

Red Star returned to action after a two-week lay off last Saturday as they welcomed Lanarkshire Forrest to Lochgilphead joint campus for this Scottish Amateur Cup tie.

Star were forced into a number of personnel and positional changes, which looked to have an effect early on as they struggled to get their passing game going and with a few errors creeping in.

Forrest, who ply their trade in the Strathclyde Saturday Morning Amateur Football League, were looking to make use of the long throw-in, and it was through this tactic that they managed to get the opening goal. The centre back launched one to the back post and, despite several attempts to clear the ball, Star couldn’t avert the danger and the visitors’ striker prodded the ball home from close range to put his side in front after 20 minutes.

At the other end Star were looking for a way back into the game, and were able to pile on the pressure by forcing a succession of corners. The equaliser came on the half hour mark when the ball fell to Kieran Moore, who found the bottom corner from twenty yards with a neat finish.

Star fell behind again on the stroke of half time in bizzare fashion.

A long ball over the top caught out the backline, allowing the Forrest striker to go in on Kalache. The big keeper did well to block the effort and the ball trundled towards goal – the Star defence meanwhile managed to get back and appeared to have cleared the ball with yards to spare. Much to the bemusement of the players the referee, however, adjudged the ball to have crossed the line and awarded Forrest the goal and Andy Weir a yellow card for his protests.

The Lochgilphead side went into the second half with a sense of injustice and knowing that they had to raise their game if they wanted to progress and started the half on the front foot.

As the passing improved and the visitors started to tire the chances were starting to mount up with Innes Meikle and Kieran Moore both bringing excellent saves out of the Forrest keeper.

There was a sense of relief when Innes Meikle pulled his team level on the hour mark as he turned twenty five yards out and fired his shot past the keeper and into the top corner to equalise at 2-2.

Star were surging forward at will by now, but were finding Forrest’s backline tough to breach until Kieran Moore struck with a moment of magic as he beat two defenders on the edge of the box before coolly slotting into the bottom corner to put Star ahead for the first time.

From there the game should really have been out of sight, but some wasteful Star finishing left the door open for Forrest and they had the chance to equalise from the spot with three minutes to go. Andy Weir was adjudged to have brought down the striker and the referee pointed to the spot.

The striker dusted himself down and went for the bottom corner but Luke Kalache was on hand to block the effort with an outstanding save to secure the victory for Red Star and guarantee a place in the next round after a pulsating 90 minutes.

PICS:

Red Star forward Kieran Moore skips past defender Andrew Murray. 06_a40RedStar01

His cross was blocked by visiting defender Jamie McDougall this time, but Innes Meikle scored a screamer shortly afterwards to level the scores. 06_a40RedStar02

Red Star’s Neilly Russell battles for the ball. 06_a40RedStar05

This is what scoring the winner feels like. Kieran Moore celebrates his classy goal. 06_a40RedStar06