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South Lochaber Thistle secured their passage to the third round of the Scottish Cup with a comprehensive victory against Glasgow Wellington. Again.
The repeat tie, due to a referee error in the previous game, was played in ‘Highland conditions’ from the start with the weather rather more suited to Wellington boots than football boots for everyone involved.
The game was fast and frenetic from the start, with neither team able to get a firm hold.
The home side slowly started to exert their dominance, with Sean Noble fashioning a pair of decent chances. Logan Barker, Keir Kennedy and Martin Munro were linking well and all three made the ‘Duke’s’ defence look leaden-footed.
As half time approached, Munro left the defender for dust before cutting it back for Barker to finish smartly under pressure and give the Jags a 1-0 lead at the break.
With the weather getting worse, Barker doubled his tally for the day after Lewis Campbell played a pinpoint ball through to Andrew McLean. McLean took a good forward touch to nose past the defender and his cut back from the byline was slotted home by Barker.
The Jags backline, marshalled by seasoned centre half Kieran Lopez, were giving little away.
Wellington were, however, coming back into the game and Lewis Campbell and John Ferguson were being tested by the Glasgow outfit’s wide men, the Thistle full back pairing consistently coming out on top.
The Jags looked to put the game beyond doubt and they did so in spectacular fashion. A great cross-field ball from Munro saw Noble unleashed from his wide right vantage point, the hawk-like full back/winger striding forward and boldly chipping the oncoming keeper with an impish finish on the angle with Messi-like finesse.
All that was left was for Barker to net his hat-trick. After winning the ball high up the park, Kennedy laid on a delicious pass for Barker to slot home.
Wellington pulled one back from a set piece, with Curtis Rose rising like a salmon to nod home a consolation goal for the travelling side.
At the full time whistle, the score was SLT 4 Wellington 1 and the Kinlochleven side had secured their place to Aberdeen for a third round tie with Insches AFC.
Manager Alan Gray said: ‘Huge thanks to Glasgow Wellington FC for coming up and playing again. We wish you all the best for the rest of the season, odd circumstances of the replay aside.
‘It was an excellent performance from a very strong Thistle side today. Logan thoroughly deserved his man of the match award but everyone played extremely well.
‘A special mention to Dave Forbes, veteran, founding member and arguably the biggest whinger in the team, who defied his age to cover every blade of turf alongside the industrious Andrew Mclean today. He really rolled the years back.
‘Finally, thank you to everyone who decided to spend their Saturday afternoon in the heavy rain in Kinlochleven. The lads appreciated it.’
Main Photograph (NO_F44_SLT V WELLINGTON 07): Celebrations in the rain as SLT take an unassailable lead. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.