Late Johnstone goal downs Hill in Challenge Cup
Maryhill are out of the Soccershop Challenge Cup after going down 2-1 to a late goal against Johnstone Burgh in the second round, reports Campbell Finlayson.
With Johnstone’s Keanie Park deemed unplayable earlier in the week, this tie was played at Benburb’s New Tinto Park.
But the new surroundings didn’t impact the ‘home’ team and they were handed the chance to open the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes, when the referee awarded them a penalty for handball against Jamie Gray.
Hill keeper Garry Black went the right way but the spot-kick from Ricky McArthur had too much power and flew under the keeper.
That lead lasted just seven minutes though, with Jack Easdon chasing the ball down before finding Andy McLaughlin who raced his man to the byline and drilled the ball across goal for Jay McInally to tap into the empty net.
Maryhill were spurred on by that equaliser and had chances to take the lead. Luke Martin headed wide while a clever flick from McInally found Gray in the box but his effort was tame and easily held by Stuart Collins.
Johnstone ended the half on top with Dominic Boland heavily involved, first dragging a shot of his own wide, before finding David Collins who could only flick his effort past the post.
The Hill took control of the game in the second half with McInally having two quickfire efforts, one wide and one over the bar as Ross Wilson’s side took the game to the hosts.
Roan Fitzpatrick then fired a low ball across the face of goal with no one able to convert.
With 10 to go, Johnstone had a great chance to win it when Collins found himself in on goal but Black got down well to save before the rebound was fired over.
Maryhill felt they should have had a penalty when Fitzpatrick appeared to be taken out in the box but the referee waved play on, with Darren Kennedy volleying wide.
But from the goal kick, the ball was worked into the box and played across for Jojo Gillespie to win the game for the Renfrewshire side.
This Saturday Maryhill return to league duty with a home match against Glasgow University.