Blackburn United 1 Rothes 2

Blackburn United 1 (McQuillan 16mins)

Rothes 2 (Robertson 62mins, Hyde 90mins)

United got off to a fast start against their opponents, who had opened the Highland League season with an eight game unbeaten run and almost took the lead seven minutes in when a Laurie Devine cross was deflected onto the bar by Rothes defender Finnis with Andy McQuillan heading over the bar from the resulting corner-kick. McQUILLAN would make no mistake less than ten minutes later though when he made the most of some poor defending to fire across McCarthy and into the bottom corner for the opening goal. Rothes settled into the game following the slow start but a resolute United defensive display limited them to half-chances in the first-half with a McRitchie header from a corner that went wide being the closest they came to levelling things up. At the other end, McQuillan broke clear but lacked the pace to outrun the defence while both David Howe and Calum Heath fired straight at the keeper from distance.

The second-half was near total one-way traffic in favour of the away side. Craig Saunders produced a tremendous save on fifty four minutes to deny Stark when he raced through on the right while the dangerous Cormack and Milne both went close. It appeared to be just a matter of time before the equaliser would come and it duly arrived on sixty two minutes when Cormack’s great play on the left flank led to ROBERTSON rolling the ball into the net from close range. Cormack almost headed the Highlanders in front three minutes later from a corner-kick while Gunn also went close when firing just wide moments later. Having been under the cosh for some time, Blackburn began to get a foothold back into the game with the pattern of play being two resolute defences with chances now at a premium. A goalmouth scramble nine minutes from time could easily have seen United turn the ball home for the lead but it wasn’t to be and with a replay seeming certain, Rothes struck with HYDE, on the park a mere five minutes, proving to be the match-winner as he tapped home at the back post.

Blackburn United line-up: Saunders, Sayers, Lawrie, Drummond, Millar, Meikle, Heath (Kane 78), Browne, McQuillan, Howe (Gribben 85), Devine (Smith 72)  Subs (not used): McClung, Sweeney, Ferris, King

Rothes line-up: McCarthy, Stark, Finnis, McRitchie, Milne, Robertson, Gunn, Pollock, Harkness, Cormack, A.MacKenzie  Subs: Johnstone, Browne, Davies, Wilson, Hyde, I.MacKenzie

Referee: Mr. Steven Reid

Assistants: Mr. Steven McLelland & Mr. James Taylor