On a bright sunny afternoon at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir the teams of both Forth Valley and Lanarkshire put on a display to match the weather. It was the home team, Forth Valley, who produced a strong performance which saw them run out comfortable 6 -0 winners.
The result puts Forth Valley in a strong, but as yet unconfirmed, position to qualify from the group games.
The home side took the lead after six minutes. Forward Greg Harrower made a strong run along the bye line and his cut back gave midfielder Callum Gemmell an easy chance from six yards out.
Harrower then added a second goal after 18 minutes when strike partner Lewis McFarlane set him up for a tap in goal with an unselfish pass.
Lanarkshire were still very much in the game and Forth Valley had their keeper Thomas Kay to thank for two saves, one down low to his right, which kept their scoreline intact.
Half time 2-0.
Enzo Wright was keeping his side’s hopes alive with a good mid field performance as the second half developed but when Harrower cleverly chipped the ball over the head of advancing goalkeeper, Alex Young, to make the score 3-0 it looked like the visitor’s efforts would be in vain.
Lewis McFarlane scored the fourth goal with a good run through the middle follwed by a smart finish. Harrower the secured a very impressive hat trick when he netted with a twenty five yard free kick.
Both teams used their full substitute allowance and Ross Pincombe netted from 15 yards out after good play from fellow substitute Rory Currie.
That ended the scoring and meant that Forth Valley had added three points and a positive goal line.
On the same afternoon in Kilwinning Ayrshire SFA secured their position in the semi final ties with their third win in a row. They beat Glasgow SFA 4 – 1 to top their section with a maximum 9 points.
Some group games remain outstanding with unfortunately the Teachers’ strike action causing the postponement of arranged fixtures.