McMath makes numbers count in South Cup tie

Leithen Rovers v Musselburgh Windsor at Netherdale. Alan McMath in orange for Leithen jumps for the ball.
Leithen Rovers v Musselburgh Windsor at Netherdale. Alan McMath in orange for Leithen jumps for the ball.

Leithen Rovers5

Musselburgh Winds3

He is nicknamed Speedie, and Alan McMath is showing no signs of slowing down as he bagged another hat-trick to guide Leithen Rovers to the South Cup semi-finals.

McMath scored two goals in the final 10 minutes on Saturday to ensure extra time was not required after Lothian East League side Musselburgh Windsor pushed Rovers all the way.

McMath’s strikes mean Rovers are still on target for a third South Cup title in four seasons, and boss Paul Graham paid tribute to his hitman at full-time.

He said: “Alan’s workrate is unbelievable and he causes so many problems for opponents. His three goals were just reward for his efforts.

“At times I thought we did not want to get through the way we played and I think the Musselburgh goals gave our players the kick up the backside they needed.”

McMath may claim he bagged four in this cup tie, which was moved to Netherdale 3G Arena due to their soggy home pitch.

However, while he fired the 12th-minute shot at goal which found the net, it was mainly thanks to a massive deflection off Musselburgh midfielder David Wood.

Windsor always looked a threat going forward and it was no surprise to see them strike back on 23 minutes when a cracking run by Darren Gourlay ended with his cross being volleyed in by Paul Marshall.

Windsor’s woeful defending was evident on the half-hour as Peter Shearlaw’s corner somehow made it through the penalty box for McMath to head in from six yards. Rovers appeared to be comfortable at this stage, but three goals in eight frantic minutes sparked the cup tie into life.

Windsor’s Scott Gourlay was first up with a superb strike on the left touchline which flew over keeper Chris Watson in the 63rd minute.

Rovers struck back five minutes later when Colin Smith worked his way to the touchline and his low cross somehow made it all the way to Shearlaw to tap home from all of three yards.

But back came Musselburgh with another fine goal, as Scott Gourlay’s cracking pass was finished by a fine chip by Marshall.

It seemed extra time was on the cards, but up stepped McMath to seal the victory. He linked up with Hagen Steele to make it 4-3 10 minutes from time, and 60 seconds later McMath struck again.