McMath treble takes Leithen Rovers to South semis

Leithen Rovers v Musselburgh Windsor at Netherdale. Alan McMath in orange scores with a header in first half.
Leithen Rovers v Musselburgh Windsor at Netherdale. Alan McMath in orange scores with a header in first half.

Leithen Rovers 5 Musselburgh Windsor 3

SOUTH CUP QUARTER FINALS

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 ten minutes to ensure extra time was not required after Lothian East League side Musselburgh Windsor pushed Rovers all the way.

McMath’s goals mean Rovers are still on target for a third South Cup title in four season, 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.

“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 12 minute shot at goal which found the net, it was mainly thanks to a massive deflection off Musselburgh midfielder David Wood.

Windsor attempted to play passing football throughout the game and while their defending was suspect, they always looked a threat going forward.

Therefore, it was not a great surprise to see the visitors 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 to McMath to head in from six yards.

And Musselburgh failed to learn their lesson ten minutes after the break when Ross Forrest was left unmarked in the box, only for the Leithen centre half to head the ball straight into goalkeeper Michael Welsh’s hands.

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 hand touchline which flew over keeper Chris Watson in the 63st minute. The argument over whether he meant it was probably settled by Gourlay’s lack of goal celebration.

Rovers struck back five minutes later with more rank-rotten defensive efforts from the East Lothian club. Leithen skipper Colin Smith worked his way to the touch line 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 ten minutes from time, and 60 seconds later McMath struck again.

Leithen Rovers: C. Watson, D. Paterson, C. Borthwick, C. Smith (J. Almero 90), R. Forrest, D. Pryde (S. Philibin 69), D. Thomson, A. Hardie, H. Steele, A. McMath, P. Shearlaw (T. Fleming 85).