Perth’s Scone Thistle proved no match for Newtongrange Star at New Victoria Park on Saturday in this East of Scotland Cup tie, as the Star grabbed a punishing 5-0 lead at half-time to ease into the next round of the East of Scotland Cup at the expense of their youthful visitors.
A hat-trick by Star’s Craig O’Reilly – in only his second game for the winners – together with a fine display from visiting keeper Matt Curtis, were strong features of this cup tie .
Newtongrange’s Scott Swaney scored the opener following good work on the right wing by Joe Dunbar, who was to play a key part in the Star’s win.
Busy Thistle keeper Curtis was beaten again in the 14th minute, this time following fine work on the left wing from Michael Deland setting up Craig O ‘Reilly to score from close range to make it 2-0.
Less than 10 minutes later, it was 3-0 – this time Lewis Turner setting up Chris King, who made no mistake with a solid finish as Star were in control.
With Thistle in all sorts of defensive trouble, just another three minutes passed before Star went 4-0 clear, as a mazy run by ace Joe Dunbar ended with the winger himself scoring with a slightly deflected shot.
Scone continued to face the music with Graham Barrett booked for dissent, and 10 minutes before the break, it was a second goal for O’Reilly, following yet another successful Joe Dunbar run and a cross not properly cleared by the ailing Thistle defence.
The second half proved to be a bit of an anti- climax, however, with a solitary goal as Star created, but missed a hatful of chances, like Chris King in 52 minutes with the goal at his mercy shooting wide.
But in 64 minutes, O’Reilly was to complete his hat-trick – with that man Dunbar again in the action to make it six without reply.
Star then eased off, seeing Thistle with more of the ball, but little pressure on the home goal.
Blair Tolmie replaced an injured Michael Deland in 72 minutes and the ball was in the Thistle net again five minutes later – but the referee blew for offside.
A double of saves from Curtis denied Lewis Turner twice from good efforts, as in the closing minutes, Thistle’s Gary McCullough blasted a chance for a consolation goal well over the Star’s bar.
Newtongrange Star: Amos, Swaney, Wilson, Donnelly, McManus, Shields, Dunbar, Turner, O’Reilly, King, Deland. Subs: Tansey, Gibson, Cherrie, Tolmie, Renton.