Blairgowrie progressed to the GA Engineering Cup second round at the expense of Luncarty on Saturday.
Blairgowrie looked eager to get ahead but Luncarty have assembled a squad of players who have won praise and this was by no means an easy afternoon for the Davie Park side.
Steven Findlay had Blair’s first effort but dragged his shot wide. Striker Gary Axworthy turned provider for Paul Maloney who was unable to beat the keeper. Danny Millar had long range effort which went close and a Mark McColl shot did little to worry the keeper.
Attack followed attack but Blairgowrie could not break the deadlock.
Eventually Blairgowrie pressure paid off when a great ball from Steven Findlay put Gary Axworthy into a good position and he hit a powerful left foot shot into the outstretched keeper’s left corner.
The lead lasted under 10 minutes. Luncarty equalised from the penalty spot in 40 minutes when keeper Gordon O’Brien punched the ball clear from a corner and collided with a challenger. Surprisingly the referee pointed to the spot for what seemed a harsh penalty. Before half-time a Danny Millar volley inside the box smacked against the crossbar.
The second half followed much the same pattern and after more persevering Blair went ahead when a fierce Gary Axworthy ball across the face of goal found Steven Findlay and he made no mistake from close range for his second goal in as many weeks.
Minutes later Gary Axworthy collected a long range pass from deep inside the Blair half before turning on his trademark pace and hitting an unstoppable shot into the net from just inside the penalty box.
Blairgowrie made two forced substitutions. Gordon Pirie and Mark McColl were struggling with injuries and they were subbed before more damage was done.
After a sustained spell of pressure Luncarty pulled a goal back, but in the end Blairgowrie didn’t look like throwing this one away. Gary Axworthy hit a post twice and had another shot well saved by the keeper depriving the Blair striker of his second hat-trick of the season. Greg McDonald had two headers that narrowly missed the target and sub James Hay had a header that went close.
Blairgowrie attentions will turn to league business when Forfar Albion are at the Davie Park this Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm. Manager Billy Mackay thanked new club sponsors OPITO for providing the players with training kit.
Billy said: “Everyone connected with Blairgowrie Junior FC gratefully acknowledges the support given by OPITO and especially chief executive Davie Doig. This generosity makes such a difference to our club in a great many ways.”
Blairgowrie Junior FC Berrypickers’ Weigh In numbers this week are: 1, 8, 11, 12. No recorded winner and the prize money will stand at £400.