LBG Strollers went into this game on the back of 2 fantastic wins against Hermiston Vale and C S Strollers and were taking on Redpath for the 4th time this season with the teams locked at 1 win apiece and a draw in the other fixture.
Strollers manager Campbell made a few changes to the starting line up looking to give everyone a run out. Regular starters Wallace, Mcpherson, Gaunt and Hitchen dropping to the bench. Paul Burden returned to the club and was given a start upfront after an unsuccessful period at Musselburgh Ams. Carson and Thomson were happy to see the return of Burden as it is now a three way battle for the fattest player at the club.
Strollers suffered a blow before the game even started, elderly statesman Willison stretching a bit to far and tweaking his hamstring, Gaunt would took his place for the match, it was a blow for Willison who it is now beginning to show that age is catching up with the lad. We wish Willison a speedy recovery.
The game started rather sluggishly with both teams looking a little nervous not to make a mistake and concede an early goal. Redpath won a series of corners which should have led to an opening goal, the closest they came was their captain hitting Allan's post from close range with a header. Strollers slowly began to play their way into the game, Carson linking up well with Banks down the right and Banks had the beating of the Redpath left back whenever he felt like it. The best chance that this led to was when Banks beat the full back and laid it back for Searl at the edge of the area, Searl's effort lacked conviction though and drifted harmlessly wide.
Banks also had a couple of sniffs at goal when the ball dropped close to him in a crowded box, however the home defence managed to clear just before Banks could prod home.
The half-time whistle blew with the sides locked at 0-0
The 2nd half was a bit better for the away side who spent the majority of the half in the Redpath side of the pitch without creating many clear cut chances. The best chance fell to winger Gaunt, a lovely through ball by Burden saw him clean through but at an angle, Gaunt caught his left foot drive terrificly but the keeper made a tremendous flying stop to push it out for a corner.
The disappointment for the Strollers was the lack of chances created from dead ball situations as the delivery into the box was not good enough and gave the taller Strollers players nothing to attack.
Defensively the Strollers were very solid, Tomarelli and Thomson outstanding in the centre and right back Carson winning Man of the Match for a good performance both defensively and in attack.
The only other chance fell for the Strollers returning striker Burden, he hit a well struck drive from 25 yards but again the keeper was equal to it, producing a good stop to tip the ball over the bar.
Wallace had a chance to clinch the winner late on when he jumped bravely with opposition keeper Pyscho and won the header but it crept just over the bar.
A decent start to the group stage for the Strollers who now take on Standard Life in the same cup on Saturday.
Man of the match for the game was Gregg Carson who despite piling on the weight since my departure from the club performed very well.