Scottish Challenge Cup run ended at the third round on Friday night, losing out to an impressive Giffnock side at the Synergy Arena.

The visitors set the tone for what was a top attacking display from early in the match, quickly asking questions of Ton keeper Bradley Bain, who was forced into several stops within the opening ten minutes.

Bonnyton were struggling to find their feet in the contest at all, but their first meaningful raid forward appeared to have produced a goal when Nathan Ferguson’s ball was neatly flicked home by Blair Phillips, only for the referee to call for a tight offside.

Not even two minutes later though, Giffnock took the lead; a long ball caused havoc in the Bonnyton backline and Jamie Orr narrowly avoided conceding a penalty when the striker evaded his tackle, only to go down under Bain’s challenge and earn the spot-kick.

Bain had been keeping his side in the match to that point, but was booked for his error and couldn’t quite keep the penalty out after getting a fingertip to the effort.

The penalty drama didn’t stop there, as both teams soon had claims for spot-kicks, the Ton for a handball right on the edge of the area and Giffnock for a tackle from Andy McClymont which looked clean.

Bonnyton were aware that their start hadn’t been good enough and began posing a bit more threat, largely from crosses into the area.

Wingers Ferguson and Phillips were the main threat for the hosts and they linked up for a great opening, with the former’s cross headed onto the crossbar by the latter, with the rebound also falling onto his head but the Giffnock keeper there to push away. From the resulting corner, McClymont’s header was cleared off the goalline, and soon after he saw another aerial effort flash just over – but again, these missed opportunities for the Ton were immediately punished by the visitors.

Giffnock were afforded far too much room and burst through only to be denied by Bain, but they recycled possession and created essentially the exact same opening, with the striker this time able to lift it over the goalkeeper for 2-0.

That completed a miserable first half for the Ton, but the second period began with more hope and with a goal; Giffnock couldn’t deal with McClymont’s set-piece threat all evening, and he eventually knocked one in from Charlie Farrell’s deep free-kick to half the deficit.

But two goals either side of the hour from the visitors took the game away from Bonnyton – slack passing at the back provided an easy third Giffnock goal in the 58th minute, and around ten minutes later an admittedly beautiful 30-yard effort into Bain’s top right corner ended the match as a contest at 4-1.

The Ton did appear to salvage some consolation late on when Ferguson chased down a loose ball in the area, rounded the keeper and tapped in, but in the first minute of added time it dropped in the box for a Giffnock player to lash in on the half-volley for 5-2, queuing massive celebrations on the visitors’ bench which only increased when the full-time whistle blew soon afterwards.

It was a disappointing way to exit the cup for Bonnyton Thistle, but they will regroup and go
again in their league campaign.

Bonnyton Thistle starting XI:

  1. Bradley Bain
  2. Andy McClymont
  3. Luke Bolton
  4. Jamie Orr
  5. Kai Linton
  6. William Bowie
  7. Nathan Ferguson
  8. Jack Kearney
  9. Ruaridh Thompson
  10. Charlie Farrell
  11. Blair Phillips
February 20, 2024