The Scottish football season kicked off this weekend as the SFL clubs (and guests) competed in the first round of The Ramsdens Cup.
Much of the attention had been drawn to Glebe Park for Rangers’ first competitive clash with Brechin City.
However, this tie didn’t turn out to be the highlight of the round.
I’ve picked my 5 best games of the round.
5. Falkirk 3-0 Stirling Albion
The reigning champions started their defence of the cup with a convincing 3-0 win over Stirling Albion.
Lyle Taylor caught my attention when he netted a hat-trick against Middlesbrough, and he helped himself to another 2 here.
Stirling almost took the lead in the first 10 seconds when a long ball found Bradley Coyne. However, Michael McGovern was equal to the shot.
Falkirk took the lead on 34 mins through Kieran Duffie as he spun the Stirling defence to net from inside the penalty area.
Lyle Taylor stole the show in the second half with an impressive double. Only 6 second half minutes had past when Taylor beat 3 men on his own to find the bottom corner of the net.
His second was a 9 yard driven effort as the Stirling keeper failed to deal with an Andy Haworth corner, punching it straight into the grateful strikers path.
4. Forfar Athletic 3-2 Dunfermline Athletic
Nothing seems to be going right for Dunfermline at the minute, SPL relegation, no promotion & a disappointing cup defeat.
Forfar found the net after just 13 minutes when Omar Kader got on the end of a Danny Denholm cross. This was cancelled out 3 minutes later by new boy Ryan Wallace, who has recently signed from fellow Fife outfit East Fife.
Andrew Barrowman gave Dunfermline the lead when he slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net from close range, but the game was far from over.
Forfar equalized through Denholm as some good counter attacking play caught Dunfermline off guard and left Paul Gallagher helpless.
Gavin Swankie netted the winner midway through the second half after his effort was deflected into the net.
Forfar held on for a memorable victory and a place in the next round.
3. East Stirlingshire 3-1 Ayr United
Anybody looking for a cup upset got their moneys worth at Ochilview. Scotland’s basement club pulled off a great result against recently relegated Ayr.
A brace from Michael Herd gave The Shire a comfortable half-time lead.
Ayr started the second half with a better showing than their first half display, and it paid off when Mark Shankland halved East Stirling’s lead.
However, Scott Maxwell turned in a Craig Hume cross in the final minutes to ensure East Stirling progressed. Ayr United however, need much work for the new season.
2. Brechin City 1-2 Rangers (AET)
All eyes were on this game, and that alone is most of the reason the game finds itself at number 2.
Rangers fielded a team with 7 internationals, but struggled to overcome the Glebe Park side.
Andy Little netted after only 4 minutes with a neat left footed finish into the bottom corner of the net. At this point, you’d have been forgiven to think Brechin could be in for a hammering, but it wasn’t to be.
Andy Jackson equalized for Brechin after a defensive lapse by Kirk Broadfoot & Dorin Goian.
Rangers looked the better side but the game lacked clear cut chances as extra time loomed.
Lee McCulloch converted a Lewis MacLoed corner to book Rangers place into the second round.
Gerry McLauchlan gave a man of the match performance after winning every ball that came his way.
1. Elgin City 5-7 Arbroath
Forget the big games, forget the easy games, THIS is what football is all about. Who wouldn’t have paid the admission to see this 12 goal display?
Trying to analyse this game would be crazy, so I wont go into too much detail. The scoreline speaks for itself!
Hat-tricks from Lee Sibanda & Darren Grubben as well as a goal from Steven Doris was enough to give Arbroath victory, after being 5-1 ahead at half time!
Gunn, Moore, Wyness & a Leslie double were on target for Elgin but strangely, 5 wasn’t enough!
Typical old school football was on show at Borough Briggs, with lacklustre defences & on fire forwards equalled a goal bonanza. More of the same please?!