SHIRE END WAIT FOR CUP WIN

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East Stirlingshire’s six year wait for a win in any of the three national cup competitions is over.

The fact that both Shire and Dumbarton both fielded what amounted to reserve teams in their first round Challenge Cup tie makes it no less enjoyable for the players and the fans.

Indeed the neutrals enjoyed a feast of good football from both teams, but the undoubted star of the show was new Shire signing, Sean Simpson.

The debutant had a commanding performance, scoring Shire’s first goal just a minute after Robert Campbell gave The Sons a 31st minute lead.

Simpson then put Shire 2-1 ahead three minutes after the half-time interval, although that lead was cancelled out by Campbell’s second strike on 53 minutes.

Shire hit the front when Kevin Struthers pounced on the rebound after Anton Nugent failed to hold Graeme McLaren’ free-kick and Struthers completed the scoring two minutes from time with a diving header.

Afterwards, all the qustions to coach Gordon Wylde were about Simpson.

“He is our player,” confirmed the Head Coach. “He was signed on amateur forms just prior to the match. Initially, we just wanted to have a look at him and we have now done that.

“I am now very keen to get him tied up on a longer term deal, but that is very much up to the player and what he wants to do.”

It seems likely he will be part of the squad which faces Forfar Athletic on Saturday.

The makeshift team which started the cup-tie bore little resemblance to Saturday’s league side. Only Gordon Moffat, Carl Thywissen, Paul Doyle and Derek Ure were left from the team that ended the 3-2 win over the same opponents. Dumbarton also struck to a much younger team.

Youngsters Ryan Carr and  16 year-old James McShane were rewarded with a start while the other youngsters whowill make up Shire’s reserve team for the coming season were given places on the subs bench, with Jake McGregor coming on for the last half hour.

Not that it should de-value Shire’s win in any way. Wylde will now be the first Shire manager since George Fairley to ask the question, “Who do we get in the next round of the cup?”

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