Strathearn Grove 6 Taybank 1
THIS was a one-sided contest from the off, yet Grove’s players will know they are capable of playing better.
The Crieff side went into the league clash on the back of a superb extra-time win at Alyth in the Ashleigh Cup and were confident of picking up all three points against the mid-table Perth side.
After starting the game sluggishly Grove went ahead with their first real attack as Jamie Henry latched on to a Campbell Dewar through ball and guided it past the Bankies goalkeeper.
The homesters capitalised on the high winds midway through the first half when a swirling Graham Walker free-kick was misjudged by the keeper, allowing Gavin Jack to easily notch the second goal at the back post.
Grove were on easy street when Mark Buckley prodded home with five minutes to the break amid confusion in the Taybank defence. Only a great touch from the goalie prevented a floated Darren Beattie effort from counting.
Just after the break, however, the visitors reduced the arrears after they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Grove skipper Walker.
Crieff number one Barrie Chiverton pulled off a great save from the spot-kick but a Bankies player was first to react, ramming home the loose ball.
Grove had barely left their comfort zone but a fine move involving Buckley and Henry allowed Beattie to scuff home a fourth before Braidhaugh bosses Alan Hendry and Davie Webster started to ring the changes.
This seemed to give the lax Crieff men fresh impetus and with time running out midfielder Dewar plundered a brace.
His first was a blast from close range after he had glided past Taybank’s tiring right-back. Then he grabbed Grove’s sixth with a low effort on the turn that trundled into the corner.
GROVE: Chiverton, McLean (Welsh), Gregor Walker, McKenzie (Crerar), Graham Walker, Graeme Walker, Jack (Motherwell), Dewar, Buckley, Beattie and Henry. Unused: Grant and Fyfe.