Echt progress to last four of cup

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Premier Trophy holders Echt travelled to Hazlehead for this quarter-final tie against Sportsmans Club.

There was a real let-off for the home side as early as the third minute, Darren MacLeod released Matthew McDonald down the right but his placed shot rebounded back into play off the face of the far post.

In 5 minutes Paul Bennett raced to the edge of his box to deny the inrushing McNamara possession on a through ball.

Echt took the lead with a bizarre opener. Marc Lawrence hoisted a left side free into the heart of the Sportsmans box, goalkeeper Lawson elected to punch clear, but misconnected and the ball took one bounce behind him as it flew high into the net for 0-1.

The energetic McDonald then turned provider for Jamie Wood, who, with a defender in close pursuit, raced into the home box, but his strike at goal was blocked by Lawson.

Lawson made full amends for his first goal blunder, when he dived to push a Lawrence net bound effort round his right hand post.

Echt’s second goal on the half hour mark was also a disaster for the home side, a defender in attempting to clear the ball saw it strike a fellow defender and fall kindly for Wood to bury behind Lawson.

Now in control and playing well Echt could have increased their lead on two occasions prior to the break. Firstly Wood was unable to screw a header on a right side cross on target and then McDonald, a constant threat, turned two defenders inside out on the edge of the box but Lawson saved his strike.

Echt enjoyed by far the better of the early second half exchanges and only woodwork stood between them and the all important third goal on one occasion.

In a rare Sportman’s goal threat a central ball played into the Echt box, had the entire Echt rearguard appealing for an offside decision that never came, leaving two home forwards completely free on the Echt six yard line to get in each other’s way and squander a glorious chance.

Sportmans were now asking more and more questions of Echt defensively and when they were awarded a stonewall penalty following an Andy Davidson handball in 63 minutes McKenzie’s poorly struck effort from the spot was easily saved by P Bennett.

Echt took full advantage of this let-off and added a third goal two mins later when Lawson could only push out a McDonald drive to Lawrence who rolled the ball into the vacant net.

Echt were now in full control and McDonald netted their fourth from the spot after Lawson impeded Douglas in the box.

Echt now introduced recent signing Daniel Peck and withdrew A Davidson and Vic Roger also replaced Alan Daun for the final eight minutes of action that saw Sportsmans grab a consolation counter through McKay and then Peck completed the scoring with a début goal in the final minute for 1-5.

Echt: P Bennett, Graham, Cooper, Daun, G Milne, Douglas, MacLeod, A Davidson, McDonald, Lawrence, Wood. Subs: E Robertson, Peck, V Roger, L Milne.