Alex Jack Cup, quarter-final:

Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts 3 Crossgates Primrose 5

CROSSGATES PRIMROSE are through to the semi-finals of the Alex Jack Cup after seeing off Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts in a derby thriller.

The East of Scotland League, Premier Division teams went head-to-head at Dalgety Bay Leisure Centre on Saturday and produced a cup classic.

Ryan Cowie gave the Swifts – unbeaten in their previous nine matches in all competitions – the initiative by firing home beyond Shaun Hunter from just inside the penalty area.

Within five minutes, however, their lead had been wiped out when Scott Lawrie, at the edge of the box, latched onto a loose ball before firing a stunning effort on the volley in via the underside of the crossbar.

Only 20 minutes were on the clock when Alan Campbell's Crossgates turned the tie on its head thanks to Cammy Muirhead, who showed great strength and feet to move into space away from two opponents before curling a brilliant shot in off the bar from around 25 yards.

Brian Ritchie's header from a corner on the half-hour made it 3-1 to the visitors, which remained the scoreline until five minutes after the break, when Inverkeithing's talisman, Greig Spence, finished well at the far post from six yards out.

Almost immediately, the home side's good work to reduce the arrears was undone when Muirhead tapped in from close range to score his second and Crossgates' fourth, but Liam Kelly gave Grant Brough's team hope with a composed finish with seven minutes left.

But, in the final minute, Crossgates sealed their progress thanks to Muirhead, who completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot, leaving boss Campbell delighted.

"It was a great game to watch, it had a bit of everything," he said.

"I would have preferred to win 1-0 to be honest. I think we had just a wee bit more quality up front to see us through.

"Inverkeithing are above us in the league, have started well, have got a good home record and were unbeaten in their last nine, so I was pleased to get through. We could've scored six or seven but they could've scored a couple more themselves.

"It was always going to be a tricky game, with it being a local derby, and the fact it was a hot day for September – it took it out of the players physically.

"Over the 90 minutes, I think we just did enough to get through."

Crossgates' opponents in the last four will be Bo'ness Athletic, of First Division, Conference X, at Humbug Park next month after they thrashed Thornton Hibs 12-1 in their quarter-final.

Campbell wants his team to be focused on their league matches but said: "It's a great incentive for the players to try and get through to a final.

"We've got four league games before then so they are our priority. You don't want to be on the bench in a semi-final or a final. You want to start it so all the players need to show that over the next three or four league games.

"In 2019, we got to a semi-final, took it all the way to penalties, and just fell short. We actually spoke at the start of the season about wanting a good cup run. It will be a tough game against Bo'ness when it comes around."

Swifts counterpart Grant Brough said: "On the balance of play, I thought that there wasn't anything between the sides.

"At times, we knocked the ball about quite well, but if you concede five goals, you don't deserve anything. It's about how we bounce back from it. We've worked on a few things and, hopefully, that will make a difference."

East of Scotland League, First Division, Conference B:

Oakley United 3 Stirling University 2

STEWART KENNY has called for his team to be more clinical after they saw off Stirling University on Saturday.

The Blairwood Park side found themselves 2-1 ahead at the break, thanks to Craig Martin and Stuart Love, before the latter added a third nine minutes into the second period.

They were made to sweat when the students pulled a goal back with 18 minutes to go but Oakley held on for a win that moves them a point behind leaders Lochore Welfare with a game in hand.

"We made hard work of it," Kenny said.

"We should have been out of sight and comfortable but, instead, Stirling Uni scored a second goal and had us clinging on. The win is the most important thing but we scraped it in the end."

Whilst delighted with the continued goal contributions from Martin and Love, Kenny added: "At some point, we have to start chipping in from elsewhere.

"We've got Hawick this week and, although they're bottom, we've still got to do the business. We can't be complacent."

Rosyth, meanwhile, were in friendly action and lost 2-1 to Whitehill Welfare at the Fleet Grounds.

Today's fixtures (kick-offs 2.30pm): East of Scotland League, Premier League – Blackburn United v Crossgates Primrose, Dunbar United v Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts. First Division, Conference A – Kennoway Star Hearts v Rosyth. Conference B – Oakley United v Hawick Royal Albert United.