Heriot-Watt University 1 Rosyth 1, Alex Jack Cup, semi-final. After extra time, Heriot-Watt win 5-4 on penalties.

ROSYTH boss Stevie Crawford has admitted that his team's agonising Alex Jack Cup semi-final defeat on Saturday was "a sore one to take".

After nine successful attempts from the spot, Gavin Hamilton saw his effort saved as Heriot-Watt University won through to the final by prevailing 5-4 on penalties after they couldn't be separated after 120 minutes.

Rosyth returned to Riccarton for the first time since they fell to a 6-0 defeat to their East of Scotland League, First Division rivals in August - a game that proved to be the last in charge for former boss, Greig Denham.

Ex-Dunfermline playing hero, and manager, Crawford was appointed as his successor, and had led his hometown team to four wins in six games across all competitions.

Dunfermline Press: Crawford hailed Rosyth's efforts despite their heartbreaking defeat.Crawford hailed Rosyth's efforts despite their heartbreaking defeat. (Image: David Wardle.)

Rosyth were bidding to reach their first cup final since the 2008/09 season, when they reached the showpiece of the Fife and Lothians Cup whilst in the juniors, and to keep alive hopes of a first trophy success since 2004, which came in the Fife Cup.

Despite being unfortunate to fall behind 10 minutes before half-time, Crawford's side responded well and equalised before the break through Tam Hampson, who fired low into the net on his left foot from a cross from the left-hand side.

The Rec continued to play on the front foot in the second period - although goalkeeper, Matty Wallace, was needed to make a couple of decent saves - but neither team could find a goal in the 90 minutes.

With both teams tiring, but full of effort, they still couldn't be separated after another half hour and, unfortunately for Rosyth, it was they who missed out in the penalty shoot-out.

"Saturday was a sore one to take," Crawford said.

"Heriot-Watt are a good team in possession, and they try to pass the ball around to take advantage of their big pitch, but we went with a game plan and the boys carried it out to a man.

"After a testing opening five minutes, we were the better side for the first half, and probably unlucky not to go in ahead.

"The second half forced them into changing their shape 70 minutes in as we had the upper hand. The change did make the game more even and, in the last 20 minutes, you could see how much both teams wanted to win it.

"Our goalkeeper, Matty Wallace, produced a couple of decent saves and they managed to survive a few scares from corners or crosses into the box from wide areas. We just couldn't connect with a few opportunities to go on and win the cup tie.

"Considering we were up against a team that that train 4-5 times a week, our efforts to compete physically for the 120 minutes were a credit to our boys."

On Saturday, Rosyth will look to pick themselves up against Lochore Welfare on their return to league business, with Crawford adding: "We must take the positives from last weekend into this game.

"However, it will be a totally different match, with the playing surface having a big say in how both teams play and compete."

Dunipace 4 Oakley United 2, East of Scotland League, First Division

OAKLEY UNITED manager Peter Goldie reckons the signs are positive for his team after they pushed promotion-chasing Dunipace hard on Saturday.

The Blairwood Park men made the short trip west to play their first game since the end of September but came home with nothing to show for their efforts, despite twice pulling level.

Hosts Dunipace had lost just two of their opening 10 matches, both of which had come on the road, and sought to protect a 100 per cent winning record on their own Westfield Park patch.

Oakley, by contrast, had picked up just four points from eight games, but each of those had been achieved away from home.

Whilst their opponents had opportunities, Goldie's side looked on course to go in level at the break, only for a penalty decision to go against them.

A shot, struck from close range, deflected on to an Oakley defender's hand via his thigh, which saw the referee point to the spot and Kyle Turnbull score from 12 yards.

However, within two minutes of the restart, the visitors were level thanks to Finn McLaren, but they then conceded a second two minutes later when Kieran Anderson scored.

Goldie's side refused to buckle and, in the 52nd minute, equalised for a second time thanks to Bruce McAdam, but a 68th minute Aidan Kemp header saw them fall behind for a third time.

Unfortunately for the O's, there wasn't to be a third leveller as Liam McCroary's long-distance effort a couple of minutes later sealed the points for Dunipace.

"The improvements are there and are coming. We're starting to see wee changes coming in," Goldie said.

"It was a difficult game on Saturday there, and it was always going to be difficult to go there and get something.

"There are positives to take. We're probably in the best position we've been in since I took the job over a year-and-a-half ago - we've got a full squad to pick from, and I'm having to leave boys out.

"You could see the hurt in the changing room, after a defeat to a team challenging for promotion, which speaks volumes about where we've come from.

"We're going in the right direction."

Dunfermline Press: Peter Goldie is optimistic Oakley United are moving in the right direction.Peter Goldie is optimistic Oakley United are moving in the right direction. (Image: David Wardle.)

Oakley remain second bottom of the division, six points from safety, and travel to play Kirkcaldy and Dysart this weekend.

"We know what we're up against. It'll be a battle going through there, and who wants it more," Goldie added.

"I can't fault the players' effort and work-rate on Saturday. With the things we're working on in training, and with a wee bit of quality, hopefully we can get a result."

In the Premier Division, Crossgates Primrose saw their scheduled home match with Tynecastle postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, whilst Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts had a free weekend.

Saturday's fixtures: East of Scotland League, Premier Division - Dundonald Bluebell v Crossgates Primrose (2.30pm), Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts v Hutchison Vale (2pm). First Division - Kirkcaldy and Dysart v Oakley United (2pm), Lochore Welfare v Rosyth (2pm).