9-0 victory for Dyes over the weekend

Syngenta moved to the top of their East of Scotland Football League Cup qualifying group after a 9-0 win against first division conference B side Hawick Royal Albert United on Saturday, with just one match to go in their group.

By Ben Kearney
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 1:35 am
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 1:36 am

A hat-trick from East Kilbride loanee James Finlay, a double from veteran Andy Rodgers and strikes from Ryan Millar, Declan Fitzpatrick, Simon White and Jason Walton sent the conference X side to the top on seven points, ahead of Tranent Juniors on goal difference.

Syngenta head coach Gordon Wylde was pleased with the way his players approached the tie, saying: “It was a lovely sunny day and it was great conditions to play a game of football in.

“There was no wind and we did fine. We gave them total respect and got the three points, which sets us up for the next game.

Syngenta players celebrate after the final whistle (Pictures: Alan Murray)

“It doesn’t matter who you play, scoring goals and keeping clean sheets is a good habit to have.”

He added: “The front two scored five between them and that is what we want them to do.

“James Finlay has come in and has taken the weight off Andy Rodgers to score all the goals.

“He’s scored seven in five, which is a brilliant return for him.

James Finlay drives forward with the ball

“Having so many different guys score will boost the confidence of the individual players themselves, which is always a good thing.”

The Dyes boss sees the matches against the premier division sides in their group as an important challenge for his players.

“We’ve got to respect a team like Camelon. Yes, they aren’t doing too well this year but they are way above us,” he said.

“They are two tiers above us and that means something significant. It’s the same with Tranent.

Andy Rodgers wheels away after scoring

“It’s a handful for our players, and at their grounds the atmosphere is different to our level and it is a step up from some of the games in our league.

“It’s helped us see where we are. We played Tranent in the group and drew 1-1, which was another good result against a top side.

“’Can we hold our own against these sides?’ was my question and that has been answered for me.”

Despite their positive performance in the competition, Wylde admits it just isn’t the same as the league.

His side sit fourth in conference X and have only lost four matches all year.

They’re on 47 points after 21 matches and have two games in hand on the sides above them in the table.

Wylde said: “What I am really looking forward to is Fauldhouse in the league.

“I’m just trying to keep all the players playing and fit. On Saturday I made five subs for that reason.

“We’re still in the mix in the league and that is our main focus still.

“Some of these group games do have a pre-season feel to them, but in the league it adds that wee bit of bite to the matches.

“The mindset has to be right and it’s hard to keep that.”

Of the season as whole so far, he added: “For our club to be here at this time of year is amazing really.

“Whatever happens, we’ll be happy with our work this year as we didn’t expect to be here yet on our journey.”