ARDENCAPLE Amateurs shrugged off a heavy League Cup defeat at the hands of St Patrick’s FP to record comfortable back-to-back league wins – followed by victory in their first ever foray into the Scottish Amateur Cup.

Despite their heavy defeat to St Pat’s – widely regarded as one of the best amateur teams in Scotland – Caple finished in a highly creditable second place in their League Cup group, above Premier League opponents Greenock HSFP and Division 1A side Gourock Athletic.

Reflecting on the League Cup campaign, manager Craig Holborn said:“Our congratulations to St Pats and we wish them well for the rest of the season, unless of course we are drawn against them again! “We have a good deal of experienced players but the reality is that we are a brand new team, still learning, and there’s no debate that we were taught a lesson but one from which we take stock and move on.”

And it would appear that lesson is one Caple have well and truly learned after they chalked up two high-scoring victories in Division 1B and edged past Tarbert 2-1 in the first round of the Scottish Cup.

First up in that run of games was a league fixture against Hamilton based Mill United, one of Lanarkshire’s famous breeding clubs, responsible for nurturing talents such as Barry and Derek Ferguson at Rangers and the former Celtic player and ex Dundee and Falkirk boss Paul Hartley in which Caple proved too powerful on the day, earning a comfortable 6-0 win with goals from Brian Harkin (3), Shaun Wallace (2), and Gary McKell.

Next, Caple hosted a young BSC team from Glasgow and despite a spirited attempt from the visitors at staging a second half fightback, the home side were simply too strong and eased to a 4-1 victory, with one goal apiece from Lee Dickson, Paul Cavana, Shaun Wallace and Brian Harkin.

Then, on Saturday, it was time for Caple to take a short break from league duty and focus on the national cup and a home tie against a Tarbert side full of confidence on the back of their most successful pre-season in many years.

Caple dominated play for long spells against their Kintyre visitors, but found it hard to break down a stuffy Tarbert defence and, quite against the run of play, the visitors took a shock lead thanks to a wonder goal struck from 30 yards that nestled in the top corner of the Caple net.

But Caple enjoyed lengthy spells of possession during the second half and grabbed a deserved equaliser when David Holborn’s run wide on the right took him beyond the Tarbert defence and his cross was met at the far post by Connor Hyslop, who bundled the ball home.

Caple continued to press and their efforts were eventually rewarded when Brian Harkin rose in the box to meet a corner from David Holborn on the left and glance a header past the helpless keeper into the roof of the net.

Team: Lewis Russell, Lee Dickson, Brian Cameron, Ross Willis, Connor Hyslop, Paul Cavana (capt), Karl Johansson, Brian Harkin, David Holborn, Richie Hassan, Gary McKell. Subs: Ross Jeffrey, Luke Mallett.

Caple are at home again this Saturday, September 8, when Wishaw HSFP from the Premier League are the visitors in a second round M&M Cup tie.