ARDENCAPLE were knocked out of the M&M Cinema Cup at the second round stage after a 2-1 loss at home to Wishaw HSFP on Saturday – but there were plenty of positives for the local side to take from a battling display against their top flight visitors.

Wishaw gained promotion in impressive fashion last season, losing only one league game on their way to the title, and lived up to their promise of providing stiff opposition.

Caple were missing several players through injuries, holidays, work commitments and a couple of early season suspensions, but they still started brightly and enjoyed most of the early possession – though they were unable to convert their chances.

Wishaw, however, always looked dangerous, especially on the counter attack with the pace of their two strikers causing the home defence some problems - and it was the visitors who struck first when centre-back Ryan McManus powered a header home from a corner kick on the left to leave Caple trailing 1-0 at the break.

And Wishaw delivered a potential killer blow at the start of the second half when a long ball over the top caught out the Caple defence and Ross Hill kept his composure to steer home the visitors’ second.

That spurred Caple into life and they began to dominate their visitors, but again were unable to take advantage by converting their good play into goals.

However, their luck finally changed with 20 minutes left when David Holborn cut in to the visitors’ box from the right and managed to get his shot on target – and though the keeper parried, Karl Johansson drove home the rebound.

Caple moved up another gear in search of an equaliser, with Gary McKell shooting narrowly wide and Tony Rice agonisingly watching his volley strike the bar.

In the dying minutes Caple had a great claim for a penalty kick when McKell was pulled down in the box just as he was about to shoot, but much to the annoyance of the large crowd the ref waved their claims aside.

Team: Lewis Russell, Lee Dickson, Ross Willis, Lenny Marshall, Connor Hyslop, Jackson Acreman, Karl Johansson, David Holborn, Paul Cavana (capt), Luke Mallett, Gary McKell. Subs: Ross Jeffrey, Tony Rice, Kevin Goodwin.

Best wishes to the visitors in the third round and for the rest of the season ahead. And best wishes also to Richie Hassan and family on the birth of his baby daughter.

Caple stay on cup duty again this Saturday, September 15, with a trip to Greenock to face Belleaire in the first round of the West of Scotland Cup.