A RAMPANT Rhu Amateurs side booked their place in the last eight of the Douglas Smith League Cup in style on Saturday with a 5-1 victory away to top flight Wishaw Wycombe Wanderers.

Casual onlookers would have found it difficult to conclude that Rhu were the lower-ranked side at Clyde Valley High School as two goals apiece from Brian Cameron and Mark Toms, plus a late strike by leading scorer Callum Smith, saw the visitors cruise through to a home quarter-final against Milton Amateurs.

And having already seen off cup holders Giffnock North at the first stage of the competition back in August, few who saw the local side’s dominant display on Saturday would bet against them going even further in the tournament.

Rhu’s victory was made even more impressive by the absence of no fewer than 13 players from a matchday squad which numbered only 12 men for the trip to Lanarkshire.

READ MORE: Rhu keep their cool to win dramatic cup tie after penalty shoot-out

But in their seventh away game in their last eight league and cup fixtures, Rhu wasted no time making inroads into their opponents’ defence – with less than five minutes on the clock, an inch-perfect through ball pierced a hole in the Wishaw defensive line, and Cameron latched on to it to fire past the home keeper.

And more joy was to follow for the visitors, as a moment’s hesitation from the Wishaw keeper left a home defender with no choice but to bring down Smith inside the box, and Cameron stepped up to double Rhu’s advantage with his fifth successful penalty of the season.

Although Wishaw looked dangerous whenever they got the ball near the visitors’ penalty area, Rhu were solid at the back throughout, and every time the visitors pressed forward they posed a threat to an increasingly nervy home defence.

And as half-time approached, Rhu made it 3-0, another perfectly-weighted through ball putting Toms clean through to round the keeper and roll the ball into the empty net.

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An injury to Gary Stillwell forced Rhu to bring on their only substitute, Adam Bell, moments before the break, leaving them with no fresh legs left for more than half the game.

But neither that, nor the wind, rain and hailstones which battered the ground early in the second half, blew the visitors off course as they pursued a cup shock.

The whole team worked well to cut out Wishaw’s attacks, but on the four or five times in the second half when the Rhu defence was split open, goalkeeper William Brown made some amazing saves as he put in a man of the match performance.

Wishaw’s desperate attempts to find a way back into the match meant they left huge gaps in their ranks at the back, and with just over an hour played Rhu added to their advantage when a lovely cross-field pass found Toms in space to slot home his second, and the visitors’ fourth, from just outside the box.

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Wishaw kept plugging away, and they did eventually pull one back with a glancing header from a corner kick 10 minutes from the end.

But Rhu didn’t lose their cool, and as the home side pushed up in search of a second which just might have given the away side the jitters, a long ball forward again saw Wishaw posted missing at the back, putting Smith one-on-one with the keeper, and his lovely dink over the onrushing goalkeeper completed a memorable afternoon for the visitors.

Squad: Brown, Dickson, E. Bell, Black, Maule, Gorman, Scullion, Cameron, Stillwell, Toms, Smith, A. Bell.

This Saturday, November 2, Rhu play their first home match in the Caledonian League since the end of September when Stirling University are the visitors to Ardenconnel Park. Kick-off is at 2pm.

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Meanwhile, Helensburgh FC endured another tough afternoon on Saturday when they lost 7-0 at home to Cambria in the Greater Glasgow Premier AFL.

This Saturday, Helensburgh travel to Glasgow to take on Westerlands at Garscube Sports Complex, with a 2pm kick-off.