A positive performance wasn’t enough for Maryhill as Arthurlie secured their place in round two of the South Challenge Cup after winning at Lochburn Park.
Jay McInally put the Hill ahead midway through the first half, but goals from Tam McGaughey and Nadeem Zeb saw the visitors turn the game around to win 2-1 and earn a trip to Benburb.
It was a quiet start to the game with Lee Roulston’s wild effort the only half chance of note in the early stages. There was almost a debut goal for new Hill signing Robbie Ewart when he got on the end of McInally’s pass but a last gasp challenge saw the ball cleared.
On 25 minutes though, Maryhill did take the lead with a great diagonal ball from Jack Easdon finding McInally who controlled well before clipping the ball over James Scott into the net.
Ewart then tried his luck immediately after the restart as the hosts aimed for a quickfire second, instead it was Arthurlie who would equalise eight minutes later. A good run from Zeb ended with a ball across goal which Luke Martin looked certain to clear before losing his footing, allowing McGaughey to fire home from close range.
Maryhill were given a big boost on the stroke of half time when the ‘Lie were reduced to ten men. As the loose ball fell for Jack Gray, Jorden Leyden dived in with a straight leg and saw his studs catch the Hill midfielder, with referee Chris McLaughlin left with no option but to produce the red card.
Despite being a man down, it was Arthurlie who were the better side after the break and kept Glen Cameron busy in the goal, with saves from Gary Smith and Roulston keeping the Hill level.
With 18 minutes to go however, the ten men moved in front as Maryhill only half cleared, allowing Zeb to send a low shot across into the bottom corner.
Maryhill pressed for an equaliser and had a couple of shots blocked before claiming for a penalty when McInally went down in the box, but the referee wasn’t interested and it’s the Conference A leaders who will travel to New Tinto Park in the second round.
Maryhill: Cameron; O’Donnell, Love, Etherson, Martin; Smyth (McLaughlin, 54), O’Neill, Gray (Meechan, 54); Easdon, McInally, Ewart (Browne, 73). Subs: Black, Clark, Wallace
Arthurlie: Scott, Nolan, Ramsay (Mackay, 54), Pearce, Macneil, Roulston, Carroll, Leyden, Smith (McLaughlin, 81), Zeb, McGaughey. Subs: Gebbie, Chalmers, Kerr