Brave Bellshill’s Scottish Junior Cup run came to an end on Saturday as they bowed out to East Region giants Bonnyrigg Rose.
With a large travelling support behind them Bellshill faced up to Bonnyrigg in the fourth round with a place in the last 16 at stake.
The home team powered forward from the kick-off and a third minute Alex King shot was blocked by Bellshill defender Sinclair Soutar before ’keeper Alex Cowie saved Steven Hislop’s low drive from the rebound.
Bellshill took up the challenge and when Andy Selkirk sent Ryan Connolly home, ’keeper Paul Grant did well to keep out the striker’s well struck attempt.
Bonnyrigg’s Jonathon Stewart and Connor Thomson had shots saved by Cowie and at the other end, Selkirk headed narrowly past from a corner before a Craig Holmes shot went wide.
King fired inches over the Bellshill bar from 18 yards and Stewart and King both had shots cleared off the line in a scramble after Cowie failed to hold an Alan Horne free-kick.
Bonnyrigg finally broke the deadlock after 29 minutes when HISLOP headed a Joe Hamill free-kick past the static Cowie.
Max McKee cleared a Hislop shot off the line before, in a rare Bellshill attack, Grant pushed McGrath’s shot behind and Connelly knocked the ball wide following Chris Dolan’s corner.
The home side doubled their lead in the 38th minute when Cowie failed to cut out a King cross and JONATHAN COURT headed high into the net.
As Bellshill upped the pace Holmes fired an effort behind from 18 yards and a McGrath shot was saved by Grant.
Just before half-time Holmes fired a Dolan cross off the crossbar and Hamill cleared Selkirk’s goalbound effort from the rebound.
After the break Bellshill showed more determination and a Holmes 25-yarder was saved by Grant before Selkirk fired a Connolly cross narrowly wide.
A Connelly effort came back off the underside of the bar and McGrath sent an effort wide from a Darren Ferguson cross.
But the battling visitors were dealt a hammer blow when Bonnyrigg added a third goal in the 61st minute, the unmarked KING heading home a Ross Archibald cross.
Bellshill pulled a goal back in the 65th minute with a stunning 25-yard free-kick from DOLAN.
But Bonnyrigg ensured their deserved place in the next round two minutes later when THOMSON gathered a long Grant clearance and fired a low shot past Cowie from 18 yards to seal a 4-1 victory for the hosts.