If it wasn’t already obvious, Saturday’s one-sided South Challenge Cup contest between Arthurlie and Benburb clearly showed the Barrhead men are a team on a mission.

Amassing an unbeaten Conference League record up to now, 12 wins and a draw from 13 starts, is a pointer to where they want to be however this 5-1 demolition of the Bens has to be seen as yet another step along the way and arguably a more significant one than all that has gone before.

To say they totally upstaged their Premier League opponents would be putting it mildly and probably the single most encouraging facet to their display was the fact the scoreline didn’t flatter them in the slightest.

Lie boss Andy McFadden struggled to contain his delight when summing up his thoughts afterwards.

He said: “It’s a well-worn cliché and I make no apologies but to beat a Premier League side and crucially in the manner we did today has left me feeling over the moon.

“We set our stall out to see if this Arthurlie side can truly aspire to be  competing at the very top level of the game and anyone watching today would say the signs are very promising but nobody at this club, least of all myself, will be getting carried away with one game and one result.

“We didn’t have a single failure out there and were dominant throughout other than a ten minute spell at the start of the second half when Benburb came at us and pulled a goal back.

“They put us under a fair bit of pressure but thankfully the guys rode out the storm and regained their foothold in the game before deservedly adding another couple of goals.”

Arthurlie had territory and possession right from the first whistle and not surprisingly their scintillating start was rewarded with the game’s opening goal in just six minutes when an inswinging Darren Ramsay corner kick was met by Gary Carroll at the front post and the experienced striker had time to take a steadying touch before prodding the ball home from point blank range.

Shortly afterwards, further disaster befell the visitors after a through ball led to what appeared to be a tangle of legs between centreback  Ryan Docherty and his former Rutherglen Glencairn team mate Dale Simeon which Match Referee Andrew Craven interpreted as a foul by the towering defender and awarded a penalty kick, duly tucked away for his and Arthurlie’s second goal of the match  by Carroll.

Benburb’s lethargic start did not best please gaffer Paul Lovering out on the touchline but his extolling his players to greater efforts produced nothing more than a couple of tame shots by Ollie Hamilton and Ryan Livingston that failed to trouble Lie keeper James Scott.

And approaching half time, Bens stalwart  Docherty’s afternoon went from bad to worse when his headed attempt to cut out a driven cross from speedy Arthurlie winger Tam McGaughey only succeeded in the ball being bulleted into his own net to bring up a 3-0 interval scoreline.

The half time introduction of youthful substitutes Willie Dawson and Reegan Aitken acted to inject fresh impetus to Benburb and an early breakthrough arrived when Livingston lashed home an unsavable 18 yards shot to reduce their deficit.

If anything, Scott was now the slightly busier of the two keepers though his defence in front of him, purposefully marshalled by Lance Pierce, were curtailing Benburb to flinging over crosses from out wide and it was Arthurlie that continued to look the more dangerous of the two teams in the forward going areas.

A match sealing fourth goal duly arrived when Gary Smith was played in to fire a low shot into the far corner of the net and the score duly became 5-1 after wonderful set up play by McGaughey left team mate Simeon to apply the coup de grace with the simplest of tap-ins.

Benburb’s capitulation had team boss Lovering insisting: "As far as I’m concerned Arthurlie were by far the better side today helped by the fact my players never turned up for the first ten minutes and then found ourselves 2-0 down .

“We performed a lot better second half but still nowhere near the levels we can play at and disappointingly looked a tired side unable to play to our normal high tempo.

“ Maybe that’s down to us playing in midweek when Arthurlie were resting up but I’ll let others use that as an excuse because to my mind we simply weren’t at it out there and got punished accordingly.”

As cup shocks go, Benburb’s demise was arguably eclipsed by their Govan neighbours St Anthonys for whom Njabulo Ndlove bagged a brace of goals to help deal out a 2-0 knockout blow to another of the Premier League big guns  Rutherglen Glencairn.

Auchinleck Talbot made hard work of overcoming Forth Wanderers 1-0 thanks to a Craig McCracken counter while another close contest saw Kieran  Boubekri emerge as Cumbernauld United’s matchwinner in a 1-0 victory away to Inverkeithingg.

Blantyre Vics had Aaron Black and Grant Brennan goals to than for a 2-0 triumph  against Cumnock while the other all-Premier League contest went the way of Irvine Meadow whose 5-3 defeat of arch foes Kilwinning Rangers was a personal triumph for their ex-Buffs forward Michael Wardrope who netted a hat trick coming off the substitutes bench.

Prolific marksman Scott Williamson made it 34 goals  in 18 outings as Cambuslang Rangers routed Lochmaben 7-0 with the other Lang scores coming from Scott Anson(2) , John Gemmell and Tony Stevenson while Danny Bamford was another  treble scorer in Kilbirnie Ladeside’s 4-1 victory over Port Glasgow that was bettered by  Jordan McGrotty firing in four of the goals in Glasgow United’s 8-1 battering of Saltcoats Vics.

RESULTS:  SOUTH CHALLENGE CUP Second  Round Kinnoull 1 Harthill Royal 3, Cumbernauld Utd 1 Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts 0, Irvine Vics 0 Vale of Leven 1, Kilsyth Rangers 2 Thorniewood United 2 (Thorniewood win 6-5 pens), Saltcoats Vics 1 Glasgow Utd 8, Irvine Meadow 5 Kilwinning Rangers 3, Vale of Clyde 0 Pollok 4, St Peters 1 Beith 4, Rossvale 6 Campbeltown Pupils 0, Kilbirnie Ladeside 4 Port Glasgow 1,Yoker Athletic 0 Drumchapel Utd 3, East Kilbride Thistle 4 Newton Stewart 2, Bonnyton Thistle 1 St Cuthbert Wanderers 3,Blantyre Vics 2 Cumnock 0,  Abbey Vale 3 Newmains Utd 4. Girvan 1 Maybole 2,Larkhall Thistle 0 East Kilbride F.C 3. Auchinleck Talbot 1 Forth Wanderers 0, Cambuslang Rangers 7 Lochmaben 0, Lesmahagow 6 Creetown 3(a.e.t.),Troon 3 Lanark Utd 1,Glenafton  3 Kello Rovers 3(Glens win 4-1 pens),Muirkirk 2 Whitletts Vics 4, Hurlford Utd 4 Wishaw 0, Largs Thistle 5 Glasgow Perthshire 1, Arthurlie 5 Benburb 1, Finnart 5 Broomhill Sports 2,St Anthonys 2 Rutherglen Glencairn 0,Johnstone Burgh 1 Greenock 2, Harmony Row 0 Clydebank 5, Darvel v Gretna 2008,Bo'ness Athletic 3 Gartcairn 1, Glasgow University 0 Luncarty 2. PDM Buildbase Conference League A.Bellshill Athletic 0 Maryhill 3, Shotts Bon Accord 4 Craigmark 1. PDM Buildbase Conference League B.Ardeer Thistle 1 Renfrew 3, Carluke Rovers 1 Dalry Thistle 2, Ashfield 6 Royal Albert 1. PDM Buildbase Conference League C.Neilston  4 Ardrossan Winton Rovers2. PDM Buildbase Division Four.Glenvale 1 Kilsyth Athletic 2.