Beith Juniors 1-1 Pollok (4-3p)
ETHX Energy Scottish Junior Cup
Rugby Park, Sunday 29th May 2016
Beith lifted the Scottish Junior Cup for the first time in their history with a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Pollok after a 1-1 draw at Kilmarnock F.C.’s Rugby Park.
‘Lok had the first sighter of the game, Mark Sideserf’s free-kick from the halfway line was met by skipper Paul Gallacher who was unable to find the target.
A similar fate awaited headers from Kieran McAleenan and Chris Walker, both from Carlo Monti deliveries, before McAleenan volleyed over the Beith crossbar from a Sideserf cross.
The Mighty’s first chance came via their captain John Sheridan who looped a header over the bar.
Pollok’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes came when Colin Williamson’s searching ball found Davie Winters bearing down on Beith custodian Stephen Grindlay. The chance went a-begging though as the 'Lok marksman dithered, allowing Sheridan to recover and put the ball behind for a corner.
The remainder of the half belonged to Beith, Kenny McLean squaring to Paul Frize, his grounder was clutched comfortably by ‘Lok goalkeeper Jordan Longmuir.
A McLean half-volley from 20 yards gave Longmuir to the opportunity to show his agility by palming the ball over and ensuring the scoresheet remained blank at the interval.
A cagey opening to the second period was ended in the 61st minute as Beith took the lead. A ball over the top of the 'Lok rearguard was controlled by Darren Christie, who turned inside Walker and cracked the ball past Longmuir into the bottom corner of the net.
The Mighty almost doubled their lead minutes later, Christie’s corner caused a scramble in the Pollok area, the ball eventually falling to Andy Reid, who saw his shot blocked.
'Lok manager Tony McInally made a double substitution as he looked to get his side back into the game, and it paid immediate dividends. Less than 60 seconds after being brought on, Robbie Winters was first to react when brother Davie’s shot rebounded off the post to bundle the ball home and restore parity.
Beith responded, a driving run and shot from Frize sailed over, whilst Jamie Wilson’s swerving effort was gathered by Longmuir at the second attempt. A Christie chest and volley over completed a triumvirate of chances for the Mighty.
Stoppage time brought about one further opportunity apiece for each side, a clearance from the Beith defence fell to McAleenan at the edge of the area, his shot though was always going wide, while at the other end Iain Fisher’s cross was headed into the side netting by David McGowan.
With the abolition of extra time in the Junior Cup final being voted through at the previous year’s AGM, the game went straight to penalties and Pollok took the immediate advantage. McAleenan was up first to net, before McLean saw his weak effort saved by Longmuir. Grindlay though would save from Allan MacKenzie and Davie Winters to give Richie Burke the opportunity to make history, and he duly obliged.
Beith:- Grindlay, Fisher, Docherty, MacDonald, Sheridan, Martin (14: Wilson 19), Christie (15: Collins 84), Frize, McLean, Reid (12: McGowan 77), Burke
Subs not used:- 16: McArthur, 17: Ryan
Goal:- Christie (61)
Bookings:- Frize (83), Collins (90 +1)
Pollok:- Longmuir, Hanlon, Sideserf, Gallacher, Walker, Frye, Bradley (17: MacKenzie 85), Williamson (15: Rowan 71), D. Winters, Monti (14: R. Winters 71), McAleenan
Subs not used:- 12: McCabe, 16: Hepburn
Goal:- R. Winters (72)
Booking:- Frye (38)