Riverside FC met East Stirlingshire in the FVFDA League Cup Final at Recreation Park with both sets of spectators nervously anticipating the occasion. The same could be said for the players as the match kicked off in frantic fashion with neither side able to gain a solid foothold in the encounter during the early stages.
Riverside perhaps had more of the initial proceedings winning a series of free-kicks and exerting consistent pressure in the final third, but were just unable to find the end product. The first clear cut opportunity of the match would arrive in the 9th minute when Riverside’s Alex Parkin struck a low effort on target from the edge of the box with Shire defending well to block for a corner. An inswinging corner was delivered and Scott Mitchell rose highest to power a bullet header on to the bar before Shire managed to scramble the ball clear. An inch lower and Riverside would have had the opener they so craved.
The boys in red were encouraged and began to dominate. Good possession in the 13th minute culminated in Parkin having a pop at goal from outside of the area. Dipping towards the target with pace, the effort forced a top class save from Mark Gordon. The Shire goalkeeper acrobatically tuning the ball over the bar with one hand.
Riverside continued to ask questions of Shire with Parkin hitting a free-kick right of centre from twenty yards against the wall. The rebound would fall to Steven Welsh who fired into the stand.
A few opportunities for Riverside seemed to catalyse a reaction from East Stirlingshire as they flooded forward in numbers. In the 23rd minute Ciaran Barr played an excellent reverse through ball into the feet of Scott Shand but Addison was off his line quickly to smother at his feet. Arguably the best chance of the match would then fall to Shire’s Jason Weir in the 25th minute, the Shire player broke clear on goal but could only fire straight at the goalkeeper’s feet.
Alex Parkin entertained the fans with neat footwork but both teams cancelled one another out with only a single half chance to come before the interval. Shand teed the ball back for Weir but his effort was swept over the bar from range.