Cumbernauld Colts edged out Stenhousemuir Community in the FVFDA Under 14 Robert Paterson Cup Final on Sunday, winning 4-3 on penalties following a tightly contested 1-1 draw in regulation time. Cumbernauld left-back Ross Provan opened the scoring with a 30-yard screamer after 15 minutes. Stenhousemuir levelled the scores on the stroke of half-time when Tiwi Daramola bent in a precise curling effort from the edge of the penalty area. After a nervy second half the scores were still tied at 1-1, meaning the match would be decided on penalties. Cumbernauld were the side who kept their composure, winning the shootout 4-3 in sudden death.
The opening five minutes were fast-paced with both sides creating opportunities in their search for the opening goal. Cumbernauld looked dangerous down the wings with Andrew Tonner and David Dougan each firing menacing crosses into the Stenhousemuir penalty area. Stenhousemuir responded well to the early Cumbernauld threat by going on the offensive themselves. Man of the match Tiwi Daramola won the ball deep inside the Cumbernauld half before driving towards goal and forcing a save from Reece Johnstone.
After the initial period of end-to-end action, much of the action took place in the midfield with neither side creating many chances.
However, Cumbernauld’s Provan was becoming more influential from left-back and opened the scoring out of nowhere on the 16-minute mark. Provan received the ball near the halfway line and advanced into the Stenhousemuir half. He seemingly had not many options available to him and the Stenhousemuir players seemed comfortable with the situation. This proved to be a mistake however, as Provan unleashed a rocket from 30 yards which flew into the top corner leaving Stenhousemuir keeper Nathan Cowan with absolutely no chance.
Provan’s wonder strike seemed to give his opponents a new level of motivation as Stenhousemuir were the team in the ascendency for the remaining 20 minutes of the first half.
Daramola’s defensive work rate was a thorn in the side of the Cumbernauld players as he was a constant nuisance and did not allow his opponents time on the ball. He regained possession in the Cumbernauld half once again and tested the gloves of Johnstone who was unable to hold the shot. Daramola’s strike partner Dylan Young looked to benefit from the spillage, but Johnstone produced an outstanding save to preserve his side’s lead.
Stenhousemuir were a threat from corners throughout the game, mainly due to the quality of Jack Donaldson’s deliveries. His side were unlucky not to draw level from one of his corners with caused all sorts of problems in the Cumbernauld defence. Several Stenhousemuir players had swipes at goal as the ball dropped directly into the danger area, but their efforts were blocked by valiant Cumbernauld defending.
After coming close to losing their lead on more than one occasion, Cumbernauld looked to extend their lead further. Tonner’s cross from the left bounced awkwardly in front of Cowan and the ball was nearly turned home from close range. They went close again soon after when a long ball forward dropped to Dougan whose shot on the turn was deflected just wide of the post.
However, it was Stenhousemuir who claimed the all-important second goal of the game less than five minutes before half time. Donaldson’s corner caused havoc in the Cumbernauld area once again, although they eventually managed to scramble the ball clear of immediate danger. However, it was not cleared far enough as Stenhousemuir kept the ball alive in the final third. The ball was eventually played to Daramola who turned a Cumbernauld defender before curling an outstanding 20-yard effort over the head of a helpless Johnstone.
Daramola’s equaliser was to be the last meaningful action of the half, with the match perfectly poised going into the half time interval.