This first round league cup match was always going to be a battle and from the start it was clear East Stirlingshire were up for it! The home team started strong and were pressing high with 3 up top but Riverside handled the initial pressure well. After 4 minutes, it was only Riversides' second venture into the Shire half when Alex let fly from 30 yards and beat the outstretched keeper to hit the top corner. An excellent goal to open the scoring. 1-0 Riverside.
Riverside then started to get into a rhythm and were passing the ball better, creating the majority of the chances. Flemming, Stephen and Duncan all coming close to doubling the lead following good build up play and perfectly weighted through balls that Shire managed to stop before they reached Riverside players. The structure was good and the defenders were dealing well with the pressure from the long ball.
It was 8 minutes before half time when Riverside doubled their lead. Stuart played the through ball to Stephen W and he made a driving run to the byline, cutting the ball back to Fin and he fired it home at the back post. 2-0 Riverside.
East Stirlingshire were still dangerous on the counter and just before the break they played a neat one-two on the edge of the box and forced Lewis F to pull off a great one handed save to preserve his clean sheet.
Half Time: East Stirlingshire 0-2 Riverside FC
The second half did not start well for Riverside and within 30 seconds the home team had pulled one back. Shire raced out of the starting blocks and launched an attack in numbers down the right. A cross into the box and Riverside were sleeping as the Shire striker was given the freedom of Stirling as he nodded the ball home. 2-1 now, game on!
Riverside were quick to respond and Stevie played a nice through ball to Stephen who finished well to restore the 2 goal advantage. A slick passing move that was finished off in style. 3-1 Riverside.
It was Shire on the counter attack and a mistake at the back seen them back in the game at 2-3 with 10 minutes of the second half played. Dilly-dallying on the ball seen the striker nip in and score to reduce the deficit again.
It was a scrappy second half with East Stirling mixing strong midfield play and long ball, and using it to good effect. Riverside did not have the same attacking flow but still created a couple of chances. The home team then had a stroke of luck and a good Riverside line is caught out by a suspect offside decision but it was tight, and Shire equalised to take the game into extra time.
Full Time: East Stirlingshire 3-3 Riverside FC
Two periods of 15 minutes followed and thankfully it was Riverside that came out the blocks quicker in the first half that, putting the game out of reach in the first period. The first came from a corner, Bradley delivered a perfect corner and Scott attacked the ball at the back post to bullet his header into the roof of the net, making it 4 goals in 4 games for the big centre back. 4-3 Riverside.
With 2 minutes to go in the first period, Lewis W played a well weighted through ball to Fin who volleyed into the back of the net for his second of the game and to put the game (hopefully) out of sight.
The second period of extra time seen East Stirlingshire pushing forward, forcing 2 cracking point blank saves from Lewis in goal to ensure the game does not go to penalties this time!
Full Time AET: East Stirlingshire 3-5 Riverside FC
Overall a good Riverside performance playing the better passing football. It was a determined performance from the entire squad and the lads were praised for coming out in extra time, showing what they are made of to progress to the Quarter Final.