Blue Brazil bowed out of this seasons Scottish Cup in the Fifth Round on Saturday, but there was no shortage of drama for the watching fans as their tie with Lewis United served up a festive footballing treat which will surely go down as one of the games of the season.
The visitors held a slender two goal lead at the interval thanks to goals from Robert Ward and Ross Young either side of a Max Bain equaliser. However it was in the second half that the game really came to life, with Murray Esson stretching the visitors lead from the penalty spot before James Watt clawed one back for the hosts with a well-placed free kick. Ward looked to have won the game for Lewis when he bagged his second goal of the game, but there was late drama as Fraser Muir’s towering header and Jake Mitchell’s stunning overhead kick in the dying seconds forced the match into extra time. There was to be no fairy-tale comeback for Blue Brazil though, as a Ben Marr strike and a hat-trick goal for Ward sealed the game and sent Lewis through to the sixth round.
The tone was set from the first whistle, as Lewis came forward right from the kick off and had the ball in the back of the net before their opponents had managed a single touch. A ball clipped in from the wing was nicely cushioned into the path of Ward, whose volley had too much power for Jed Muir in the Blue Brazil goal.
Despite the early set back, the home side responded with purpose and almost struck back immediately, but after being picked out with a long ball Liam Woods could only send his volley into the side netting.
The game had started at a blistering pace, and Ward was looking dangerous for the visitors with his pace and power causing all sorts of problems. First, he curled over a right footed effort from the edge of the area, before sending in a low cross from the left which Gregor Whyte side footed agonisingly wide of the post.
After early chances for both sides, it was Blue Brazil who began to look the better team as they tried to capitalise on their home advantage. First, Bain saw a right footed shot blocked before Jack Jardine had a golden chance to equalise; heading wide after he was picked out by an inch perfect free kick from Dylan Harrison.
Blue Brazil were getting joy down the right flank with their pace, and after another lung busting run by Woods, he cut inside and squared the ball for Harrison, who got his shot away but could only fire over the bar.
The home side were growing in confidence, and were soon rewarded with a goal as Bain beat the offside trap to race onto Jardine’s flick on, and lob the ball cheekily over the onrushing Matthew Buckham.
Looking to build on that equaliser, Blue Brazil again attacked down the right with Harrison; but his cross was gathered by Buckham to snuff out the danger. Woods then again sent a good ball in from the right hand side, but to his frustration none of his teammates had taken a gamble and the chance came to nothing.
Harrison then had a wonderful chance to put his side in front, but after Jardine had laid the ball square for his teammate, he could only send his right footed shot over the bar.
Blue Brazil were soon made to rue their missed chances, as Lewis snuck back in front with a goal from absolutely nothing. Some good play on the edge of the area forced a corner, and when the ball was only half cleared; Young was found unmarked at the far post to tap in and regain the lead for his side.
The hosts rallied before half time, and some nice combination play between Harrison and Woods fashioned a chance for the latter, but he didn’t catch the shot properly and instead sliced the ball wide of the target.
There was still time for one more chance for Blue Brail to draw level before the break, with Jay Watson rising highest to meet a free kick, but his flick towards goal was saved by Buckham to make sure it was the visitors who went in ahead at the break.