Sauchie Juniors booked their place in the 2014 Lady Darling Cup Final with a confident 2-0 victory away to a solid Harmony Row side.
A classic blend of confused weather welcomed Sauchie to the Alex Ferguson Park, with players no doubt unsure whether to go for snoods or short sleeves amidst the sun, hail and wind. The weather may well have been to blame for the underwhelming crowd at this semi-final, but the action on the park proved enough to heat up all those present.
Sauchie got the game underway but the first chance of the match fell to Harmony Row’s Cameron Haddow. After being played through on goal, the frontman was unlucky to see his effort slip past ‘keeper Dylan Harrison before edging just by the right post.
Sauchie weren’t to be pinned back in the early stages though as they had a chance of their own through Greg Gunn, who had a decent shot parried away by Jordan Bowskill.
After a bit of a scramble in the Harmony Row box, the ball fell to Jack Docherty who fired a shot just past the bottom left corner.
The Row’s Mark Burbidge was next to throw his name in the hat after some silky dribbling down the right wing saw a chance open up for him. His shot with the outside of the right foot was heading for the far post but a deflection forced the corner, though nothing came of the set piece.
At the other end, Sauchie’s Josh Walker was brought down in the box, and the Alloa men won themselves a penalty and a decisive chance to open the scoring in a tightly-contested first half.
Stuart Love stepped up to the spot and sent Bowskill the wrong way, slotting home into the bottom left corner and giving Sauchie the crucial edge.
And they were at it again not long after, as firstly Anthony McTaggart saw a left-footed shot whistle past the left post before Stuart Love tried for his second goal, though the shot was too high.
The Row were trying valiantly to get themselves level and maybe should have when Mark Burbidge again got past his man to put in a dangerous cross. It fell to Ross McEntee who probably should have done better from short range, with his shot going wide of the right post.
Another chance came for Harmony Row as a great ball in from left-back Graeme Anderson found the head of Steven Young in the area. The frontman’s header could easily have found the net but sneaked just past the right post.
But it wasn’t to be for the Row, as Sauchie soon found themselves two-nil up. Graeme Gunn had too much time and space on the edge of the Row box, and he arrowed a right-footed shot into the top left leaving Jordan Bowskill with no chance.
It was almost three-nil before half-time but for an incredible save from Bowskill. Stuart Love found himself with an almost open goal, only for Bowskill to recover brilliantly and get a crucial toe to the shot.