At Alloa’s Recreation Park, Sauchie Juniors took on Cambusbarron Rovers in the first of three tussles in little over a fortnight. Still to meet on league duty and the small matter of the league cup final, these two teams went into battle for the FVFDA Challenge Cup. Only four points separate these teams in the league with Sauchie in second place after winning nine, drawing two and losing two, Rovers meanwhile have an impressive form having won eleven and only losing once….notably to Sauchie Juniors.
So this match promised to be a great advert for the Central Region, most of the people I spoke to prior to kick off seemed to feel Rovers were the favourites for this cup final, however Sauchie weren’t there to make up the numbers.
Both teams took to the field and Sauchie looked nervous in the opening stages, however they started to grow in confidence and over the piece seemed to have full control over Rovers in the midfield. They looked strong in defence limiting Rovers to just one real effort in the first 35 minutes. Rovers similarly looked strong in defence and Sauchie struggled to make any real efforts and again had only one real chance, until they won a free kick on the 35th minute. Brian McAdam was fouled and the resulting free kick by Liam Begg at the goal, made the Rovers keeper Greg McGuiness fumble the ball and it was turned in by Sauchie captain James Fraser.
Cambusbarron were determined to get back level, and tried to mount an attack, Kevin Morrison was fouled approx. 35 yards out and the resulting free kick was met by the safe hands of Scott McKie, not the biggest goalkeeper, but very impressive all the same, McKie ensured his team heard him and he commanded and prowled his box determined not to concede. Rovers continued to try and get the ball up the park, however they were sucker punched when Michael Gray fired in a low shot across the goalkeeper and low into his left hand corner.
Sauchie now looked in control and even though Rovers were determined to try and reduce the deficit before half time, both teams went into the dressing rooms with the scores at 2-0 to Sauchie.