St Andrew’s University won a gruelling battle against Strathclyde University on penalties – securing the Scottish Student Sport’s Queen’s Park Shield for the first time since 1943.
It was a game that was always going to be won in a narrow fashion, and St Andrew’s had goalkeeper Alec Cadzow to thank for some terrific saves in the second half that kept Strathclyde at bay.
However, the game’s MVP, Alex Dodgshon, stole the show with a combative display that really symbolised the effort and commitment St Andrew’s put into the game.
The victory just typified St Andrew’s run throughout the tournament, having beaten Heriot-Watt University on penalties in the last-16 before knocking out Stirling and Aberdeen universities by one-goal margins respectively.
In contrast, Strathclyde had powered their way to the final. Nine goals scored in their previous three games had them coming into the game flying with confidence, and they started this one well.
Harry Clark worked well down the left to whip in a cross for Ross MacKenzie, but the midfielder’s header was held by Cadzow.
St Andrew’s threatened for the first time before the 10-minute mark, with Max Balmford hooking a well-taken effort over.
Dodgshon and co started to take control after the opening 15 minutes - creating several big openings that should’ve put them ahead.
Bolotov was set up after a terrific through ball from Dodgshon, but fired a low effort just wide. Minutes later, as St Andrew’s started controlling possession, Bolotov connected well with Balmford’s cross – forcing Ryan Truesdale to tip over.
From the resulting corner, Matthew Holden nodded over at the near post.
Despite the opening period of dominance from St Andrew’s in the opening 25 minutes – Strathclyde nearly caught them with a big sucker-punch.
Kyle Richford found space to run through on Cadzow. The St Andrew’s goalkeeper came out to smother, but the ball fell kindly for David Aubrey, who fired a miss-hit effort wide.
Strathclyde really grew into the game afterwards and made it a scrap after the impressive opening from St Andrew’s.
Chances weren’t flowing towards the end of the half, however.
Aubrey fired in a free-kick from 20 yards that was clutched by Cadzow, but it was the only real moment Strathclyde had before the break as the football became scrappy.
It was a half in which St Andrew’s started well, but some early misses cost them the lead going into the break.
On the other hand, Aubrey missed a big chance for Strathclyde just after the half-hour mark, as both sides had big regrets going into the break.