AM Soccer defeated St Johns Lions on Sunday to lift the Toorie Winters Cup, with goals from Jason Burns, Matthew Gow and Louis Appere doing the damage.
In torrential conditions at Treaton Park in Star, both sides did their best to lift the spirits of the watching crowd as both players and fans endured torrential rain throughout.
Despite the final score suggesting otherwise, this was a well-balanced game, and it was no surprise when Craig Burt in the AM Soccer goal was awarded man of the match following a string of superb saves to keep the Lions at bay.
The game’s first chance fell to AM and Appere, who was played through on goal only to blast his effort over the bar. Kieran Fox then took aim from distance following a good move, but again his shot was too high to trouble Brandon Conner between the sticks for St Johns.
Following a promising start to the game from AM, it was the side from Kirkcaldy who began to pull the strings as the match settled down.
Rowan Kay was almost through on goal, but a decisive decision to come off his line from Burt meant the danger was snuffed out.
Josh Binnington was then allowed to escape his marker on the left side of the area, but his cut back failed to find Kay who was lurking and ready to tap in had the ball reached him.
Kay did manage to get his head to the resulting corner, but the shot was blocked before a follow-up shot was fired straight at Burt who did well, not for the first time in the match, to hold onto the ball despite the slippery conditions.
Kay was then yet again allowed to wriggle free of his man and looked certain to score this time, but another superb save from Burt kept the sides level.
St Johns were on top for the majority of the first half, and were again only denied an opening goal by the brilliance of Burt when he saved a Binnington free kick.
Binningotn and Kay were showing a good understanding of each other’s game, and some neat interplay between the two sparked panic amongst the AM defence as the ball was hastily scooped behind with the Lions piling on the pressure.
Kay managed to get his head to the ball as it came in from the corner, but was yet again denied by another top save from Burt.
It was not long before Burt was in the thick of the action again, this time denying Mark Mooney who tried his luck with a dipping free kick from well outside the area. Burt stood his ground and was able to tip the ball over with two strong palms to prevent his team from falling behind.
AM Soccer had endured a fair amount of pressure, and it was a relief for their fans when they finally created an opening as a Kieran Fox free-kick went fizzing for the bottom corner, but Conner was equal to it and held onto the ball for good measure.
St Johns were then denied an opener by the offside flag, as Mooney's free kick was flicked in at the far post, the linesman ruling the player was offside and the scores stayed level.
AM seemed to have found a way to stem the tide of St Johns, but the Lions were dangerous on the counter, and Binnington found himself behind the last man after a smart break, but once more he was denied by a tremendous save from Burt.
There was just enough time left for AM to try and sneak a goal right on the whistle; first Appere cut back for Liam McWatt six yards from goal, but he mishit his shot, and when the ball was clipped back into the box an unmarked Gow was unable to convert.
Despite good chances for both sides, it was a tale of two keepers at the interval as the sides went in level.