Lochgelly Albert and Blue Brazil played out a tense finale to the Fife Cup at Warout on Sunday, with Lochgelly clinching the trophy after the match went all the way to penalties.
First half goals from Cameron Moon and Luke Fleming meant the game finished 1-1, and with neither side able to make a breakthrough in extra time it was left to penalties to decide the winner. As the game threatened to go on into the night, it was Greg Johnstone who took the decisive kick, holding his nerve as Lochgelly won the shootout 8-7.
The game was finely balanced from the word go, and there were half chances for both sides in the opening stages of the game. First, a dangerous looking free kick was sent into the Lochgelly penalty area, but Matthew Sutterby was able to collect the ball. Then, Ryan Connelly was almost played through on goal, but Blue Brazil ‘keeper Cameron Coyne was out quickly to thwart the danger.
Jamie McEwan made good progress down the left wing for Blue Brazil, but despite a good cross being delivered, there was no one in the middle to take advantage. Joe Potter then saw his shot fizz wide of the post as Blue Brazil threatened to break the deadlock.
Connelly looked lively up front for Lochgelly, and he broke free on the right hand side of the Blue Brazil area, only to see his right footed shot saved by the feet of Coyne.
McEwan was then found unmarked at the back post, but his header was weak and comfortable for Sutterby to save and hold onto the ball.
Kay was a driving force in mid-field for Blue Brazil, and his mazy run ended with a powerful right footed shot, that dipped wickedly as it approached the goal, but Sutterby was again equal to it.
Luke Fleming then did well to break free on the right for Blue Brazil, but after cutting inside he could only blaze his shot over the bar. McEwan was next to try his luck as Blue Brazil began to grow into the game, but again Sutterby was able to save the shot.
Despite a period of pressure from Blue Brazil, there was still no goal to show for their efforts, and it was now Lochgelly’s turn to search for an opening when Connelly made a driving run down the left, but his cross was played behind everyone in the area and the chance was gone.
It was not long until the deadlock was broken though, and it was Lochgelly who drew first blood. A free kick into the box was only half cleared to Ewan Malvenan, and his volley back into the danger area fell perfectly for Moon to control and finish nicely into the far corner.
Blue Brazil needed a response to falling behind, and they got it in the form of a stunning strike from Fleming. Picking the ball up from all of twenty five yards out, he was allowed too much room as the defence stood off him, and after taking a touch to set himself unleashed an unstoppable shot the flew into the top corner, leaving Sutterby rooted to the spot.
There was a chance for Lochgelly to snatch the lead back right on the stroke of half time, but there was no one in the middle to convert Jack McDonald’s flashed ball across goal, and the game went into half time beautifully poised at 1-1.