Ferry Athletic lifted the Jean Pierre Babin Cup on a glorious Sunday afternoon after seeing off Fairmuir Boys Club thanks to a stunning free-kick from Jay Forran and a cool, composed finish from Kieron Paton.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky as Ferry Athletic kicked off the first half of the cup final at North End Park, and conditions were ideal. From the start both teams showed attacking intent and within minutes of the start both Kal Handy and Rory Faulkner had early chances to give their respective side the lead. Faulkner stinging the palms of Elliot Smith in the Fairmuir goal with a rasping drive of a volley from a throw in.
Both teams continued to press hard early on and Fairmuir’s Bailey Chalmers had the ball in the net inside 10 minutes but the linesman’s flag muted celebrations. Ferry weren’t about to be lie down though and they too must have thought they’d taken the lead when Ryan Ferry headed in at the back post but once again a raised arm from the linesman saw the goal ruled out for offside.
Jake Porter looked to be struggling as he got caught wrong side of his man but did well to make a recovery tackle, his challenge resulted in a foul but it was an important break up of play nonetheless. Arran Smith took the resulting set piece and forced a good save out of Kristopher Taylor, the Ferry keeper doing well to reach the whipped shot.
And it was to be a set piece that saw the deadlock broken on 20 minutes. Jay Forran stepped up from 25 yards out and absolutely hammered the ball home; his powerful effort flying into the top right corner after taking a very late dip. Elliot Smith in goals was rooted to the spot and he could do nothing to stop Ferry taking the lead.
Ferry continued to look dangerous as Faulkner drifted past at least four of his opponents before forcing a close range save. Kal Handy responded for Fairmuir as he strode forward confidently before cutting the ball back from the right hand side. His team-mate Mathew Gow latched onto the ball and might have done better with his shot but Jake Porter got rid of the danger and made the clearance on his goal line.
But Porter, like the rest of his team, couldn’t stop Jamie Gaffney a moment later as he somehow weaved a way through the Ferry backline and coolly slotted past the onrushing goalkeeper. A goal was no more than the Fairmuir team deserved as they had rallied well after going behind.
And they continued to press with Gregor Macaulay making a menacing run down the right before drilling the ball across the face of the goal. Nobody was on hand to make the final touch though as the ball went out harmlessly for a goal kick. Macaulay would have the ball in the net moments later but, for the third time in the half, the goal was disallowed for offside and the teams trooped off for half time with the scores level.