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Albion BC welcomed Milngavie Wanderers to Spain Park for the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup. The stadium name proved to be drenched in irony today, as in typical North-East fashion, Aberdeen witnessed arguably every single weather type except for a ray of sunshine. However, that was not to effect the encounter as both sides took to the 3g pitch looking to play a style of football that would warm up the cold onlookers.
Initially both sides approached the tie cautiously, desperate not to misplace a pass in the sleet and hail, consequently canceling one another out in the early stages. The first clear cut chance of the match fell to Albion’s Jack Odlin. The tricky winger was threaded through on goal before stinging the palms of Milngavie’s Ryan Gillies with a driven effort, who had positioned himself well to turn the effort over the bar.
Milngavie retaliated almost immediately to the close scare, by opening the scoring. In the sixteenth minute, Mitchell Duffy prodded home from close range following a goalmouth scramble in which Albion had failed to clear their lines. The goal kickstarted the quarter-final into life. A sea of red burst forward in the nineteenth minute, Albion’s Slater weaved into the box before unselfishly teeing off Reid. Milngavie’s back line recovered excellently, however, to divert the strike over the bar.
Albion refused to allow conceding stifle their attacking play, midfielder Morrison beginning to find his footing in the tie. In the twenty eighth minute, Morrison skipped into the opposition box before drilling an effort towards the bottom right-hand corner. Gillies was equal to the strike, pushing wide.
The tie would be levelled in the thirty-fourth minute. Morrison found himself clean through on goal but again Milngavie recovered well to concede a corner. The resultant corner was whipped in with pace and Sangster rose highest to nod home at the near post.
Milngavie managed to regain their lead minutes before half-time, however, winning a free-kick on the right-side of the pitch. Full-back Jonathon Grier donned the responsibility and curled a teasing ball into the box. Dylan Monaghan anticipated the flight of the ball perfectly, pivoting in the box to direct a diving header beyond Jarvie and ensure the Wanderers led at half-time.
Half Time: Albion BC 1-2 Milngavie Wanderers
Milngavie kicked off the second period and were to have the first effort of the forty-five. Greenlees burst down the right wing, his cross evading both attackers and defenders before falling kindly to Jenkins. The late runner’s strike was turned round the post by Jarvie.
Just a minute later, Albion’s Cheyne nearly managed to take full advantage of the blustering conditions. The midfielder’s corner was drifting dangerously toward the back of the net before the quick-thinking Gillies scooped the ball over the bar.
A surging run from Milngavie’s Greenlees caused problems for the Albion’s backline six minutes into the second half. The number ten’s direct style allowed him to skip past the opposition defence but he could only curl his effort beyond the post.
In the fifty-fourth minute Albion won a free-kick on the edge of the right-hand side of the area. Morrison had only one thing on his mind as the midfielder’s dipping effort forced Gillies into another excellent save. Albion were on the ascendancy as Milngavie struggled to move the ball out of defence in the windy conditions.
Morrison began to dictate the play in the middle of the pitch and in the fifty-sixth minute, his rifled effort from long-range caught Gillies off-guard. The ball nestled into the bottom right-hand corner of the net to level the tie at two apiece, and send the home dugout into euphoria.
With the tie on a knife-edge, the weather worsened. As a result it became more difficult for both teams to play the neat football they had impressed with thus far. Milngavie’s full-backs were contending with Albion’s wingers well, forcing the home side to seek an advantage in the central areas.
It looked like it might have to be a touch of brilliance to separate the sides and Morrison offered exactly that in the seventieth minute. Once again, creating space for himself in the middle, the midfielder launched a howitzer in off the bar from thirty yards. The Albion support erupted with joy as Morrison milked the plaudits for his emphatic strike. The home-side regrouped for kick-off and defended resolutely to ensure safe travel into the Scottish Cup semi final.
Full Time: Albion BC 3-2 Milngavie Wanderers