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Courageous Cumbernauld lift Knockout Cup

Spartans FC 3

Shields 16, McGarahan 67, 90, 91, McAteer 102

Cumbernauld Colts 5

Laing 49, Allan 76, Hetherington 85
  • Spartans 3-5 Cumbernauld Colts (AET)
  • Monday, 28 May 2018
  • Oriam Outdoor
  • Under 20´s
  • SLFL Knockout Cup

Oriam’s outdoor synthetic pitch hosted the Knockout Cup Final. Cumbernauld Colts edged this eight-goal thriller in extra time to lift the silverware. Colts were reduced to 10 men, but despite this disadvantage, they proved too strong for Spartans and were able to score twice in extra time to finish the season on a high.

Both sides entered this game full of confidence. Cumbernauld Colts came from four goals down to beat Bonnyton on Friday night and, with this win, they secured a second place finish in the league. Spartans, on the other hand, had defeated eventual league champions Heriot-Watt University in the semi-final of this competition and it was they who started brightest.

Spartans' Singh collected the ball on the wing and crossed for Hetherington, but his header was straight at Cumbernauld keeper Harry Purves.

Cumbernauld took this early warning and began to grow into this game. Firstly Craig Shields broke into the box and cut the ball back for Nash, but his effort went wide of the post.

Then, on 16 minutes, Colts took the lead. Nash found the influential Michael McGarahan and he crossed for Shields who smashed the ball into the net from the edge of the box.

Spartans then took full control of the remainder of the half, creating several excellent opportunities. Firstly, Singh came close from a volley before O’Neill’s header went narrowly past the post.

Spartans came closest to equalising on the half-hour mark. Laing’s free-kick was met by Wishart whose header cracked the crossbar from 6 yards out.

With this effort, the first-half came to an end with Cumbernauld Colts one goal up at the break.

  • Half Time:
  • Spartans FC
  • 0-1
  • Cumbernauld Colts

The second half would prove to be an enthralling battle with the game becoming more open as both sides tired. Spartans, however, drew first blood in the second half.

Singh latched onto the end of a cross but was pulled down in the process. Midfield maestro Laing stepped up and made no mistake in firing the penalty into the top left corner.

Colts didn’t let Spartans equaliser impact on their performance, and on 67 minutes they retook the lead. A Cumbernauld corner wasn’t dealt with by the Spartans defence, and the ball fell to Michael McGarahan who tucked the ball into the net from close range.

McGarahan’s goal started a crazy 25 minutes which would see a further three goals and a red card.

Firstly, Spartans would score two goals in quick succession to go in front. A poor corner was cleared to the wing and it was returned into the box for centre-back Allan, who flicked the ball into the net to equalise for Spartans.

Five minutes from time the Spartans players and staff would have thought the cup was returning to Ainslie Park, as they scored again. Hetherington was played in on goal, and he managed to lift the ball over the keeper to put Spartans 3-2 in front.

Then, on 89 minutes, Spartans hope of lifting the silverware increased as Colts were reduced to 10 men. Blair Bateman saw a second yellow for a foul in the middle of the park and, as a result, he received his marching orders.

Despite being reduced to 10 men, Cumbernauld Colts showed real courage as they equalised in injury time. Craig Shields delivered a corner which was met by Michael McGarahan, and his deflected header found the top corner, as Colts forced the game into extra time.

  • Full Time:
  • Spartans FC
  • 3-3
  • Cumbernauld Colts
Cumbernauld Colts took full control of the game in extra-time, despite having the man disadvantage and went back in front only a minute into the additional period.

A cross was put into the box for Michael McGarahan. The striker beat the goalkeeper to the cross and nodded into the net to put Cumbernauld 4-3 in front.

Then, a couple of minutes before the interval in extra time, Cumbernauld Colts put the game to bed. This time McGarahan turned provider as he slipped in Connor McAteer and the winger made no mistake by rounding the keeper and passing the ball into the empty net to make it 5-3.

Cumbernauld Colts' managed to see out the remainder of the game to lift the silverware on a special night for their players and staff.

Final Result: Spartans 3-5 Cumbernauld Colts (AET)

Lineups

Spartans FC
Cumbernauld Colts
1. J. Pettigrew
2. O. Hosey
3. G. Hill
4. J. Wishart
5. M. Allan
6. D. Crowe
7. M. Hand
8. A. Laing
9. O. Hetherington
10. C. O'Neill
11. A. Singh
12. M. Scott
14. T. Woodhead
15. C. Cinar
16. N. Brown
17. D. Sutherland
20. R. Urquhart
1. H. Purves
2. M. Byrne
3. M. McGarahan
4. R. Foy
5. R. Milne
6. B. Bateman
7. D. O'Hagan
8. R. Flanagan
9. C. Murphy
10. P. Nash
11. C. McAteer
12. M. Dick
14. J. Curtis
15. C. Sheridan
16. C. Shields
17. C. Whitehead
18. D. McAllister
Star Player
Spartans FC
Cumbernauld Colts
Spartans star player is their midfield playmaker Laing. The midfielder controlled play and was at the heart of all things good for Spartans. He also scored from the penalty spot, so he is a worthy winner of the star player award.
The star man for Cumbernauld Colts was hat-trick hero Michael McGarahan. The striker scored three excellent goals and led the line brilliantly all game. He was the match winner on the day and fully deserves the award.
Magic Moment
Spartans FC
Cumbernauld Colts
Spartans magic moment is their third goal from Hetherington. The goal for Spartans gave them real hope of lifting the silverware, and, it was probably the pick of their goals.
The magic moment for Cumbernauld Colts has to be McGarahan's third goal. Not only did it secure his hat-trick but it also put them in front in extra time, which, alongside McAteer's goal, won the cup for the Colts.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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