Discuss the Match | Buy Photos and Souvenirs
A manic eight minute spell in the second half that saw three goals fly in came to define what was an intriguing spectacle as Shotts YMCA took on Broxburn Athletic Colts in this rearranged Tam Dalyell County Cup Final at Almondvale.
With the original fixture having being postponed at the end of May, both sets of teams would have been thankful to have entered onto a Livingston pitch that did not look as poorly as it did some weeks ago when torrential downpours put paid to the first attempt at the tie. Shotts, playing in yellow and black, lined up in a 3-5-2 formation against their counterparts Broxburn, adorned in their traditional red with white flashes, who also opted for a busy midfield formation of 4-5-1.
Shotts began the more confident side, dictating the pace and passing the ball around neatly and with great composure. The first opportunity came for Shotts on 7 minutes when Paul Hughes improvised after a long throw-in from the far-side had caused panic in the Broxburn defence. However, Hughes could only chest wide after the half-chance presented itself to the centre midfielder. Minutes later, Shotts found themselves in front. Dale Baxter’s floated free-kick was met by the head of Shotts’s towering captain Declan Muir, who had found space in the box to guide his header beyond Fallon in the Broxburn goal.
Despite Broxburn matching up to Shotts in terms of numbers in the middle of the park, Graeme Murray often cut a forlorn figure up front for Broxburn as he endeavoured to fashion opportunities for himself. Campbell Anthony sought to provide some assistance from midfield and after winning a free kick on the edge of the box on 14 minutes, Calum Heath was unlucky to see his resulting effort tipped over the bar by Shotts’s Davidson. Heath would have another chance to score seconds later but after receiving the ball at the back post from a cross, the left winger was unable to convert from an acute angle.
As the half progressed, a number of long-range efforts flew in at either end with Broxburn’s Jason McGregor dragging a shot wide after neat link-up play with the industrious Anthony. A surging run from defence saw Shotts’s Andrew Paterson attempt an ambitious 25-yard strike that was struck well though off target. An offside flag cut short Broxburn’s hopes that striker Murray was through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat as Shotts’s Richard McCormick blew a heavy sigh of relief having needlessly given the ball away. There was not a great deal between the sides in the opening period though Shotts were faring better in getting to second balls in the congested midfield area.
Half Time: Shotts YMCA 1-0 Broxburn Athletic Colts
Once again Shotts started the half the better side. Declan Muir drew a save from Kyle Fallon 5 minutes in as the Broxburn keeper did well to keep an awkward shot from close-range out. Gary McGeouch was allowed a free header from the subsequent corner but the Shotts’s forward was unable to direct the effort towards goal. Campbell Anthony and Jason McGregor combined well on 50 minutes, as they did throughout the game, to draw a comfortable save from Shotts’s Davidson who gratefully accepted McGregor’s low, stinging shot.
Another long-range effort, this time at the other end, would soon result in the game’s second goal. Shotts’s Gary McGeouch was afforded too much time on the perimeter of the Broxburn box and the striker lined up and thundered home a strike that was deflected high into the top left-hand corner of the Broxburn net. The goal was the catalyst for what seemed to be a palpable change in the mood of the game as the tempo of both teams was upped.
Only 5 minutes later on 57 minutes, Davidson was picking the ball out of the Shotts’s goal having borne witness to a fantastic combination of awareness and skill from Broxburn’s Campbell Anthony. A seemingly aimless punt from Broxburn centre-half Darren Raeburn was latched onto by the lurking Anthony who capitalised on the surprise of the Shotts’s rear-guard to round the goalkeeper and execute a perfect volleyed finish from wide. Play bombed up the other end straight after as Shotts’s Luke Dwyer put a shot wide after being slipped in on the left-hand side.
The frantic pace of play would reach its zenith on 64 minutes as Shotts’s restored their two-goal advantage when an excellent through-ball out of nothing from Andrew Paterson enabled the lively Dylan King to slide the ball past the on-rushing Kyle Fallon. Within a few minutes there was even more intrigue to be had as Shotts’s Davidson handled outside of his area while trying to deal with a long-ball. Despite picking up a booking for the offence, Davidson watched happily as Broxburn’s Murray put the free-kick that followed well over.
As the game drew closer to the final whistle, it was Shotts that looked the more likely to score. Gary McGeouch’s pass gave Dylan King an opportunity to double his tally but the striker’s shot was too close to Fallon. With the game moments from finishing, Darren Raeburn hoisted a long free-kick into the Shotts’s box that gave Calum Heath the opportunity to demonstrate his acrobatic prowess as the winger’s overhead kick troubled Davidson in goals until the ball was just about scrambled wide for a goal-kick. It was a fitting end to a cup final that produced almost every type of footballing thrill one could hope for
Full Time: Shotts YMCA 3-1 Broxburn Athletic Colts