Cumbernauld Colts U20s vs Spartans U20s
Scottish Lowland Development League Knockout Cup Final
Cumbernauld Colts U20s managed to put the disappointment of losing the League title on goal difference a few days earlier to emerge victorious in a dramatic 5-3 win over league rivals Spartans after extra time to end the season on a high on Monday night.
The Oriam Performance Centre, Edinburgh provided a perfect setting for to bring the season to a close and a healthy crowd were inside to witness a pulsating encounter between two of the League’s leading lights.
The young Colts started brightly and created some early chances with Nash spurning the best chance as he skewed a shot wide from inside the box. However, they went in front when Sheridan capitalised on some confusion in the Spartans defence to calmly slotted home after 15mins.
This goal allowed the game to open up and both teams had chances with Spartans coming close to equalising when a spurious cross come shot hit the top of the Colts crossbar.
Half Time 1-0
The teams emerged for the second half and Spartans quickly pushed forward to drag themselves back into the game. A well worked move down the right-hand side seen the Spartans winger deliver a low cross across the face of the goal, the ball evading everybody but the referee awarded Spartans a penalty for McAllister’s effort to block the run of the Spartans forward. The penalty was dispatched to level the score.
This appeared to Spur the Colts on and they took control of the game creating a number of chances.
On 65 minutes Colts were awarded a corner and from the resultant cross Bateman was unlucky to see his effort rebound off the post but McGarahan was on hand to tap in and restore the Colts lead.
The game was entering the last 20 minutes and there was a tense feeling around the ground as both sides were still pressing for goals and several yellow cards started to appear. With Colts seemingly in control a relatively harmless effort from Spartans was misjudged by keeper Purves and bounced into the Colts net for an unlikely equaliser.
The Cumbernauld side continued to push forward with Bateman, Nash and Whitehead all coming close but were caught out with five minutes remaining a counter attack from Spartans saw them edge in front for the first time. A long ball over the defence saw the Spartans right winger steal in to drill the ball home.
With time running out, Bateman, outstanding in midfield all evening, was sent off for a second bookable offence in 88 mins as he made a last ditch tackle. Although a huge blow, a quick reshuffle saw the Colts win a corner in the dying seconds and McGarahan rose highest to head the leveller and spark wild scenes in the Colts ranks.
Full Time 3-3
Extra time kicked off and there wasn’t 2 minutes on the clock before the game saw its next goal. Colts worked the ball forward and as a cross came into the box it was McGarahan again on hand to head the in front in this rollercoaster of a cup final.
With Spartans flooding forward gaps began to appear in their defence and McAteer made the most of this when his persistence saw him shoot the Colts into a two goal lead as he pounced on a defence mix up.
Half Time – Extra Time 5-3
The second half in extra time came and Colts showed no signs of breaking, the defence standing strong and denying Spartans of any clear-cut chances.
With the game drawing to a close and Colts making a number of substitutions, they inched themselves to the final whistle. Another incredible comeback from Colts in their last match of the season with a trophy that was extremely well deserved for their efforts this campaign.
Full Time – Extra Time 5-3