FNQ Cup: Brown downs Kilby in dramatic finale

Posted on Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Spartans gained revenge for their Cup Final heartbreak last season by disposing of current holders East Kilbride courtesy of goals from David Greenhill and an injury time strike by Alan Brown at K-Park.

After a spell on the treatment table, there was a return to the Spartans starting XI for Chris Townsley whilst Craig Stevenson was ruled out following his knee-knock suffered in last week’s win over Civil.

Apart from establishing that the two pigeons on top of the stand were decoy doos, there was little to learn within the opening exchanges as both sides set out their collective stalls akin to chess masters eyeing up their next instinctive move.

Andrew Mair was inches away from getting on the end of a Dan Ward cross that saw Kean get enough on the ball with his fist to re-direct the leather sphere away from the Spartans’ player’s head.

HT: East Kilbride 0-0 Spartans

After a tame first half, the cool Kilby air meant the frosty patches on the pitch certainly weren’t improving and you may have been forgiven for thinking a few players exchanged mouldies for slippers in the sheds at the break.

Ward was unlucky not to break the deadlock just after the hour mark when he went on a rampaging run through the middle and his final effort was well saved by Kean.

With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Alan Brown put in one of his now trademark sliding tackles which was a pivotal moment in deciding the outcome of the game.

Then moments later, David Greenhill raced in on goal before unleashing an exquisite strike that went in off the base of the post to give the visitors a 76th minute lead.

Spartans continued to defence resolutely as the game entered the last of the regulatory 90 minutes. ‘Defence 1.0’ was deployed as the Ainslie Park side clung on to the narrowest of margins that would offer a double over the league leaders in domestic and cup competition this season.

Crawford collected the ball just outside the Spartans box and unleashed a ferocious strike.  Blair Carswell looked to have done enough to deny the Kilby man however the rebound was met first by Coll who tucked home for the equaliser.

With the sides facing extra time and the possibility of penalties as the game headed into four minutes added on by the match official, there was to be one final twist in the Football Nation Cup tail.

One last throw of the proverbial dice was all there was left for someone to be a hero.  Step up, Alan Brown.  The pacey playmaker took delivery of the ball inside the Kilby half before winning the foot race and absolutely leather the ball into the back of the net.  Cue scenes.

There was enough time for one final restart before the Referee whistled for its conclusion.  Spartans are heading for the Final of the Football Nation Qualifying Cup Final.

FT: East Kilbride 1-2 Spartans

Spartans: Carswell, Herd, Tolmie, Thomson, Greenhill, Brown, Ward, Murray (Maxwell 50), Dishington, Mair (Beesley), Townsley. Unused: Gabiola, Comrie, Gilpin

Malt and Hops Man of the Match: Alan Brown

Next Fixture

Date: Friday 17th May
Opponent: Dumbarton
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Play-Off Final 2nd Leg
Kick off: 7.30pm

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