Forth 1 Girvan 1 (2-3 on Penalties)
Forth were knocked out of the Evening Champions Cup at Kingshill on Saturday, losing 3-2 on penalties to Girvan, after the Ayrshire men had equalised in the 92nd minute.
Having gone through their Ayrshire District league campaign undefeated, Girvan were strong favourites and began the match on the front foot, Calum Nairn heading a cross from the right wide after only 3 minutes. A minute later David Cherrie in the Forth goal did well to block a shot from Paul Murphy and Nairn then came close with a half volley as the visitors continued to press. It was one way traffic at this stage and Murphy fired wide before Robert Patterson shot over with 15 minutes gone.
Forth responded with a Stephen Tait free kick which was easily held by Steven Douglas in the Girvan goal. The visitors continued to dominate however and after Cherrie saved a 25 yarder from Nairn, Christopher Allan shot narrowly wide after latching on to a throw in. With half an hour gone the Wanderers began to play their way into the game and Barry McGeechan came close with a 25 yard free kick which went narrowly wide, with Douglas struggling.
Douglas then pulled off a fantastic save on 36 minutes, turning a Kris Dick header, which looked to be heading into the top corner, over the bar. The deadlock was however broken on 36 minutes, Barry McGeechan picking out an unmarked Kristopher Dick at the edge of the box and the Forth skipper drilled the ball home for his 11th goal of the season. Girvan almost leveled two minutes later when only a tremendous save from Cherrie at full stretch prevented a free kick from Allan hitting the net and 1-0 it remained at half time.
The second half began with Girvan determined to find an equaliser but they were having no joy breaching a resolute Wanderers defence. Jo Maxwell shot well over from a good position just after the hour mark before loud Forth appeals for a penalty were waved away after a McGeechan shot appeared to be blocked by the arms of a defender.
The Wanderers were looking increasingly comfortable as the game wore on although chances to double their advantage were at a premium. Cherrie then saved comfortably from Murphy and then Patterson as Girvan pushed forward, but the visitors were becoming increasingly frantic and it was looking as though it would be the Wanderers who would face Renfrew in the semi-final. However, with 92 minutes on the clock, a tremendous 25 yard shot from Scott Dinwoodie flew into the net to take the game to penalties.
Both teams missed their first two penalties before scoring their next two to effectively take it to sudden death and after Girvan scored their fifth, Douglas got down to save from John Watson and take the Ayrshire men through. A valiant performance from the Wanderers against a strong side which came up just short, but the presentation of the League Trophy after the match by Felix McKenna of the West Region, soon put the smiles back on faces.
Forth team : Cherrie,Corbett,S.Tait,McMullen,Gupwell,K.Dick,Grenfell,Rennie,Hannaway(Watson),