Aberdeenshire AFA

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Sportsmans Club lift the North of Scotland Cup

Sportsmans Club 3 Kincorth 3 (AET), Sportsmans Club won 4-3 on penalties

Sportsmans Club lifted the North of Scotland Amateur Cup for the first time following an exciting final against Kincorth at Allan Park on Sunday.

The game started in bright sunshine and Kincorth broke the deadlock after only four minutes when a driven corner from Livingstone on the right was met by Thomson at the near post.

Sportsmans sought to play their way back into the game and a long range effort from McNamara had to be carefully watched by Kincorth keeper Stephen midway through the opening period while at the other end, Kincorth’s best effort on goal came when Warman moved forward from left back and fired the ball inches wide of Beattie’s right hand post.

Sportsmans made further efforts to get back on terms just before the interval and an incisive through ball from Robb looked to have sent McNamara clear but Stephen rushed from his line to deny the striker.

Half-time: 1-0

Kincorth made a bright start to the second half and came close to doubling their advantage when Ryan Law ghosted in at the back post to meet an inviting cross from Thomson but his header flashed just past the upright. The Sportsmans goal was again under threat minutes later when Simpson created some space for himself on the edge of the box and sent in a curling shot which looked to be destined for the top corner until Beattie dived to his left to make an excellent one-handed save.

An angled drive from John Law whistled just wide of target as Sportsmans went in search of a leveller and Kincorth defender Barrack had to make an important intervention when a McKenzie cross fizzed low across goal. However, the equalising goal did arrive on 71 minutes when John Law laid the ball into the path of McNamara who accelerated towards goal and slotted the ball home with some assurance.

Kincorth went on the offensive straight from the restart and restored their lead within 60 seconds when Simpson supplied Ryan Law who lashed the ball beyond Beattie.

Sportsmans came close to restoring parity when a fierce shot from John Law flew just the wrong side of the post and it took a perfectly timed tackle from Buchanan at the other end to prevent Kincorth from extending their lead after Ryan Law and Stewart had combined effectively down the left flank.

Sportmans pressed forward in the closing stages and succeeded in levelling the scores with eight minutes remaining when Sharp flighted a diagonal free kick to the back post and McNamara steered a looping header out of the reach of Stephen and into the corner of the net to send the match into extra-time.

Score after 90 minutes: 2-2

Sportsmans went in front for the first time in the match just two minutes into extra-time when John Law was tripped as he burst into the penalty area on the right and McNamara grabbed his hat-trick by emphatically converting the resultant spot kick. They then almost succeeded in going further ahead when McKenzie accepted a volleyed crossfield pass from Robb but his shot from distance arrowed just over the Kincorth crossbar.

Kincorth’s hopes of lifting the trophy for the third time looked to be fading as the clock ticked down but they won a free-kick on the edge of the area which Marr drove into the box and in the ensuing scramble the ball was forced goalwards, struck the base of the post and then appeared to ricochet back into the net off a Sportsmans player to tie the match up at 3-3.

There was one last chance for Sportsmans to settle matters with a penalty shoot-out looming as John Law shot on the turn from the edge of the area and his effort threatened to creep into the bottom corner before Stephen threw himself to his right to turn the ball behind.

Full Time: 3-3

Keeper Willie Beattie was then the hero for Sportmans Club as he saved two Kincorth penalties in the shoot-out, leaving Brian Robb to convert the winning spot kick. The North of Scotland Amateur Cup was presented to Sportmans Club captain Gary McNamara by Angus McKay, President of the Scottish Amateur FA, who complimented both teams and the match officials on an exciting and closely contested final.

Sportsmans Club: W. Beattie, R. Sharp, G. McConnachie, S. Buchanan, J. Somers, B. Robb, L. McKenzie, P. Masson, S. Benson, G. McNamara (capt.), J. Law. Subsitutes: M. Duthie, G. Johnston, R. Burnett, M. Williamson, S. Wilson.

Kincorth: J. Stephen, L. Marr, S. Warman, L. Barrack (capt.), T. Davie, T. Livingstone, S. McKenzie, B. Thomson, J. Simpson, R. Law, P. Durrand. Substitutes: I. Kemp, S. Wood, M. Stewart, B. Tait, G. Knox.

Match Officials: M. Harrow, C. Robertson, D. Mitchell, I. Innes.

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