|CB||5||Andy Ward (c)|
|15||Cammy McKay (u20)|
|16||Ryan Milne (u20)|
Friday night football under the lights at Broadwood, the Colts welcoming high flying Leith Athletic of the East of Scotland Football League in this South of Scotland Cup tie. The visitors have had a fantastic season thus far, winning 10 of their 11 league games including a 4-1 demolition of Lothian Thistle HV who recently dumped Montrose out of the Senior Scottish Cup. With the Colts on a fine run themselves, 7 unbeaten stretching to early September, the men in yellow would have been looking to avoid any Friday the thirteenth slip-ups.
Three changes in the Colts line-up with O'Neill, Black and Ballantyne given the night off, replaced by Tilley, McIntyre and on his return from injury Jamie Barclay. A strong Under 20 contingent in the shape of Milne, McKay and Pirrie joined the squad, further reward for their recent excellent work in getting to the last 16 of the Scottish Cup and the final of the League Cup.
In the howling wind and rain the game kicked off with the visitors starting the better of the two sides, pressing their hosts well and forcing constant possession turnover from a lethargic looking Colts. In those early stages Doohan in the home goal had to be sharp to make two fine saves in quick succession, the second a great reaction save to flick a powerful drive over the bar from close range.
|Doohan making one of a string of fine saves (click to enlarge)|
It was to be a sign of things to come, the young keeper best described as “inspired” on the night, his saves keeping the Colts in the tie on more than one occasion.
At the other end Tilley was the first to test the visiting keeper with a curled effort from 25 yards, the stopper gathering comfortably, before Munn and Barclay efforts ended in similar fashion.
|Foggin came on at HT, Broadfoot & Pirrie changes gave Colts advantage (click to enlarge)|
Ward and Oliver at centre back were defending well, conceding a number of corners but limiting Doohan to a couple of comfortable stops in the remainder of the half as Leith enjoyed the lion's share of the pressure in a first 45 in which they were certainly the better performing of the two sides, lacking only the cutting edge to capitalise on their pressure and give themselves the lead.
Into the second half and it was no surprise to see the Colts make changes, Foggin coming on for McIntyre with left back Kirwan moving to the right wing. The home side were certainly more dangerous after the break, but the pattern was similar with Leith enjoying more pressure.
|Doohan made a string of outstanding saves, including the two pictured (click to enlarge)|
And as in the first half it was Doohan in the home goal the pick of the Colts players, making 3 outstanding saves to keep the score at 0-0 in regular time. The first was a point blank 1v1 when it looked certain the attacker would score. Then the young keeper flung himself full stretch to his right to tip a wonderful top corner bound free kick around the post, before completing the set with an equally as impressive save to his left, tipping over for a corner a curled effort from 20 yards.
For the Colts Broadfoot stung the palms of the away stopper with a fine drive before Tilley passed up the opportunity to win the game in normal time, the ball squared to him from the right for a tap in 8 yards out. Unfortunately, such was his evening, he got the connection wrong and the ball squirmed wide.
|Tilley passed up Colts best chance in regular time (click to enlarge)|
Sixteen year old Jordan Pirrie came on to make his full debut for the club, replacing Tilley in midfield with Broadfoot moving to the left. It was to be the change that eventually won the Colts the tie, Pirrie slotting impressively into the side on his debut and Broadfoot offering a real threat from the left hand side.
Into extra and it was indeed Broadfoot who opened the scoring. The wide man took a corner from the Colts right, the ball cleared to the Leith left back just inside the area. Tiredness had set in and he didn't see Broadfoot coming from his blind side, the Colts man stealing the ball wonderfully with his right and on the bounce firing powerfully into the top corner from 16 yards with his left, the keeper helpless.
|Broadfoot scored both Colts goals with fine finishes, pictured (click to enlarge)|
Given the performance of Doohan in the home goal going behind clearly dampened the spirits of the visitors more than the weather had and their mini lull in the aftermath of the first led to them going two behind soon after. Selkirk did wonderfully to gather a forward ball and play into Kirwan who skipped away from the left fullback with a nice touch. Broadfoot, seeing the danger, made inroads from his position on the left and when Kirwan squared low across the box the attacker showed more fine finishing as he got there first to dink over the diving keeper for 2-0.
Into the second half of extra time and one of the most bizarre moments you are ever likely to see in a game of football. As the Colts attacked Barclay used his strength to outmuscle the Leith left back 30 yards from goal. The far side assistant flagged for a foul, but the referee who was closer to the action rightly waved play on as Barclay turned and unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner from 30 yards with his left.
As the Colts players celebrated going 3-0 in front a number of Leith players surrounded the official, unhappy with how they had come to their decision. Having already waved play on during the move, over-ruling his assistant, the official took the opportunity to quite rightly go and have a conversation with him. That took about a minute, at which point he over-ruled the assistant again and correctly awarded the goal for a second time. With the Colts players celebrating (again) the Leith players again surrounded the assistant, still unhappy at the decision, with the match official heading over again to intervene. After a minute or so the referee, having already awarded the goal twice, the second time after speaking to his assistant, changed his mind and chalked off the goal under the heavy pressure from the players.
Having just scored a wonder goal, having it awarded on two separate occasions and then seeing the official chalk it off under said pressure, Barclay was understandably upset. He approached the assistant and referee in the same way he'd seen happen en masse moments before, this time the official deciding not to enter discussion and showing Barclay an instant red card, compounding the frustration of the home side and leaving most in attendance, including the near side assistant, in complete disbelief at what they had witnessed.
Leith, having in the space of 5 minutes gone from 3-0 down and out of the tie to 2-0 down and a man up as a result, clearly had their tails up and managed to grab a goal from a corner with 10 minutes of extra time remaining. Their man advantage though didn't last much longer as their midfielder picked up what seemed a very soft second yellow followed by a red for a trip on Broadfoot.
There was one last scare for the Colts though, Doohan making his first mistake of the night as he threw the ball down to kick from deck without having a look over his shoulder, the Leith attacker nearly unable to believe his luck as he nipped in and took it of his toes. As Doohan retreated Brown did superbly well to get back in to delay the strike, but a fine strike it was heading for the top corner. Fitting given his overall performance that Doohan made another wonderful save, diving to his left to tip over the bar at full stretch.
2-1 it finished after extra time, the Colts well below par and outplayed for most of the evening by Leith but nonetheless finding themselves in the hat for the next round thanks mainly to the performance of their goalkeeper and two quality finishes. Leith will surely have gone away scratching their heads wondering how they have not progressed, but for Colts that's 8 unbeaten heading into next weekend's Lowland League encounter with Gala Fairydean Rovers at Broadwood and winning when playing poorly is always a nice trait to have!