Penal­ties se­cure St Pat’s cup spot

Lennox Herald - - SPORTS -

A hard fought draw re­sulted in a vic­to­ri­ous penalty shoot out for St Pat’s FP’s as they se­cured their place in the League Cup semi-fi­nal.

The open­ing spell had both teams test­ing each other while look­ing for any lapse in con­cen­tra­tion to ex­ploit be­fore the vis­i­tors broke the dead­lock in the 13th minute.

The goal fol­lowed en­ter­pris­ing work from McColl out on the right be­fore his neat cross was forced over the line by Kevin McEl­roy from close range.

The scene was set as Ban­nock­burn were stirred into pos­i­tive ac­tion but un­for­tu­nately Michael Weir was left curs­ing his luck when his pow­er­ful header bounced off the far goal post to rel­a­tive safety.

As the in­ter­val loomed the home side were again curs­ing their luck. Parked in the Saints goal­mouth, Michael Weir man­aged to hit the wood­work again and as the ball re­bounded around the goal­mouth Gal­lacher in the St Pat’s goal pulled off a stun­ning save from point-blank range from Don­ald­son.

Into the sec­ond pe­riod the ta­ble was turned as luck then de­serted St Pat’s in their ef­fort to in­crease their ad­van­tage.

Ciaran McEl­roy’s at­tempt to thread the ball to McColl was thwarted by alert de­fend­ing then a de­ter­mined run and shot from Ciaran was nearly di­verted pass past the Ban­nock­burn goalie Greig Mait­land.

Then, be­fore the hour mark the Saints had two goals chalked off.

How­ever, Ban­nock­burn re­mained in con­tention, and man­aged an equal­izer in the 67th minute. A loop­ing cross to the back post left Sean Ste­wart the time and space to tap the ball home.

Now the Cup tie was on a knife edge as con­trol of pro­ceed­ings kept shift­ing as the sec­onds ticked away. Both sides went look­ing for a win­ner but it would be the home side that was left dis­tressed.

Fol­low­ing a spell of pres­sure, Weir ran onto a slack clear­ance on the edge of the box be­fore blast­ing the ball on tar­get but sud­denly pre­ma­ture cel­e­bra­tions came to an abrupt halt when some­how Gal­lacher saved the day with a won­der save.

This was the last cred­itable chance of the game and the dreaded penalty kick shoot-out would be re­quired to sep­a­rate the teams.

It would be St Pat’s up first with Gar­diner, Cur­rie, Kevin McEl­roy and Ruane all con­vert­ing in style and while Ban­nock­burn scored their first two at­tempts Brain Gal­lacher would pro­duce two fine saves to deny the Weir broth­ers and Ban­nock­burn a place in the semi-fi­nals later this month.

St Pats’ at­ten­tion now turns to next week’s West Cup tie away to Ross­vale AFC from Bish­op­briggs. Team: Gal­lacher; D McEl­roy, Al­lan, King, Docherty, Ruane, Gar­diner, Cur­rie, K McEl­roy, C McEl­roy, McColl, Cullen, McIn­tyre, R Dee­ley. MacGuire.

What a save Brian Gal­lacher sav­ing Ban­nock­burn’s fourth penalty in shoot-out

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