It’s the late show

Win­ner in in­jury time de­liv­ers Lang ti­tle

Rutherglen Reformer - - Juniors - Mur­ray Spooner

Paul McColl was the calmest man in the ground as he watched his cap­tain net a 95thminute penalty to bag the league ti­tle for Cam­bus­lang Rangers.

The Lang boss knew Thomas “Deco” Kil­martin would con­vert his spot-kick to send dozens of trav­el­ling Camby fans wild in the seven-goal thriller – a game he ad­mits was a lit­tle too close for com­fort.

The 31-year-old opened the scor­ing be­fore sub Craig Hast­ings and John Gem­mell gave Lang a 3-1 lead.

Neil­ston then staged a come­back to peg the game back to 3-3 be­fore a John Gem­mell strike was ruled out for a foul in the last minute of nor­mal time. He was sub­se­quently sent off for his protests.

But a hand­ball led to a dra­matic penalty kick which was ex­pertly taken by Kil­martin to spark wild cel­e­bra­tion.

McColl knew his skip­per was the right man to take it and said: “It was a bomb­scare of a de­ci­sion from the ref­eree at the end not to give our goal and John’s taken ex­cep­tion to it. He could have cost us a sea­son’s full of work but then he’s given the penalty and I knew Deco would score.

“I stood there with Gem­mell, who was dis­traught, and he was say­ing, ‘I can’t watch, I can’t watch’. But I watched. I knew as he picked up the ball to take it that he’d score. And he did. The thing is if John had taken it he’d prob­a­bly have smashed it in, but with Deco, he picks his spot and he’s hit it well.”

The Lang opened the scor­ing af­ter only nine min­utes when Kil­martin slot­ted home but were dealt a blow when Jor­dan Mor­ton went off in­jured and was re­placed by Craig Hast­ings.

The home side lev­elled on 22 min­utes when Di­ack blasted past Iain Ste­wart, de­spite the Lang keeper get­ting a hand to the ball.

Neil­ston were not level for long though, as McColl’s men edged in front on the half-hour mark. A su­perb surg­ing run from sub Hast­ings took him past the Neil­ston de­fence and into the penalty area. The keeper blocked his first at­tempt but the striker blasted the re­bound in from eight yards.

The vis­i­tors stretched their lead four min­utes af­ter the restart when they were awarded a penalty af­ter Hal Bohme was fouled in the box. John Gem­mell stepped up to ram the ball into the net from the spot.

But if McColl’s men thought the game was over, that was far from the case as Neil­ston mounted a come­back within four min­utes. The first came as The Lang failed nu­mer­ous times to clear their lines and a deep cross to the far post was met by the un­marked Cur­ren who stooped to head home from all of three yards.

The equaliser was once again poor de­fen­sively from the vis­i­tors and Cur­ran ri­fled his sec­ond into the bottom cor­ner af­ter 57 min­utes.

As Cam­bus­lang surged for­ward in an at­tempt to find a win­ner, Neil­ston hit back and looked the more likely to score in the lat­ter stages.

A late rally saw Kris Geb­bie’s header won­der­fully saved by the keeper on 84 min­utes be­fore Gem­mell’s ef­fort went just wide.

In the last minute of nor­mal time Cam­bus­lang had the ball in the net and the fans were go­ing crazy, only for the ref to rule it out for a foul.

Gem­mell was so in­censed he vented his frus­tra­tion at the man in the mid­dle and re­ceived a sec­ond book­ing and then the oblig­a­tory red card.

As he trudged off the field Lang’s hopes of win­ning the ti­tle looked to have gone with him but there was to be one fi­nal twist in this pul­sat­ing match.

As Lang pressed for­ward deep into stop­page time, a hope­ful ball into the box was clearly han­dled by the Neil­ston de­fender. Kil­martin coolly fired the re­sul­tant penalty-kick into the net to the joy of a healthy away sup­port in the stands.

Lead­ing the way Paul McColl and his de­lighted coach­ing staff Late show Thomas ‘Deco’Kil­martin slots home his in­jury-time penalty, be­low

Pho­tos: Jim Lo­gan

We’re go­ing up Cam­bus­lang Rangers cel­e­brate

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