William Hill Scottish Cup First Round:
Broxburn Athletic 3 (Miller x3) East Stirlingshire 2 (Low, Rodgers)
Broxburn Athletic line-up:
- Kelly (Sub 75” for Binnie)
- Grant (Sub 45” for Nimmo)
- Locke (Sub 79” for Scott)
- Binnie 12
- Nimmo 14
- Goss 15
- Scott 16
- Townsley 17
21) Donoghue 21
East Stirlingshire line-up:
- Horne (Sub 45’ for Brown)
- Flynn (Sub 78” for Rodgers)
- Dyer 12
- Murray 14
- Brown 15
- Rodgers 16
- McCafferty 17
- Malone 18
- Ure 19
Match Referee: Mr. D. McFarlane
Assistants : Mr R. Gordon and Mr. N. McGuinness
Zander Miller’s dramatic hat trick winner paved the way for Broxburn Athletic to advance through to the second round of the William Hill Scottish Cup at the expense of East Stirlingshire.
Nicholas Locke put the afterburners on in the first minute to set the tempo and won a free kick as a result, but the resulting effort sailed over the bar.
Two minutes later, Miller made history by becoming the first ever Broxburn Athletic player to score in the Scottish Cup first round. The centre forward was able to slot past Jamie Barclay to give Athletic the start they were dreaming of.
Shire quickly began to set their mark on the game, and the visitors began to probe the Athletic defence. Athletic held their ground and kept plugging away at their more established counterparts.
In the 15th minute, their hard work was rewarded after a foul on Connor Kelly led to Athletic receiving a penalty, which Miller duly swept home. It could not have started any better for the home side.
Shire began to dictate the pace and while attempts were not initially forthcoming, they gradually began to come into the game. Connor Wallace was called into action for the first time in the 20th minute when he palmed away a promising shot from Evan Horne’s free kick.
Another free kick, this time aimed low, from Shire hit the wall and Wallace grabbed onto a ball headed by Jamie Dishington from the resulting corner. A well worked set piece from the visitors led to a stramash in the box and a corner conceded, but Grant’s header flew harmlessly over.
Shire continued to pile on the pressure and Wallace was forced to react quickly when Bobby Barr went one-on-one, with the Athletic keeper making his body big enough to parry the ball away for a corner. Athletic were resolute in the onslaught and kept the visitors at bay.
However Shire were rewarded for their patience after Nicky Low glided a sumptuous free kick over the wall and past Wallace to reduce the deficit in the 41st minute. Cameron Ross tried to immediately respond but his shot was easily saved by Barclay. The first half finished with Athletic in the lead but feeling the heat from their experienced counterparts.
Shire continued where they left off as Sean Brown, who came on for Horne at half time, sent two headers over the bar, the second diving attempt came inches from edging past Wallace. Miller’s pressing forced the defender to punt the ball out, but the corner came to nothing.
Barr’s terrific pass to Flynn left Wallace stranded in no man’s land but Athletic came up with a last ditch clearance to keep the visitors from becoming level. Shire continued to probe but were unable to breach the net.
Athletic won a corner thanks to some tremendous pressing on goalkeeper Barclay but an attempt from Gordon Donaldson came to nothing. The visitors responded with Dishington and Brown both trying to steer the ball into the net from a deflected corner, but still could not get the goal they craved.
Dogged defending from Grant Gavin and Donaldson continued to frustrate Shire, and Kelly came close to extending the lead when his volley forced Barclay to palm out for a corner. Shaun Harrison was unable to capitalise with his header however.
Greg Binnie almost made his presence felt after coming on by sending a lofted ball through for Miller to chase for his hat trick which went wide, and fellow sub Ross Nimmo capitalised on a Shire defensive mix up to to trickle past the side netting also.
The fresh legs enabled Athletic to get up the park with Miller and Nimmo getting some joy. Locke’s game came to an early end however with Craig Scott coming on for the injured midfielder.Heartbreak soon came Athletic’s way however, as Rodgers – who had been booked just two minutes before – sent his tight shot off the post across the line on the 85th minute. It seemed as if we were heading for a replay at a later date, until further drama unfolded.Athletic were not to be denied, as a 90th minute long ball played in Miller who lifted the ball over Barclay to seal his hat trick and send Broxburn Athletic through to the second round of the Scottish Cup. The ecstatic scenes afterwards were a sight to behold.
From the depths of despair to the joy of jubilation.
REPORT CREDIT TO GUEST REPORTER KIERAN POLLAND
|September 21, 2019||3:00 pm||William Hill Scottish Cup||2019/20|
|Team||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
KO 4 12 57 75 82 90 FT