East Kilbride FC Blue lifted their first Scottish Cup after a dramatic late winner against PFD United. It capped off a memorable rollercoaster journey that included eight-goal thrillers (5-3 against Linwood Rangers), eight-goal wins (vs Donside Juveniles) and a penalty shootout win (over Glenvale AFC). On top of that was an impressive quarter-final victory, in extra time, against Syngenta Juveniles, a club that has won two Scottish Cups in the last ten years, as well as a 5-0 triumph over Fraserburgh Link Up in the previous round.
For their opponents, PFD United, the journey to Airdrie was similarly spectacular, with a 10-1 win over Rosebank Utd and a seaside trip to Ayr serving up a 4-2 victory against Valspar. There was a nail-biting semi-final penalty shootout that sealed their place in the final but they just couldn’t overcome the final hurdle.
PFD were the better team for much of the first half but couldn’t find the breakthrough as both teams went into half time at 0-0. However, Kieran McLaughlin gave PFD the lead early on in the second half. A Logan Buick inspired East Kilbride responded as the number seven levelled, in the 55th minute, before assisting Greig Stewart’s headed winner five minutes from time. It was cup final that featured two very well-matched sides.
PFD United began the final in a promising fashion as they applied some early pressure. For the first 10 minutes East Kilbride struggled to get out of their own half.
In the 13th minute it looked as if that early pressure may have been rewarded as PFD came close to opening the scoring. Joe Boothwas played through on goal but East Kilbride goalkeeper, Jacques Heraghty, was alert to parry away Booth’s shot. McLaughlin latched onto the rebound and diverted the ball back towards goal but, this time, Marc McQuade managed to make a crucial goalline clearance. PFD claimed that the ball had crossed the line but their appeals were to no avail.
East Kilbride were starting to gain a foothold in the game but PFD were still looking the most likely to notch an opening goal. Jude Crawley attempted a curling effort, in the 23rd minute, but Heraghty was able to claim it with relative ease.
The cup final soon became bogged down in midfield and, as half time arrived, the game remained goalless. Considering what was to transpire, PFD would rue those missed chances that came about in a half where they had overall control.