Dryburgh Athletic booked their place in the semi-finals of the Tommy Clark Trophy courtesy of a penalty shootout against Fairmuir. The top two teams in the G Taylor League both found the net inside the opening six minutes. Fairmuir regained the lead moments before half time, but Dryburgh levelled midway through the second half, before going on to win the penalty shootout by four goals to three.
The visitors were looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season last week, but got off to a nightmare start as Fairmuir opened the scoring after just 68 seconds. Jamie Timmons corner was missed by goalkeeper Aaron Cosgrove and the ball somehow found its way into the net. This was a perfect start for the hosts who lost the first meeting of the sides 4-2 earlier in the season.
Dryburgh were not prepared to lie down, and could have levelled seconds later. Marcus Gray sent Ewan Stewart through on goal, but the striker was denied by Fairmuir goalkeeper Cameron Hendry.
There was nothing that Hendry could do four minutes later, as Stewart brought Dryburgh level. Ben Wilson was sent down the right wing, and despite the Fairmuir appeals for offside, the winger picked out Stewart, who sent the ball past Hendry from close range.
Both sides sensed that the game was there for the taking, and Fairmuir were nearly back in front after 11 minutes. Captain Mark McCrory picked out Seff Mohammed, but the midfielder dragged his effort wide.
With 19 minutes played, Dryburgh captain Aidan Nelson looked to have given his side the lead. The midfielder’s shot deflected off a Fairmuir defender and looped up and over Hendry. As the ball dropped on the goal line, the Dryburgh players began to celebrate, but the referee judged that the ball hadn’t crossed the line.
The quality that both sides possess was clear for all to see as both teams searched for the matches third goal. Cosgrove produced a fine save to keep out Ryan Smith’s well hit free kick.
It looked like the sides would go off level at the break, that was until Jake Grady put Fairmuir back in front in first half injury time. The striker with a tidy turn inside the penalty area to create half a yard, before drilling the ball past Cosgrove into the far corner of the net.