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Last gasp KSC Rovers celebrate cup success

KSC Rovers 1

Quigley 50' Larmour 90'

Galston 1

Thomson 70'
  • 2-1 After extra-time

Mark Gillespie | YFS North Ayrshire Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author [email protected]

The campaign for Summer football was in full swing on a sun-drenched evening at Kilwinning Sports Club as these two sides served up a match of last-minute drama. Rovers held the slight edge in the second half, before Galston rallied with a sensational last-minute equaliser to force extra time. As penalties loomed, KSC then secured the trophy in a grandstand finish with the very last kick of the ball.

It was a game that on the balance of chances created KSC just about merited, but the Galston side can look back at a spirited effort in which they never gave up. They had their opponents rocking at the end of normal time and may have snatched it had the game gone on just a few minutes longer.

KSC enjoyed the bulk of the early first-half pressure, with a couple of tidy runs from Liam Larmour and Thomas Johnston testing Regan Menzies' handling skills in the opening quarter of an hour. The high pressing game continued to keep Galston in their own half, seeking to force mistakes and capitalise on loose balls. Jared Peacock went on another run through on 19 minutes, shooting straight at Menzies.

Galston were being denied space to allow midfielders Dylan Johnston and Kyle Lennon to influence the game and ply the ball around. Instead they found a few half chances from the direct approach, with Cameron Orr almost finding Luke Ballantine in the box from a couple of long balls. Ballantine was almost through on goal on 29 minutes but for a last-ditch tackle.

Larmour passed up a golden opportunity for KSC on the half, driving just over from a corner kick, as KSC continued to enjoy the bulk of the midfield play. Just on half time though Galston almost caught them napping as Connor Montgomerie just held onto Ballantine's header from a Loudon Strachan free kick.

It was all to play for as the second half began, and it was clear that only the odd goal would separate these two sides. KSC continued to apply the pressure, with several tricky runs from Johnston leaving defenders in his wake. He almost had Dario Quigley through on goal on 48 minutes, but two minutes later Rovers took the lead from the spot.

A penalty was awarded for obstruction in the box, and Quigley stepped up to fire past Menzies to finally get the breakthrough.

The game seemed to be going KSC's way on the basis of chances and pressure, but as it wore on with just one goal the deficit, doubts must have crept in and Galston could sniff an opportunity.

They were getting forward up the pitch more, winning set pieces and trying to force the game. After a spectacular long-range Orr shot clipped the bar, they almost equalised on 66 minutes, as Lewis Burn squared for Ross Barrie. Barrie's shot was pushed away by Montgomerie only for Orr to flash the rebound over the bar.

Galston were encouraged that they could get forward and force chances, but Rovers will have wondered why they had not put the game beyond their opponents' reach as a Larmour cross-come-shot was just held by Menzies, before Peacock shot just wide as the clock ticked down.

And, as everyone looked at their watch, Galston stunned KSC with a last-ditch equaliser. Lennon drove his side up the pitch one last time, winning his side a corner down the right. With quick thinking and not a minute to lose, his half-cleared set piece found the head of Kerr Thomson to send us into extra time.

KSC were able to regroup and pick themselves up, having thought the job was done, but this Galston side had other ideas, their best chance falling to Barrie at the end of the first period of extra time.

Johnston and Quigley continued to provide danger with tricky runs, with KSC still unable to break the deadlock.

This match seemed destined for the shoot out but KSC had one last twist in the tale.

As the ball came in from the left Larmour took the ball down in a crowded box and lashed in a shot which deflected high into the net. It was the final kick of the ball, and Rovers went on to lift the trophy in Roy of the Rovers fashion on a perfect Summer's evening.

Final Result: 2-1 After extra-time

Lineups

KSC Rovers
Galston
2. Connor Montgomerie
3. Luke Moore
5. Daniel Watson
7. Cameron Paton
8. Cameron Lee
9. Ronan McGowan
10. Ryan Devlin
11. Liam Larmour
12. Graeme Malcolm
14. Anthony Monaghan
15. Jared Peacock
18. Calum Kay
19. Thomas Johnston
20. Dario Quigley
1. Regan Menzies
3. Luke Ballantine
4. Ross Barrie
5. Gregor Bryden
6. Dylan Johnston
7. Kerr Thomson
8. Kyle Lennon
9. Declan Murdoch
10. Owen Ross
11. Loudon Strachan
12. Stephen Walsh
14. Alisdair Wood
15. Stewart Connelly
16. Cameron Orr
17. Lewis Burn
Star Player
KSC Rovers
Galston
Thomas Johnston - Provided the platform with mazy runs all day.
Kyle Lennon - Kept trying to get his side forward. Quick thinking won his side's equaliser.
Magic Moment
KSC Rovers
Galston
Larmour's last-gasp strike sparked scenes of KSC jubilation.
Thomson's dramatic equaliser provided hope for Galston.

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