Bonnyton once again started the brighter as we kicked off. Two minutes in, Steven McCarrison attempted a half volley with his left boot from 20 yards and was unlucky to see it sail a couple of yards too high, dipping too late to creep under the bar.
After being more prominent in an attacking sense in the first half, Bonnyton full back Golightly had to be alert defensively to thwart the increasingly dangerous Easdon on the 55 minute mark. Golightly had to bail out Purdie who, after suffering a broken finger in the first half, attempted to punch the ball clear with one hand only to see it fall to Easdon. Golightly literally put his body on the line to deny Easdon’s close-range effort by clearing it off the line and crashing into the post as a result.
The game became a bit of a battle in the middle of the second half with neither side doing enough to create any clear cut chances. The tension and passion in the game only increased in the process as Barrhead knew they would need the next goal to stand any chance of beating their new rivals for the second time in cup competitions. They kept alive that chance.
Easdon, who had been gradually growing into the game, managed to time his run well to pick up his strike partner’s chested lay off following a dinked pass from midfield that caught out the Bonnyton defence on their right hand side. Easdon controlled the ball and slotted home with supreme composure to inject some life into the tie with around 20 minutes to go in normal time.
Barrhead were buoyed by the goal and maintained the pressure on their opponents with even their defenders getting in on the act with chances from corners.
After seeing a volley whizz past their post by only a few yards, Bonnyton knew they were far from sure of a place in the final despite their lead. Sean Mears sought about assuring it once and for all but his fearsome shot from distance but saw Ali Hughes in the Barrhead goal beat the ball away from danger.
Two minutes later, Kris Chisholm found space in the centre of the box and swivelled on the spot, sending a low shot towards Hughes’ goal but again the keeper was there to smother the close-range try.
We approached the last ten minutes with the score still tight at 2-1 to the home side. Ian Paterson was the next to try with a header that flicked inches wide from a cross on the left hand side before Chris Kelly had a free kick saved.
Bonnyton did however snatch the next goal and all but killed off Barrhead’s charge. Mears was the lucky man who latched onto the end of another cross from the left hand side to nip the ball past Hughes with his head. There was barely five minutes to go and Bonnyton could perhaps be forgiven for thinking the game was won – that was not the case.
Easdon was still causing trouble and Barrhead continued to search for a goal to spark what would be a miraculous late comeback. Urged on by McNeil, who had been pinging passes all day and shouting encouragement, Barrhead pushed forward and were rewarded with a goal in stoppage time. Easdon was the man who steered the ball home despite pressure from two Bonnyton defenders following a cut-back from the left by-line.
It was too little too late however for Barrhead who had been punished for their earlier lack of cutting edge in front of goal. The referee blew the whistle to send the Bonnyton fans and players into frenzy, much to the disdain of a Barrhead side who would perhaps admit they could have played a bit better - indeed some of the players remarked on the way back to the changing rooms that they were not happy with the display. The away team played well but couldn't replicate their successful Scottish Cup form. Bonnyton now had the final piece in their redemption jigsaw; the loss in the Scottish Cup to Johnstone Burgh and lack of that cup run was now sort of made up for after wins in the league and cup.
Barrhead now have other things on their mind - the Scottish Cup Final.