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Stat Attack: The numbers behind Cupar Hearts Scottish Amateur Cup retention

Cupar Hearts were crowned Scottish Amateur Cup champions for the second time in a row as they defeated Glasgow side Garrowhill Thistle 3-1 in the 104th iteration of this competition.

The game was hosted at Hampden Park, which meant that this game marked the 78th occasion that the final had been played at the national stadium. This made Garrowhill the home team in geographical terms, however, it was Cupar Hearts who had the largest following inside the ground, with around 800 of the 1300 fans in attendance believed to be supporting the reigning champions from the Kingdom of Fife.

The holders lined up with a 4-3-3 formation, with one of the midfielders sitting slightly deeper in a 6 role, providing his midfield partners with a license to go forward, whereas Garrowhill lined up with the increasingly more popular 3-5-2 formation, which sees the wide two of the 5 dropping slightly deeper into wing backs when necessary.

Cupar dominated large parts of the game, and this was largely down to how well they retained the ball, amassing 54% possession by the time of the final whistle. Most of the game was played with Garrowhill on the back foot, with Cupar Hearts totalling a staggering 67 touches in the opposition box and limiting Thistle to only 21 in the opposite penalty area.

There was some emphasis on wide play from both teams, which was to be expected given the way both had lined up. In total, the match saw 22 crosses into the box, with both teams benefiting from them as this was how Garrowhill found their equaliser, and Cupar won their penalty.

It was not just crosses that were coming in from wide, but also long throws. Rory Delap might fancy coming out of retirement if Cupar are to make a third consecutive final next season, as they took 23 of the match’s 39 throw-ins, many of which were looped into the box by right-back Scott Young.

The shooting stats tell the story of the game themselves, with a scoreline of 3-1, there was a goal every nine shots. The Glasgow side scored one of their nine, whilst the champions scored from three of their 27 efforts on goal. Triple the number of shots, triple the number of goals. Three of Garrowhill’s were on target, whilst seven of Cupar’s efforts troubled the man in the Thistle goal.

Referee Graeme Murphy was kept relatively busy, as he brandished five yellow cards in the ninety minutes. Ben Shaw and Lawrence Hendry’s names were the Garrowhill written down by the whistler, whilst Liam Kelly, Lee Sibanda and Lewis McGlashan were cautioned for the eventual winners.

Cupar Heart’s victory marked a historic feat, as they became the first side from Fife ever to record consecutive Amateur Cup Final victories, and it now means that they have not lost in the final of the competition since 2007 when they were managed by little-known Austin Macphee. More details on their success and a full match report by Josh McCafferty can be found on the Youth Football Scotland website.

The Match: By Numbers

1: The number of goals scored by runners-up, Garrowhill Thistle

2: The number of times Cupar Hearts have won this competition in a row.

3: The number of times Cupar Hearts found the net as they went on to victory.

4: The number of times Garrowhill were judged to be offside, with one of these ruling out a potential equaliser.

5: The number of times the referee showed his yellow card.

6: The minute of first-half injury time the game was in when Cupar Hearts opened the scoring.

7: The shirt number of the opening goal scorer, Iain Boylan.

8: The number of times a team with Hearts in their name have reached the final.

9: The shirt number of Jamie Simpson, Cupar Hearts’ forward who put his side back in front

10: The combined total number of saves from both goalkeepers.

11: The combined total number of goals scored by Cupar Hearts in their previous three cup ties.

12: The total number of corner kicks taken in the final.

13: The combined total of minutes added on to the end of both halves.

14: The number of times a Scottish Amateur Cup Final has ended 3-1.

15: The number of times Cupar Hearts crossed the ball into the box, leading to their eventual winner with little time remaining.

16: The total number of goals scored by Garrowhill on their way to the final.

17: The combined total number of shots from both teams in the first half.

18: The number of times Hampden Park has hosted the Amateur Cup Final this century.

19: The number of pies and sausage rolls consumed by the YFS Media Team at half time.

20: The total number of goals scored across the last 5 finals.

35: The number of seconds the ball was in play between Garrowhill’s equaliser and the referee awarding Cupar Hearts a penalty.

50: The number of seconds Gregg Meikle was on the field before scoring the winner.

115: The number of years since the first-ever Scottish Amateur Cup Final.

135: The exact number of seconds between the ball crossing the line for Garrowhill’s equaliser to it crossing the line for Cupar Hearts’ second.


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