Bowhill’s Hampden dreams crushed in 92nd minute

Bowhill players line-up before kick-off in their Scottish Cup semi-final at New Douglas Park, Hamilton.
Bowhill players line-up before kick-off in their Scottish Cup semi-final at New Douglas Park, Hamilton.

Southside AFC 1 Bowhill Rovers 0

Bowhill Rovers travelled to New Douglas Park, Hamilton on Friday for their Scottish Cup semi-final against Glasgow’s Southside AFC.

The opposition were strong favourites but Bowhill were on a great run themselves, with 23 wins and one draw in their last 24 games, also knocking out previous holders Hurlford in the quarter-final.

The game was played in front of a large crowd, with a big travelling support through from Cardenden, and it started at a fierce pace, with both teams taking time to settle.

The first half chance fell to the Glasgow side in five minutes when a high ball into the Bowhill box was headed into the path of striker Coll who knocked it wide.

After a slow start, Bowhill started to cause the Southside defence a bit of trouble and on 20 minutes one of the best chances of the game fell to striker Sami Mitchell, who was only a fraction from knocking the ball into an empty net after great play down the left from strike partner Jamie Leslie.

Just a few minutes later, Mitchell cut the ball across the box, and midfielder Darren Gribbin couldn’t quite get his boot to the ball from eight yards out.

As the first half drew to a close neither team had any more chances and the teams walked off at 0-0.

The second half started much how the first half finished, with both defences standing strong and looking hard to break down.

Bowhill were edging the game and having the better chances, but the Fifers were not quite clinical enough in front of goal.

With 20 minutes left a great ball over the Southside defence from Kinnell sent Mitchell through, who knocked the ball past the ‘keeper only for a great covering tackle from a defender preventing a certain goal.

With time running out and both teams struggling to score, the game looked like it was heading to extra time until a free kick was launched into the Bowhill penalty box, which goalkeeper Wotherspoon tried to collect, only to get a hand to the ball as it fell to a Southside substitute who was unmarked and put the ball into the Bowhill goal for a 92nd minute winner.

Virtually the last kick of the ball put the Glasgow side through to the Scottish Cup final at Hampden on May 28 to leave Bowhill devastated. However, the Bowhill players deserve massive credit, as they put in a great performance and were extremely unlucky to lose the game.

After the game manager Jim McGuinness said: “This was a great occasion for everyone involved with our club. I don’t think the boys could have given anymore than they did on the night.

“I would like to thank all the village for their support, the boys need to now push on domestically as we still have five cups and the league to compete in.”

Bowhill Rovers: D. Wotherspoon, D. McLaren, S. Eastough, B. Grieve, S. Donaldson, M. Kinnell, D. Gribbin, D. Thomson, J. Gay, S. Mitchell, J. Leslie. Subs: D. Aitken, C. Patterson, C. McGuire, C. McGuinness, M. Ritchie.