Pittenweem living the dream with first Fife Cup in 75 years

Pittenweem Rovers celebrate with the Fife Amateur Cup after a 2-0 win over Lumphinnans United. Pic: Rob Stewart
Pittenweem Rovers celebrate with the Fife Amateur Cup after a 2-0 win over Lumphinnans United. Pic: Rob Stewart

Pittenweem Rovers laid the ghosts of last season’s Fife Amateur Cup final defeat to rest as they lifted the trophy for the first time since 1939.

The final was held at Central Park, Kelty, home of Kelty Hearts Junior FC, last Friday.

Conditions were wet, which added pace to the game as the ball zipped off the surface, making control difficult.

Rovers’ manager, Gordon Muir, was forced into a few changes from his Ron Brindley Cup-winning side from the previous week, owing to availability, and opted for Bowman, in goal, and a back four of Fleming, M. Cameron, McGilvary and Young.

Westwood made a welcome return to the midfield alongside captain Smith.

McGhee, Gardner, Ireland and Ketchen completed the starting line-up, with Watson, Low, Brown, McLauchlan and player-manager Muir on the bench.

After weathering early pressure from Lumphinnans, Rovers turned the game on its head when they took the lead from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute.

The ball was whipped into the box and deceived the Lumphinnans defender, who used an outstretched arm to control the ball. The referee may have been unsighted but the nearside assistant flagged immediately to confirm the spot kick.

Marc Cameron stepped up and confidently slotted the ball to the keeper’s right, sending him the wrong way to put Rovers 1-0 up.

Rovers survived a late onslaught in the final minutes of the half but held on to their narrow lead at the break.

The second half saw Lumphinnans playing up the slope, committing more men to attack, which allowed gaps to appear for Ireland and McGhee to exploit down the left and right wings respectively.

The hour mark saw Pittenweem double their advantage when McGhee gathered a loose ball and rifled a shot across the ‘keeper and into the bottom corner of the net to make it 2-0.

Lumphinnans now had nothing to lose and committed men forward but, fortunately for Pittenweem, the closest they came was a shot that came back off Bowman’s upright.

Anxious Pittenweemers had to endure several minutes of injury time before the referee brought the curtain down on proceedings and ended the 76-year wait to see the Fife Cup back in the Royal Burgh.

Rovers’ captain, Neale Smith, raised the trophy and was joined by the squad to spark the celebrations that lasted long into the weekend. Rovers’ Liam McGhee also picked up a well deserved ‘man of the match’ award for his polished performance.

Rovers now return to league duty and face a busy week with games away to Dysart tonight (Tuesday), Kingdom Athletic on Thursday and Valleyfield on Saturday.