Larkhall Thistle 0-0 Cambuslang Rangers
Larkhall won 5-4 on penalties
Beatons Coaches Sectional League Cup
Saturday 1st September
At Gasworks Park
Sectional League Cup holders Cambuslang Rangers were sent tumbling out of the Competition at the Quarter Final stage after an agonising defeat (5-4) in a penalty shootout at Larkhall at the weekend. Despite being the better team, who created the most chances, they just couldn't find the back of the net. It was a disappointing end for the Lang in this competition.
Manager Andy Cunningham surprised a few people when one of last seasons best players, Graeme Doak, was dropped to the bench. Mattie Coulter and Jim Kavanagh were the preferred option in the heart of defence. Stuart Gaulley kept his place up front to partner Billy Holmes despite the return of Mark Daisley.
Cambuslang were the first to show and on 5 minutes Holmes headed Richardson's corner just wide. Larkhall replied with a long-range effort that flew harmlessly over. Cambuslang went close with a Maxwell header when he got on the end of Gauley's cross but couldn't keep it down. With only 15 minutes on the clock, the homeside were awarded a dubious penalty. Lang defender Taylor was adjudged to have handled deliberately in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. It was clearly more of Ball to Hand rather than Hand to Ball. Despite the Lang protests, Larkhall's Paterson took the kick but Wardlaw in goal pulled off a fine stop to turn the ball round the post. Justice seemed to be done there. Maxwell then went close with yet another header but again it was inches too high. Larkhall's Smith was first into the referee's notebook for a poor challenge on Richardson. Cambuslang almost opened the scoring through Mitchell, but his effort narrowly missed the far post after ghosting in behind the Larkhall defenders.
Straight from kick off and Larkhall should have scored. Paterson fired in a shot which Lang defender Taylor threw himself at and put in a timely block to prevent a certain goal. Another glaring miss from Paterson this time he headed wide from 5 yards out. Cambuslang's Balmain was sent sprawling in the box but the visitor's appeals for a penalty were waived away by the referee. Cambuslang were doing all the creating but some poor finishing was their downfall. Holmes missed a glorious chance when Mitchell dummied the ball, which came to Holmes 5 yards out, but he shot wide to be fair he was taken by surprise. The home side then picked up a couple of bookings for silly challenges and this prompted Larkhall into a change taking off the player just booked to prevent him from getting an early bath. Cambuslang's Mr Reliable Stuart Gauley wasn't having his best day in front of goal at this was summed up when he missed a glorious chance on 65 minutes, he latched onto a poor punch from the goalie but somehow slotted wide when the Lang fans thought he had scored. He missed another chance minutes later this time a header went just wide with the keeper beaten. Holmes forced the keeper to make a save and I think this was the first time either keeper had anything to do apart from the Larkhall penalty. Cambuslang replaced the injured Devanney with Doak and also brought on Daisley for Holmes. Daisley made an immediate impression and was booked after his first tackle. Neither player had anytime to make an impact and the 90 minutes ended 0-0. With no extra time the match went straight to penalties.
Larkhall won the toss and elected to go first.
Both teams slotted their first 3 penalty's each, Richardson, Mitchell and Gauley on target for the visitors. Larkhall then converted there forth through Paterson. Cambuslang then missed through last season's cup final hero Mark Daisley. Larkhall only needed to score the fifth and they were through but McCormack rattled the woodwork to through the Lang a lifeline. Maxwell kept his nerve to pull the Lang level at 4-4. As the kicks moved into sudden death the homeside grabbed the upper have by scoring through Jamieson, Cambuslang had to score to remain in the competition, the task was handed to Balmain, who in all honesty never looked confident walking to the area, then he watched agonisingly as his spot kick was saved to hand Larkhall a semi final spot against Lanark. The other semi sees Bellshill take on Pollok. So there will be no cup final party in October this year which now leaves the Lang to look forward to a hopefully successful league campaign.
Lang Line up
Wardlaw, Devanney (Doak 80), Kavanagh, Coulter, Richardson, Gauley, Balmain, Holmes (Daisley 80), Mitchell & Maxwell
Subs not used Watson, Paterson, McDougall.