|Senior Team||Date||Competition||Result||Yellows||Reds||Match Report|
|12/05/2014||League||Shettleston 3 v 0 Dunipace Juniors||x 0||x 0||No Report|
90 Min: 1-1 | AET: 2-1
On a day which saw more weather changes than substitutions in Stoneyburn, the top two teams in the region met for the fourth time this season to contest the Ace Exhausts & Tires cup final. The previous games have been tightly contested encounters, Dunipace winning by the odd goal in all three and from the off it was clear this was going to be no different, a single goal either way likely to win the trophy.
With King and Mason unavailable and Fitzpatrick and Swords suspended Dunipace were fairly stretched. It got worse when they were forced to alter their plans again early as Hewitt picked up a knock to his knee in the warmup.
Dunipace started brightly, Raymen seeing a deflected effort spin narrowly wide before Andy Meade showed great skill to step inside a challange receiving Gillespie's pass and curl towards the top corner, only for the Broxburn keeper to continue his fine form from the Linlithgow Rose game midweek, diving full stretch to his right to tip out for a corner.
The Dunipace squad was stretched further as Walker tore a hamstring after 10 minutes, forcing Hewitt to play through the pain barrier and a major reshuffle in the ranks. Meade moved from central midfield to centre back, Balmer from right midfield to a central position and top scorer Raymen dropped back in to play right midfield, Hewitt joining McRae up front.
Broxburn came close as shots from distance by Paterson and Nimmo flew past the Dunipace goal, before the the reds keeper denied Dunipace again, somehow clawing Raymen's cross shot out from the goal-line before diving on the ball at the feet of Hewitt as he looked to tap in.
Broxburn came close again as Smith did well to recover, blocking at the last gasp as the Broxburn striker ran through on goal to pull the trigger from 12 yards and Balmer was sharp to clear away with an excellent header from the corner.
Shanks on the left was a constant threat to the Broxburn defence, getting forward at every opportunity and after delivering a number of crosses he was inches from scoring himself from an excellent Gillespie delivery to the far post. The Broxburn defender got the slightest of touches on to take off Shanks head, so slight the officials failed to spot it and awarded the goal kick, but a vital piece of defending non-the-less.
The first goal in this game was always going to be important and when it came it was for Broxburn. Nimmo controlled well and turned to feed a ball through a Dunipace defence caught square, his strike partner running on to poke underneath Jackson in the Pace goal.
For the remainder of the half both sides tried their luck from distance on numerous occasions without troubling the keepers and it finished 1-0 at half time.
The second half saw Dunipace move the ball quicker against the wind, creating early chances for Raymen who flashed wide and Steven who shot over from 16 yards on the volley. Broxburn were struggling to gain any traction in the forward areas as the long kick from the keeper caught the wind repeatedly and sailed through to his counterpart. As Broxburn tried to combat this they were almost caught out as Steven robbed Paterson and broke 3v2 against the defence. His ball was overhit for McRae though, who would have been through on goal.
A goal looked to be coming for the men in black and when it did it was little surprise to see top scorer Raymen on the spot to get it. McRae, Balmer and Gillespie worked a neat interchange on the right, with Gillepsie crossing low for Raymen to fire into the roof of the net from 2 yards.
As the game headed for extra time McAuslan had the best chance to win it after the impressive Shanks, walking wounded from around the 60 minute mark, found him at the back post, the wide man misjudging the flight of the ball and not managing to get his header on target.
As the game headed into extra time it would be a big ask for a Dunipace team now playing with McRae nursing a shoulder injury, Shanks a knee problem and Gillespie struggling with blurred vision, but they managed to create an early chance through Raymen who drilled wide from the edge of the area.
McRae then did well to win the ball on the left and step inside 2 players before ignoring options in the centre and drilling in at the near post for a comfortable save for the Broxburn keeper.
It was clear that the next goal would most likely win the game and when it came it went to Broxburn. Meade, who had been outstanding since dropping back into the unfamiliar centre back position, took a heavy first touch and was robbed by Paterson. He fed Nimmo and as Broxburn broke 4v3 they worked the ball from the right and found the spare man in the middle who showed great composure to slot beyond Jackson to his left for 2-1.
The second half of extra time saw Dunipace push for an equaliser but tired legs meant Broxburn were able to hold out comfortably without Dunipace really having a chance and it was the men in red who took the win and the cup after another very tight game between these 2 sides.
In the end, injuries and suspensions caught up with Dunipace but the result does not detract at all from what has been a magnificent season for the lads.
We offer our congratulations to Broxburn on their cup win and on what has also been a very successful season for them as well.