Pulsating cup tie ends in loss for Wanderers

Wanderers captain Ross McCrindle tussles for the ball against Club Livingston
Wanderers captain Ross McCrindle tussles for the ball against Club Livingston

After their heroic performance in the First Round on October 4th, Sunday saw Galloway Wanderers AFC face Club Livingston in the Second Round of the Scottish Sunday Amateur Trophy.

Their opponents, currently third place in the West Lothian Sunday Amateur Premier Division, faced a two and a half hour trek down the country to Wigtown’s Trammondford Park for the tie but it didn’t show as they were on the scoreboard early after a defensive clearance was met by Scott MacGregor who made no mistake. The Wanderers were 1-0 down after just five minutes.

On 18 minutes, some great passing by the visitors saw MacGregor released up the wing and his first time cross was met perfectly by Martin Chilton who slotted home to make it 2-0.

At this point there were worries that the game could be going away from the Wanderers after the West Lothian side had won 12-1 in the previous round but the hosts had proved themselves to be comeback kings and they proved it as the captain, Ross McCrindle, played a ball through the defense to Grant Fitzsimmons, who’s deflected shot beat the keeper to make it 2-1 to visitors on 21 minutes.

The game started to open up a bit after this goal with both Jolly and Drysdale missing chances for the hosts but it was to be the Club Livingston who hit the net next, with Joe Leeds capitalizing on some slack passing in the 35th minute to make it 3-1 from 30 yards out.

The first half goalscoring frenzy ended when the deficit was once again cut down to one as the corner came in from Kenny Allan and Calvin Alexander rose above everyone else to nod it home and make it 3-2 with five minutes of the first half left.

At half time, Wanderers manager Jamie Russell brought on his substitute keeper Jason MacDonald for Kevan Plunkett as well as bringing off Iain Russell for Johnnie Herries.

The changes seemed to make the difference as the Wanderers started the second half as the livelier of the two sides attacking early as Kieran Jolly thought he had equalized for the Wanderers after he nodded him Robert Hughan’s cross only to see that the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.

The Wanderers weren’t deterred by this though and kept pushing for an equaliser with most of the second period played in Club Livingston’s half. Several good moves down the left wing created chances, with the visiting keeper, Graham Cross tipping an Allan effort onto the bar. Also a few crosses from that side nearly finding the heads of their intended targets. Closest effort was when McCrindle cut in and beat Cross only to see his effort come back off the post.

The 80th minute hit and with it came a penalty for the away side. The referee giving it but many believed it was dubious to say the least. The Wanderers protested but to no avail. But Jason MacDonald saved the penalty low to his left and pounced on the loose ball as the striker slid in for it.

But the game was settled in the 86th minute as the Wanderers were throwing everything at the Club Livingston defence, another long clearance was sent up the park and Arran Kane met the ball to tuck it home. 4-2 to Club Livingston.

After the match, Galloway Wanderers manager Jamie Russell said that despite the disappointment of losing the game, he was proud of his players for giving their all for the full 90 minutes. He also wished to congratulate Club Livingston for their win and wish them all the best for the rest of the season.

WANDERERS TEAM:- Plunkett, I Russell, Hughan, Jolly, Alexander, Henry, Drysdale, Hoodless, Fitzsimmons, McCrindle (c), Allan. SUBS USED:- MacDonald & Herries (on for Plunkett & I Russell at half time) SUBS NOT USED:- McNeil & J Russell