Shire 1 Buckie Thistle 1

Oct 24, 2011 Comments Off by admin

Calum Antell was the Shire hero, keeping the team in the competition with a wonder penalty kick-save in the seventh minute of injury-time at the end of the Scottish Cup second round match with Buckie Thistle.

In truth, though, the save was just about the only moment of real drama in a cup-tie that failed to live up to the billing.

Andy Stirling had given Shire the lead just two minutes after the break but the advantage was only to last four minutes when the visitors equalised through a freak own goal scored by the unfortunate Michael Hunter.

Coach John Coughlin made minimal changes to the team despite the fact it had lost its last game 7-1 at Clyde. Stuart Love was refused permission to play by Stenhousemuir while Joe Dingwall and Jordyn Sheerin were still sidelined due to injury. David Cane was recalled to replace Stuart Beveridge at the centre of defence and Alex Lurinsky came in for skipper Kevin Turner but otherwise there was no change to the team that started at Broadwood.

Shire were first on the attack and might have been ahead after nine minutes but Ally Love’s header from Scott Maxwell’s left-wing cross lacked power and drifted across the face of goal and wide.

Buckie’s main threat came from set pieces and Shire had Antell to thank early on for pulling off a great save after Morrison powered a Sutherland corner towards goal with his head. The Shire keeper hrew himself across goal to somehow reach ourt a hand and palm the ball to safety.

Although Shire enjoyed the majority of possession they simply could not find the touch they required in front of goal. Too often decent positions were squandered by an inability to get a clear sight of goal, although Lurinsky was unfortunate to see his firm shot from the back edge of the penalty box deflected wide for a corner by a Buckie defender.

Sutherland was the main danger man for the visitors but he was having a poor day in front of goal and twice dragged shots wide when well-placed. The neutrals in the crowd could hardly have been impressed with the poor fare on offer during the first period, but the start of the second half made up for it.

Withing 90 seconds of the re-start Shire were extremely unfortunate not to take the lead when Lurinsky cut in from the right wing and hit a great shot which beat Mann in the Buckie goal but just shaved the wrong side of the far post.

However just a minute further in the home team did hit the front in spectacular fashion. Some lovely passing play around the Buckie Thistle penalty area eventually gave Andy Stirling a shooting opportunity from 20 yards out and he sent a thunderbolt shot past Mann high into the top corner of the net.

But they were never given the opportunity to to settle on the lead and Buckie equalised just four minutes later. Graeme Stewart hit a harmless-looking free-kick into the Shire box from wide on the right but the central defenders both missed thrir chance to clear and the ball hit a surprised-looking Hunter on the shins before rolling over the libe past a wrong-footed Antell.

And with that the game went back to sleep with neither side able to muster anything approaching a meaningful effort on goal until the closing few minutes when both sets of players decided that perhaps a replay was the last tghing they wanted.

Shire substitute Nico Gibson missed a glorious chance to be the hero with just a few minutes left. He managed to elude the attentions of the visiting defenders and got on the end of a great cross from Iain Chisholm but his free header from barely six yards out was directed straight at Mann who saved with ease.

Sutherland could have won it for Buckie late on with a shot that beat Antell but struck the base of the post and with that it seemed inevitable that the teams would be heading to Victoria Park for a replay.

But there was to be a twist in the tail. Fully five minutes into stoppage time Ryan Frances tangled with Buckie’s Chris Angus inside the box and, after being alerted to it by his stand side linesman, referee Barry Cook pointed to the penalty spot.

The ref then bemused everyone at Ochilview by showing the Shire defender a straight red card and made matters worse for Shire by sending off David Cane for comments he had made to the linesman before the penalty kick could be taken.

Once the hoo-ha had died down Sutherland struck the penalty to the keeper’s right but Antell guessed correctly and dived to punch the ball to safety and ensure that Shire would have another chance to progress to the next round of the competition.

SHIRE : Antell, Chisholm, Frances, Cane, Jackson, Hunter, Lurinsky, Stirling, Coyne, Maxwell, A. Love.

BUCKIE THISTLE : Mann, Angus, Duncan, Chisholm, Morrison, Davidson, Stewart, Munro, Charlesworth, McMillan, Sutherland.

REFEREE : B. Cook.

ATTENDANCE : 372.

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