Lesmahagow Juniors lift Clydesdale Cup

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Despite seeing his side lift the Clydesdale Cup on Monday night, Lesmahagow Juniors boss Robert Irving was not enamoured with his players’ performance.

Robert, speaking after ’Gow’s penalty shootout victory over Lanark United following a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes, said: “It was a poor performance.

“I had told the players that we had to start at a good tempo as Lanark would come out and make it a good cup tie, which they did.

“We started badly and got worse, which we tried to rectify at half-time.

“We started the second half better but when we conceded on 84 minutes I couldn’t see a way back.

“Jamie Hamilton’s quality strike then put us back in it and the penalties we took were quality.

“It all came down to one penalty from Jordan Whitefield and he duly came up with the goods to win us the cup for the second year running.”

Lanark keeper Pat Finnigan made three very good saves to turn shots over in Monday’s final before a Stephen Low header hit the bar with Finnigan beaten.

United’s Scott Falconer came close with a good effort on the hour mark.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men on 70 minutes when Stephen Low was sent off after picking up a second yellow card. Ex-Lanark keeper Derek Barnes made a fine save on 78 minutes when he dived to punch clear a good shot by Alan McCrum. But he was finally beaten on 80 minutes when Ryan Hutchison drove home a low right wing cross from Stuart Mitchell.

Jamie Hamilton levelled for ‘Gow on 86 minutes when his left foot shot flew past Finnigan into the top corner to set up a penalty shoot-out.

Both teams scored with their first six penalties before Barnes saved a weak shot by Hutchison. Jordan Whitefield stepped up and won the cup for his side with a well placed shot to make the final score Lanark 6 Lesmahagow 7.

’Gow had qualified for the Clydesdale Cup Final with a sensational 6-5 penalty shootout triumph at Carluke Rovers after a 2-2 draw last Tuesday night.

Boss Robert praised his team’s penalty taking skills, adding: “Our penalties were first class.

“I put the poor performance during the final down to them not being up to scratch in terms of fitness.

“A flu bug has spread through the team recently.”