In a sensational achievement, League One Lanark United sealed a stunning 3-2 victory at Premiership Pollok in Wednesday night's semi-final to reach the Sectional League Cup final, writes Craig Martin.
Two goals by Hugh 'Shug' Kerr, plus a Josh Gracie strike, sent United through to face Auchinleck Talbot in the final at Auchinleck on Sunday, October 13.
The Pollok match saw Lanark go against higher league opposition for the third match in a row this time the top of the Premiership no less and as usual they held their own to start with before growing in to the match.
In the early stages it was PJ O’Donnell who was playing balls out to the right for Dan McHugh to chase as he got the home defence thinking but little came of them.
The first real chance for Lanark came in the 11 th min when great work from Shug Kerr shut down the home defence and as the ball was played back to keeper Lumsden McHugh shut him down to block his clearance with Sean Lindsay first to react and looking as if he was fouled but no penalty was given.
The home side had a good attack a couple of minutes later when a cross from the left was headed goalward by McCann but ex Pollok keeper Scott Johnson brought off an excellent save to keep the scores level.
On 17 minutes Lanark won a free-kick that was played to Cammy Lawson but his effort went well wide of the target.
The deadlock was broken in the 26th minute when Mark Haddow gave away a free-kick wide on the left and when the ball came in the same player was adjudged to have handled and a penalty was given against him. Shaun Fraser made no mistake with spot kick to give Pollok a 1-0 lead.
Lanark got back on level terms in the 31st minute when good work from James Martin saw him set Kerr free down the left and after outpacing his marker he hit a low shot across the keeper that found the corner of the net for 1-1.
Pollok regained the lead with half time approaching as the attacked down the left again and Johnson came rushing out to the edge of the box before upending his opponent with another penalty being the result, Fraser again making no mistake to put the home side 2-1 in front.
With the last action of the half Kerr took the ball to the Pollok bye line before cutting it back but there were no Lanark takers and another chance was lost.
Half time Pollok FC 2-1 Lanark United.
Lanark had a flying start to the second half when a ball forward found Kerr whose good control saw him play the ball into the path of Josh Gracie, who left the home defence standing as he raced into the penalty area before firing a shot high in to the net for a glorious equaliser to put the score at 2-2.
Better was to come for the visitors from Lanark a couple of minutes later when a Lawson free-kick was blocked before being played out to Kerr on the right, and after stepping in to the box another cool finish ensued as he put the visitors in front for the first time in the match at 3-2.
This goal spurred the home side into action and they put on fresh legs as they pressed Lanark back but a lot of their play was direct and was well dealt with by the superb defensive partnership of Lawson and Haddow, with anything they missed being swept up by Johnson behind them.
With the clock running down Lanark were tiring but Lanark held firm with Lawson making another superb clearance from a ball in from the right on 85 mins as he played the captains role brilliantly and drove his team-mates over the line.
This was an all round superb performance from Lanark but the only people surprised were the opposition as all at Lanark know they are capable of beating anybody on their day.
Lanark team: Johnson, Gracie, Lawson, Haddow, Boal, McHugh(Conlon), O’Donnell, Fraser, Lindsay, Martin, Kerr.