Cool heads help Peterhead progress in tricky tie
Peterhead 2 East Kilbride 2 (after extra time)
Peterhead won 5-3 on penalties
Peterhead squeezed themselves into the last sixteen of the Scottish Cup, and a tie against Dundee, thanks to a 5-3 penalty kick success against Lowland League East Kilbride following a 2-2 draw at Balmoor.
Blue Toon manager Jim McInally had warned his side that they were in for a tough afternoon against the K-Park men, and he was proven right, with former senior striker Joao Victoria opening and closing the scoring with Russell McLean and Andy McCarthy netting for the hosts in-between.
Both McLean and McCarthy kept their heads to net during the shoot-out along with Andy McDonald, Derek Lyle and Ryan Duncan with East Kilbride’s James Finlay the unlucky player who saw his spot-kick rattle back off the bar.
Jason Brown returned to the starting line-up following suspension in place of skipper Scott Brown who was not fully fit after picking up an injury in training with Grant Savoury preferred to Niah Payne in attack.
Peterhead started brightly and after forcing a couple of corners in the opening 10 minutes Flynn Duffy tried his luck from distance however his effort flew over the bar.
East Kilbride took the lead with a lightning raid on 11 minutes after the hosts had given away possession just inside the visitors’ half. Neil McLaughlin threaded a pass through to Victoria who skipped past Simon Ferry before planting a shot past Brett Long in the home goal.
David Wilson and Jason Brown fired wide of the East Kilbride goal as Peterhead looked to hit back quickly and Ryan Duncan had an effort charged down on 29 minutes before Cammy Elliot gave McInally’s side a scare with a header that brought out a save from Long.
Savoury and Duncan looked to drive Peterhead on and put pressure on Conor Brennan’s goal before former home favourite Jamie Stevenson gave the crowd a reminder of his long-distance shooting prowess with a shot from 35 yards that Long had to watch carefully.
It looked like East Kilbride would lead at the break however things changed around dramatically in the final two minutes of the first 45.
Firstly, a deep cross to the back post was headed goalward by Wilson. The ball looked to be going out however Duncan reacted sharply and whipped it back across goal where McLean hooked home.
It got even better for Peterhead right on the half-time whistle when McCarthy prodded a pass into the East Kilbride box that was intercepted. The ball spun in the air and McCarty met it with a thumping volley that beat Brennan all ends up.
From one nil down to two one up in the space of two minutes.
Savoury was denied a goal early in the second half and McLaughlin sounded out a message that the tie was not won on 50 minutes with an effort that had to be blocked before troubling Long.
Jason Brown headed a corner over five minutes later and Peterhead were to pay for not extending their lead 15 minutes later.
Substitute Jack Stainrod darted clear from the half-way line and went through one on one with Long. The shot-stopper made a fine block however the home defence never regained their composure and an Elliot knock down was headed home by Victoria.
To their credit the home players did not panic and started to take control of the game again however Duncan and McCarthy could not create the half chances that were created.
Just before extra time was called for substitute Derek Lyle rose highest to meet a corner however his header was clutched by Brennan.
In the first half of the additional 30 minutes McLean went close on two occasions before Payne was denied by Brennan with East Kilbride looking dangerous on the break.
In the final 15 minutes Lyle and McLean had glimpses at goal before Jordon Brown headed the last chance of the game wide.
Penalties were called for and McDonald, McCarthy and Duncan had netted from 12 yards with McLaughlin and Elliot doing likewise before Finlay hit the wood-work.
Lyle made it 4-2 before Ciaran McAninch piled pressure on McLean ahead of his side’s fifth kick which he despatched into the net to secure Peterhead’s progress.
Peterhead – Long, Ferry, Jason Brown, Wilson (Payne 71), McDonald, Duffy, McCarthy, Ritchie (Jordon Brown 97), Duncan, McLean, Savoury (Lyle 71)
Unused substitutes – Cullen (G/k), Scott Brown
|January 22, 2022||3:00 pm||Scottish Cup 2021/22||2021/22|