LBC edge out Lothian after epic cup tie is decided on penalties

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Lochend club LBC advanced to the fourth round of the Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur FA (Sunday section) President’s Cup after a penalty shootout victory over Lothian Athletic at Seafield that will remain long in the memory of those present.

The home side broke the deadlock after only five minutes when Martin Cairney pounced on a loose ball to fire LBC into the lead.

Cairney was involved again shortly after with a lay off for Craig Hume, who side-footed a curling effort that was inches wide of David Courtney’s goal.

The game was held up for ten minutes due to an unfortunate injury to Athletic’s Andrew Smith who landed awkwardly just outside his own box. The defender suffered a suspected cruciate knee injury and had to be taken to hospital.

The game restarted with Lothian on the front foot but Athletic looked determined to equalise before the half time whistle, leaving their defence open to the counter attack as they ventured forward. LBC took advantage of this and duly doubled their advantage.

Sean Lothian soared down the right wing and played in a low cross which fell perfectly for Cairney to add his and Lochend’s second goal.

Lothian were then offered an instant opportunity to get back into the game when LBC’s Kevin Milne was adjudged to have handled in the box. Robert McKenzie stood up to take the spot kick and finished with aplomb, high into the right hand side of Chris Robertson’s net just before the end of the half.

After the break, Athletic looked determined to get back on level terms and almost countered when McKenzie showed great control on the edge of the box before finding space and slamming a shot which was hard but straight at Robertson.

But the visitors didn’t have to wait long to get the equaliser they craved, as Thomas Crease bundled in from close range after a well-worked set piece to square the game at 2-2.

Athletic appeared a good bet to build on their ascendancy, and they did so just five minutes later. McKenzie was on target again with a goal which seemed to spark the game into overdrive. The striker collected a pass on the right hand side before chipping Robertson on the edge of the box to put Lothian ahead for the first time in the game.

Lochend looked tired, and lacked the same composure and determination they had in the first half. Then Calum Cavanagh unleashed a trademark left-footed rocket from around 40 yards out, which whistled past Robertson and put Athletic 4-2 ahead.

The game looked to be decided, but only after conceding the latter two goals did Lochend kick into action.

They pulled a goal back when the dangerous Cairney and Scott Coventry began to combine to potent effect.

A Cairney set piece fell to the head of Coventry who headed in from two yards out. And the deadly duo put the game into extra time when Cairney again found space on the right hand side and fired in a low cross which was met by the leg of Coventry, who bundled home from close range.

Into extra time, the main moment of drama came when Lochend were awarded a penalty of their own two minutes before the final whistle.

Sean Lothian stepped up and scored from the spot, however encroachment into the Athletic box forced a retake. This time Lothian slammed the ball off the crossbar and it rolled to safety, leading to a penalty shootout in a game which had absolutely everything.

After 13 spot kicks had been taken Marc Lothian atoned for his brother’s earlier misses by slotting home to leave Hughie Meenan with the task of keeping Lothian in the shootout.

Meenan’s kick, however, was high and wide, confirming LBC’s place in the fourth round of the President’s Cup.

Victorious Lochend coach Mark Paterson was proud of his players and pleased that they had came back from two goals behind. Paterson said: “It was a great tie and a derby with both teams going at it hammer and tongs. We can’t really fault the players’ effort. We felt our formation was a bit wrong at the start but we pulled it out of the bag again.”

LBC: Chris Robertson, Craig Hume, David Buchan, James Spence, Jamie Thompson, Kevin Milne, Marc Lothian, Martin Cairney, Sean Lothian, Scott Coventry, Simon Riley, Alan Morrison, Craig Rankin, Fraser Ogilvie, Kevin Mackie, Stephen Donoghue.

Lothian Athletic: David Courtney, James Clarkson, Darryl Cole, Thomas Crease, Mark Glasgow, Robert McKenzie, Hughie Meenan, Jordan Mein, Michael Osborne, James Reid, Andrew Smith, Graham Mills, Daryl Mills, Calum Cavanagh.