Tynecastle under-16s were defeated in the final of the Scottish Youth FA Challenge Cup in the cruelest fashion after a 5-4 penalty shoot-out loss against Albion Boys’ Club at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie.
With torrential rain and gale-force winds battering the huge pitch, both teams found it difficult to create chances with the match ending 0-0 after extra-time.
Lewis Pashley scored the decisive penalty, Albion’s seventh of the shoot-out , which confirmed the trophy would be heading to Aberdeen.
The opening exchanges falsely promised an exciting match for the two sets of supporters. In the opening minute, Albion’s Darren Sinclair broke through the Tynecastle defence but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Cameron Tulloch.
It was not until the 17th minute that another chance was forged. Tynecastle’s Gregor Lockhart received the ball in the penalty area but Albion goalkeeper Nico Berton dived at his feet to stop a potential goal.
The weather conditions played a huge part in the match, creating a midfield battle for possession with a few bad tackles from both sets of players also disrupting the flow of the game.
On the verge of half-time, Albion’s Chris Davidson’s shot was caught by Tulloch after the ball had fallen to him kindly inside the penalty area.
Albion thought they had been awarded a penalty for a foul on the right side of the penalty area in the 43rd minute. The referee originally agreed with the Albion striker but after consulting with his assistant, the decision was overturned.
Five minutes later, Tynecastle’s Blake Wales was put through on goal but was cynically fouled by Liam Meldrum. From the resulting set-piece, James Redpath’s effort was deflected over the cross-bar.
Albion had the ball in the net with 65 minutes played after a scramble in the area, but the goal was disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper.
Tulloch was called into action again after 76 minutes, diving to keep Sinclair’s shot out before Kyle Bridger put his rebound effort wide of the target.
Tulloch saved his team once again in stoppage time, rushing out to stop Pashley from scoring after Gibb’s neat pass.
In the first-half of extra-time, Tynecastle’s Scott Siegel was sent off after a lunging tackle on Chris Davidson that was deemed dangerous by the officials.
Albion had chances to win the game in the final ten minutes. Jack Smith’s free-kick was tipped over the bar by Tulloch and from the resulting corner, Davidson hit the bar from eight yards with Meldrum then heading over.
With three minutes remaining, a Tynecastle defender cleared the ball off the line after a shot from Harry Milne resulted in a scramble in the penalty area.
With extra-time now concluded, it came down to penalties to separate the two teams. With the score level at 4-4 after five penalties each, Tynecastle’s Andrew McBride’s penalty struck the post before going wide then Pashley placed his spot-kick perfectly to win the cup for Albion.
Tynecastle coach Bill Crombie was extremely proud of his players’ efforts despite suffering the heartache of defeat in a penalty shoot-out.
He said: “Both teams had numerous chances but nobody could put the ball in the back of the net. It looked as if it would be 0-0 from the start and go to extra-time. The guys did more than what we expected of them and when it goes to penalties it is a lottery. Our goalkeeper, Cameron Tulloch, was absolutely outstanding but, on the day, we were not good enough to win it even though it went to penalties.”
Tynecastle FC: Cameron Tulloch, Taylor Black, Gavin Birrell, Scott Siegel, Bradd Campsie, James Redpath, Ryan Clarke, Euan Lannon, Gregor Lockhart, Darren McGrath, Blake Wales, James Lancastle, Andrew McBride, Clayton Crowther, Joseph Muzyka, Shaun Munro
Albion BC: Nico Berton, Macauley Rae, Devon Kennedy-Colbert, Aaron Baker, Chris Davidson, Chris Liversedge, Harry Milne, Liam Meldrum, Josh Milne, Darren Sinclair, Ray Gordon, Kyle Bridger, Lewis Pashley, Jack Smith, James Gibb, Miller Knowles