Broxburn Athletic played in strips with wrong date on them - but St Mirren Scottish Cup tie will live long in memory
Goalkeeper Wallace shines as Buddies made to wait for breakthrough
The memory will live long for goalkeeper Connor Wallace - which is just as well because the special jerseys commissioned by Broxburn Athletic to mark their historic Scottish Cup tie against St Mirren won’t remind him of the day.
Unfortunately for Wallace and his team-mates, a printing error resulted in their shirts proclaiming the game in Paisley had taken place on February 18 of this year rather than the corresponding date this month.
Nevertheless, it won’t stop Wallace and, presumably, the rest of Brian McNaughton’s players buying the jersey they wore as the East of Scotland outfit took Premiership club Saints all the way, their fourth-round tie not entirely settled until two goals in the dying minutes put the Buddies through to the last 16 by virtue of a 3-0 victory.
It was a cruel ending for the Albyn Park side, who were backed by a 1600-strong red-and-white army which sang its heart out through the entire 90 minutes and beyond.
It took Saints until the 54th minute to crack an obdurate defence - and even then needing a slice of luck as Junior Morais’ cross broke off Jon Obika and into the net, with the striker himself confessing he knew little about it.
A string of stunning saves from 27-year-old Wallace kept Broxburn in the game, although they rarely posed a threat of their own. A Danny Mullen strike in the last minute and a second from Obika in added-on time brought a Scottish Cup adventure which had seen them beat the likes of East Stirling, Cowdenbeath and Inverurie Loco to an end.
“We didn't deserve to win the game, certainly not because they had all the ball, but 3-0 is hard to take,” Wallace said. “But the goal we lost to go behind was hard to take because I didn't feel we were getting cut open too much.
“It was really horrible, it kind of felt it was the only way they were going to score the way things were going. We held our shape well and sometimes those are the breaks you need to break down a team that's come to try to be stuffy.”
As disappointed as he ultimately was, Wallace believes this season’s cup run vindicates Broxburn’s decision to join others in quitting the Junior scene.
He said: “There was a lot of doubt within the club making the switch, but days like this and cup runs proved to be the right decision.
“Hopefully we get a good payday and progress the club more. It feels it has put us on the map. Everyone works so hard behind the scenes, we just go out and do what we do on a Saturday, but it's hard graft from the committee. It's great for them to have days like this.”
And as for those jerseys? “We knew a good few weeks ago that we were getting them,” revealed Wallace. “But they printed the wrong date on them, which is ridiculous. The club forked out for them as it’s a special occasion and have said if we want them as a memento we can buy them.
‘I’ll take mine. I don’t know if I’ll wash it. I suppose they are the marks of what I did, but it could get a bit minging in a frame.”
St Mirren (4-2-3-1): Hladky; Flynn, McCarthy (Andreu 67), Famewo, Waters; Foley, MacPherson (McGrath 60); Durmus (Mullen 60), Morais, Magennis, Obika. Substitutes not used: Lyness, P McGinn, Cooke, Erhhahon.
Broxburn Athletic (5-4-1): Wallace; Grant, Gavin, Townsley, Donaldson, Gibson; Locke (Richards 79), Linton, Nimmo (Ross 68), Scott; Kelly (Miller 58). Substitutes not used: Donoghue, Binnie, Beesley, Gillen.