Dunedin Athletic were narrowly edged out 4-3 by Bo’ness Cadora in their Scottish Amateur Cup first round replay at the Royal High School.
After salvaging a replay in the 90th minute at Douglas Park, the home side were looking to start the brighter of the two sides on home turf.
However, it was the Stirlingshire side that came out with more attacking intent early on.
The warning signs weren’t heeded by Dunedin and it was Darren Izzard who gave Bo’ness the lead in the ninth minute. Unmarked in the penalty box, Izzard received the ball to feet, took a touch, and side-footed past Alasdair Burnett.
It wasn’t enough to wake up the Dunedin rearguard and they almost went two behind shortly afterwards. Steven Taggart had a surging run in from the right and fired a well-struck effort narrowly wide.
The pressure kept coming from Bo’ness and the scores only remained unchanged thanks to Burnett. Up from the back, Mark Snedden found space in the Dunedin box and half-volleyed a shot at goal from five yards out. It was met by a marvellous reaction save from Burnett, who instinctively stuck an arm out to prevent it going in.
With half-time looming, Dunedin became settled and looked a better organised outfit. After a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the box, Lyall Menzies struck a looping effort over the wall, which looked to be heading into the bottom corner. It was well matched, though, by Bo’ness goalie Steven Lapsley, who did well to keep it out.
After the restart, Bo’ness came out the blocks quickest and looked very dangerous going forward in search of a second goal. To their credit, though, Dunedin hung on and the pendulum quickly swung in their favour as they came back into the game.
Out of nothing the scores were pulled level thanks to a superb solo effort from Colin Chalmers. Running from the halfway-line he cut in from the left-hand side and unleashed a beautifully-hit 25-yard strike, which crept in just under the bar and into the top corner.
Sensing a shift in momentum, Dunedin pressed forward and within five minutes they had turned the game on its head.
A ball over the top from Stewart Hurd was latched on to by Menzies, who caught the Bo’ness defence napping, and delicately lobbed the onrushing keeper to make it 2-1.
The clock was slowly ticking towards the 90-minute mark and Dunedin looked increasingly likely to hold on. A lapse in concentration, however, allowed Bo’ness to score through substitute David Feighan with the last kick of normal time; 2-2 was the score and extra time was going to decide this one.
With tired legs, both sides fought on and it was the visitors who restored their lead six minutes into extra time. Craig Devine provided a low cross into the box, which was tucked in by Taggart eight yards from goal.
Into the second period of extra time Dunedin fought back and levelled at 3-3. Chalmers got on the end of a through ball in the left of the area to fire into the bottom right corner.
The hosts must have thought they’d earned a penalty shootout, but with five minutes left Bo’ness fought back and scored through Devine who finished a poacher’s goal in the box.
Despite the result, Dunedin boss Craig Purves had real reason to be proud of his players. There can be plenty of positives to take for the season ahead.