Tranent end 40-year wait for trophy with cup triumph

Striker Kenny Fisher was the Tranent hero as he curled home a sensational 89th-minute winner to land the Belters the Fife and Lothians Cup, ending the club's 40-year wait for a trophy.

Wednesday, 7th June 2017, 10:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th June 2017, 10:28 pm
Tranent celebrate winning the Fife and Lothians Cup. Pic: Greg Macvean
Tranent celebrate winning the Fife and Lothians Cup. Pic: Greg Macvean

Fisher pounced at the death to secure a 1-0 win and leave Broxburn devastated with the final all set to be decided on penalty kicks.

It was backs-against-the wall at times for Premier League outfit Tranent, who relied on goalkeeper Craig Pucko to keep them in the final. The stopper produced an array of fine saves and was equally deserving of hero status as Fisher.

Broxburn striker Darren Gribben missed a glorious chance after just two minutes when he hooked Kieran Anderson’s corner over the bar from just three yards out.

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Kenny Fisher curls home the winner for Tranent. Pic: Greg Macvean

Tranent responded with a chance of their own immediately after through Kayne Paterson, who had his shot saved at the back post by goalkeeper Conor Wallace.

Max Christie’s men then had a strong early penalty appeal waved away by referee Peter Stuart when Gribben went down under a Jamie Todd challenge.

The end-to-end theme continued with Paterson put through by Thomas Walters but Wallace came off his line to put him off just as he looked strike.

Tranent centre-back Todd was wasteful in possession inside his own half on the half-hour mark with Anderson almost taking advantage after Michael Linton played him in and he sped off down the left but keeper Pucko produced a fine stop.

Kenny Fisher curls home the winner for Tranent. Pic: Greg Macvean

Broxburn stepped it up and were comfortably on top as the first half drew to a close. Anderson went close from a free-kick after Craig Scott was impeded by Todd when running across the edge of the box, with the big Tranent stopper booked.

Christie’s men continued to be in the ascendancy after the break with Tranent defender Guy Kerr producing a goal-saving tackle to cut out Gribben’s cross with Nick Locke waiting to pounce.

The Albyn Park men were demonstrating their higher-league status with Tranent restricted to breaks on the counter attack. Their best chance so far came via that route on 64 minutes with Fisher whipping in a cross which found Ben Miller, who glanced his header just wide of the back post.

Substitute Joe Murray then sent a first-time volley wide from Miller’s ball in from the right as the Belters started to click better in the final third.

Midfield man Miller almost put his name in lights with a ferocious effort from fully 30 yards out on 78 minutes after receiving Stephen Manson’s lay-off, but the ball brushed the roof of the net.

Tranent looked the more likelier to score at this stage and should’ve gone into the lead on 80 minutes. Left-back Craig Wojtowycz was tireless in winning the ball off Grant Gavin, who attempted to shield the ball out. His cross met the head of striker Paterson, who headed the ball wide at the front post.

Tranent’s determination to find a winner to prevent the final being decided on penalty kicks wasn’t to prove fruitless, however, as Fisher produced a moment of quality deserving to win any final when he found the bottom corner with a stunning low strike from the edge of the box.

Tranent co-manager Darren Smith, managing his home club alongside Kenny Rafferty, couldn’t have imagined a better way to end the club’s 40-year wait without a trophy.

He said: “The way it was going I think it was going to take a mistake or moment of brilliance to win it.

“And the goal, to win a cup final, was unreal. To win it like that, to finish it like that what can you say .. it wasn’t a fluke because Kenny’s got that in his locker and he’s a quality player.

“Broxburn dominated in the first half and we had to give them a bit of a rollicking at half-time – we looked a bit sloppy and Raff and me got a bit of a reaction.

“This is massive for the club. For guys like the committee it’s huge; I’m just delighted for everyone at the club. To end the club’s 40-year wait without a trophy is a bit surreal really.”

Tranent: Pucko, Christie, Wojtowycz, Todd, Kerr, J Paterson (Murray), Miller, Hawkins, Fisher, K Paterson, Waters (Manson).

Broxburn Athletic: Wallace, Gavin, Cole, Purves, Paterson, Linton, Scott, Miller, Locke, Gribben, (Richards), Anderson.