Steins Thistle left it late to successfully defend the United Soccer Experience East of Scotland Amateur Cup at the Energy Assets Arena, Livingston.
In weather best described as ‘varying’ goals from Andy McRoberts, Michael Kane and Ross Fox earned the Allandale side their trophy back against Dunblane Thistle.
Steins got off to the perfect start when McRoberts scored with a deft front post header from a second minute corner kick.
After 11 minutes a slick move involving four Steins players saw Steven Desmond slide the ball to Michael Kane, who took the pass across his body and used his left foot to glide between the two defenders before calmly slotting home Steins’ second goal.
A clear penalty kick was then awarded to the local side in the 23rd minute and McRoberts sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and it looked like the game was all over.
Dunblane Thistle were quick to dispel that feeling by pulling a goal back just two minutes later, when after a bit of pinball in the penalty area, David Robertson drove the ball home. Dunblane then enjoyed a good 10 minute spell but could not find a way through and Steins were able to see out the first half comfortably with a 3-1 lead.
The sizeable crowd had enjoyed four goals and those of an Allandale persuasion thought their side’s name would be repeated on the trophy.
But the second half was a complete reversal of the first with Dunblane very much on the front foot but unable to create many opportunities. However, in the 79th minute a cross from the left side was headed back across goal by Robert Purves and into the bottom corner 3-2 and silence the large Steins support.
Most of the crowd were then contemplating the possibility of extra time, but Steins had other ideas and from their first meaningful attack of the half, with five minutes remaining, a flowing move was finished off by a superb, low drive by Ross Fox. Steins comfortably saw out the remainder of the match to retain the trophy.