Steins Thistle: Allandale side lose out in Scottish Amateur Cup final at Hampden Park
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Two first-half goals for the Fifers were enough to put their hands on the coveted trophy, and a spot in the Scottish Cup proper next season, with a penalty from David Grant not enough despite a strong showing from Steins towards the end of the match.
Management duo Kevin Valentine and Alan Joyce admitted their side were caught up in the occasion early on, but that they couldn’t fault their team on the night.
They said: "We would have loved to have won it but before the game we said ‘win or lose, you have made your mark’ and we still stand by that now.
“We didn’t play as we can play in the first half. We were much braver in the second half and we then started to show what we can do. The game plan finally came to the fore but it was too late by that point.
"Listen, I think in all honestly, some boys struggled to impose themselves on the game as they would normally – and you have to put that down to the occasion. Playing at this stage for the first time.
"It took too long for some boys to get comfortable in the game. But we told the boys in there that we already did something amazing by reaching this stage.
"We’ve made everyone in the local area, not just Allandale, proud and it is a first for us to play here at Hampden Park on the big stage.
“This is our first season with this group of players, we basically turned ove r the full squad in the summer, so to get this far is amazing.
"Our players will learn from this, of course they will. We’ll get stronger from this and we have most of the group signed up again next year.”
The pair also hailed the travelling support that came to the National Stadium to back the team, who play out a village with a population less than the attendance at Hampden Park.
“In the build up to the semi-final and final, we have been so humbled by the support given to the team,” they said. “Not just Allandale but from the local area, Bonnybridge and places like that.
“We have so many people to thank and the support on the night was amazing. The well wishing towards the team was outstanding. The younger Steins’ teams also got behind us too.
“The club has achieved something so big and we’ll go again next year looking to reach this stage again.”