Warriors dump holders Killie out of cup

John Gemmell's strike proved to be the winner
John Gemmell's strike proved to be the winner

Stenhousemuir knocked out holders Kilmarnock out the Communities Cup with goals from Brown Ferguson and John Gemmell.

The Warriors struck in the first half through a Brown Ferguson penalty after Ryan O’Leary was penalised for a soft foul on John Gemmell.

Gemmell then doubled the advantage when he headed in unmarked from a Bryan Hodge corner kick.

A late strike from Michael Nelson made for a frantic finish but the Warriors held on – though Callum Reidford took a blow from James Fowler during a goalmouth stramash in injury time.

Kilmarnock, who shocked Celtic in the final last season, suffered their own shock at home in their first defence of the trophy.

The Stenhousemuir forward line of Gemmell, Stewart Kean and Ferguson gave their opposite defenders no peace, and Martyn Corrigan’s tactics riled Kilmarnock.

Bryan Hodge went close with a drive from the edge of the box in the first half that spun just wide of the post, while Callum Reidford hardly had a save to make.

In the 36th minute Jude Winchester should have converted from close range but sliced an open-goal attenmpt over the bar unmarked.

Gemmell did similar in the second half and sub Craig Anderson could have wrapped up a glorious victory for Stenhousemuir with a curling shot just by the post.

After Nelson whipped in a late consolation which blotted the copy-book of the immense Warriors’ backline, Rory McKenzie hit the post and Reidford had to block from sub Willie Gros

But the Warriors returned to their giant-killing best of the 1990s with a hard-fought, well-earned and ultimately deserved victory.