Peebles Rovers 1
Preston Athletic 1
(aet – Peebles won 5-3 on penalties)
IMAGE PRINTERS CUP FIRST ROUND
MAURICE GORDON reports from Whitestone Park
RONALD Fleming proved the Peebles Rovers hero with a spectacular equaliser in normal time before notching the decisive penalty kick.
Peebles were the first to show when, from a Craig Edgar pass, Allan Chalmers sent the ball narrowly past the Preston right-hand post with a cracking 25yd shot.
At the other end, after some good work from Kevin Cairnie and Greg McColl, Darren McGlashan fired the ball just over the Peebles crossbar with a blistering shot from 25yds.
The visitors opened the scoring after 29 minutes when, after a mistake by the Peebles defence, Frazer Henderson calmly stroked the loose ball home from 12 yards.
Play continued to rage from end to end until half-time with clear-cut scoring chances few and far between.
However, it was all Preston at the start of the second half as from an Iain Houston corner-kick on the left, Cairnie was just off target with a 20yd shot.
And the men from the east coast twice came close to increasing their lead when Matthew Costello sent the ball just inches wide of the Peebles goal with a diving header before Cairnie narrowly missed the target.
Rovers finally managed an attempt on goal midway through the second half when Gary Knox’s first-time shot from 16 yards was well-saved by Ross Gilpin.
The equaliser came on 72 minutes. After a neat build-up, Steven Galloway sent over a left-wing cross towards the far post which picked out Ronald Fleming, who beat Gilpin all ends up with a 16yd volley.
The hosts then missed a golden opportunity to win the game with seven minutes remaining as Chalmers headed the ball just over the crossbar from close in.
Chalmers was denied twice by Gilpin in extra time before Jason Girdwood was sent off just before the break after picking up a second yellow card.
In the second half of extra-time, Peebles goalkeeper Paul Roseburgh foiled Henderson with a couple of fine saves in quick succession – and penalty kicks beckoned.
Nicky Cairns, Knox, Michael McKenzie and Michael Holness all scored for Peebles, while Bryan Wilson, Kevin Morrison and Henderson were all successful for Preston, before McGlashan was the first to miss when he fired the ball over the bar.
It was left to Ronald Fleming to seal Rovers win when he coolly tucked the ball away into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Peebles Rovers: P. Roseburgh, Ronald Fleming, S. Galloway, J. Girdwood, A. Williamson, S. Watson (M. McKenzie 105), G. Knox, Ray Fleming, C. Edgar (M. Holness 28), N. Cairns, A. Chalmers.