Tweeddale Rovers 2
Langholm Legion 1
WRIGHT CUP FINAL
KENNY PATERSON reports from Bridgend Park
TWEEDDALE Rovers boss Jimmy Moffat could not watch the last five minutes of his team’s Wright Cup final victory – but still celebrated a fine win at Ancrum.
Moffat stood 100 metres away from the pitch facing the other way as the Peebles-based side battled to retain a 2-1 victory over Langholm Legion.
“I am terrible with nerves,” admitted Moffat. “But I think we deserved to win for our first-half performance.
“They had two chances in the second half they should have scored with. Langholm are a big team and were direct, but we competed well, considering we were missing three players.”
Moffat described the match as “brilliant” and the same adjective would have perfectly described Grant Wilson’s second-minute effort if it had found the net.
After a neat build-up, the impressive striker showed a nice piece of skill to turn on the ball and strike a curling 20-yard effort which Legion goalkeeper Derek Johnson did well to stop.
Simon Warren, who Moffat named as his man of the match, then produced a 10th-minute cross for Blair Moffat, but the defender could only head wide.
But Langholm then started to make chances of their own, with Ben Maxwell’s long throws in particular causing Rovers’ defence problems.
Six minutes before the break a Maxwell throw caused mayhem in the Tweeddale box, allowing Martin Thomlinson to hook the ball into the path of Daniel Bell who missed the ball with his head from two yards out.
And Rovers made their opponents and Division B title rivals pay on 42 minutes, when Wilson’s low free kick was flicked into the bottom corner by James Lord.
However, the sizeable Langholm support only had to wait until 47 minutes for something to celebrate, as Michael Dawson’s corner found the imposing figure of Chris Gardner, who turned his marker and fired past Robert Hall.
Two minutes later and Tweeddale were back in front. Warren’s left wing cross was precisely headed past Johnson by Callum Frane from 12 yards.
Wilson almost replicated his strike partner’s goal on 51 minutes with another fine header which Johnson comfortably saved in the end.
Langholm continued their aerial attack, and should have taken the cup tie into extra time in the final 20 minutes.
First Lee Irving smashed a shot well over the bar from just eight yards out from a Dawson corner on 70 minutes.
At the other end, Dawson had to clear a Wilson shot off his own line, but Langholm substitute Stephen Lamb, also the club’s player/manager, had three chances to equalise in the closing stages.
He scuffed his first effort, struck the bar from close range with his next and deep into injury time saw a well-hit shot saved by Hall.
“I should have scored instead of hitting the bar,” said Lamb at full-time. “I hit it too well. If I had scuffed the shot it probably would have gone in.
“We didn’t really play well in the first half, but still had a few chances. Then we were chasing the game when it was too late.”
Tweeddale Rovers: R. Hall, F. Moffat, M. McLeod, M. Rathie, B. Moffat, J. Lord, S. Warren (G. Smith 88), R. Meikle, N. Rodgers, G. Wilson and C. Frane.
Langholm Legion: D. Johnson, B. Maxwell, M. Dawson (R. Anderson 87), M. Thomlinson, C. Gardner, D. Borthwick (A. Little 61), D. Bell (S. Lamb 71), L. Irving, E. Graham, R. Davidson and M. Shepherd.