Nivison Cup 2013/14
Upper make it 3 in a Row
Uppers made it a hattrick of cup final victories after coming back from a halftime deficit against Lochmaben to lift the ‘lets Get Sporty’ sponsored Nivison Cup at Galabank on Friday night. Lochmaben were the on top for the most part in a first half which the ball spent most of the half in the air. This made it easy for the defences to stay on top with both clubs central defenders in the ascendance.
Of the forwards on show it was Lochmaben’s Cammy Thorburn who looked the most likely to make a breakthrough and it came as no surprise that he scored the opener in the 15th minute. Alan Maxwell played a high ball forward to Dougie McRobert who was challenged by defender Ross Dawson and the ball dropped outside the box sitting up perfectly for Cammy to fire a sweet volley into the top corner from25 yards out. The same player should have increased his side’s lead a few minutes later but his sidefooted effort from14 yards out was wide of the mark.
Uppers had very few attacking moments in the half with a Michael Swan long range effort on the half hour the closest they came to levelling. Michael Mendy had possession in a good position but an excellent challenge from Peter Johnstone snuffed the threat out.
The turning point of the match came just on half time. Cammy Thorburn was released by Shane Watson and fired a ferocious shot from16 yardsout which was goalbound. Uppers Keeper Ian Jardine was up to the task though and managed to touch the ball onto the top of the bar and his side went into the dressing room at half time only one goal down when it could have been much worse.
The second half was action packed in comparison the first and there was far more activity in the final third of both halves. In the 50th minute Lochmaben nearly increased their lead when an Alan Maxwell shot went just wide. Uppers were certainly more energised in the early stages of the second half with Michael Swan in particular looking like he was up to the challenge. And in the 55th minute it was Michael who put in a low cross from the right which was turned into the Lochmaben goal from6 yards out by Aaron Currie despite the close attention of defenders Russell Paisley and Laurie Maxwell.
Lochmaben looked to respond and both Dougie McRobert and Alan Maxwell both had opportunities to put their side in front for the second time but neither player managed to seriously test keeper Jardine. McRobert then had a golden chance when he found space just outside the Uppers box but his shot was too high and it crashed off the top of the bar and away to safety.
Uppers continued to threaten and when a needlessly conceded freekick was awarded wide on the right Aaron Currie fired in a dangerous curling left foot ball. The cross evaded several defenders and keeper Craig Scobie saw the ball late but managed to save well down to his left but only succeeded in pushing the ball back into the danger zone. Michael Swan was on hand to fire home from6 yardsout to give his side the lead for the first time in the match.
With 10 minutes to go both sides were reduced to 10 men after a scuffle broke out close to the sideline and as a result there was a bit more space on the big Galabank pitch. Lochmaben were still not out of it and were rightly awarded a penalty with 2 minutes to go. Defender Laurie Maxwell is normally reliable from12 yardsout but his spot kick was poor and keeper Jardine saved easily down to his right. Lochmaben has a couple of chances after this to get an equaliser but failed to trouble Jardine and the game ended with Uppers victorious in a cup final for the third time this season.
Cup sponsor ‘Lets get sporty’ selected the man of the match award which went to Lochmaben midfielder Kieth Houston. They also presented the cup to Uppers captain Ross Dawson. The league would like to thank the sponsor as well as long time supporters of the league Annan Athletic for the use of Galabank.