overtime defeat of Thistle in the Bowie Cup semi-final

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Great Western United 2 – Turive Thistle 1

Turriff Thistle failed to reach the final of the Bowie Cup with a narrow defeat to Great Western United at Kaimhill and made it a hat-trick of wins over opponents who had been knocked out of the cup competition in each of the previous two seasons.

There was no score at half time after a busy first half with most of the action taking place between the boxes with goal-scoring chances at a premium.

GWU took the lead midway through the second half with a 25-yard Rocket whistling into the top corner after the scorer was given plenty of time to set himself up for a shot down the middle of the park.

They doubled their lead after 7 minutes when a low cross from the left was hacked in at the back post, however, the Jags fell behind after another 6 minutes when Callan Reid scored his first Thistle goal with an equally impressive 25-yard shot. He flew to the surface of the net to prepare another frantic 12 minutes.

The Jags fought relentlessly and created many scoring opportunities but couldn’t find that good finish to keep the tie going and take it into overtime.

Thistle lined up in their usual 4-3-3 formation with keeper Jordan Ogg and a 4 back from Keanu Bitton, Mike McCumbee, Ryan Cato and Stephen White.

Joe Bissett, Callan Reed and Dylan Paxton made up the midfield, with Glenn Morrison, Michael Harris and Regan Foley leading the attack.

The bench consisted of Louis Shine, Shane Coogan, Lee Stewart, Bruce Meyer and Ethyne Duncan.

The match started with Buxton attempting a long range shot straight from the kick-off which was caught by the keeper as it fell under the crossbar.

The match developed into an intense midfield battle with strong and well organized defences.

GWU’s first chance came on 15 minutes from a free kick on the left but his header drifted well off goal.

On 17 minutes Morrison, Reid and Harris connected nicely from the right but the final cross was too powerful for Foley to reach.

Another chance for GWU came on 20 minutes, this time from a free kick on the right, but the final header was again wide and flew well over the crossbar.

Within 24 minutes, Fowlie made himself space on the edge of the penalty area to spin and shoot into the corner but the GWU keeper went down quickly to make a save against the post.

On 29 minutes it was the GWUs turn to test Ogg with a quick turn and volley from the edge of the penalty area but the Jags keeper made a brilliant save down the full stretch to get both hands on the ball to spin around the post.

Thistle looked the side most likely to score and on 37 minutes had the ball in the net when Morrison drove down the right and played a 1-2 with Harris slotting into the corner but it was ruled offside.

The last action of the first half came in the 43rd minute when a through ball from Red Foley was put into the goal but his shot was again well saved.

The second half started in the same manner as the first with most of the action between the boxes.

In the 50th minute, Reid’s cross from the left was picked up by McCumbe in the middle but his shot was saved by the GWU goalkeeper in his post.

On 55 minutes a GWU cross from the left was met with a shot down the middle but Ogg held it cleanly then on 59 minutes another GWU cross from the right was hit from the edge of the box but narrowly flew over the Jags bar. GWU took the lead in the 65th minute when Thistle gave them plenty of time and space in the middle and they found themselves on the receiving end of a 25-yard Rocket shot that buried itself into the top corner of the net giving Ogg no chance.

Before the restart, Coogan came on to Buxton who was nursing an injury.

In the 68th minute, Cogan received a free kick from Bisset in the middle of GWU’s box but lost his bearings in the last minute and curled his head over the crossbar.

The Jags piled on the pressure looking for an equalizer but found themselves ahead on 72 minutes when GWU’s cross from the left was pushed in at the back post.

Thistle had no choice but to go for it at this point and Meyer replaced Beaton.

The tactic paid off quickly when Reid sprinted through the middle on 78 minutes and, with the GWU defense in retreat, hit a fine shot that went fairly wide into the roof of the net, leaving the keeper to hide in the fresh air, giving the youngsters a chance to escape. The midfielder scored his first goal from Turriff Thistle.

The Jags kept going forward and in the 79th minute Foley sprinted in from the left then cut inside but his low shot topped at the near post then, in the 82nd minute Meyer sprinted in from the right but his accurate shot over the advancing keeper, from just inside the box, went down narrowly on the wrong side of the tape.

Stewart came on for Reid in the 85th minute, despite fighting until the final whistle, Thistle couldn’t find that elusive goal to keep the tie alive and sent it into extra time.

This was by no means a poor performance but Thistle must find the net frequently given the number of chances they create and will need to find their clinical finishing spark soon with just 10 league matches remaining to secure their top flight status.

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