As any supporter of Hearts – or Hibernian, for that matter – will tell you, Graham Weir is no stranger to producing remarkable and downright improbable equalising goals.
This is the man who announced himself to Scottish football as a fresh-faced teenager with two stoppage time strikes in the famous 4-4 Edinburgh derby draw at Tynecastle back in 2003. Thirteen years on and Weir, pictured, is an experienced campaigner, bearded and stocky – but he still has a flair for the dramatic, as he proved in one of the most arresting Scottish Cup ties of recent years.
The 31-year-old’s wonderfully crisp strike from the edge of the box capped a remarkable comeback from the Junior outfit, who at one stage were 3-1 down, and playing with 10 men following the dismissal of Gary Thom.
“It’s an absolutely phenomenal finish from Graham,” lauded Rose boss David McGlynn. “But the whole team, from start to finish, were brilliant. We hit the bar, the post and their keeper has made saves.
“I’m proud as punch, but also a bit disappointed. I think we would have won that game if it had stayed 11 versus 11.”
Roared on by a bumper crowd at Prestonfield, Rose were immediately in the ascendancy, striking the post through Jamie Mackenzie, who met Ryan Baptie’s fine corner.
However, the visitors claimed the lead against the run of play after 31 minutes. Michael Travis rose to meet an Iain Campbell delivery and head beyond Ally Adams, via the inside of the post.
McGlynn’s underdogs hit back within eight minutes. The excellent Tommy Coyne saw his attempted through-ball blocked, however the ricochet fell kindly for Ruiri MacLennan, whose finish from 12 yards was clinical.
Travis had the last word of the first period, bizarrely heading a Baptie cross against his own bar, with keeper Darren Hill completely stranded.
Forfar regained the lead just five minutes after the break when Thom bundled into the back of Hibs loanee Scott Martin inside the box. Campbell dispatched the spot-kick and referee Stephen Finnie gave Thom his marching orders.
Three minutes later Gavin Swankie ghosted in at the back post to convert a Craig Smith cross to seemingly end the game as a contest.
A banner behind one of the goals at Prestonfield reads ‘Hail the gallant Rosey Posey’, and that has never been more appropriate – because the comeback which followed was valiant.
Mackenzie halved arrears from close-range after a lung-bursting run by Conor Kelly and pinpoint cross. And 40 seconds later Prestonfield erupted as Weir fizzed a stunning low drive beyond Hill from the edge of the box.
“Whether through a lack of concentration or whatever else, it is hugely disappointing to lose a 3-1 lead against 10-men,” rued Forfar manager Gary Bollan.