IT wasn’t a classic by any means but Edinburgh Rose held their nerve to defeat Sandys 5-3 on penalties in the East of Scotland Cup final at Almondvale after 120 minutes of stalemate.
The all-LEAFA clash certainly failed to live up to the pre-match billing but the jubilation etched on the faces of the Rose players after Euan Bisset converted the fifth and decisive spot-kick was there for all to see as club secretary Les Woolard explained. “We’ve played every match in this competition away from home so we deserve it.”
The Sandys players were hugely frustrated as they struggled to make much of an impression in the opening 30 minutes with only Robert McKenzies’ snap-shot from James Reilly’s cross causing any concern for Rose keeper David Sorley. Rose came closest to breaking the deadlock on 61 minutes. Stuart Morrison received a pass on the right touchline before cutting in and delivering a cross which rolled along the Sandys crossbar and out of play on the far side – a real let off for the Craigmillar outfit.
The skilful Robert McKenzie then weaved himself beyond a couple of Rose defenders before cutting the ball back that just evaded the right boot of the outstretched James Reilly in the six-yard box.
David Aitkenhead then supplied a neat pass through to the unmarked McKenzie, but the winger’s effort was too direct and Sorley gathered with ease.
Raymond Walker was close to sealing cup glory for Rose in the dying stages of normal time when he headed just wide from David Brogan’s cross.
Both sides made changes during extra-time but without a breakthrough. Rose were decisive from the spot as Jamie Stewart and Murray Milne converted before Sandys’ Clarkson saw his penalty saved by Sorley.
Gary Hill and Scott Brown continued Rose’s 100 per cent success from the spot with Osborne and James McWhinnie keeping Sandys’ hopes alive.
However, Bisset stepped forward to send his effort into the bottom left corner to spark wild celebrations.
Edinburgh Rose: David Sorley, Scott Wallace, Paul Dunlop, Jamie Stewart, Euan Bisset, David Brogan, Jon Laidlaw, Raymond Walker, Mark Young, Stuart Morrison, Gavin Cattanach, Craig Stewart, Gary Hill, Murray Milne, Scott Brown, Owen Maxwell.
Sandys: David Courtney, Ian Crease, Callum Gallagher, James Reid, Andrew Dailly, Dale Miller, Michael Osborne, Terry Carlin, James Reilly, David Aitkenhead, Robert McKenzie, James Clarkson, Liam Todd, James McWhinnie, David Milne, Thomas Crease.