MATCH REPORT :: South Of Scotland Challenge Cup Final

Photos courtesy of The Scottish Sun

BSC Glasgow 2 – 0 Civil Service Strollers :: South Of Scotland Challenge Cup Final :: Rosewell Stadium :: 23rd of May 2015

BSC Glasgow brought home the Challenge Cup trophy after a convincing performance and a famous victory to round off the club’s inaugural season. A first half wondergoal from Gerry O’Connell and an emphatic finish from Ciaran Johnston secured the win.

After an energetic start from Strollers, Broomhill controlled proceedings and Iain Stewart in goals was rarely troubled. James Guy saw his outside of the foot shot fly wide in the opening minute, but BSC held firm and weathered the storm.

O’Connell was rewarded for his recent performances with a start in the biggest game in BSC’s short history and he repaid the manager with a wonderful goal after 27 minutes. The ball fell to the winger 15 yards inside the Strollers half, and, from a standing position, he volleyed it over Stuart Burnside and into the top right corner.

That goal gave BSC momentum in the match as they looked for a second before half time. A Civil Service corner provided opportunity for a counter attack, with O’Connell and O’Hear providing an abundance of pace in the BSC 11. The latter played in striker Aiden Malone down the inside right channel, but his hooked cross was just too far ahead of the breaking Tony Wallace and Aaron Murdoch.

Wallace had BSC’s best chance in the early stages of the second half, the midfielder breaking free at the near post and flicking towards goal, but it ended up hitting off the side netting.

Callum Home proved he was still alert at the other end of the pitch, a last ditch tackle preventing Chris Tobin from getting a shot away inside the area. Stewart also had to move quickly to tip over a Murray Christie effort from a free kick.

BSC made three changes as they looked for that important clincher. Johnston replaced David Cameron, and looked bright, with a bobble on the pitch ruining a quick counter through the substitute. Wallace floated a cross towards Johnston at the back post, and his header was blocked by Burnside.

Two minutes later, an almost carbon copy of that chance brought BSC’s second. Wallace and O’Hear combined down the left, and the winger’s cross found an onrushing Johnston, who’d perfectly timed his run to knock the ball into the goal and give Broomhill a huge cushion as the game approached the final whistle.

Gary Graham also had a chance after Malone played him through, but he showed a little too much of the ball to the Stroller’s keeper who cleared, and that proved the last meaningful action as BSC’s victory was confirmed with the final whistle.

“It feels terrific,” commented an elated Iain King after the match. “It’s a bit of history for the club and really tops off an unbelievable 6 days after the Scottish Cup win with the 2001’s.”

“I was really pleased for the scorers. Gerry O’Connell is just a special boy, a great type of player to have in the squad, and it was a special goal too. Ciaran’s come up from amateur football, and his was a great finish too.”

King was thrilled with the performance of his players on the big occasion, and looked forward to next season -
“I think the players were a bit nervy in the first 15 minutes, but we sorted that out and there was some great individual performances after. Callum Home and Stephen Bronsky were magnificent, Murdoch was great, and we built from these guys at the back. Malone up front never gave them a minutes peace as well.

“We’ve made three great signings and we’ll continue to look to strengthen. We’ve got to continue to push towards the top six and we’ll go from there. But we’ll enjoy this one first!”

Goalscorer Gerry O’Connell was thrilled with the trophy win –
“I’m ecstatic. Proud for all of the boys in there, it’s been a hard season and had it’s ups and downs but we’ve took a cup at the end of it and we’ve finished on a high.”

“The second the shot left my foot I knew it was going to end up in the back of the net!”

Celebrations and a short holiday will come before the boys begin pre-season on the 29th of June, with Morton and Queen’s Park two of the sides BSC will face as they prepare for their second Lowland League season, with hopes for more silverware to come.

Photos courtesy of The Scottish Sun

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