Neighbours clash - and Hopeman lift the cup
HOPEMAN claimed the Moray coast bragging rights as two supersubs shot them to cup final victory over arch rivals Burghead United.
The neighbouring village teams clashed at Keith’s Kynoch Park in Moray welfare football’s Tewnion Memorial Trophy final on Friday night.
It was also a battle of the last two Premier Division champions, with Hopeman still in contention for this year’s title and eager to avenge two league defeats at the hands of their neighbours this season.
Play in the first half was cagey with neither side prepared to take big risks.
Burghead striker Sam Fairgrieve just failed to latch on to Andrew Barker’s through pass, while at the other end a free kick by Hopeman’s Marc Connolly was spilled by goalkeeper Sandy MacPherson but a Burghead defender was first to the loose ball to clear.
The match opened up in the second half and Hopeman broke the deadlock on 50 minutes. A cross into the box fell kindly for Jordan Orr to steer into the net.
United chased an equaliser and Barker slid in with goalkeeper Glen Fraser, who managed to pounce on the ball before his opponent in the goalmouth.
Barker then had a header cleared off the line while MacPherson denied Connolly at the other end.
It was end-to-end stuff with Barker again in the thick of things for Burghead, forcing Fraser to save on 70 minutes before the rebound was cleared. Hopeman quickly broke upfield for a shot which flashed just past the Burghead goal.
Hopeman could have clinched victory with three minutes left but sub Simon Inglis was thwarted by a MacPherson save.
Just when it looked like Hopeman were hanging on for a single goal victory, deep into stoppage time a Burghead attack was cleared but sub David Ross pounced to volley into the top corner and rescue his team.
Into extra time, Burghead had the first shot which zipped wide but it was Hopeman who edged back in front during the first half.
Substitute Owen Laing took the ball and skipped inside his man before rifling high past MacPherson into the net.
Fellow sub Inglis went close for Hopeman, chesting down and volleying over before the half time whistle.
Inglis had better luck after the break, latching on to a through ball and beating the Burghead defence for pace to slot home and give Hopeman some daylight at 3-1 ahead.
Burghead kept chipping away and Barker was denied by keeper Fraser, who saved with his legs.
Time finally ran out on United’s challenge, and the final ended on a sour note when sub Scott Miele was red carded for a late challenge in the closing moments.
Hopeman: Fraser, Thomson, Cooper, Lunan, Ramage , Burr, Connolly, Tulloch, Ingram, Orr, Coutts. Subs: Pritchard, Laing, Inglis, MacArthur, Hayter
Burghead: MacPherson, Andrew, Sutherland, McPhee, Cumming, Fraser, Shand, Barker, Fairgrieve, Higgins, Leggat. Subs: Ross, McDonald, Stewart, Miele, Rowe.