The romance of the Scottish Cup blossomed at a sun kissed Garscube last weekend, as Glasgow progressed to the second round of this historical competition for the first time in 35 years. Paul Ruddy’s sensational injury time winner secured a sweet victory for Glasgow, to the delight of a good size home crowd. The fans who had turned up to cheer on their fellow students were treated to a fine footballing display from Glasgow, with the sublime volley from goal hero Ruddy a fitting end to a great day for the University in this competition. The goal, coming in the 93rd minute of the game was good enough to grace the Cup Final venue itself, but the modest left back Ruddy said “I was too tired to do anything else so I just swung my boot at it and thankfully it slammed right in the back of the net” and when it did, it sent the home team and their fans delirious.
The victory was well deserved for Glasgow, as they dominated this match from the off and were unlucky to go in at half-time with the score line at 0-0. They played some terrific football on a fantastic playing surface that lent itself well to Glasgow’s slick style of passing and attacking. Most of which filtered through Glasgow’s Andrew Knight out on the right wing, where he linked the play up well between midfield and attack, and his clever play proved pivotal in some early chances against the Fife men. Glasgow forced several corners in the first 45mins and they created numerous chances to score, but they seemed to lack that killer finish, which was needed to see off the away team. One such opportunity landed at the feet of Alistair Greenhill who was unlucky not to get on the score sheet with his effort. He found himself in space at the edge of the Burntisland box, after some neat passing, he collected the ball, rolled his marker and unleashed a stinging low drive, that went just wide of the keepers right hand post. Glasgow continued to threaten Burntisland, but they could not capitalise on all their possession. Jamie Kerr also had a few chances in this first half, but as with all of Glasgow’s attempts on goal, they seemed to come from the edge of the box and never really troubled the goal keeper. The home fans were urging their team to drive at the goal and as the game opened up Burntisland found their defence breached more and more, yet their keeper was never really tested. As it stood, Glasgow would have felt hard done by going into the break with the scores level.
This failure to capitalise in the first 45mins almost came back to haunt Glasgow. Within 5 mins of the restart Burntisland’s Gordon Grieve was fouled in the box and referee Joseph Lawson showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Glasgow had no complaints and thankfully they had another hero in the form of Goal Keeper Andrew Livingstone, whose superb save, high to his right hand post kept Glasgow in the game. This stop proved just as vital as Ruddy’s strike at the other end of the pitch and Glasgow took inspiration from it and stepped up a gear. Again they dominated play, with the midfield spraying some magnificent passes around and again they went close with several efforts on goal. Midway through the second half Glasgow began to open up Burntisland’s defence as huge gaps started to appear in the team from the shipyards, threatening to sink them. It was all hands to the pump at the back as they tried to stem the flow of Glasgow’s attack. And this pressure eventually paid off for the home side, which battled to the final whistle to eradicate the pain of last year’s home defeat at this stage of the competition to Girvan.
Another fine performance on the day came from Captain Calum Tevendale, who had a towering display at Centre-back, where he organised his disciplined defence and kept a cool head throughout the match, as tempers flared in the Burntisland team. They started to get a little hot headed at some decisions from the referee and were over zealous with some of their challenges. The victory would have been even sweeter for Calum, as he celebrated his 22nd birthday on Saturday, unlike his 21st birthday celebrations, which were ruined last year by that defeat to Girvan. So one year on it would have been a fantastic birthday present knowing Glasgow was going into the draw for the 2nd round. But the day belonged to the modest hero Ruddy and a goal he will remember for a long time to come. There can’t be many University students who can say they scored the winner in a Scottish Cup game, even if he just says it was a hit and hope effort!