GUFC secured their place in the Second Round of the Scottish Cup after a dramatic victory in even more dramatic circumstances up in the Highlands
A blockbuster Scottish Cup Second Round fixture has been set up between Mark Adams’ Glasgow University football club and Coatbridge’s League 2 outfit Albion Rovers (former finalist of the famous tournament), after a dramatic 3-2 win in the Highlands over Forres Mechanics F.C. in what can only be defined as a turbulent victory for the students.
Spirits were high in the GUFC camp as a recent four-match losing streak had ended abruptly after an important victory in the preliminary round of the Scottish Cup, as well as a strong performance and 2-0 win in the West of Scotland Football League (WoSFL). These spirits could have easily been dampened when the bus carrying the squad up the A9 had a tire blowout, and all hope seemed to have been lost. However, in preparation for heroic scenes to be witnessed on the Highland pitch, they would first need to be seen on the A9 as the Blair Atholl rescue services came to the squad in their time of need and replaced the tire in time, sending them towards the battle.
The journey up certainly mirrored the tone of the first half of the cup fixture, as both teams came storming out the gate, with GUFC taking an early lead after a powerful strike within the box found the top right corner of the Forres Mechanics net.
This lead was not to be held on for very long as the Can Cans would immediately equalise after a dangerous free kick was whipped in and not dealt with correctly, with the hosts bundling it over the line. GUFC’s claims of a foul in the build-up of the equaliser were emphatically waived away by the referee.
The Highlanders had very clearly worked on set pieces, as every free kick or corner that the hosts won looked like scoring from. Somehow, they didn’t take the lead for the first time in the match as a shot from about three yards crashed off the crossbar from another corner.
Despite intense pressure from the hosts, GUFC would retake the lead in the first half after a blunder from the Forres keeper in dealing with a cross would fall to the feet of a GUFC forward, who couldn’t miss. However, as an erratic half of football was coming to a close, the hosts equalised for the second time, with an almost identical goal to one they had just conceded, after GUFC’s goalkeeper was unable to deal with a Forres delivery and had the ball fall straight to the feet of an opposition forward. He once again couldn’t miss, bringing a true Scottish Cup half to an end.
Adams’ men, as well as their opponents, came out for the second half with a much more disciplined approach, with both sides conceding fewer chances than in the first half. GUFC came extremely close to taking the lead for the third time in the match after a rapid counterattack ended up with the ball striking the outside of the post. The hosts then couldn’t believe that they hadn’t taken the lead after a miraculous save from another dangerous Forres corner kept the game square.
However, the magic of the cup continued for GUFC as a late looping header straight from a corner nestled into the net and sent the boys from the West End into utter chaos up in the Highlands, confirming their place in the second round of the Scottish Cup.
GUFC will play Albion Rovers in what should be a great spectacle for the club and the University, with the match expected to be played on the weekend of the 22 October (exact date and venue TBC) everyone will be rallying behind the squad in what has been a fantastic cup run so far.