Match report: Penicuik 3 Giffnock 1
Penicuik Athletic have lifted the 16s Scottish Challenge Cup after a thrilling 3-1 victory over Giffnock Soccer Centre at Ochilview stadium.
Phoebe Stewart in the Giffnock goals gave a commanding performance and could do nothing about some excellent finishing from Penicuik to bring the cup back to Midlothian.
Stewart needed to look lively in the opening stages to smother balls thrown forward by Penicuik, and after nine minutes saved bravely with her feet from the onrushing Gemma Burns.
But Giffnock had early chances at the other end too. On twelve minutes Penicuik’s Millie Higgins cleared the ball off the line with a well-timed header with the keeper well beaten.
Emily Brown produced an impressive free kick from the right at distance but Stewart expertly tipped it over the bar. Then Giffnock captain Katherine Sharp, who had looked composed dealing with danger, tripped a Penicuik attacker on the edge of the box but the Midlothian side couldn’t capitalise from the resultant free kick.
Sharp looked to have picked up a knock and was still holding her back when Penicuik opened up the Giffnock defence with a diagonal ball to Caitlin Waterston who kept her cool to slot beneath Stewart and open the score.
Within a minute, Penicuik were awarded a free kick 25 yards out, and a fantastic effort into the top corner by Brown to double the advantage. Giffnock enjoyed some forays on the wings but Penicuik saw out the half.
Some quick feet by Penicuik’s Emily Reid at the start of the second period opened up space for herself and she burst into the box to score. Then at the other end Brown was booked for a block just outside the D, but Giffnock’s Niamh Bourke cleared the cross bar with the delivery.
At the other end, Reid was brought down clumsily in the box, but Stewart saved the penalty from Penicuik captain Jenna Clark. And they continued to press at the other end too, Sarah Stewart heading just wide from a corner. Then on 57 minutes Kaitlin Irvine showed great footwork to shrug off two defenders and produce a looping finish from out on the right which completely outfoxed Ella Marr in the Penicuik goal and awaken the Giffnock fans.
Brown again sent in a sweet delivery from near the halfway line which Stewart could only half deal with, but Penicuik couldn’t capitalise. Then Reid fell just inside the box, but the referee overruled his assistant, judging that she had slipped from his better-sighted position.
Another great break down the right by Kaitlin Irvine finished with a lovely cutback cross to Sharp who shot into the top corner but an incredible acrobatic save from Marr thwarted her.
Giffnock continued to surge forward into injury time, but their attempts looked increasingly rushed, while Penicuik held on and had some decent attempts on the break as well, but the game would finish 3-1, the final whistle drowned out in an explosion of celebrations from the Penicuik fans.