SJFA West Region, League Cup Quarter-Final
Vale of Clyde 4 Cumbernauld United 3 (att 150)
It may be several days into June but the Central League Cup is only at the quarter-final stage, although with semi-finals in midweek I'd expect the final to be next weekend.
Vale of Clyde, based in Tollcross in the east end of Glasgow, claimed their place in the last four after a thrilling, and occasionally comical, game.
Cumbernauld, who play a division higher than the hosts, started the game well, and it took some great goalkeeping to keep them out. Eventually though a well-taken goal gave them a deserved lead.
It didn't last long, Vale's equaliser was a speculative long-range effort that sailed over the keeper's head and into the goal. It got worse for Cumbernauld when a throw in decision went against them, and quick-thinking Vale of Clyde took it quickly, broke forward and scored.
The first half action was far from over though, and amid good football from both sides it took an own goal to level the scores, a Vale defender heading a long ball back to his keeper, not realising the keeper had come out to claim the ball, allowing it to bounce into an empty net.
Vale of Clyde got the second half's opening goal, and then were gifted a fourth that, ultimately, won them the game. What must be the most bizarre goal I've seen all season was a Cumbernauld throw in, thrown back to the keeper who took a swing at the ball, missed it, and watched in horror, and embarrassment, and rolled slowly into the goal.
From where I was standing, not that close, it looked as if the keeper didn't touch it, and so as you can't score direct from a throw I thought it should have been a corner. Either the keeper knew he'd touched it, or didn't know the rules, as his immediate reaction probably helped the match officials give the goal. A third goal for Cumbernauld, in stoppage time, came too late to affect the outcome.
Vale of Clyde's Fullarton Park is a good venue. From the entrance, the near side has open terracing, with club buildings including changing rooms and a snack back lining the top. The rest of the ground is surrounded by grass banking, which might cover long-lost terracing, and there a section of covered standing along the far side.