Cumbernauld Colts under-20s have won the Lowland League Development Cup after a thrilling 3-2 win over East Kilbride in the final at New Tinto Park on Friday night.
The youngsters’ success seals a highly successful first season for Colts as a Lowland League club.
Watched by a healthy crowd inside the Benburb Juniors ground in Govan, the early exchanges were fairly even as both sides felt their way into the game.
Gradually the Cumbernauld youngsters started to win a few challenges in the midfield area and began to pass the ball well, creating a few half chances.
But they were dealt a blow in 18 minutes, arguably against the run of play, when a Jordan Craig free-kick held up in the wind, catching ‘keeper Kenny Giles off guard, and EK striker Ryan McEwan slid the ball in from a tight angle.
Only a brilliant save by keeper Keane stopped Jordan Pirrie levelling the scores but Colts didn’t have long to wait for the equaliser.
On 25 minutes Ryan Flannigan released Fraser Sheridan on the right and his cross was met by the on rushing Cammy McKay who slotted the ball home to the delight of his team mates.
Colts now had the upper hand and went ahead eight minutes from the break.
Once again Sheridan got away on the right and this time it was Pirrie who arrived in the box to knock the low cross in from eight yards.
After the break Colts pushed for a third and Sheridan missed a great chance before Blair Bateman had a volley well saved by Keane.
But EK hit back to draw level on 65 minutes when a Craig drive took a wicked deflection off Danny McAllistair’s hip and wrong footed everyone, including Giles, to nestle in the net.
Once more the Colts youngsters brushed themselves down and came back at their opponents.
Conor McAteer replaced McKay, who had worked tirelessly up front, and his pace paid dividends 10 minutes from time when he used his pace to take the ball away from Keane who felled him in the box.
The referee pointed to the penalty spot and Sheridan kept his nerve with a firm penalty to put Colts back in front.
Inevitably East Kilbride threw everything at Colts in the dying moments and Dylan O’Hagan did well to stop an effort in front of the goal.
However, the night was to be Cumbernauld’s and the referee’s final whistle was met with great cheers from the Colts contingent in the crowd.