After a win and a defeat and knowing that only a win would secure control over their qualification to the quarter final stage of the SSFA National Cup competition, Forth Valley SFA went in to their final section game against West Lothian at Forthbank on 22nd November in determined mood.
They found the visitors in equally determined mood and with the goalkeepers at each end playing very solidly, the score remained at 0-0 with thirty minutes remaining. Thirty minutes left – but what a thirty minutes in which Forth Valley pressed home their possession and territorial advantage to run out 6 -1 winners.
Liam Fagan rose in a crowded penalty box to glance home a header to open the scoring ten minutes into the second half. This goal came minutes after home keeper Evan Taylor had made an important block at the other end.
The home team quickly increased their lead in a matter of minutes when Steven Buchanan diverted a Lewis Hutchison shot past the helpless keeper.
Lucas Williams, a half time substitute returning from injury then put his name on the scoresheet with a well placed shot before heading home the best goal of the game following a good move and cross from Buchanan.
Fagan chipped in with a fifth goal, cleverly lobbing the keeper following a great dribbling run.
West Lothian kept fighting hard and scored with ten minutes remaining as both teams made multiple substitutions giving their full squad a playing chance. Williamson netted the last goal of the game to secure an impressive hat trick on his first showing of the campaign and confirm that Forth Valley will be in the quarter final stage.
Who Forth Valley’s opponents will be is not yet known. Lanarkshire yesterday secured a win against Ayrshire meaning that next weeks’ game between West Lothian and Lanarkshire could impact not only on who qualifies but also who tops the section and therefore gets a home tie at the quarter final stage. Goal difference and head to head results will be considered so Forth Valley are definitely through but it is not certain yet that they are placed top or group runners up.