Inverness Caledonian Thistle beat Falkirk to win Scottish Cup final – as it happened

30 May 2015 04:09
A late goal on the counter from James Vincent earned 10-man Inverness their first ever major trophy, after Falkirk’s Peter Grant had cancelled out Marley Watkins’ first-half strike with 10 minutes to goRead Ewan Murray’s match report from Hampden Park 5.09pm BST My heart goes out to Falkirk, who fought back brilliantly in the second half before Jamie Vincent’s sucker punch. If they were fortuitous in the route they had to the final, they were perhaps unlucky to lose today.It’s Inverness who lift the trophy though, and Vincent, who has scored 11 goals in eight years with Caley, Stockport and Kidderminster, who becomes a bona fide Cup hero. Thanks for joining me. Cheerio! Related: Inverness 2-1 Falkirk | Scottish Cup final match report 5.03pm BST Speaking of St. JohnstoneWith apologies to Simon McMahon, one for mention for the Saints, who sneak into the Europa League as a result of Inverness’ win. John Hughes’ side also skip a round, and a couple of weeks’ well-earned holiday. 4.59pm BST So, despite a Herculean effort from Falkirk in the second half, Inverness recover from a red card and equaliser to snatch the spoils in an even, end-to-end contest, with Marley Watkins scoring one and crucially, if indirectly, setting up Jamie Vincent’s winner. For the second year running, there’s a brand new name on the Scottish Cup. Whoever said Scottish football was predictable? 4.55pm BST It’s finished Falkirk 1-2 Inverness, and the Highlanders have won the first major trophy in their history! 4.54pm BST 95 mins: A spell of head tennis that for both sets of fans, must have lasted an eternity. Eventually, painstakingly, Ryan Esson hauls the ball in. Surely time is up. 4.53pm BST 94 mins: Falkirk looking a little forlorn now, but Peter Houston makes a change, with Taylor Morgan on for Loy. Time for one more heave forward. 4.51pm BST 93 mins: Poor Watkins’ legs have finally gone, and he’s replaced by Nick Ross (not that one) for the last few minutes. They’ve ground their way through three minutes of the five added on – although most of that was while Watkins hobbled off. 4.49pm BST 90 mins: Alston’s effort hits a very solid Caley wall, before Leahy blazes the rebound over. Five minutes of stoppage time. What a Cup final! 4.47pm BST 89 mins: A free kick for Falkirk, as Loy is clumsily upended by Tansey. This is central, and about 18 inches outside the penalty area. Now or never. 4.46pm BST 88 mins: Goodness gracious. Falkirk had looked the only winners inside 90 minutes – but now, they’re back to searching for an equaliser. Maybe that’s more their thing. Two minutes of normal time to go. 4.44pm BST Who saw that coming? As Falkirk pile forward, Watkins breaks, and he shows plenty of nous to evade his marker despite his tired legs. His shot, placed wide of MacDonald, isn’t powerful enough – but MacDonald can only push it out, and sub Vincent, who had raced the length of the pitch, was first to the rebound to slot home! 4.43pm BST 85 mins: Vaulks threads the ball out wide, and Duffie, again bombing forward down the right, is miles ahead of marker Williams – but his first touch is edgy, and he’s closed down. 4.42pm BST 83 mins: Vaulks, practicing for that 30-yard stoppage time winner, has another go from distance – but his acrobatic effort deflects wide off his own team-mate. Falkirk still pressing. 4.40pm BST 81 mins: So, second-tier Falkirk, a man up and with the momentum, might just be favourites for this now, while Inverness have to somehow steady the ship.37,000 fans inside Hampden today – with average attendances for both these teams below the 5,000 mark, that’s a solid turnout. 4.39pm BST This has been coming for the last forty minutes, and from a free kick close to the byline, Alston puts in a teasing delivery – and centre-back Grant is on hand to thunk home a close-range header! 4.37pm BST 78 mins: Danny Williams is on for Doran, as John Hughes looks to shut up shop. For Falkirk, Taiwo picks up a booking. 4.36pm BST 76 mins: Inverness fans, hold onto your hats. Moments after Tremarco’s departure, Draper fails to control the ball on the edge of his own area, and the ball bobbles up and hits his arm. The referee, right behind him, shakes his head. It looked a handball, although perhaps just outside the area. 4.34pm BST .Falkirk clear, Alston breaks – and suddenly, there’s only Tremarco between him and the goalkeeper! Tremarco hauls him down – and Collum, who hasn’t shown a single yellow, has little option but to show a straight red! 4.32pm BST 73 mins: Greg Tansey is tripped in midfield, then takes an age to line up a free kick, before firing it into a cluster of defenders. Inverness playing for time. 4.31pm BST 71 mins: Falkirk continue to press, with Taiwo’s shot blocked away, before the lively Biabi fires a low shot wide of Esson’s far post. Vincent is on, but in place of Ryan Christie, rather than Watkins. 4.29pm BST 68 mins: Goalscorer Watkins’ afternoon could be about to come to an ignominious end – he went down after falling over the ball, and needed a couple of minutes’ treatment. Jamie Vincent is primed to come on for Caley, but Watkins will be given a few moments to recover first. 4.25pm BST 65 mins: Falkirk come right back at Caley, forcing two corners in quick succession. The second, whipped in by Sibbald, lands to Vaulks, who drifts away from his marker – and after a smart turn back onto his right, he lifts a chip inches over the bar! 4.23pm BST 63 mins: Inverness try to break, but Watkins has too much to do, all alone on the right flank. Eventually, a Falkirk foul gives Caley a chance from a set-piece. Tansey’s long ball is headed on by Ofere towards Meekings, but Falkirk clear, and Tansey is forced into what we’ll call a containing foul. 4.20pm BST 61 mins: This has been a terrific response from Falkirk. The game looked to only be going one way at half-time, but they’ve been dominant in the second half. They force a corner, but it comes to nothing, and Smith is replaced by Botti Biabi. 4.19pm BST 60 mins: Whistles abound as Duffie charges down the right wing, with Tremarco lying prone on the touchline. Caley can’t complain; they gave possession away with Tremarco already down. Duffie’s cross finds Alston, who really should do better from a central area, instead raising a leg to spoon the ball well over the bar. 4.17pm BST 58 mins: Loy, back from a lengthy injury, is tripped unceremoniously by Devine – but the referee, as he’s done all match, keeps the yellow card in his pocket. From the free kick, Falkirk are flagged offside. 65% possession for the Bairns since the break, and a long half hour or so for Caley to come. 4.14pm BST 55 mins: Inverness are a bag of nerves, trying and failing to clear the ball before it falls once more to Vaulks – but his shot from the edge of the area is deflected behind. From the corner, the statuesque Collum gets in the way of Leahy, and Caley break – but Watkins, incorrectly flagged offside, fires into the side netting. 4.13pm BST 53 mins: Falkirk are playing towards their own fans in the second half, and there’s plenty of noise behind Ryan Esson’s goal as Loy is brought down on the edge of the area. Ref Willie Collum is unmoved. 4.11pm BST 51 mins: Vaulks, playing at the base of midfield, has arguably been Falkirk’s biggest goal threat – and again, he flashes a low shot just wide. This from a player who began his Falkirk career playing for free, after being released by Workington. 4.09pm BST 49 mins: It’s not just in Inverness where a Caley Cup win would be celebrated; there will be moderate jigging in the streets of Perth too. A win for Inverness, who already made the Europa League by finishing third in the top flight, would open up a space for fourth-placed finishers, and last year’s Cup winners, St. Johnstone. 4.07pm BST 47 mins: A quiet start here, with Smith ending a Falkirk attack with a petulant lunge at Shinnie, but he avoids a booking. Gary Warren is pictured up in the stands – this is the second final he’s missed for the Highlanders through suspension. Once is unlucky, twice is careless. 4.04pm BST 45 minutes for Falkirk to save their, and indeed Aston Villa’s, cup dreams. They get us underway; no changes at half-time. 3.52pm BST So, Inverness are halfway there after edging the first half, with Marley Watkins getting the goal. More to follow, but for now, I’ll let the Inverness Caley Thistle official Twitter feed fill you in on the first half highlights: 3.48pm BST 45 mins: Falkirk have Peter Grant to thank for not being two goals, or indeed a man, down at the half – Doran is one on one with the centre-back, but Grant dispossesses with an expert sliding tackle. That’ll do for the first half. 3.46pm BST 43 mins: It’s always a joy to see a striker who has previously shown the first touch of a dry stone wall pull off a two-touch dribble round the keeper. Chapeau, Marley Watkins. The half, as you might expect, is drifting towards its conclusion. 3.45pm BST 41 mins: That’s the first time Falkirk have gone behind in the Scottish Cup this season. Not an ideal time for it to happen, and they look a little deflated. Here’s Simon McMahon with another solid stat:“Just considering if this Cup Final has the greatest disparity in the number of letters in the opposing teams names? Falkirk (7) and Inverness Caledonian Thistle (26). That’s how I roll.” 3.43pm BST 40 mins: So, after a spell when either side could have taken the lead, it’s Inverness who deservedly do so. Current standing and recent history suggest they’ve just gone a long way to claiming their first major trophy. But hey, this is the Cup, right? 3.41pm BST Watkins hasn’t had much of a first half – but he does the business here, waiting patiently for a Doran through ball that catches the Falkirk defence cold, before showing great composure to round McDonald and slot home. 3.39pm BST 35 mins: Falkirk, in all white with gold trim, do their best Real Madrid impression, as a lovely passing move sets Smith free on the left – but he assumes the Gareth Bale role, drilling the ball at Esson with team-mates available. 3.37pm BST 33 mins: Tansey lines up a central free-kick, and opts for a booming shot rather than a more conservative cross. It’s deflected wide, and the corner is worked to Shinnie, whose skittering shot is scrambled away. Central defender Danny Devine picks it up on the left, and fires another decent effort just over the bar. 3.36pm BST 3.35pm BST 31 mins: A silky midfield move sees Tansey, Draper and Ofere link up, before Tansey is dispossessed by Leahy. Shinnie gets the ball back, cuts inside, and sends a left foot shot about ten feet wide of the far post. Inverness beginning to boss things. 3.32pm BST 29 mins: Inverness respond in kind, with first Watkins, then Doran, guilty of shoddy first touches in presentable positions. Inverness fans, of course, responded to Falkirk’s erroneous celebrations with a round of ironic cheers. Why do people do this? Haven’t we all been there? 3.31pm BST 27 mins: Vaulks, who looks confident in having a go from distance, picks the ball up from a quick free-kick, then lashes a shot from thirty yards which arcs just wide, hitting the side netting and causing Falkirk fans at the other end to become fleetingly jubilant. Think Raheem Sterling against Italy in the World Cup. 3.30pm BST 26 mins: Tremarco, only in the team because of injuries and suspensions, has been a persistent nuisance down Falkirk’s left, and he delivers a peach of a pull back – but Watkins can’t get close to it. 3.28pm BST 24 mins: Falkirk struggling to make any in-roads on the Inverness goal, but they enjoy a spell of possession in the opposing half here, before Leahy’s cross, towards fellow full back Leahy, is cut out by Doran. 3.25pm BST 22 mins: The last time these teams played each other was back in 2009, when Falkirk beat Inverness to stay in the top flight, and send their opponents down. You want needle? We’ve got it – and Watkins has been more guilty than most, shoving McCracken over needlessly to concede a free kick. 3.24pm BST 21 mins: Inverness win a dangerous free kick, which Christie floats in from the right flank into just the right area – but McCracken is able to head away despite looking distinctly uncomfortable. The Premiership side still looking the more likely. 3.23pm BST 19 mins: Caley’s defence, lulled into a false sense of security by Falkirk’s quiet start, allow Vaulks plenty of space, and he drills a low near-post shot that Esson gathers smartly. 3.22pm BST 18 mins: Hampden is looking close to full, but there’s still enough nervous silence for John Hughes to be clearly audible, imploring his players in no uncertain terms to recover possession. They oblige, forcing Falkirk into conceding a goal kick. 3.19pm BST 16 mins: Ofore muscles Taiwo off the ball in midfield, then finds Doran out on the left. He drills in a tempting low cross, but Watkins is penalised for a foul on McCracken. 3.18pm BST 15 mins: 60% possession for Caley so far, but Falkirk have looked almost as likely when they’ve had the ball. Incidentally, the last ten Cup finals have been won by the first scorers – so a little defensive caution is understandable. 3.17pm BST 12 mins: Tremarco completely fails to control a long pass – then sees the ball richochet off the corner flag and back to him. He can’t take advantage of that slice of luck, and Falkirk win the ball back. 3.15pm BST 10 mins: That Watkins chance aside, an opening spell short on clear-cut chances, but with plenty of endeavour from both teams. Here’s Simon McMahon:“Aston Villa fans should be keeping a very close eye on this. Falkirk’s last cup win was indeed in 1957, the same year as Villa last won the FA Cup. But they also won it in 1913. No prizes for guessing who won the FA Cup that year too.” 3.12pm BST 8 mins: First chance of the match for Inverness, as Shinnie whips the ball in – and Watkins, playing as a lone striker, gets a faint touch but can’t control it – and the ball trickles wide! Watkins should have at least worked the keeper there, and settled some nerves in the process. 3.09pm BST 5 mins: It’s the second tier side that have had the better of it so far, although neither team have exactly roared out of the blocks. Loy comes wide and bangs in a cross, but in his absence, it sails harmlessly across the penalty area. 3.06pm BST 3 mins: Falkirk have a first spell of possession in Inverness territory, winning a series of throw-ins down by the corner flag. Tremarco goes in with a hefty, but fair challenge that leaves Vaulks winded. 3.04pm BST 1 min: Tremarco, playing at left back with Shinnie shifted to the right, gets an early chance to cross, but can’t pick out either Watkins or Ofere, Caley’s main threats going forward. Falkirk haven’t played a competitive game for four weeks, so they could be a tad rusty. 3.02pm BST Inverness are in blue, Falkirk in their all-white away kit. Cup final time! 2.59pm BST 2.51pm BST Falkirk’s Loy isn’t the only one making his farewell today – Inverness’s captain, Graeme Shinnie, is leaving for Aberdeen. Caley are also without influential central defender Gary Warren, who is suspended.Incidentally, Falkirk boss Peter Houston could add his own slice of history today – he could become just the third man, after Jock Stein and Alex Smith, to win the Cup with two different clubs. He won the final with Dundee United back in 2010. 2.42pm BST So Inverness defender Josh Meekings, he of the infamous semi-final handball, is in the team, but winning goal scorer David Raven misses out through injury. Falkirk’s semi-final hero, the talented young forward Craig Sibbald, is in the Bairns team, as is Rory Loy, returning from injury for what will be his final Falkirk appearance – he’s off to Dundee this summer, the lucky devil. 2.33pm BST Team news 2.27pm BST Hello. History will be made today, one way or another. Either Inverness Caledonian Thistle add a name to the trophy that’s new in every sense, having formed under a cloud twenty years ago, or Falkirk shatter a record that’s stood for much longer, by becoming the first lower-league Scottish Cup winners since 1938. The two teams have had contrasting runs to Hampden – Caley have knocked out three of their Premiership cohorts, most notably Celtic in a classic, controversial semi-final. Falkirk, meanwhile, negotiated a route free of top-flight opposition, before beating Hibernian 1-0 in their semi. Both teams have since played their vanquished foes in the league – Caley lost 5-0 to Celtic, Falkirk 3-0 to Hibs. 12.57pm BST Kick-off is at 3pm. Team news, build-up, tinfoil cups, and coaches pulling wearily into stadia to come beforehand. Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian