FORFAR Farmington are through to the Scottish Cup final after defeating Hamilton Academicals in last week’s semi clash.
A rain lashed Ravenscraig was the venue for Forfar Farmington’s first senior Scottish Cup semi-final, with Glasgow City and Hibernian enjoying the comparative serenity of the indoor surface.
Farmington were out of the blocks quickly and forced a corner within the first minute. However, Hamilton quickly launched an attack of their own in reply through Cheryl McCulloch but Rachael Small did enough to derail the move.
Accies ‘keeper Elaine Fleming did well to claim the ball in a goalmouth melee in the fifth minute, and Aimee Godfrey shot just wide from a Fay McDonald cross two minutes later.
Fleming was quickly down to cut out a Godfrey cutback soon after as Farmington looked to gain reward for their early pressure. Accies were a constant danger when breaking from defence, and Cat Fitzsimmons did well to take a 19th minute cross in deteriorating weather conditions.
In a chance filled minute Kelly Clark nodded wide from Julia Scott’s cross, Nicky Grant couldn’t divert a rebound goalwards and Godfrey’s header flew across face of the goal.
The half hour mark saw Carolina Richardson cause all sorts of trouble for the Farmington rearguard, the powerful striker’s eventual shot whizzing just wide of target.
Farmington conceded a free kick three minutes later in a dangerous position, and had goalkeeper Fitzsimmons to thank for keeping the tie level.
Richardson’s blistering dead ball strike saw the American shot stopper at full stretch to push the ball around the post. Accies were creating more chances as the game approached half time, with McCulloch unlucky not to find the target. Clark headed just wide from another Farmington corner and on the stroke of half-time Rachael Small could only watch as her shot from a wide position kissed the face of Fleming’s cross bar and rebounded clear.
In a similar vein to the first half, Farmington were able to force an early corner in the second period but on this occasion Julia Scott’s delivery found Lucy GRAHAM who glanced the ball past Fleming to put Farmington in the lead.
Accies looked to respond quickly but Richardson’s cross eluded Sarah Crilly and Clare Gemmill. Both goalkeepers continued to earn their keep with Fleming tipping Graham’s shot away from danger and Fitzsimmons saving from Crilly. Hamilton pulled the game level in spectacular fashion when, in the 73rd minute, GEMMELL cracked home a tremendous strike leaving Fitzsimmons with no chance.
The game continued to flow from end to end, with neither side willing to accept that extra-time was a certainty. Abbi Grant fired across goal and Nicky Grant could have secured the tie right at the death but Accies’ Donnelly did enough to knock the ball away from the Farmington striker. If Grant was disappointed with having a chance to win the match scorned, she certainly acted quickly to make amends.
With all of 20 seconds on the clock after the start of the first period of extra time the ball was in the back of the Accies net. Straight from kick off GRANT steamed up the Accies’ left wing and drew Fleming before slotting the ball home from the acutest of angles. Small had to look lively to deny Richardson as Hamilton unsurprisingly launched waves of attack to find an equaliser.
The second period of extra time saw both sides deploy their full quota of substitutes as legs began to tire.
However, to their credit, both teams maintained a high tempo right to a final whistle which signalled Farmington’s advancement to their first senior Scottish Cup final.