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Football: NOW IT'S CRAIK EXPECTATIONS; TAYPORT1 MARYHILL0.

Byline: GORDON PARKS

NOW IT'S CRAIK EXPECTATIONS

TERRIFIC Tayport booked their place in the OVD Scottish Junior Cup Final last night with the narrowest of victories at Broadwood.

A Brian Craig goal in the first half took them through to play Bo'ness or Linlithgow on June 1.

Dave Baikie's side produced the first threatening attack when Alan Ramsay's cross from the right allowed Ross Gunion a glimpse of goal but he fired over from 15 yards.

Maryhill skipper Andy McClay provided a delightful through ball, which released Gordon Young, and the former Stranraer hitman raced down the flank to fire in a low cross that was beaten out well by Fraser Fitzpatrick.

The Glasgow side suffered a scare in the 15th minute when Stephen Miller went down holding an ankle but he managed to resume after lengthy treatment.

It was Tayport who broke the deadlock in the 18th minute.

Steven Stewart took a flick-on from John Ward and made progress down the right. After jinking past Paul Watson, he cut the ball back for Craik who slammed it in from six yards.

Neil Watt's side suffered another setback shorly after that when Miller's injury forced him off. Paul Quinn took his place.

Ward and Roberto Morris at the heart of the Tayport defence were going to take a bit of beating.

As the first half drew to a close, it requird a magnificent point-blank save from ex-Celtic keeper Andy McCondichie to save his side from going two down.

Brian McNaught set up Gareth Dailly whose fierce shot looked a winner but the keeper kept the ball out with an astonishing reflex stop.

Maryhill introduced John Tinney from the restart at the expense of Chris Cruickshank in an attempt to add more attacking impetus.

A Dailly cross caused panic in the Maryhill defence but McNaughton failed to connect.

The frustration of the Glasgow side grew more evident and with half-an- hour remaining Murray was booked.

An outstanding piece of defensive work by Scott Peters saved Tayport, his sliding tackle denying McClay as he was about to pull the trigger.

A McClay pass should have brought the equaliser in the 64th minute but Brian Smith could only spoon his drive wide from 18 yards with only Fitzpatrick to beat.

With 17 minutes remaining, Dailly could have wrapped up the contest when Stewart's cross found him in space but he laboured over his shot and the chance was gone.

Maryhill fought to the end but they just couldn't get the goal that would force extra time.

MARYHILL - McConachie, Miller, Watson, Smith, Campbell, McAllister, Murray, McClay, Young, Cruickshank. Subs: McCusker, Tinney, Turnbull, Quinn, Black.

TAYPORT - Fitzpatrick, Peters, Ward, Craik, Ramsay, Stewart, Hunter, Morris, McNaughton, Dailly, Gunion. Subs: Paterson, Scott, Mitchell, Buist.

Referee - William Collum.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 5, 2003
Words:460
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