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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 November 2006, 19:42 GMT
Ross County 1-1 Clyde (aet)
Ross County boss Scott Leitch displays the Challenge Cup
Ross County boss Scott Leitch displays the Challenge Cup
Ross County won the Challenge Cup 5-4 on penalties in an exciting game at McDiarmid Park.

Clyde dominated for long spells and Roddy Hunter opened the scoring two minutes before the interval.

The Highlanders hit back with 10 minutes remaining through defender Andy Dowie and the Bully Wee's Eddie Malone was sent off in extra time.

Penalties ensued and Jason Crooks kept his nerve to slot home the winner after Neil McGregor missed for Clyde.

Craig Samson was the hero for County after his double penalty save gave the Stags a dream victory.

The former Dundee United and St Johnstone goalkeeper blocked efforts from both McGregor and Chris Higgins, leaving substitute Crooks to score the final spot kick to give the club their first-ever cup win.

The game could have been so different for Samson as he almost gifted Clyde the opening goal after only 14 minutes, fumbling Alex Keddie's headed pass-back into the path of striker Andy Ferguson, but the former Scotland Under-21 international eventually grasped the ball.

That moment did nothing to settle his nerves and he blundered again 60 seconds later, mis-kicking a clearance into Ferguson's path.

The ex-Dundee striker intelligently lifted the ball back over the keeper's head but Samson once again made a desperate catch.

Although County had much of the play they lacked penetration apart from when a moment of inspiration from Amick Ciani put Michael Gardyne through on goal but the on-loan Celtic youngster mis-read the weight of the pass.

Clyde thought they had scored the opener four minutes before half-time when Samson knocked a Eddie Malone corner into the path of Neil McGregor but a combination of the goalkeeper and Dowie's body kept the ball out.

But the Bully Wee did not have long to wait to take the lead as within 60 seconds they found the net.

Hunter, who had gone narrowly wide with a lob earlier in the game, expertly steered Ryan McCann's cross home on the half-volley after he was left unmarked 18 yards out.

Ciani went close for County in the 64th minute after turning past McGregor on the edge of the area but he fired his shot high over the crossbar.

Clyde sat back for most of the second half and were caught out when Dowie bulleted home Don Cowie's free-kick from six yards.

Both sides had chances in extra time, Eddie Malone also red carded for Clyde for two bookable offences in the 92nd minute, but it took penalties and heroics from Samson to win the cup for County.


Ross County: Samson, Gary Irvine, McKinlay, Dowie, Keddie, Gardyn, Adams, Cowie (Robertson 102), Scott (Anderson 117), Caimi (Crooks 115), Gunn. Subs Not Used: McCulloch, Malin.

Booked: Caimi, Scott, Dowie.

Goal: Dowie 80.

Clyde: Hutton, McKeown, McGregor, Higgins, Bryson, Ryan McCann, McHale, O'Donnell, Malone, Hunter (McKenna 78), Ferguson (Bradley 78). Subs Not Used: Harris, Miller, Cherrie.

Sent Off: Malone (93).

Booked: O'Donnell, Malone, Ryan McCann, Higgins, McGregor.

Goal: Hunter 43.

Ross County win 5-4 on penalties

Att: 4,062

Ref: C Thomson



SEE ALSO
Clyde match reaction.
09 Nov 06 |  Scottish Cups
Ross County match reaction
09 Nov 06 |  Scottish Cups


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