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Around The Uk

Tuesday, 26 September, 2000, 23:02 GMT 00:02 UK
Livingston 2-1 East Stirlingshire
Livingston are celebrating reaching their first final
Livingston are celebrating reaching their first final
David Bingham proved to be Livingston's penalty king for the second game in a row as his club took their place in their first-ever national final.

The First Division leaders had gone into the Challenge Cup semi-final strong favourites to prevent East Stirlingshire creating an identical piece of history for their club.

Yet George Fairley's Third Division outfit threatened to surpass their earlier upsets against Morton and Stenhousemuir.

Full-back Paddy Kelly was still injured for Livingston and central defender Graeme Coughlan's red card at Airdrie on Saturday meant that he was suspended.

Drawn away

Shire welcomed back Steven Stewart after he missed Saturday's game to attend a wedding, but striker Andy Scott was still ruled out with a calf injury.

Fairley's men also had the disadvantage of being drawn away, but they took the lead when Gregor McKechnie netted from close range after only four minutes.

Jim Leishman's side were on top
Jim Leishman's side were on top
Jim Leishman's side, though, settled to their task and were unlucky not to equalise when midfielder Jamie Dolan hit the post when clean through on goalkeeper Jim Butter.

Tthe leveller finally came in the 21st minute after Butter and defender Gordon Russell combined to bring down forward Barry Wilson in the box.

Bingham, who also scored from the spot in the league victory over Airdrie, converted the resulting penalty.

Having dominated from there on in, Livingston got the winner a minute before the break, when defender John Anderson headed in a cross from full-back Derek Fleming.

Saved brilliantly

Scott Crabbe had chances to extend the lead, but Butter saved brilliantly on two occasions and another former Falkirk striker, Marino Keith, came close with a header from 16 yards.

However, those two first-half goals were enough to keep the favourites for the tournament for clubs outwith the Premier League on course for lifting the Challenge Cup.

In the final, they face a repeat of Saturday's First Division match, which Leishman's side won 2-1, against Airdrieonians.

Livingston: Alexander, Hart, Anderson, Deas, Fleming, Dolan, Wilson, Bingham, McCulloch, Crabbe, Keith.

Subs: Britton, Hagen, McManus, McPhee, McCaldon.

East Stirlingshire: Butter, Quinn, Russell, D. Todd, Hall., Lynes, Stewart, Higgins, Tortolano, Hislop, McKechnie.

Subs: McPherson, Carlow, B. Ferguson, McKenzie, C. Todd.

Referee: M McCurry.

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See also:

26 Sep 00 |  Scotland
Stranraer 2-4 Airdrieonians
25 Sep 00 |  Scotland
Stranraer v Airdrieonians preview
23 Sep 00 |  Scot Div 3
East Stirlingshire 1-1 Albion Rovers
23 Sep 00 |  Scot Div 1
Airdrieonians 1-2 Livingston
13 Sep 00 |  Scotland
Livingston 3-1 Brechin City
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