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Pulses race high as Staxigoe edge out islanders in thriller


By Matt Leslie


Staxigoe's Martin Banks jumps for joy after scoring the opening goal in their 4-3 Highland Amateur Cup win against Kirkwall Thorfinn. Team-mate Marc Coghill runs over to join in the celebration. Picture: James Gunn
Staxigoe's Martin Banks jumps for joy after scoring the opening goal in their 4-3 Highland Amateur Cup win against Kirkwall Thorfinn. Team-mate Marc Coghill runs over to join in the celebration. Picture: James Gunn

Staxigoe boss Andrew Banks felt his blood pressure go through the roof as his side squeezed into the last eight of the Highland Amateur Cup following a seven-goal thriller at Upper Bignold.

Goals from Martin Banks, Hasheem Bremner, Colin Davidson and Chris Green sealed the victory over Kirkwall Thorfinn. But while Staxigoe's forward play was hitting the heights, their defence was digging a hole.

Silly mistakes kept allowing their Orkney visitors back in with Greg Mulraine, Graham Shearer and Andrew Mulraine cashing in for Thorfinn.

Thankfully for Banks, Staxigoe's superior firepower made the difference in the end – although he could have done without his back four and goalie setting his pulse-rate off the scale.

He said: "We deserved to win, but we didn't half make life difficult for ourselves.

"We scored four very good goals but let in three bad ones. It was enough to make you want to tear your hair out at times.

"Our first one was well worked which ended in Chrissy [Green] playing Martin [Banks] in with a superb ball which he finished into the roof of the net.

"Then Gary Coghill made an error in defence to allow Kirkwall back in for an equaliser.

"Hasheem fired in a brilliant long-ranger with the outside of his right boot but once again we failed to clear our lines from a corner and conceded another equaliser.

"Colin made it 3-2 to us and you think that finally we're getting a hold of this game. However, our goalkeeper, Ryan Robertson, went for a cross and instead of catching it, the ball hit off his arms and dropped to one of the opposition players who made it 3-3.

Staxigoe United's Darren Sheppard wins a header in the tense victory over Kirkwall Thorfinn. Picture: James Gunn
Staxigoe United's Darren Sheppard wins a header in the tense victory over Kirkwall Thorfinn. Picture: James Gunn

"Chrissy banged in a fourth but then there was 10 minutes of injury time where we had to defend corner after corner.

"Given how we had been defending throughout the game, we were fearing the worst with each corner but we managed to hold on."

Regardless of how they won, the fact remains that Staxigoe are in the quarter-finals where they will now meet Shetland side Whitedale.

Many had expected Banks's men to be facing last year's runners-up, Lerwick Spurs. However, their fellow islanders pulled off a surprise 1-0 victory.

Banks added: "The Whitedale result was a surprise as I believe Lerwick had beaten them quite easily in their league recently.

"Shetland teams are usually strong sides and as I know the Lerwick goalkeeper, I'll be giving him a call to give me the lowdown on Whitedale."

The quarter-final will be played at Sir George’s Park, Thurso.

Hasheem Bremner fires the ball over the Kirkwall Thorfinn defence and into the net for his side's second goal. Picture: James Gunn
Hasheem Bremner fires the ball over the Kirkwall Thorfinn defence and into the net for his side's second goal. Picture: James Gunn


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