ARTHURLIE'S first Scottish Junior Cup final since 1998 ended in heartbreak as they let a one-goal lead slip to lose out to Darvel on Sunday.

Scott Anson nodded the Dunterlie Park side ahead in front over 3,500 supporters at Broadwood – 3,000 of which left the streets of Barrhead like a ghost town.

His 51st minute goal had the ‘Lie faithful daring to dream, but it was quickly cancelled out by Graham Wilson before he added another with just a few minutes to go to snatch the trophy.

The game started at a frantic pace with Colin Reilly’s side enjoying space down the wings as Connor Bolger found himself in behind on more than one occasion only to see his crosses defended, whilst at the other end Scott Walker had a strike held by Graham Black in the Arthurlie goal.

As the game went on, Arthurlie started to take control thanks to the likes of the experienced Mark Docherty and Scott Anson, whilst Jordan Leyden proved to be a cool head in the middle of the park.

Dylan Dykes was also capable of showing a bit of flair in the final third as he burst into the box but fired an outside of the foot effort over the bar from a tight angle on 26 minutes.

Reilly’s side continued to look and make the most of the width as Bolger had a dangerous crossed pushed away and Docherty picked out Anson with a cross but his headed looped just over the bar.

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After the break, you might have expected Darvel to tighten up and not allow Arthurlie to take control again quickly but that’s exactly what happened with only a couple of brave blocks keeping out Bryan Wharton’s efforts following a corner.

‘Lie were knocking on the door and finally got the breakthrough a little over 5 minutes into the second period when Docherty found Anson again, and this time the former Cambuslang Rangers man picked out the bottom corner with his header to send the Arthurlie support into dreamland.

The joy was short lived, however, with Darvel equalising just five minutes later when Wilson was well-placed to tap in at the back post after the ball was knocked back across goal.

The Barrhead outfit seemed content in allowing the Ayrshire side to enjoy possession and hit them on the break in devastating fashion, and it nearly paid off when Dykes beat Stephen Bronsky to a bouncing ball and strode forward but curled off target when he got into the final third.

Substitute Conor Bradley then done well on the right to get into the penalty area but his final effort was lacking as he blazed over before Dykes had another strike from the edge of the box following some neat play, but it was straight forward for Andy Leishman in the Darvel goal.

As both sides might have started to plan for the possibility of extra-time and potentially penalties, Arthurlie were hit with a sucker punch when a cross that was clipped in from the Darvel right was met by Wilson who headed into the net on 87 minutes.

The ‘Lie camp slumped to their knees in heartbreak, but there was one more chance when the action got under way when Dylan Fletcher turned well but when it came to the final effort his shot lacked accuracy and power.

The full-time whistle went a few minutes later as Arthurlie’s big-day out ended in heartbreak as Reilly looks to pick up his troops for bouncing back to the Premier Division at the first opportunity next season.