Irn Bru Challenge Cup R1

East Kilbride FC - 1

Spartans - 1
(East Kilbride win 5-4 on penalties)

East Kilbride will be in the hat for the Round 2 Irn Bru Challenge draw on Thursday, after defeating Spartans on penalty kicks on Wednesday night.

An early Cennarazzo goal gave Spartans a solitary half-time advantage, before Ross McNeil equalised for Kilby.

The teams could not be separated after 90 minutes, and it was straight to penalties.  EK were successful with every 12-yard strike, with Matt McGinley saving from former Kilby-man Jack Smith in the decisive moment of the shoot-out, and BJ Coll netting the winning kick.

The visitors took the game to EK from the start and led after just 3 minutes, when Bremner beat the offside trap to square the ball to Cennarazzo, who rolled home from close range.

Kilby enjoyed much possession, but could not muster much in the way of chances against the typically well organised men from the East, who took a 1-0 advantage into the break.

EK started the second half in more determined fashion, but it was Spartans who came closest to doubling the lead on 55 minutes, but the always impressive Adam Corbett headed just wide.

The visitors would pay for the miss, when Kilby equalised on the hour, Ross McNeil reacting first after Brady's corner was not cleared, and the striker poked home from 6-yards to level.

EK thought they had taken the lead in similar circumstances mid-way through the second period when Malcolm flicked towards goal after a Liam Craig corner, but despite screams from the home crowd that it had crossed the line, the officials were having none of it, and parity ensued.

A frantic closing to the game saw Blair Carswell in the away goal pull off an incredible save to tip over a Sean Winter header, and Blair Atkinson had a great chance to win it at the other end, but fired wide when one on one with McGinley.

No further goals could be found, and the final whistle sent the tie straight to penalties.

Winter, Malcolm, Longworth and Reid all made no mistake from the spot, and Matt McGinley was the EK hero, diving low to his right to save from Jack Smith.

BJ Coll then had the chance to win it for Kilby, sealing a man-of-the-match performance, sending Carswell the wrong way, and it is East Kilbride who will look forward to Thursday's draw.

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