5th June 2014
By Gary Henderson
On Sunday November 23rd at Toryglen Sports Centre history was made as EK Milan thrilled the supporters by battling back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Cowlairs on penalties. Here we detail the fallout as we get all the news and reaction to a famous victory.
Monday 24th November 14:00
East Kilbride Pirates star and sometime Milan left back, on the pitch not in the dressing room, Gordon Wallace reflected on whether Milan can overcome the odds one more time “We have scalped the top team in the league set up so there is no reason the mighty Milan should fear anyone in the final”. With a new squad at the beginning of this season there was a real risk of teething problems as the team gelled, did Gordon think the team was firing on all cylinders? “Everyone, on and off the pitch has been putting in 100% so far in this cup run, definitely 100%, honestly. But we know the task is not finished and I know all the boys are looking forward to stepping it up another level on the big day."
Monday 24th November 16:00
Liam Hickey was reached earlier this afternoon to discuss the part he played in this famous cup run. The young wing back remarked that this had been “a hell of a cup run”. Given that Milan had played almost every tie as the underdog did Liam think they were lucky to get to the final on December 14th? “All the boys have had a big part to play and we thoroughly deserve out place in the final! EKMTID”.
Monday 24th November 17:30
Catching up with injured club captain Mark Spalding we asked for his thoughts on what promises to be a memorable occasion on December 14th “I’m elated for the boys to have taken us to the final”. Spalding recently discovered a groin injury will keep him out of action until mid-February and he reflected on his bitter disappointment at not being able to play his part in the final “I’ve never felt happiness and devastation so intensely, not since the time I left that ski mousse in the fridge for too long and it went off, but I’ll definitely be on the sidelines cheering the boys on.” Asked about the squad and what it was capable of Spalding pulled no punches “We have the quality and depth within the squad to lift the trophy, even without the captain.” Glad to see he’s taking it well.
Monday 24th November 18:15
Milan utility player Michael Burt played a part in the semi having recently returned from injury. We caught up with him and asked him about playing in such an historic match “It was a fantastic all round performance by every player on the park.” Given the importance of the game, did the occasion affect anyone? “Everyone upped their game and the result showed that. The atmosphere was electric on the sidelines and I’d like to thank the ultras for spurring the team on, they really are the 12th man.”
Monday 24th November 22:00
Chris Wright managed to get himself on the scoresheet up that Toryglen during the semi final and we caught up with him after his shift this evening. When asked about the game Wright told us "It was dramatic to say the least! The team showed great determination and discipline throughout the game." Many players have remarked on the strength the squad has in its depth and Wright was no different "It was a complete squad effort as players went down with injuries those who replaced them turned in excellent performances." Going 3-1 down to the top team in the entire league set up must have been daunting task but Milan were prepared for it "The attitude shown to come back from 3-1 down was unbelievable and we've beaten the favourites for the trophy. There is no reason we can't win it all now if we play with the same commitment as we did against Cowlairs."
@EKMilan stay calm and get in there good luck brothers— The New Saints FC (@tnsfc) November 25, 2014
@EKMilan give it plenty be focused determined and play with freedom enjoy the day— Ray Houghton (@RayHoughton8) November 25, 2014
Tuesday 25th November 14:00
Big Dougie Centre Back was reached by carrier pigeon earlier this afternoon and told us "I'm still buzzing after the game, a true David vs Goliath match which seen us emerge triumphant". Dougie briefly took the captains armband during the game after Spalding couldn't start and Craig Scott and Liam Hickey had went off injured, did this inspire him to a stronger performance? "Proud to be trusted with the armband after Liam's unfortunate coming together with the fence." Putting away a penalty in the shootout must have felt good but Dougie didn't feel the nerves "Once it went to penalty kicks there was no way I wasn't taking one, I wanted to lead by example".
Tuesday 25th November 18:00
A statement has been released by Assistant Manager Shaun Vallance:
"I can’t believe we’ve actually battled our way into the final"
"Good communication from the warriors on the pitch as a result of good tactics from the management off it. We’ve really clicked with the boys throughout the season and they listen to what we say. Unless its pick up the bags, someone go get that baw or can somebody fill up the water."
"As the underdogs throughout the cup run I think we can safely say we now belong here in the final and no team can take that from us. We've showed we’ll happily take scalps off the big boys in the league to get to where we’re going."
"I ran from the centre circle to the 18 yard box in skinny (tight) jeans and a huge parka with a hangover (I hope that’s all noted for the total distance covered over the season btw). Once Danny decided he didn't like cuddles and done the off I had to stop for a breath of air before my heart went into cardiac arrest due to the unconditional love for Milan and the 23 yard sprint."
"I hope to see everyone there on the 14th with their flags and scarfs cheering on the boys up that Toryglen, if you’re lucky you might even see a wee 10 minute cameo from yer auld da"
Cow aids for cattles!"
@EKMilan very happy for your team...the best for match— fabian caballero (@Tyson_caballero) November 25, 2014
Wednesday 26th November 14:30
We asked Milan striker Gary Noble how we felt after the match "I am so delighted, it was a great match for us. We did well to show our depth after losing a few players to injuries"
Did he feel any nerves when the match went to the ultimate lottery the penalty shootout? "Anyone can win when the game goes to penalties but Danny the Monk done brilliantly for us, even if he did take all the glory from me."
@EKMilan all the best boys. Have a great game!— Juan Manuel Sara (@juanmanuelsara) November 25, 2014
Wednesday 26th November 16:45
Gregor Brown has played a vital role in the Milan attack this season and we got his thought after the game on Sunday "I was slightly worried about the injury list going into the game but having a full squad on the day raring to go was brilliant"
Do the Milan players have a pre game ritual? Something to get the guys ready for the match? "When we were in the dressing room we had the Gary mcf tunes blaring to calm nerves. Hearing that I felt a good vibe about the team."
Milan seemed to start the brighter of the sides "We were applying constant pressure and it led us to spring an early shock as Chrissy Wright opened the scoring for us"
Going behind against a team who have not lost a game all season in the top division must have been difficult "We found ourselves down 3-1 down with 20 minutes to go but that was certainly not what our performance deserved"
Turning the match around was perhaps The Boglins finest hour but what turned the tide at Toryglen? "Without question it was the ultras, they were in great voice singing all the songbook. Then Chrissy Wright scored a 40 yard volley and that really gave us hope"
Was Gregor nervous when the match went to penalties? "After it went to penalties I could see our boys were confident and Danny the monk sealed our fate in the end."
Looking ahead to the final how does Gregor feel? "Still buzzing, I really hope we take the momentum into final and win it, not just for the players but for everyone involved with EK Milan."
Good luck to @EKMilan in their first ever cup final in their first ever season.— Amateur Footy Forum (@Scottish_AFF) November 26, 2014
Wednesday 26th November 20:15
Milan favourite Andrew Mackenzie finally got in touch with us to give us his thoughts. In typical Mackenzie style he replied about 3 days after everyone else, seemingly too busy watching the TV Series 24.
The squad has had praise heaped upon it from all quarters lately, do you have anything to add "The boys were solid and looked more aggressive and determined to win game and I felt that shone through."
The comeback was spectacular, what was it like being part of it? "Even at 3-1 down I had no fear, Chris Wright's fantastic double and a Chambers tap in (Which I still haven;t had a thank you for) got us back in the game."
Like most of the squad there was air of confidence when the game reached penalties "I could see the confidence within the boys when the game went to penalties, in the end Danny was the hero in goals"
Mackenzie weighed in on his feeling as a member of the team "All in all what a team to play for I wouldn't swap it for any other but I'm here to win trophies and I hope we can make that dream come true on December 14th."
Wednesday 26th November 22:30
Paisley Powerhouse David Chambers finally answered his phone and delivered his response to such a famous victory "I'm absolutely ecstatic about the win, it meant so much to us and I think it showed we just wanted the win more than Cowlairs."
Like many of the players Chambers was raving about the spirit of the team to come back from 3-1 down "It really showed the strength of the squad, I started on the bench but to come on and get the equalizing goal was amazing."
Chambers was his usual modest self though and credited his goal to Boglins winger Andrew Mackenzie "To be honest all credit goes to Mackenzie, he laid it on a plate for me and I always finish my dinner!"
Chambers has been in fine goal scoring form this year and he elaborated on why that was "I just seem to find myself in the right place at the right time and I hope I find myself holding that trophy at Toryglen on December 14th."