THORNIEWOOD United sensationally triumphed in a dramatic Euroscot Eng Central League Cup Final clash against Blantyre Vics.

In years to come, the history books will show Andy Frame’s men triumphed 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out following a 2-2 regulation time stalemate.

But what they will not record is the outstandingly brave and defiant performance by The Wood, who played with 10 men for 65 minutes, nine for the closing 20, and then being reduced to eight during the shoot-out itself.

A night of unbelievable Newlandsfield drama kicked off with Thorniewood, thanks in no small part to the midfield promptings of Airdrie-bound midfielder Stefan Law, showing up well in the opening exchanges, however all their good work was undone as Blantyre moved 1-0 ahead with just 10 minutes on the clock.

Full-back Andy Sinclair picked the ball up on the left and stepped inside opponent Craig Forbes before firing a low shot that found the far corner of the net, helped by the ball bouncing in front of diving goalkeeper Matt Creechan.

The teenage shot-stopper’s night went from bad to worse shortly afterwards when his dash from goal to try and intercept a short passback by Forbes saw him upend Vics striker Craig Smith outside the box and leave whistler David Munro with little alternative other than to brandish his first red card of the night.

Any thoughts of Blantyre going on to boss this affair were soon dispelled when 10-man Thorniewood’s next sortie upfield led to them winning a penalty kick after Pollok signing target Chris Lennon went down under a robust Bryan McLaughlin challenge that allowed Lennon to expertly level matters from the spot.

Thorniewood’s experienced replacement No.1 Chris Fitzpatrick was soon in action to sensationally tip over a net-bound Smith shot, however he was helpless to prevent Blantyre regaining the advantage on the stroke of half-time.

A lightning break upfield saw Smith release Fraser Malcolm down the left side and he had the presence of mind to square the ball across goal to an unmarked David Galt, who showed nerves of steel in coolly stepping past the keeper to clip home a low shot for 2-1.

Fitzpatrick being forced into a terrific diving save to keep out a net-bound Malcolm shot on the resumption gave rise to feelings of Thorniewood coming under a Vics bombardment, but they pluckily continued to hold their own and were rewarded with another spot-kick after Stephen Mullen was felled by a crunching tackle by Vics skipper Terry Hewitt.

Lennon gave another masterclass in penalty taking to make it 2-2, but even the most diehard Wood fans must have feared the worst when captain Charlie Grant recklessly flew into a challenge on Vics substitute Graeme Watson that sparked an ugly melee between both sets of players before Mr Munro dismissed the former Celtic signing and, for good measure, yellow-carded his team-mate Alan Fleming.

Team boss Frame admitted: "I thought we were done for at that point, but the players were nothing short of magnificent over the closing stages and looked just as likely as Blantyre Vics to score even though they had two extra men.

“The longer the game went the stronger we became, and it was only fitting that Stefan – arguably the game’s outstanding player – scored our winning kick to provide himself with the perfect send-off before stepping up Senior.

“The hard work starts now in building upon this victory and regaining our place in the Super First Division.”

Lennon netted his third spot-kick of the night in the shoot-out as did Kieran McIntyre and substitute Dom Green, whose celebratory gesticulations, incurred the referee’s wrath and led to a third red card for Thorniewood – four, with assistant manager JP McBride being banished from the dug-out.

Mark Thomson, Brian Caldwell and Davie Kirkwood netted their kicks for the Vics, setting the stage for Law to seal a momentous trophy win for the ailing Lanarkshire outfit.

Losing gaffer David Greig revealed: “I worried that our legs had gone during the first half and my fears were realised after the break, but that’s not intended to take anything away from Thorniewood.

“People are saying it’s still a fantastic achievement to make it into three cup finals in the one season, but right now it doesn’t feel like it.”