After a heroic effort to draw 1-1 with Darvel with only 10 recognised players available, Thorniewood United lost 5-3 on penalties in Saturday's West of Scotland Cup tie at Robertson Park, writes Stuart Clelland.
Forced to field assistant manager Stewart Easton and with no substitutes on the bench this was always going to be a tough ask for the Viewpark side.
However 'Wood seemed to embrace the challenge and after a fairly up tempo start took a 20th minute lead with visiting keeper David Markey making a double save from Stefan Law and United debutant Ross McKinstry only for the unfortunate Alan Moodie to put into his own net.
Darvel retaliated with a very decent effort moments later when centre forward Jordan Ryan flashed a well struck drive over from 16 yards.
The visitors then received a piece of good fortune when midfielder Fraser Gall was shown a yellow when clearly raising his hands to Easton.
Darren Bowie then had a chance from a cross in the 28th minute before Derek Barnes dealt comfortably with a long range Kenny Parris effort to end an entertaining first half.
Thorniewood passed up a great opportunity in the 49th minute when Law sent Keigan Parker through but the normally reliable frontman could only fire off the legs of Markey who to his credit did well.
Darvel replied with a Murray Johnston shot going over before Gall scooped a real chance wide when inside the six yard box.
Only great defending by new 'Wood signing Graeme Gallacher prevented a certain goal in the 63rd minute when knocking behind a superb Ryan cross.
Unfortunately in the next attack Ryan again found time and space on the left to cross for the unmarked Johnston to head into the bottom corner.
Sensing victory Johnston then evaded two United challenges before forcing Barnes to save at the foot of his post.
Thorniewood's veteran keeper then produced a superb double save in the 69th minute to keep his side in the contest.
Having weathered a good period of Darvel pressure Wood then began to create one or two opportunities the first of these in the 72nd minute when Parker getting to the byline couldn't pick out any takers with the loose ball being blazed over by Craig Forbes.
In the 77th minute when McKinstry did well latching onto a defensive slip but chose to pass when a shot looked the more obvious option.
In the 83rd minute Darren Bowie showed excellent ability when manufacturing an angle, only to see his sweetly struck effort tipped over by Markey.
An injury time Darvel break from a United throw ended with Jamie Henderson launching a shot wildly over before his side recorded a hard fought 5v3 win in the penalty shoot out.
Although under strength due to players being cup tied, Thorniewood manager Gerry Bonham can justly be proud of the performance his side gave against the 1/6 favourites for the Ayrshire District league.
This along with the visitors going to the bench on three occasions whilst United couldn't even once was testimony to the performance 'Wood had given.
Thorniewood United: Barnes, Watson, Sinclair, Jackson, Gallacher, Forbes, Parker, Law, Easton, McKinstry, Bowie.