Darvel produced arguably the biggest upset in 149 years of Scottish Cup history as the sixth-tier outfit defeated top-flight Aberdeen.
Jordan Kirkpatrick’s first-half shot on the spin at Recreation Park deflected past Joe Lewis to put Darvel on course for a last-16 home tie with Falkirk.
Chris Truesdale made three great close-range saves from Aberdeen forwards Ryan Duncan and Luis Lopes.
But, remarkably, the West of Scotland Premier Division leaders held on.
The embarrassing exit – Aberdeen’s seventh defeat in nine games – piles further pressure on Pittodrie manager Jim Goodwin.
Aberdeen forward Duncan – starting in place of top scorer Bojan Miovski – was involved in four attacks in the first seven minutes, letting Darvel defender Chris McGowan know he would be in for a busy evening.
Lopes received Duncan’s cross on the penalty spot but his effort on the turn was blocked, then the 19-year-old attacker hit a shot into the side-netting, won a corner with Aberdeen’s next attack and curled an effort wide.
Darvel soon settled, though, thanks to Craig Truesdale changing the momentum. He registered The Vale’s first shot on target, a low drive gathered comfortably by Lewis and soon after hit a 25-yard piledriver slightly off target.
Truesdale’s next contribution was telling. He weighted a lovely cross to the back post that Hayden Coulson headed only partially clear. Willie Robertson quickly played in Kirkpatrick who spun and cracked a low shot into the net to send the home fans in the 3,500 crowd wild.
Darvel had seen off Haddington Athletic, Tynecastle, Dalbeattie Star and Montrose in earlier rounds. The way they began to knock the ball around after the shock opening goal suggested they believed they could add the scalp of the seven-time winners.
Aberdeen’s response to that surge in confidence was limited. Ylber Ramadani rattled a shot that contained more anger than accuracy, and skipper Anthony Stewart nodded a free-kick over Truesdale’s crossbar.
Aberdeen manager Goodwin looked haunted as he headed to the changing room at half-time.
He sent on Miovski and Vicente Besuijen for Patrik Myslovic and Matty Kennedy for the second half to try to effect a turnaround in his side’s fortunes and possibly save his job.
Besuijen cracked an effort from 22 yards that Truesdale was happy to see sail over and at the other end Lewis stood his ground to save Ian McShane’s long-range drive.
Aberdeen began to dominate and when Lopes ran down the left wing and his cross was met by Duncan, an equaliser looked certain. Not so. Truesdale dropped to his left to make a tremendous save.
Jonny Hayes came on for Coulson and with 18 minutes to go the Irish winger supplied Lopes. The Cape Verde international connected well but, as with the Duncan attempt, somehow Truesdale parried clear.
To the growing queasiness of the Aberdeen fans, Truesdale made another brave save from Lopes, again from a few yards out, and he was the equal of the Dons winger’s looping header as the clock moved towards 90 minutes and Darvel held on for a famous victory.
Player of the match – Craig Truesdale
What they said
Darvel manager Mick Kennedy: “I believed in the guys all week. It’s about togetherness and love and respect. We’ve been driving that home all week.
“We probably deserved going in front. We had to show our togetherness. The community has been unbelievable. From the first day I came here I told the board we are going to build something special.”
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin: “I don’t want to talk about how bad my team’s performance was, I want to congratulate Darvel.
“I thought they were excellent on the night, got their noses in front and defended for their lives. They thoroughly deserved their victory.”
- 18McGowanBooked at 22mins
- 15RobertsonSubstituted forStirlingat 62′minutes
- 19TruesdaleBooked at 32mins
- 20CaldwellSubstituted forReillyat 74′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 10KirkpatrickBooked at 49minsSubstituted forFergusonat 69′minutes
- 9MacKenzieSubstituted forMooreat 73′minutes
- 4ScalesBooked at 90mins
- 33KennedySubstituted forBesuijenat 45′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 14MyslovicSubstituted forMiovskiat 45′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 23DuncanSubstituted forRobertsat 80′minutes
- 22CoulsonSubstituted forHayesat 65′minutes
- 20ClarksonBooked at 42mins
- 11de Barros Lopes
Match ends, Darvel 1, Aberdeen 0.
Second Half ends, Darvel 1, Aberdeen 0.
Corner, Darvel. Conceded by Anthony Stewart.
Foul by Liam Scales (Aberdeen).
Craig Moore (Darvel) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Liam Scales (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Corner, Darvel. Conceded by Leighton Clarkson.
Bojan Miovski (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.
Andy Stirling (Darvel) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Vicente Besuijen (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Attempt saved. Duk (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Ross McCrorie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Thomas Reilly (Darvel).
Foul by Ross McCrorie (Aberdeen).
Thomas Reilly (Darvel) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match because of an injury Daryll Meggatt (Darvel).
Substitution, Aberdeen. Callum Roberts replaces Ryan Duncan.
Ylber Ramadani (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Thomas Reilly (Darvel).