Darvel produced arguably the biggest upset in the Scottish Cup’s 149-year history as the sixth-tier side beat Aberdeen.
Jordan Kirkpatrick’s first-half shot on the rotation at Recreation Park deflected past Joe Lewis to put Darvel on course for a home draw in the Round of 16 with Falkirk.
Chris Truesdale made three superb saves from close range from Aberdeen forwards Ryan Duncan and Luis Lopes.
But, remarkably, the leaders of the West of Scotland Premier Division held their own.
The embarrassing outing – Aberdeen’s seventh defeat in nine games – puts further pressure on Pittodrie manager Jim Goodwin.
Aberdeen striker 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 was in for a busy night.
Lopes received Duncan’s cross from the penalty spot but his effort on the corner was blocked and then the 19-year-old forward hit a shot into the side netting, winning a corner with Aberdeen’s next attack and wrapped up a wide effort.
Darvel quickly settled in, however, thanks to Craig Truesdale changing the momentum. He registered The Vale’s first shot on target, a low drive collected comfortably by Lewis and soon after hit a 25-yard piledriver slightly off target.
Truesdale’s next contribution was telling. He weighed in a nice cross at the back post that Hayden Coulson headed only partially cleared. Willie Robertson quickly played into Kirkpatrick who turned and fired a low shot into the net to send home fans into the crowd of 3,500.
Darvel had beaten Haddington Athletic, Tynecastle, Dalbeattie Star and Montrose in previous rounds. The way they started kicking the ball after the clash’s opening goal suggested they thought they could add the scalp of the seven-time winners.
Aberdeen’s response to this surge in confidence has been limited. Ylber Ramadani fired a shot that contained more anger than accuracy, and skipper Anthony Stewart nodded a free-kick over the Truesdale crossbar.
Aberdeen manager Goodwin looked haunted as he made his way to the locker room at half-time.
He sent Miovski and Vicente Besuijen for Patrik Myslovic and Matty Kennedy for the second half to try to turn things around for his team and possibly save his job.
Besuijen nailed a 22-yard effort that Truesdale was happy to see navigate and at the other end Lewis held on to save Ian McShane’s long-range drive.
Aberdeen started to dominate and when Lopes ran down the left wing and his cross was met by Duncan, an equalizer looked certain. Not so. Truesdale dropped to his left to make a terrific save.
Jonny Hayes came on for Coulson and with 18 minutes remaining the Irish winger provided Lopes. The Cape Verde international connected well but, as with Duncan’s attempt, Truesdale somehow parried clear.
To the growing nausea of Aberdeen fans, Truesdale made another brave save from Lopes, again from just yards out, and he was a match for the Dons winger’s looping header as the clock ticked on around 90 minutes and Darvel held on for a famous win. .
Player of the Match – Craig Truesdale