Ashfield 2 Glenafton 0

Stagecoach West Region Premier Division

Saturday 9th February , Saracen Park,  Glasgow



Ross Robertson

Ross Robertson

Glenafton’s loan signing from Ayr United Ross Robertson partnered Gareth Armstrong up front and the striker was soon in the thick of the action. The first chance of the game however fell in the first minute to full back Craig McEwan who fired a free kick from 30 yards that had keeper Stephen Hall scurrying across his goal line only for the ball to whiz narrowly wide of the post. Four minutes later the keeper went airborne to punch the ball from Robertson’s head and soon after he rose and attempted to clutch the ball from the striker’s head only to spill it and then dive to get a strong hand to it before Armstrong could pounce.

On 13 minutes the home side won a free kick twenty yards goal and although Mark Thomson beat the wall keeper Ally Semple gathered the ball comfortably. Back came the visitors and three minutes later almost made the breakthrough. A free kick lofted to the back post was headed back across goal by Robertson where Armstrong lost his marker only for his bullet header to crash off the underside of the bar and the ball hoofed clear by Robert Wright.

Bo's header hits the bar

Bo’s header hits the bar

Glenafton continued to pile on the pressure forcing the home side to concede free kicks, with McKenzie more often than not on the receiving end, and corner kicks in equal measure. Hall’s goal remained intact surviving headers from Robertson and Glen Mitchell while a low drive from McEwan zoomed narrowly wide.

Midway through the half Ashfield burst into life when Thomson picked out Gary McCann on the half way line and the tricky winner exploded down the right flank leaving a host of red shirts in his wake before whipping the ball across the face of goal beyond the reach of Semple only for Craig Potter to keep a cool head and guide the ball behind and deny Shaun Fraser a tap in at the back post.  Following some head tennis from the resultant corner the ball fell for Jim Smith in the six yard box but an alert Semple did enough to block the danger, if only temporarily.  For soon after, on 24 minutes, a Glenafton attack broken down in the home box was mopped up by Paul Maxwell who in turn released the mercurial McCann and on this occasion he ventured deeper into the visitors’ box before cutting back a wicked ball which was met by the incoming Chris Hall and blasted home from three yards out. Three minutes later Maxwell set Smith free and although he got behind the Glens’ defence the back-tracking Ryan McChesney and Semple combined to foil the striker.

Chris Hall opens the scoring

Chris Hall opens the scoring

The visitors regained their composure and came within a whisker of drawing level on the half hour mark.  Armstrong’s header from a corner struck off Robertson deep in the six yard box as did his attempt to slot home the rebound, his strike partner now grounded,  the ball then fell for Richie McKillen but his shot was stopped on the line by Jamie Coll before Hall gratefully grabbed it with both hands.

Goal line clearance

Goal line clearance

The home side hit back with a slick passing move that began down the right with McCann and was switched in a flash to the left to present Wright with a free run into the box but Semple again rushed from his line, narrowed the angle and stuck out his left leg just in time to prevent the ball from being stabbed home. A minute later at the other end Robertson played a ball into the box where Danny Mitchell saw off Darroch and left Hall stranded but the nippy McCann nicked in to steal the ball and save the keeper’s blushes.  The visitors continued to push but again were caught on the break when Maxwell launched the ball upfield for Smith to give chase and again he was foiled by Semple who had raced from his to line to the corner of the box.  A spell of end to end play ensued without either side testing the keepers and the half concluded with Hall punching a McKenzie corner off the line. H/T Ashfield 1 Glenafton 0

An Ashfield corner kick in the opening minute came to nothing and the visitors were soon on the front foot.  On 50 minutes substitute Gareth Campbell, on at the break for McKillen, saw his header from 8 yards out saved well by Hall and a minute later the keeper leaped to punch the ball clear from the head of Robertson.  Glens replaced Gareth Armstrong with John Dempster as they pushed for the equaliser and the big striker came close on 58 minutes.  A free kick into the box saw Robertson win the aerial battle with Hall on the penalty spot and McKenzie chip the ball into the six yard box with the keeper stranded only for Darroch and Coll to double team and block Dempster’s effort. Two minutes later Dempster slipped the ball to Paul Murphy at the edge of the box but his shot lacked the power to severely test Hall.

GlensvAshfield A1213robertson

Respite for the home defence came in dramatic fashion a minute later when Glenafton surrendered possession in the middle of the park and Wright released with a free run in on goal. Semple, as he had done successfully on a number of occasions, run from his line to face the danger but caught Wright instead of the ball and the home side rightly awarded a penalty. The referee further adjudged the challenge was worthy of a red card for the keeper and his jersey and gloves were surrendered to full back Craig McEwan.  On 63 minutes Chris Hall stepped up and sent the stand-in goalkeeper the wrong way as he slotted home the spot kick.

The game quickly took on a new complexion with the home side content to sit in and hope to pick of the ten men on the break. The visitors brought on new signing Graeme Eaglesham for Danny Mitchell but try as they might they could not penetrate a well drilled defence and a packed Ashfield box. Paul McKenzie tried a different tack and in 71 minutes his cracking volley from 30 yards out cracked off the crossbar the loose ball cleared by Thomson with Robertson lurking. The home side’s defence stood firm and the Glenafton corners that ensued were repelled in turn one after the other.

The game ground to a finish with few other chances worthy of note other than two from Chris Hall. Three minutes from time his tap in from a McCann cross beat McEwan but not the offside flag and in the last kick off the ball McEwan pulled off a point blank to deny him his hat-trick. F/T Ashfield 2 Glenafton Athletic 0

Ashfield:  S.Hall, Coll Mangan Thomson Darroch Fraser Wright Hall Smith Maxwell McCann

Glenafton: Semple, McEwan, McChesney, G.Mitchell, Potter; McKenzie, D.Mitchell, Murphy (Eaglesham) , McKillen (Campbell); Armstrong (Dempster), Robertson. Subs Menzies, Cochrane, Colligan.

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Glens U19s march on in Scottish

Scottish Youth Cup U19s 5th Round

Sunday 3rd February 2013, Loch Park, New Cumnock

GLENAFTON U19s  1 (1)


Glenafton U19s

Glenafton U19s

The long awaited tie between Glenafton (1994s) and Claremont AFC from East Kilbride went ahead at Loch Park. Glenafton scored what proved to be the decisive goal as early as the 7th minute,  a goal worthy of winning any match. The Glens’ defence retained the ball before playing it up to Tyler Campbell on the wide right who in turn played a 40 yard diagonal ball to Jordan Graham who cutely cut inside two defenders before smashing the ball into the top corner.

The home side dominated much of the play but suffered a scare ten minutes from time when Tyler Campbell earned a second yellow card but the ten men held on to deservedly book their place in the Scottish Cup quarter finals.

Glenafton: R Dunsmuir, D Gall, J Blackwood, R Allan, J Kerr, J Graham, J Quinn, D Naismith,  T Campbell, R Campbell, J Kerr, Subs – S Stobbs, C Muncie, R Currie, J McPartland (All Used)

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Troon 1 Glenafton 4

Friendly Match

Saturday 2nd February 2013, Portland Park, Troon

TROON 1 (1)


With their Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup tie against Dalry postponed due to a frozen Loch Park pitch the Glens travelled to the coast to face Troon in a friendly match.

New signing Ross Robertson put the visitors ahead before Paul McKenzie doubled their advantage. The home side halved the deficit only for midweek signing Graeme Eaglesham to restore the two goal cushion soon after.  Gareth Armstrong completed the scoring in the second half to give the Glens a comfortable 4-1 win.

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The Eaglesham has landed

Glenafton have signed striker Graeme Eaglesham on a two year deal. The 23 year old had a spell with Ayr United and Hamilton Accies as a youth before joining Maybole Juniors. In season 2007-08 he signed for Partick Thistle during which time he had loan period at Albion Rovers. Graeme moved to study in the USA where he played for Bellevue University, Nebraska. He returned to Scotland and joined Queen’s Park for a season before heading back to Bellevue to complete his scholarship and play a further two seasons for the University side.

Graeme played for the Glens in the 7-0 friendly win over Kilbirnie on Tuesday evening.

Welcome to Loch Park, Graeme

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Glenafton 7 Kilbirnie 0

Friendly Match

Tuesday 29th January , Beith Astro Turf, Beith



Goals from Richie McKillen and John Dempster put Glens in the driving seat. New signing Ross Robertson added a third from the penalty spot before an own goal out the Premier Division side 4-0 up at the break. Second half goals from Bobby Colligan, Gareth Armstrong and John Paul Boyle completed the scoring to make it two 7-0 friendly wins in a week at the Beith astroturf.

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Ross on loan at Loch Park

Ross Robertson (photo courtesy of Ayr United)

Ross Robertson (photo courtesy of Ayr United)

Ross Robertson has joined Glenafton Athletic on loan from Ayr United until the end of the season. The 21 year old stepped up from the Ayr United Academy in October 2009 and made his first team debut for the Somerset side in July of the following year.

Irvine-born Ross has made over 75 appearances for the first team and scored 5 goals. Originally playing in defence or midfield he now plays up front.

Welcome to Loch Park, Ross.


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Glenafton 7 Kilwinning 0

Friendly Match

Tuesday 22nd January , Beith Astro Turf, Beith



Gareth Armstrong put the Glens ahead from the penalty spot and Danny Mitchell doubled the lead ten minutes later. Richie McKillen struck soon after , quickly followed by Mitchell bagging his brace before the break. Bobby Colligan grabbed a double before Danny completed his hat-trick.

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Glenafton 4 Kello 0

Friendly Match

Saturday 19th January , Greenwood Academy, Irvine



With the scheduled league match at home to Clydebank postponed due to a frozen pitch the Glens faced Kello in a friendly at Greenwood Academy.  A double from Gareth Armstrong and strikes from Paul McKenzie and Richie McKillen  help secure a 4-0 victory for the Glens .

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Jamie joins the Glens

Glenafton have signed 24 year old defender Jamie Donnelly on a two year deal from Annbank United. Jamie played for Kilmarnock Youths in 2006/07 and made a handful of appearances for Killie reserves that season. He moved to Dundee United the following season playing for the U20 side at Tannadice. Jamie joined the junior ranks with Ardeer Thistle and from there moved to Annbank United last September.

Welcome to Loch Park, Jamie.

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Glenafton 0 Pollok 1

Stagecoach West Region Premier Division

Saturday 12th January , Loch Park,  New Cumnock


POLLOK 1 (0)

Glenafton 0 Pollok 1

For the second time in seven weeks Pollok left Loch Park with all the spoils and left Glenafton to lick their wounds having taken nothing from either encounter after having given so much. Little consolation neither that as in the Scottish Junior Cup tie the winning goal proved to be a worthy match winner.

The first half evolved into three phases of play. Although Glenafton started brightly in the glorious sunshine and enjoyed much of the early possession their play lacked the bite of the “blast of Janwar win’” that cut across the park and keeper Stephen McNeil was rarely tested. The initiative passed to Pollok who conjured up a couple of telling runs down the left but on each occasion the final ball across the face of goal was easily mopped up by the Afton defence.

Brian McKay and Paul McKenzie

Brian McKay and Paul McKenzie

The home side dominated the closing twenty minutes of the half beginning with a Gus Cochrane corner-kick which Steve Reilly was on hand to usher behind at the back post with Glen Mitchell waiting to pounce.  Bobby Colligan’s pace saw him skip past former Glenafton defenders Reilly and Kevin McBride into the box but his shot on the run sailed just high and wide of target. Still on the front foot the Glens carved out a collection of corner-kicks. Typically, either Mitchell or Ryan McChesney came out on top in the ensuing aerial contests, the latter coming close to breaking the deadlock only for his header to crash off the top of the bar three minutes before the break. HT Glens 0 Pollok 0

Two minutes into the new half and Glen Mitchell’s bullet header from a Cochrane corner-kick was met by Paul McKenzie at the back post where he shook of the shackles of Ross Hepburn to try and prod the ball home, however with McNeil grounded the alert Paul McQuilken stepped in and cleared the danger. Four minutes later Pollok won back to back corners kicks the latter of which ended with Ross Dunlop’s drive whizzing over Semple’s bar.

Paul McKenzie comes close

Paul McKenzie comes close

Play raged from end to end albeit with clear cut chances thin on the ground.  On the hour mark a Pollok corner caused panic in the Glens’ six yard box, only for McChesney to do enough to prevent Carlo Monti from getting enough purchase to power the ball home and the striker’s shot was cleared on the line by John Dempster. Three minutes later another ‘Lok corner saw McChesney and Mitchell combine to block Reilly’s effort and Dempster and Craig McEwan double team to prevent Jonathan Carter battering home the loose ball.

Glenafton responded well and on 64 minutes a Paul Murphy header was gathered by Dempster, twelve yards out with his back to goal and McBride and McQuilken for company. The big striker wheeled and drilled the ball for goal but McNeil was in the right place at the right time to parry the shot with both hands and gather the loose ball safely. Two minutes later the keeper could only look on in relief as a McChesney header from a corner looped over his head and over the bar. Soon after McNeil had to be on his toes to claw away a Cochrane corner from right under the bar and then look on as McKenzie came within a whisker of making contact with another deadly corner from Cochrane.

Bobby Colligan and Kevin McBride

Bobby Colligan and Kevin McBride

With 15 minutes to go a brave McNeil raced from his line to clutch the ball and deny the incoming Dempster from getting a toe poke on a cross from Murphy. Two minutes later the keeper punched a corner kick from the head of Dempster and in a flash Dunlop launched the loose ball up the left wing only for a promising Pollok break to be ended by Craig Potter at the cost of a booking.

Back came Glenafton and inevitably the corner count continued to mount. With eight minutes to go Mitchell got between Carter and Reilly to win another header from a Cochrane delivery but McNeill’s goal remained secure as the ball bulleted over the bar. On 85 minutes another Glenafton attack, down the left flank, was broken down at the corner flag and play quickly switched by Pollok to their left flank where the ball was gathered by substitute Tony Fraser and taken upfield at pace. On the edge of the box Fraser fed McQuilken on the overlap and he instantly cut the ball across the face of goal for the incoming Ryan McArdle at the back post only for Cochrane to intercept and clear the ball skywards. Hepburn was on hand to head the descending ball into the path of McCardle who took a touch with his right foot before swivelling and blasting the ball home with his left from on or near the penalty spot – a quite stunning finish.

Gutted Glenafton brought on Gareth Armstrong for Craig Potter and although they managed to breach the visitors box on a couple of occasions McNeil’s net remained empty. FT Glens 0 Pollok 1

Glenafton: Semple; Potter (Armstrong), McChesney, G. Mitchell, McEwan; McKenzie, Murphy, D.Mitchell, Cochrane; Dempster, Colligan. Subs. McKillen, Menzies, Campbell, Dunsmuir (gk)

Pollok: McNeil, Dunlop, McBride, Reilly, Carter, McGinty, McKay (McArdle), McQuilken, Hepburn, Monti, Mills (Fraser). Subs. Millar, McMahon, Black (gk)

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