Robbie Henderson transfer listed

Robbie Henderson

It is with regret, following a meeting with manager Darren Henderson, that Glenafton Athletic have accepted club captain Robbie Henderson’s request for a transfer. Robbie feels he cannot commit to travelling due to work commitments and as such the club has reluctantly placed him on the transfer list and will listen to offers as from today.

Interested parties should contact club secretary John Stewart at 07831232638.




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Glenafton 1 Arthurlie 2

Stagecoach West Region Premier Division

Saturday 15th September , Loch Park, New Cumnock



Captain Robbie Henderson and Glen Mitchell returned to the heart of the Glenafton defence for the visit of Arthurlie as both clubs looked to secure their first league win of the season. The Barrhead side got off to the best of starts with a goal in the opening minute when Paul ‘Tiny’ Stewart darted into the box to gather a header from former Glens’ defender Chris Merrilees and beat the outrushing Ally Semple to force the ball into the gaping net.  Six minutes later Semple came out on top when he dived at the feet of the striker to prevent him prodding the ball home at the near post.

Paul Stewart opens the scoring

Good chances were proving to be thin on the ground for the hosts and in a ten-minute spell they were forced to replace strikers Gareth Armstrong and John Dempster after both had suffered knocks, with Scott McManus and former Arthurlie striker John Paul Boyle coming on in their place.

On the half-hour mark the Glens came close when keeper Paddy Macklin got down low to stop a Danny Mitchell shot from 12 yards out. Five minutes later the keeper  took his eye off a harmless looking pass back and let the ball slip under foot and was mightily relieved to see the ball slip past his post.  At the other end, after an excellent run down the left, Caolan McAleer picked out Stewart deep in the box but again Semple had his measure as he rushed forward to narrow the angle and block the shot.  Five minutes later the keeper pulled off a fine save from a Mark Blakey free kick some 25 yards from goal.

Danny Mitchell’s shot finds the net

As the half drew to a close Glenafton enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure which paid off on 43 minutes. McManus deep in the box and with his back to goal did well to engineer an overhead kick that was headed clear at the near post by Merrilees.  The visitors’ defence struggled to clear the resultant corner and were pegged back in their own when the ball fell for Paul Murphy on the penalty spot to roll it back to Danny Mitchell and from the 18 yard line the midfielder thundered an unstoppable shot high into Macklin’s top right hand corner. H/T Glens 1 Lie 1

In the opening minute of the new half McManus came close to emulating Stewart’s opener as he chased a high lob into the box only for Macklin, who had stormed off his line, to arrive a split second too soon and bravely clutch the ball to the safety.  Five minutes later Boyle beat Merrilees to a header on the six yard line and although Macklin fumbled the loose ball he recovered it at the second attempt.  The home side’s promising start was dealt a deadly blow two minutes later when a cross from the far right found Caolan McAleer in acres of space at the far side of the box where he stooped to send a diving header high into the roof the net.

Paul McKenzie on the move

The home side responded well through a powerful run down the right by Gareth Campbell and a cut-back into the box which was lashed goal-ward first time by McManus only for Macklin to pull off a stunning save. On 69 minutes the Glens’ cause suffered another set-back when Craig Potter received a second yellow card for tripping McAleer, twice in quick succession.  Nevertheless the hosts were still very much in the hunt with Paul McKenzie the driving force in the search for the equaliser as he skipped past the Barrhead sky-blues time and again. He picked out Boyle and in turn his cross into the box was met by a Danny Mitchell header which Macklin grabbed with a safe pair of hands. Back up the park and the menacing McAleer conjured up a cracking shot with the outside of his right foot that whizzed inches over Semple’s bar.

JP heads for goal

On 81 minutes Boyle nicked the ball from the toes of Merrilees at the edge of the box and played a delicate one-two with McManus before driving through the gap between Steven Crawford and Blakey and drilling a shot low and hard beyond the reach of the wrong-footed Macklin on his six yard line only for the ball to drift inches wide of target – ending a move that deserved so much more.  Two minutes into added-on time and McAleer came close to topping off a fine display with a left-footed blast from a tight angle only for Semple to dive at full stretch and push the ball wide. FT Glens 1 Lie 2

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

Arthurlie: Macklin; Merrilees, Blakey, Hodge, Crawford; McKeown, McKay, McGregor, McAller; Dymock, Stewart. Subs Dallas, Marks, Muir, Deas, Shepherd (gk)

more photo here

Other league scores: Ashfield 4 Cumnock 2; Auchinleck 4 Pollok 0; Kirkintilloch 4 Beith 0; Petershill 2 Irvine Meadow 2; Shotts 1 Clydebank 1

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Kirkintilloch 7 Glenafton 3

Stagecoach West Region Premier Division

Saturday 8th September , Adamslie Park, Kirkintilloch



With captain Robbie Henderson suspended and Glen Mitchell and Craig Menzies unavailable for selection the Glens reshuffled their back-line with Ryan McChesney and Paul Murphy partnering each other in the centre of defence while Gareth Campbell filled the right back slot.

The visitors were first to show when Bobby Colligan buzzed down the left flank before drilling a low drive which was well held at the near post by Stephen Robertson. The keeper launched the ball up-field and when the bounce beat Campbell and McChesney in nipped Iain Diack who expertly lobbed it high over the out rushing Ally Semple for it to plummet into the empty net with 90 seconds gone. The home side doubled their lead on six minutes after Diack set Scott Adam free down the left and his cross was crashed home at the near post by former Kettering Town midfielder Steven Meechan. Three minutes later Diack was through on goal again only for the back-tracking Richie McKillen to deny the hit man a double with a timely tackle. Seconds later however Willie Easton, hooked home a splendid volley from just outside the box.  On 12 minutes Scott Adam lashed home the fourth and two minutes later Diack got behind the Glens defence to chip the ball over Semple at full reach for probably the pick of the Rabs’ five goals in a devastating fourteen minute spell.  Semple stopped a sixth with a stunning save from Meechan before the Glens conjured up some much needed respite and respect with a battling fight-back.

John Dempster forces home Glens’ second

Midway through the half the visitors forced their first corner kick of the match which was scrambled clear only to be hooked back into the danger area by Paul McKenzie where the ball was met by Gareth Armstrong but his diving header went inches wide of target. On 24 minutes the Glens continued to press and pulled one back when Danny Mitchell gathered the ball and fired from outside the box, the ball taking a wicked deflection to wrong foot the helpless Robertson. Both sides created a couple of half-chances before the visitors struck again on 32 minutes after Armstrong rose majestically at the near post to head flick a Colligan corner into the six yard box where John Dempster’s determination saw him beat two defenders and the keeper to the ball and force it over the line. Two minutes later Glenafton’s hopes of a sensational comeback suffered a serious set-back when Mitchell earned a second yellow card for a sliding tackle on Adam at the half-way line.

Iain Diack celebrates his hat-trick with Chic

The momentum swung back to the hosts and six minutes from the break Diack completed his hat-trick, cutting in from the left and curling the ball beyond the reach of an air-borne Semple. H/T Rob Roy 6 Glens 2

To their credit the gallant Glens gave a good account of themselves in the second half and honours were very much shared in terms of possession, chances and ultimately goals. McChesney, up for a corner, came close when he hooked the ball over his head and the packed penalty box only for the ball to drop over the bar while substitute Scott McManus’s close range header was just wide of target.  At the other end Semple saved from the lively Adam and Kevin Bradley looked certain to score at the back post but drilled his shot into the ground forcing the ball to bounce up and over Semple’s bar.

Bo keen for more

On 81 minutes Gareth Armstrong punished some indecision in the home defence to break into the box and place the ball beyond the advancing Robertson. The goal may have been considered less of a consolation if soon after a strong shout for a hand ball in the box had been given, presenting the visitors a chance of cutting the deficit to two. Five minutes later however, it seemed fitting that the last word went to Iain Diack who fired home his fourth goal of the game in a master class of finishing. F/T Rob Roy 7 Glens 3

Glenafton: Semple; Campbell (McEwan), McChesney, Murphy, McKillen; McKenzie, Potter, D.Mitchell, Colligan (McManus);  Armstrong, Dempster.

Rob Roy: Robertson; McLachlan, Smith, Ohakam, McVey; Bradley, Meechan, Connolly, Easton; Adam, Diack

More photos here

Other league scores: Arthurlie P Shotts P; Auchinleck 4 Ashfield 1; Beith 2 Cumnock 3; Clydebank 1 Irvine Meadow 0; Pollok 0 Petershill 3

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Glenafton 1 Beith 3

Stagecoach West Region Premier Division

Saturday 1st September , Loch Park, New Cumnock



A minute’s silence was held before kick off in memory of Glenafton supporter Jim McEwan who had passed away in the early hours of the morning.  Jim was an elder brother of Glenafton legend Ian McEwan, the club’s longest serving player.

Wearing their new home tops for the first time the Glens created the best of the few half chances on offer in the opening twenty minutes of a game that was deeply lacking in inventive play.  On 12 minutes Scott McManus tight on the right touchline twisted and turned to shake off Nickey Docherty before firing in a cross from the corner flag and although Gareth Campbell headed the ball down for John Dempster no fewer than five Beith defenders descended on the Glens’ striker to clear the loose ball.  Six minutes later Paul McKenzie found McManus in the box who did well to hold off Greg McShane only for his shot from an acute angle to hit the side netting.  Soon after as the hosts continued to press Gary Wilson’s attempted clearance at the corner of his six yard box cannoned off Danny Mitchell and the ball fell for Craig Potter  on the 18 yard line but his attempt to guide it home was well held by Adam Strain.  In a flash Beith broke upfield with Kris Irvine finding Calum Hardie in space on the right hand side of the penalty box where the impressive midfielder whipped the ball across the face of goal for the incoming David McGowan only for the unfortunate Glen Mitchell’s attempt to head it clear finish in the back of his own net, with 21 minutes gone.

Beith go in front

Chances at either end were now on the increase and so too the tempo of the match. On 27 minutes a trademark run from Andy Reid saw him glide down the left flank before cutting into the box but hopes of doubling his side’s lead were dashed by a last ditch tackle from Robbie Henderson. Four minutes later McMnaus outwitted Wilson on the 18 yard line to knock down a neat header into the path of Dempster to run on and fire for goal but he too was undone by a perfectly timed tackle, Docherty the purveyor.  Glen Mitchell rose to win the resultant corner but his powerful header whizzed past Strain’s right hand post.

Gareth Campbell scores from the spot

The home side’s efforts were rewarded on 41 minutes when McManus lost Wilson in the box again only for the covering McShane to dive in with a rash tackle and floor the Glens’ forward. Gareth Campbell stepped up and slammed spot kick beyond the reach of Strain for Glenafton’s first goal of the Premier campaign. H/T Glens 1 Beith 1

The second half proved to be a mirror image of the first with the opening 15 minutes or so devoid of any decent chances. A feature of the proceedings was the contrast in the set pieces from both sides with the home side struggling to conjure up anything to cause concern in their opponents’ box while the visitors’ attempts tended to carry greater threat.  Beith also looked the livelier going forward in taking the ball from box to box with some slick interchanges, Hardie at the heart of many of the moves the best of which ended with Semple pulling off a fine save from Docherty.

Beith made the breakthrough on the hour mark beginning in the centre circle with Gary Wild pushing McKenzie off the ball which fell to Hardie and in no time Kenny McLean was motoring down the right before drilling the ball low and hard to the back post where Andy Reid was free to pick his spot and tap the ball home.Glenafton made a couple of changes with Paul Murphy replacing Danny Mitchell and Gareth Armstrong on for Craig Potter but managed only to test Strain through a McKenzie drive before Reid struck again on 73 minutes in almost a carbon copy of his first with another tap in at the back post to put the finishing touches on a McGowan cross from the right hand side of the penalty box.

Andy Reid bags his brace

Beith continued to stroke the ball around with some style and although the Glens enjoyed an equal share of possession converting this into shots at goal proved elusive – a Murphy effort in the closing seconds sneaking wide of target the nearest they came. FT Glens 1 Beith 3

Glenafton:  Semple; Menzies, G.Mitchell, Henderson, McKillen; McKenzie, Potter (Armstrong), D. Mitchell (Murphy), Campbell; McManus, Dempster . Subs – McEwan, McChesney, Dunsmuir

Beith: Strain, Irvine, Wilson, McShane, Docherrty; Hardie, Callaghan, Reid; McGowan, Reid. Subs Howarth, Crozier, Bristow, J. McGowan, Greenwood

More photos here

Other Premier scores: Ashfield 4 Clydebank 2; Cumnock 1 Kirkintilloch 2; Irvine Meadow 2 Arthurlie 1, Petershill 0 Auchinleck 1

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Glenafton 2 Auchinleck 3

Ardagh Glass Sectional Cup Semi-Final

Wednesday 29th August , Loch Park, New Cumnock



Bitter Tablet to swallow for Sweet Afton

Glenafton surrendered a 2-0 half time lead over the Talbot who had to play most of the second half with 10 men and to add to the bitter taste of defeat former Glenafton striker David Gormley bagged the winner deep into added time to put the holders through to the final where they will face Irvine Meadow.

Honours were fairly even until the game sparked into life just before the half hour mark when John Dempster’s perseverance saw him shake off defenders Martin McGoldrick and Craig Pettigrew and although his pop at goal was blocked by Andy Leishman the ball fell to Danny Mitchell who blasted into the net from the verge of the six yard box.

Danny and Demps

Talbot wasted no time on mounting a response and Ally Semple did well to stop a free header from Mick McCann and then two minutes later punch the ball clear from the head of Kyle Faulds before the Glens doubled the lead in a frenetic four minute spell. John Dempster  beat John White to head the ball down for Scott McManus who slipped past McGoldrick before returning it to Dempster who drove powered his way along the right side of the penalty box before firing home beyond Leishman from an acute angle.

JD makes it 2-0

Back came Talbot again and a minute later Gormley cutting in from the left drilled the ball low and hard to the near post only for McMann but in slid Richie McKillen with a goal saving last ditch tackle.  At the other end with less than 10 minutes of the half remaining Craig Potter set Paul McKenzie down the right flank and with the Talbot defence back-tracking he cracked a shot from where Dempster had scored and although Leishman got down in time the ball, not for the first time, evaded the keeper’s grasp and to his relief Pettigrew was on hand to mop up the mess before McManus could pounce.

The end-to-end entertainment continued apace and a minute later Gormley looked certain to score with the deftest of touch to guide the ball beyond the reach of Semple from six yards out but the keeper matched the striker’s sharpness of thought to get a touch to send it wide. The resultant corner kick saw the Glens’s goal live a charmed life as Graham Wilson’s header crashed off the underside of the bar and Gormley’s attempt to bury the rebound cleared off the line by Craig Menzies and the striker’s second bite at the cherry clutched by Semple. Two minutes later Menzies forged his way down the right to the dead-ball line and his high cross left Leishman stranded at his near post but Raymond Montgomerie kept his cool at the  back post to head clear for a corner as McManus again was on hand to pounce. Maintaining the equilibrium Talbot had the last chance of the half but McCann through on goal pulled his shot well wide of target from close range. H/T Glens 2 Talbot 0

Three minutes into the second half Montgomery was red carded for a rash two-footed tackled on McManus leaving Talbot a mountain to climb. On 55 minutes the mountain almost took on Everest proportions when McKenzie released McManus in the box to slot the ball past the advancing Leishman, but the offside flag was flying on the summit before the ball was in the net.

On the hour mark Glenafton introduced Bobby Colligan for Gareth Campbell and three minutes later Dempster’s strength shrugged aside White as he broke into the box and blasted for goal only for Leishman to make a stunning save; a strong right hand pushing the ball inches wide of the post. Four minutes later the big keeper launched the ball down the length of the park where it was quickly whipped in from the left to the back post for towering substitute Dwayne Hyslop to leap and send a perfectly weighted looping header back across the goal and into the far corner of the net. The hosts’ heads stayed aloft and two minutes later Leishman failed to hold a cross from the right and now on all fours tried to recover the ball from the feet of McManus on the six yard line. To his credit the Glens’ striker stayed on his feet and took the ball away from goal, and the reach of the bedecked keeper , before turning and shooting only for the ball to sail over the bar.

This proved to be the home side’s last real chance as Talbot found a new gear, driven by substitute Colin Spence, and pressed forward in waves, every ball into the Glens’ box creating cause for concern but all eventually cleared, until the 89th minute. Gordon Pope from tight on the left lifted the ball deep into the six yard box where it was headed back across goal for substitute Keir Milliken to force over the line.

Talbot’s winner (photo courtesy of John Vass)

An air of inevitably enveloped Loch Park as the holders refused to settle for having salvaged a penalty shoot-out and instead put a shell-shocked Glens to the sword. Three minutes after the regulation ninety another high ball from the right, was met by and this time prodded home by David Gormley at the back post, the Glens’ captain Robbie Henderson receiving  a second yellow card for protesting the Talbot man was offside and another red for good measure.  F/T Glens 2 Talbot 3

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

Auchinleck: Leishman; Lyle, Pettigrew, McGoldrick, Pope; Faulds, Montgomery, White, Wilson; Gormley, McCann. Subs. Spence, Milliken, Hyslop, Young, Reilly

Posted in GAFC Match Report

Pollok 0 Glenafton 0

Stagecoach West Region Premier Division

Saturday 25th August , Loch Park, New Cumnock

POLLOK 0 (0)



Glenafton gained their first Premier point after a goal-less draw at Pollok but will feel that after restricting the Glasgow side to one decent chance were denied all three points thanks to a series of super saves from home keeper Steven McNeil.

The Glens made the trip from New Cumnock to Newlandsfield minus the services of top goalscorer Gareth Armstrong (suspended) and in came John Paul Boyle to partner John Dempster up front.  Paul Murphy returned to the midfield after missing many of the Ardagh Cup games due to work commitments while trialist Paul Byrne was introduced at left back.

Robbie Henderson

The visitors started brightly and in the opening minutes a penalty appeal was dismissed after a tackle in the box on Paul McKenzie. Pollok responded well and enjoyed their best spell of the game during which they carved out their best chance on 16 minutes only for Ally Semple to pull off a peach of a point-blank save from Brian McGinty.  There endeth the keeper’s involvement in the game in terms of serious shot-stopping as the Glens defence, well marshalled by Robbie Henderson and Glen Mitchell, snuffed out the’ Lok as they huffed and puffed.

Gareth Campbell, in the unaccustomed position of right back flashed a shot beyond the Pollok posts’ post. Boyle limped off to be replaced by summer signing Scott McManus (making his first appearance of the season) and the striker proved to be a thorn in the side of the home.

Meanwhile Murphy took control of the midfield and traffic to goal took on a distinctly one-way look as the Glens pushed forward. Stevie Reilly, a former loan player from Queens Park at Loch Park,  was having a fine game at the heart of the host’s defence and yet was outshone by his keeper Steven McNeil. The stopper denied Murphy twice and then Dempster with some quite stunning saves leaving the visitors with their hands on their heads.   McManus slipped the ball through to Bobby Colligan wide on the left where his pace then seemingly unpicked the Pollok defence only for Paul Lovering to dash the visitors’ hopes of breaking the deadlock with a deftly timed and expertly executed last ditch tackle.

Pollok: McNeil  Dunlop  McBride  Reilly  Lovering  Brady  Mills  McGinty  (Docherty) Sawyers  (Hepburn) Monti Fraser  subs  Carter McQuillen

Glenafton: Semple; Campbell, G.Mitchell, Henderson, Byrne; McKenzie, Potter, Murphy, Colligan; Boyle (McManus), Dempster. Subs McKillen, McChesney, McEwan, Dunsmuir (gk)


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New Cumnock to Newlandsdfield

New Cumnock to Newlandsfield

Paul McMullan

Glenafton return to Newlandsfield today on league business for the first time since the sides met on 25th May 2009 on what was the last league game of the season.  All the goals came in the first half with a Paul McMullan effort for the Glens sandwiched between strikes from Andy Essler and Bryan Dingwall.  While Pollok finished runners-up to Meadow the Glens finished 10th and lost out in the play-off to Lanark United and were relegated to the Super 1st Division after seven consecutive seasons in the top flight.  Glens: Fahey; Connolly, Merrilees, McGregor, Ward; Doyle, Ramsay (trialist), Howie (Beattie as trialist), McMullan; Feroz, Zok

Steven Reilly

All the members of that side have since moved on including Steven McGregor and Jamie Doyle both of whom later turned out for Pollok. In the current Pollok squad is the familiar face of Kevin McBride who has had a number of spells with Glenafton, most recently in 2010/11 when he made 15 appearances for the club and scored on his ‘debut’ away at Ashfield. Also making his debut that day was Stephen Docherty, who had joined from Pollok, and he too made 15 appearances and scored one goal – in the league win at Shotts. Steven Reilly, a summer signing from Bo’ness United had a 5 game loan spell from Queens Park at Glenafton in season 2009/10.

Pollok connections in the current Glenafton squad are captain Robbie Henderson who was on Pollok books in 2007 and Craig McEwan, who made the move from Pollok to the Glens with Stephen Docherty in 2010/11.  The two sides last faced each other in January of this year when the Glens enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win at Loch Park in the 2nd round the West of Scotland Cup with goals from Paul McKenzie (2) and Gareth Campbell.

Posted in GAFC Feature | Tagged , , ,

Maybole 0 Glens 3

Ardagh Glass Sectional Cup Quarter-Final

Wednesday 22nd August , Ladywell Stadium, Maybole



Perfect conditions set the scene for an exciting end-to-end encounter with chances falling at both ends. After having the better of these the visitors nearly paid the price a minute before the break when Maybole won a free-kick on the outskirts of the box but a stout defence cleared the danger, albeit at the second attempt. H/T Maybole 0 Glens 0.

Glen Mitchell and Craig Potter team up (photo courtesy of John B Vass)

The wake-up call for Glenafton registered and four minutes after the re-start a piece of Paul McKenzie magic on the left wing ended with a cut-back to Gareth Armstrong who from the vicinity of the penalty spot drilled the ball low and hard beyond keeper Scott Johnstone. Back came ‘Bole and Ally Semple pulled off a super save to stop a screamer from Alan Love heralding a period of sustained pressure from the hosts. Again the Glens’ defence stood firm and Craig McEwan was well placed to clear a Scott Irvine effort off the line, after a double save from Semple. On 67 minutes the visitors doubled their lead when John Dempster picked out Gareth Armstrong on the outskirts of a busy ‘Bole box and the striker picked his spot with perfection. The two goal cushion spurred on the visitors and the pace of Bobby Colligan and the fresh legs of John Paul Boyle had the home side on the back foot.With 13 minutes to go Colligan cruised down the left and his pinpoint cross met Paul McKenzie racing in at the back post to bullet home a header.

F/T Maybole 0 Glens 3

Taz heads home (photo courtesy of John B Vass)








Maybole: Johnstone; Reid, Dempster, Simpson; Love, Dinwoodie, Parris, Irvine; MacDonald, McGrady. Subs Murphy, Forde, Morrison, Allan, Gallacher

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

Many thanks to John Vass for the photographs.

Other Quarter-Final Results.

Auchinleck 3 Troon 3 ( Talbot 7-6 pens); Beith 2 Irvine Meadow 4; Kilbirnie 3 Largs 0

Glens will host Talbot in the sem0-final at Loch Park , Wednesday 29th August

Posted in GAFC Match Report | Tagged , , , ,

Glenafton 0 Auchinleck 1

Stagecoach West Region Premier Division

Saturday 18th August , Loch Park, New Cumnock



Talbot turned the tables on their hosts a week after suffering a 1-0 defeat to the Glens in the Ardagh Glass Cup section match at Loch Park. In a game short in chances and packed with stoppages Colin Spence struck what proved to be the match winner two minutes into the second half.

The first half proved to be a tentative affair as both sides seemed reluctant to push up-field and long punts up the park by respective keepers became a feature of the game which ultimately ended with the surrender of possession. On the other hand attempts to build play from box to box often concluded prematurely with what soon became the familiar piercing sound of the referee’s whistle leaving both sides on occasion baffled and waiting to see what way the decision was going to go.

Although the half was littered with stoppages there were a few goal mouth chances the best of which fell to the visitors. On 15 minutes Keir Milliken managed to ward off the attention of two defenders before thundering a shot from a tight angle only for the ball to cannon off the legs of the diving Ally Semple. Ten minutes later the keeper had to desert his goal-line in an attempt to clear the ball from the head of Kyle Faulds wide in the penalty box but couldn’t prevent it from being played back into the six yard box where Glen Mitchell did enough to stop Graham Wilson finding the empty net.  Just beyond the half hour mark Milliken did well to control the ball in front of goal and although his shot was on target it lacked the power to worry Semple.

Bo heads for goal

Glenafton’s glimpses at goal were few and far between beginning as early as the second minute when Gareth Armstrong beat keeper Andy Leishman to the ball but his header from a corner kick flashed over the bar. Some 25 minutes would pass before the home side’s best move of the half saw Paul McKenzie skip pass Gordon Pope and leave Gavin Collins grounded in the box only for his shot at goal to be blocked by the alert William Lyle. The resultant corner kick ended with Richie McKillen and John Dempster both beating the Talbot defence in the air but the former’s header went wide of target. H/T Glens 0 Talbot 1

The new half began in dramatic fashion when Lyle broke down a Glenafton attack at Talbot’s right hand corner flag and combining well with his teammates defence was transformed into attack in a flash and the ball now with Bryan Young wide on the left. With the wide-man’s path to the bye-line blocked the ball was rolled back to Pope who whipped it over to the back post for Faulds to crouch and bullet a header goalward and although Semple dived to get both hands to the ball it bounced free from his grasp when he crashed to the ground and Colin Spence pounced to poke it home.

Colin Spence puts Talbot ahead

Hopes that the breakthrough would herald a more open game soon dissipated. For once again proceedings were fragmented with flags, whistles and then players seeking clarification from officials over some mystifying decisions. On the hour mark Glenafton manager Darren Henderson was sent to the clubhouse for making his feelings known. Four minutes later the game was held up yet again as another flag led to more confusion with the referee stopping play and marching the width of the park, the match-ball at least firmly in his grasp, to consult with his assistant before overturning the decision and restarting with a bounce-up surrounded by perplexed players from both sides.

Gareth Armsrtong goes close

Back to the football and midway through the half a Dempster header was gathered by Armstrong who , with his back to goal and a yard or so inside the box, swiveled and drilled a low shot that beat Leishman at full stretch but the ball whizzed just wide of the post.  Talbot introduced striker David Gormley to the fray but it was his former side that were on the front foot in search of an equaliser; they too bringing on fresh legs with Gareth Campbell for Craig Potter and John Paul Boyle for John Dempster. On 84 minutes in a packed Talbot box McKenzie beat Pope to the ball to pick out Armstrong who held off the challenge of Collins and return it to McKenzie with Pope in pursuit and as both players tumbled to the ground Armstrong’s appeal for a penalty was waved away. A minute later the Glenafton striker was shown red for dissent. In the last minute of regulation time Bobby Colligan won the ball in the Talbot’s half where a burst of speed took him deep into the box and before Collins slid in for the tackle he fired for goal but Leishman looked on as it went wide of target.

The half almost ended it as it had begun with Colin Spence finding the net. In what was perhaps Talbot’s best move of the match Gormley played Spence into the box with only Semple to beat and perhaps a touch too many allowed the back tracking Campbell to put pressure on the midfielder who failed to test the keeper and pulled his shot wide of target. F/T Glens 0 Talbot 1

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

Auchinleck: Leishman; Lyle, Pettigrew, Collins, Pope; Faulds (Montgomerie), White, Spence, young, Milliken (McCann), Wilson(Gormley)

more photos here

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Hello Boys We’re Back !

Glenafton return to the Top Flight

After three long seasons in the Super League 1st Division Glenafton Athletic return to the Premier Division.  Promoted as ‘champions’ evokes memories of the formation of the West Region some 10 seasons ago when the Glens, booked their berth in the newly constructed league as the’Last Champions of the Ayrshire’. Can you recall the other 5 Ayrshire sides that joined them? Yes, of course Auchinleck , Cumnock, Irvine Meadow, Kilbirnie and Kilwinning.

Joining them in a new found football fellowship were Central’s ‘six-of-the-best’ …. come on rack those brains. You got it, Pollok and Benburb, Johnstone Burgh, Larkhall Thistle, Maryhill and Neilston. The Glens finished in third place and three points behind the inaugural champions Pollok who pipped Neilston on goal difference. Pollok are one of only two teams that have been ever present in the Premier Division and during that time delivered four titles and five other top-five finishes.  A 10th place finish last season and a play-off win over Renfrew secured their top flight status.

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The other ever-present side is of course Auchinleck Talbot. The Beechwood boys  finished 10th in their first season and with no play-offs back then their Premier  place was secure. After finishing  8th the following they been regular title challengers and delivered  1 x 4th, 4 x 3rd , 1 x 2nd place finishes as well as the championship in 2005/06 to keep the Scottish Junior Cup company.Of the other 11 teams in the league we have shared Premier Division status with Arthurlie (6 seasons), Auchinleck (7), Beith (3), Cumnock (7), Irvine Meadow (3), Kirkintilloch (1), Petershill (3) , Pollok (7) and Shotts (3). This season will see the Glens face both Ashfield and Clydebank in the top flight for the first time, both sides deservedly gaining promotion from the Super 1st two seasons ago with some fantastic football . Tomorrow we host ‘ever-present’ Auchinleck in the opening game of the new season and the following week we travel to ‘ever-present’ Pollok – it’s good to be back!

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