Fabi steadys the Buffs

With the Glens’ West of Scotland Cup match against Pollok postponed due to a snowbound Loch Park manager Darren Henderson and John Garroch were in attendance at Abbey Park to find out first hand who Glenafton would face in the 4th round of the Emirates Scottish Junior Cup.

Afton Lads at Abbey Park

Two former Glenafton players, striker  Michael Hart and central defender Roland Fabiani featured in the starting eleven while two others, Kevin Deeney and Gary Robertson were on the bench. However, it was Fabi’s defensive partner and former Renfrew stopper Neil Shearer that hogged the first half headlines with a brace of goals and whetting the Abbey Park faithful’s appetite for that once common footballing phrase  a ‘Shearer hat-trick’.

The home side passed up a number of chances to extend their lead and the deficit was halved mid way through the second half with a close range effort from Darren O’Donnell and the Vics sensed the game could yet be saved.  Fate on the other hand thought otherwise. The visitors were reduced to 10 men when two yellow cards were brandished in quick succession to Paul Gray – one for protesting the denial of spot kick following a hand ball in the Buffs box and then a minute later for kicking the ball away after a free kick was awarded for a foul on the impressive David ‘Harpo’ Smith. Before the unfortunate defender was in the early  bath the Groucho cigars were being passed round after Fabi was in hand to head home the telling third goal from a few yards out.

Fabi takes a bow

Over the piece the Buffs were well worth their win. Apart from the ‘Shearer and Sutton, sorry Fabiani, Show’ the aforementioned David Smith always looked dangerous on the break while Ben Lewis proved a handful for the Blantyre back-line.

more photos here

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Dempster teams up with Darren

Having guested for Glenafton in the two recent friendlies against Stranraer and Irvine Meadow the club is delighted to announce that they have signed striker John Dempster.  Of course John is well known to Glenafton manager Darren Henderson, the pair having played together at Cumnock Juniors and Stenhousemuir under Campbell Money.

Courtesy of Cowdenbeath FC

John began his senior career at St.  Mirren (2002) before moving to Stranraer later that season and then joining the Junior ranks, where he starred for Cumnock Juniors.  When then Cumnock manager Campbell Money took over the hot seat Stenhousemuir he returned to Townhead in the January (2007) transfer window to take both  John and Darren to Ochilview.  With 17 goals in 36 appearances for the Warriors, John stepped up a division the following January and joined Cowdenbeath, helping the Blue Brazil to back-to-back promotions from 3rd Division to 1st Division. John went on to score 20 goals in make almost 100 appearances for the Fife side before being released by Jimmy Nicholl in May.

Welcome to Loch Park,  John.

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Glenafton v Pollok

The cup-tie was originally scheduled for Saturday 14th December 2011 but was postponed due to the unseasonally cold weather in New Cumnock at that time. The SJFA convened a panel of their finest planning consultants to set a new date for the tie.

Great to see the Lok back at Lok Park!

New Coin Automatics West of Scotland Cup 2nd Round

Sat 14th January , Loch Park, New Cumnock KO 1:45pm

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC v POLLOK

Weather permitting Glenafton will play their first competitive game in three weeks since the victory over Hermes in the Scottish Junior Cup. A couple of worthwhile friendlies,  2-0 win over Stranraer and 2-2 draw with Irvine Meadow, may have helped maintain the match fitness of the players but only enhanced the supporters appetite for a game before the New Year.

Few would argue that a home game against Pollok is the perfect pick me up for football hungry fans, who have sorely missed league games against the Glasgow giants in recent seasons, having previously enjoyed sharing seven seasons in the top flight together. Few would also argue, that by their own high standards (including no fewer than 4 West Region Premier titles) the current league campaign is disappointing and unlikely to end with a fifth flag flying over Newlandsfield.  Similarly, the Glens’ recent run of league games has not yielded the same return in points as those garnered earlier in the season and the escapism of cup football may be just the tonic for both clubs.

Update from Saturday 14th December 2011

Both clubs have played one competitive match since the postponement of the tie in December. Pollok travelled to Clydebank last Saturday where the Bankies completed the ‘league double’ over the ‘Lok with ex-Glenafton defender opening the scoring in the 3-1 win, while the Glens recorded a 1-0 home win over Rutherglen in the league.

Stevie Agnew and Joe Carruth reunited at Loch Park

West of Scotland Cup

Pollok last won the West of Scotland Cup in season 1999/00 when they defeated ……. Glenafton Athletic.  The two sides met on midsummer’s day of the new millennium at Cambuslang Rangers’ Somervell Park. The Glens opened the scoring in the first half when former ‘Lok player Boris McLaughlin picked out Scott Archer in the box and although his effort crashed off the underside of the bar Robbie Newall rushed in to thump the rebound home.

Early in the second half a ball across the face of goal by Pollok skipper Ian Morrison set up former Kilbirnie Ladeside striker Alex Eadie to tap in the equaliser. In the last-minute Eadie headed home a corner kick to win the West.

Glenafton: Smith, Carruth, Kennedy, Agnew, Archer, Slater, Brown, Gibson, Houston, Newall, McLaughlin Subs. O’Brien, Waite

Pollok: Hanley, O’Neil, McWilliams, Copeland, Pacitti, Prytz, Morrison, Eadie, Main, McPhee,McGregor Subs: Johnstone, Hendry, Wilson, Craig, Black

In later years two players in the Glens’ team that day,  captain Joe Carruth and midfielder Richie Newall,  joined Pollok, However, today following the departure of Jamie Doyle last week there are no former Glenafton players in the current Pollok squad, although Stephen Docherty is on the coaching staff.

In Season 2001/02 the two sides met in the second round of the competition at Loch Park and a Stuart Boyd strike from the edge of the box settled the tie in favour of Glenafton.

Glenafton last won the West of Scotland Cup in season 2005/06 ….. at Newlandsfield.  Kevin Murray gave Maryhill the lead at the interval but man-of-the-match Steven McGregor rose head and shoulders above the ‘Hill defence to head home the equaliser. Robbie Mitchell put the Glens one up in the penalty shoot-out and then keeper Gary Matthews blocked Bryan Dingwall’s spot kick to make it advantage Glens, an advantage they didn’t surrender on their way to winning the West for the second time.

Legendary Glens’ goalie Gary was forced to change his top at the beginning of the game and played throughout the final in a Pollok shirt loaned by the hosts, while of course in later seasons Bryan Dingwall would go on to attain legendary status with Pollok as a prolific goalscorer.

Gary Matthews saves from Maryhill's Bryan Dingwall

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Scottish Junior Cup 4th round draw

Emirates Scottish Junior Cup 4th Round draw

Kilwinning Rangers or Blantyre Victoria v Glenafton Athletic

Saturday 21st January 2012

The Glens and Kilwinning Rangers have faced each other five times in the Scottish Junior Cup. The Buffs came out on top in the first meeting in 1934/35 with the Glens triumphing in the following four 1960/61, 1982/83, 1987/88 and most recently in 1988/89.

Blantyre Vics won two of the three pevious encounters between the clubs in 1946/47 and 1981/82 with the Glens victorious in 1960/61.

Full draw

Armadale Thistle or Kilsyth Rangers v Arthurlie
Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic v Maybole
Cambuslang Rangers or East Craigie v Shotts Bon Accord or Annbank United
Carluke Rovers v Dunipace or Irvine Meadow XI
Dundee Violet v Whitletts Victoria or Ashfield
Girvan or Broxburn Athletic v St. Roch’s
Kelty Hearts or Camelon v Whitburn or Glentanar
Kilbirnie Ladeside or R.A.F. Lossiemouth v Troon
Kilwinning Rangers or Blantyre Victoria v Glenafton Athletic
Lanark United v Kinnoull
Largs Thistle v Arniston Rangers
Larkhall Thistle v Bellshill Athletic or Greenock
Musselburgh Athletic v Auchinleck Talbot
Neilston or Sauchie v Bo’ness United
Pollok v Lochee United
St. Andrews United v Cumnock

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Glenafton 2 Irvine Meadow 2

Friendly

Friday 9th December ,KO 8:00pm

KA Sports Pitches, Almswall Park, Kilwinning

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (1) v IRVINE MEADOW 2 (1)

Glenafton were without club captain Robbie Henderson while Andy Bell, Gareth Armstrong and JP Boyle were rested due to slight injuries. John Dempster partnered Paul McKenzie up front.

The game started well with the Glens having most of the posession and it paid off with some good hold up play by Dempster and Ian Cashmore slotted the ball home. The Glens could have went further ahead as Taz broke clear but sliced the ball past the post.With 5 minutes of the half remaining Meadow capitalised on a slack clearance and former Glens player Simon Eeles fired home the equaliser.  An enforced substitution saw Bob Hay replace Richie McKillen who had picked up a shin injury. H/T Glens 1 Meadow 1

Goalscorers Ian Cashmore, Gareth Campbell & Simon Eeles

Goalscorers Ian Cashmore, Gareth Campbell & Simon Eeles

Ally Semple, who had a relatively quiet first 45, was replaced by young goalkeeper Ryan Dunsmuir – the Glens only remaining sub – at the break.  There was little to choose between the two sides but with 25 minutes to go Gareth Campbell was brought down in the box and in the freezing conditions he coolly slammed home the spot kick. Meadow made use of all of there seven substitutes but it was Simon Eeles who struck again to level the scores. With 10 minutes to go Hay was carried off and Richie McKillen was re-introduced at centre-forward and five minutes later Campbell limped off as the Glens finished with 10 men. F/T Glens 2 Meadow 2

Glenafton:  Semple (Dunsmuir 45), McEwan, McChesney, Menzies, McKillen,(Hay 35) Campbell, Murphy, Potter, Cashmore, Dempster McKenzie

Posted in GAFC Match Report

Glenafton v Irvine Meadow

Friendly

Friday 9th December ,KO 8:00pm

KA Sports Pitches, Almswall Park, Kilwinning

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC v IRVINE MEADOW

With no scheduled fixture this Saturday the Glens will face Premier Division champions Irvine Meadow at Almswall Park, Kilwinning. The Medda currently sit in 5th place in the league seven points behind leaders Petershill, but with four games in hand.

The First Meeting

Coincidentally when the two teams met for the first time, way back in August 1933,  Meadow were the reigning Western League Champions.   The Glens and fellow south Ayrshire teams Talbot and Kello gained entry into the Western League that season and the New Cumnock side beat Meadow 5-2 at Connel Park and drew 3-3 at Meadow Park in the league clashes. However, the clubs had already clashed in the 2nd round of the Moore Trophy and a gate of £27 at Connel Park watched the Glens mow the Meadow by 5 goals to 1 , a brace each from Montgomerie and Irvine and an own goal from the visitors.

The Last Meeting

The Glens went to the top of the league after beating Meadow 3-1 at Loch Park in October 2009, with a W4 D1 Lo record. The home side went two up within seven minutes with a 25 yard lob from Craig Feroz and a20 yard thunderbolt from Chris Zok.  Seven minutes before the break Stephen Swift rose like a lark to head home and half the deficit. Chris Zok rifled a stunning volley into with 20 minutes to go to seal the points.

Craig Feroz holds off former Glens players Chic Connolly and Stevie Farrell

By the time the two sides met in the corresponding fixture at Meadow Park, the Glens had plummeted to 8th in the league (en-route to a play-of loss to Lanark) whole while the Medda were top of the league (en-route to the title).  Goals from Chris Strain and David Hamilton gave the home side a 2-0 victory, the Glens going close through Simon Eeles, but his shot crashed off the post.

Former Afton Lad

Simon Eeles

Simon joined Glenafton from Hurlford United at the beginning of season 2007/08, signed by then manager Gordon Dalziel. His previous clubs were Stirling Albion, Largs Thistle, Stenhousemuir, Tarff Rovers, Gretna, Kilbirnie Ladeside, Linlithgow Rose, Auchinleck Talbot and Saltcoats Victoria before moving to Blair Park. Simon made 53 starts (and about half as many again substitute appearances) for the Glens over the three seasons at Loch Park and scored 12 goals. On his game an exciting player who could take on defences with relish and score the odd cracking goal or two.  Simon’s last appearance for the Glens was at the start of season 2010/11 before he moved on to a second spell at Kilbirnie Ladeside and from there to Meadow at the beginning of last season.

Simon scores at Maybole

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Glenafton v Hurlford

Super League 1st Division

Sat 3rd December , Loch Park, New Cumnock KO 1:45pm

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC v HURLFORD UNITED

Back to the league business after the successful Scottish Junior Cup exploits away to Hermes at the bright and sunny Bridge of Don. Tomorrow’s visit of Hurlford however is in serious doubt as rain sweeps across the country and there will be a pitch inspection at Loch Park at 9:00 am.

Ford Focus - Craig Potter

The two sides met at Blair Park earlier in the season where the Glens came out on top thanks to a first half opportunist strike from Gareth Armstrong and a last minute penalty save from Ally Semple to deny Robert McPhee from the spot. The penalty kick was awarded after Steven Greenlees tripped former Afton Lad, Aaron Schoular in the box and of course Steven has since joined him at Hurlford.

Postscript: GAME OFF – waterlogged pitch.

All other Super League 1st Division games off.

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The Sloan Danger – Away!

Glenafton have transferred Lewis Sloan to his home town team of Dalbeattie Star. The young midfielder became an instant hit with the Glenafton support and scored four goals in the early season Ardagh Sectional Cup matches including the opener in the 4-1 tanking of Talbot at Beechwood, where he run the Black and Gold defence ragged.  Lewis went on to make 19 appearances for Glenafton and scored seven goals, the most recent of which against Newmains United in the Scottish Junior Cup win at Loch Park.

Travelling back and forward from Dalbeattie for midweek training and Saturday matches was taking its toll and everyone at Glenafton  would like to thank Lewis and wish him all the best for the future.

Good luck, Lewis

 

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Glenafton 2 Stranraer 0

Friendly

Tuesday 29th November , Toryglen Regional Football Centre, Glasgow

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (1) v STRANRAER 0 (0)

The Glens faced SFL side Stranraer in a closed-door friendly at Toryglen tonight.  Former Cowdenbeath, Stenhousemuir and Cumnock Juniors striker John Dempster guested for Glenafton and partnered John Paul Boyle up front. There were some familiar faces in the Stair Park starting eleven including former Afton lads John Kane and Nathan Shepherd.

Paul Murphy

The astrosturf surface lent itself to the Glens passing game with former Stranraer player Paul Murphy pulling the strings in the middle of the park for the men in red , ably assisted by Ian Cashmore who had an outstanding game in central midfield.  John Paul Boyle, who made his debut for the Glens on Saturday, his first start in a game since June, understandably felt the effects of his efforts at Hermes and was replaced midway through the half by Craig Potter

The Glens made the breakthough late in the first half, when the impressive Dempster was denied from close range by keeper David Mitchell but magical Paul McKenzie was on hand to slam the ball home. H/T Glens 1 Stranraer 0

Ryan Dunsmuir

The New Cumnock side doubled their lead soon after the restart, Cashmore’s courage winning a header in the box and the ball falling to John Dempster with his back to goal, and holding off his marker he hooked the ball over his head into the net. The Glens carved out a number of opportunties to add to their tally with fluent fast flowing football that had Stranraer players chasing shadows under the Toryglen floodlights.  Stranraer, with a large squad to choose from, enjoyed a sustained period of pressure but efforts from distance whistled past both posts and young keeper Ryan Dunsmuir pulled off two quite stunning saves. The Glens finished the stronger and thoroughly deserved their victory. F/T Glens 2 Stranraer 0

Glenafton: Dunsmuir; McEwan; McChesney, Henderson, McKillen; McKenzie, Murphy, Cashmore, Bell; Dempster, Boyle (Potter)


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Hermes 1 Glenafton 4

Emirates Scottish Junior Cup 3rd Round

Sat 26th November , Lochside Park, Bridge of Don KO 1:45pm

HERMES 1 (0) v GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 4 (1)

Bright sunshine at Bridge of Don beckoned the players down the wooden steps from the neat pavilion and on to the perfectly manicured pitch at Lochside Park, with gusts of wind swirling around the ground.

From Loch Park to Lochside Park

Glenafton welcomed back top goalscorer Gareth Armstrong to the starting line-up having been sidelined for two and bit games through injury to partner midweek signing John Paul Boyle from Arthurlie up front. However it was Hermes striker Mark Gairns that almost grabbed the headlines after only 90 secs following the visitors failure to clear their lines but his shot went agonisingly wide of Semple’s far post with the keeper stranded at the other one. Hermes broke forward at pace again but a passage of neat quick passing was dealt with more effectively by the Glens rearguard and Gairns could find no way through. At the other end with 7 minutes gone Armstrong, deep in the Hermes box, rose above the sandwich of Paul Cruickshank and Grant Campbell to head down to Boyle but keeper Lee Sweeney dived low to block the nippy striker’s shot at goal.  Six minutes later Boyle turned provider and his chip from the corner of the 18 yard box saw  Gareth Armstrong spring up higher than centre half Sam McKenzie and his header from 8 yards out caught Sweeney flat-footed and the ball nestle in the net unchallenged. The big keeper was alert to prevent the visitors doubling their lead on 20 minutes advancing to the edge of the box to deny Boyle who had beat the offside trap to give himself and free run in on goal.  Four minutes later the visitors stood firm to ultimately repel a flurry of Hermes’ attempts to fashion an equaliser that ended with Paul McKenzie blocking a shot from the impressive Mark Hamilton.

Bo heads home the opener

The wind strengthened and a change of direction now found it at Glenafton’s backs but they struggled to find a way of putting it their advantage. Hermes, on the other hand, handled the conditions better and yet the Lochside park side could not find a way of putting a killer touch to some fine build up play and thanks to a defence, well marshalled by the outstanding Robbie Henderson, Semple was seldom troubled. Three minutes before the break Paul McKenzie brought the game to life with a trademark run down the right leaving Hermes players behind him like a string of static training cones as he reached the by-line, however his cutback from Armstrong was clutched out of the air by the safe hands of Sweeney. H/T Hermes 0 Glenafton 1

Hermes to the ancient Greeks was ‘Messenger of the Gods’ and the boys from Bridge of Don certainly appeared to get the half-time message as they laid siege to the Glens goal in the opening minutes of the new half.  The visitors kicked-off and 15 seconds later Semple saved from Makel Madek.Two minutes later a Gairns strike from 20 yards struck the hand of Ryan McChesney but although the striker managed to curl the resultant free-kick round the Afton wall he couldn’t guide the ball beneath the bar and into Semple’s net. A minute later further Hermes’ pressure ended with Hamilton’s hands on his head as another home effort went inches wide.

Just as Glenafton had appeared to weather the storm spirits of the travelling support were deflated again with the sight of Armstrong hobbling of the pitch but unbeknownst to them his replacement Andy Bell would have a big say in the outcome of the match.Two minutes later Hermes raid on the Glens goal ended with the winning of a spot kick after Madek was impeded in the box by Paul Murphy. Craig Macklin stepped up and sent Semple the wrong way to level the cup tie with half an hour to go.

Hermes’ momentum was dealt a severe blow on 63 minutes when a Glen’s attack spearheaded by Murphy and Gareth Armstrong ended with an attempted clearance by substitute Steven Wilson looping over the head of his back pedalling keeper and into the back of the net. The wind continued to gust but most of it was taken out of the home side’s sails four minutes later. McKenzie menaced his way down the left and fired the ball across the face of the goal where Gareth Armstrong brilliantly fended off the tackle from behind bt namesake Grant Campbell and the ball ran on unimpeded to the aforementioned Andy Bell who picked his spot from six yards out to double the Glens’s advantage.

Andy Bell dings it home

With twenty minutes to go the lively Boyle once again beat the offside trap and after recovering from a stumble regained his composure to turn Grant Campbell in the box before shooting for goal but Sweeney did well to tip the ball over the bar. Ten minutes later a great ball from Murphy released Boyle wide on the left but his run ended in the box as Hermes manned up with a three-line whip between the Glens’ hit man and Sweeney’s goals.

The home side now only threatened in flashes but each time found the visitors’ defence in a determined mood not to surrender their two goal cushion. To add to their woes the Glens introduced the fresh legs of Lewis Sloan for debutant John Paul Boyle who left the field to well deserved rapturous applause from the travelling support. Two minutes later a Sloan corner on right was won in the air by Henderson and the Glens’s captain returned the ball to Sloan who quickly rolled it into the path of McKenzie who in turn launched it skyward to the back post for the unmarked Paul Murphy to stoop and bullet home a header from four yards out.

Murph makes it 4-1

A minute later Sweeney denied Bell his second as he ran from his line to rob the midfielder of the ball as he tried to round him at the penalty spot.  Soon after a Sloan cross from the by-line eluded the keeper at full stretch at his near post but Gavin Middlet0n was on hand at the back post to block Bell’s shot. F/T Hermes 1 Glenafton 4

Hermes: Sweeney, Cruickshank, Middleton, Campbell, McKenzie, K. Wilson, Macklin, Hamilton, Gairns, Madek, Courage Subs Rush, Smith, S. Wilson, Havlin, McEndrick, Robertson, Ritchie

Glenafton: Semple; McEwan, McChesney, Henderson, McKillen; Campbell, Potter, Murphy, McKenzie (Cashmore); Armstrong (Bell), Boyle (Sloan). Subs Dunsmuir (gk), Hay

more photos here

Glenafton would like to thank Hermes for the excellent hospitality shown and the good wishes extended after the match, it was greatly appreciated.

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