Glenafton 2 Irvine Vics 1

Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup 1st Round

Sat 18th February , Loch Park, New Cumnock, KO 2:00pm


Victory snatched from the jaws of Victoria

Gus Cochrane

Glenafton gave a debut to Gus Cochrane a midweek loan signing from Stranraer. The 17 year-old midfielder’s clever touches and intelligent use of the ball was one of the few highlights for the home side in a fairly uneventful first half. Despite enjoying much of the possession and playing with the strong, but icy, wind at their backs the Glens failed to seriously test keeper Jim Catterson from either open play or from the considerable collection of corner-kicks earned.

The visiting Vics created the cream of the chances the best of which fell at both the beginning and end of the half to striker Kevin Adam, who had scored in each of his last six games. In the first minute a slack pass in the middle of the park saw the Glens surrender possession and the ball fed down the left to Steven McAvoy who played it across the face of goal for  Adam running in at the near post but he knocked it just wide of target from five yards out.  Almost right on the interval another quick break split open the home defence leaving Adam one-on-one with keeper Ally Semple but again the hit man was left with his head in his hands as he shot tamely into the arms of the Glens guardian. Five minutes beforehand another slick passing movement from box to box saw Vics fly up the field and good work by McAvoy, on the right this time, ended with full back Darren Russell through on goal but Semple was his equal pushing his shot to safety. H/T Glens 0 Vics 0

Four minutes into the fresh half John Dempster and John Paul Boyle combined well in the box to set up Paul McKenzie only for Catterson to comfortably collect his low drilled shot. Three minutes later Cochrane fed Boyle on the edge of the box and his knock on picked out McKenzie who took a touch before firing for the top corner but again he was foiled by Catterson who pulled off a fantastic one-handed save. On 54 minutes another Vics’ lightning break began with Jordan Kerr setting David Anderson flying free down the left and he rolled the ball to Ben Carson on the edge of the box who deftly flicked it back to Bobby Colligan but his wind-assisted right footed shot from 20 yards outs sailed over the bar. A minute later Colligan from almost the identical spot, and with Robbie Henderson and Richie McKillen closing in, fired a left-footed shot that flew into Semple’s top right hand corner.

Bobby's ball - Vics take the lead

The Vics joy vaporised two minutes later when a Gareth Campbell corner-kick was headed clear by Colligan only for McKenzie to feed it back into the crowded penalty area where Richie McKillen was first to react and drill the ball home from 10 yards out.

Richie's Rocket - Glens draw level

Glenafton took a grip of the game and McKenzie and Boyle in particular were proving a handful for the Vics.  On the hour mark the pair combined to take in turn to weave through the Westenders ending with Boyle’s drive slipping wide of Catterson’s post. Five minutes on and Boyle laid the ball off to McKenzie at the corner of the penalty box who in turn picked out Dempster on the penalty spot and he wheeled to volley home but the agile Catterson leaped in a flash to push the ball over the bar, a save of quality that clearly delighted the likable keeper and rightly so.  The Glens made little of the resultant corner kick and from the one after that Colligan and McAvoy took the ball from box to box before releasing Carson in acres of space on the left but Semple rushed 15 yards or so from his line to dive bravely at the forward’s feet and steal the ball to safety. With 15 minutes to go his counterpart Catterson enjoyed a stroke of good fortune when Campbell’s persistence forced a hurried pass back that the keeper failed to control and his sclaffed clearance deflected off the Glens’ midfielder away from the gaping net. At the other end Semple was in action again saving well from a snap shot from substitute Blair Gilmour.

John jabs home - Glens take the lead

With five minutes to go Boyle burst into the box and fired for goal and although his shot was partially blocked by the advancing Catterson some 8 yards off his line John Dempster pounced and evaded the challenge of substitute Alan Frew before placing the ball beyond the back tracking Lee Hunter into the net. The visitors responded well and came close to drawing level within a minute but Carson’s close range header was comfortably clasped to the chest of Semple. In the dying embers of the game the impressive Colligan crossed from the left but McAvoy failed to connect and the Vics’ last chance of forcing a penalty shoot-out was gone and it will be Glenafton that travel to face Craigmark in the next round. F/T Glens 2 Vics 1

Glenafton Athletic: Semple;  Menzies, Murphy, Henderson & McKillen; Bell (McEwan), Campbell (Cashmore), Cochrane & McKenzie; Boyle & Dempster. Subs Potter, Armstrong, McChesney & Dunsmuir

Irvine Victoria: Catterson, Johnstone, Russell, Smith, Hunter, Kerr, Colligan, Carson, Adam, McAvoy & Anderson. Subs – Gilmour, Frew, Valentine & McIroy.

More photos here

Siney’s Video Highlights 

1st half highlights  2nd half highlights


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Glenafton v Irvine Vics

Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup 1st Round

Sat 18th February , Loch Park, New Cumnock, KO 2:00pm


The two sides last met in the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup in Season 2007/08 and like this week-end’s match it was a first round tie. In stark contrast the first time the Glens and Vics met in the competition was in the Cup final of 1935/36 at Rugby Park.

LAST MEETING: Friday 18th April 2008

Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup 1st Round
Victoria Park, Irvine

The two sides last met in Ayrshire Cup in Season 2007/08 when the Ayrshire District side went in at the interval a goal to the good courtesy of an own goal by Chris Merrilees.  The Premier side struck back twice in the second half with goals from Frankie Haggarty and David Gormley to seal the tie.

Glenafton: Matthews; Connolly,Gow, Merrilees, Quinn; Haggarty, Howie (Grant), Doyle (Deeney), Agnew; Feroz (Anderson), Gormley

FIRST MEETING: Saturday 10th April 1936

Ayrshire Junior Challenge Cup Final
Rugby Park, Kilmarnock

Glenafton as reigning Western League champions and Irvine Vics were in a three horse race for the league title when they faced each other in the Ayrshire Junior Cup Final – a race that was eventually won by Cumnock Juniors, with Vics runners-up and Glens in third place.

Irvine Vics road the final began with a bye in the 1st round followed by victories over Kilbirnie (3-1, h), Dalry (4-0,h) and Saltcoats (5-1 at Recreation Park). While the Glens claimed the scalps of the Meadow (3-1,a), Kilwinning Rangers (6-0, h) and Cumnock (6-1, at Rugby Park).

Although Vics ‘carpet-weaving’ style of play caught the eye it failed to penetrate the Glens defence with Bill Gray in outstanding form. In contrast the Irvine side could not handle Glens’ outside left John Reid who bagged a first half brace and completed his hat-trick with a stunning strike from the corner of the box that flew past Jardine and into the corner of the net. The Glens had won the Ayrshire Cup for the first time in the club’s short history.

Glenafton: McEwan; Brown & Ferguson; Craig, Gray, & Ballantyne, Irvine, Hawthorn, Serrie, Campbell & Reid

Irvine Vics: Jardine; Gibson & Caldwell; J.Dempster, Kyle & McCormack; Donnelly, M.Dempster, McGill, Steele & Campbell.

The famous Glens side of 1935/1936. Galston lad Tommy Langan missed the final through injury and local lad J. Serrie took his place at centre forward.

Back row: Brown, Ferguson, McEwan, Craig, Gray and Ballantyne. Front row: Irvine, Hawthorn, Langan, Campbell and Reid.

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Angus stakes a claim at Loch Park

Glenafton have signed 18 year old Gus Cochrane on a loan deal from Stranraer. The young midfielder formerly with Celtic youths made his debut for the Stair Park side in November 2010 .

Welcome to Loch Park, Gus.

Gus at Stranraer

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Ally’s extension….building for the future


Glenafton goalkeeper Ally Semple has extended his current contract to 18 months keeping him at Loch Park next season. Captain Robbie Henderson, John Paul Boyle and Paul Murphy are already signed up for next season and contract extensions with several other players are on-going.

Fingers crossed tomorrow’s home league match against East Kilbride Thistle will go ahead. The two sides have met four times on league business on four occasions with each having won one game and the other two drawn. Another tough test for league leaders Glens with East Kilbride only 5 points behind with 3 games in hand.



Posted in GAFC Squad

Troon 3 Glenafton 2


Sat 4th February, Portland Park, Troon, KO 1:00pm


Richie McKillen

With both sides scheduled fixtures called off due to the adverse weather a friendly match was quickly arranged at Troon’s Portland Park. The home side came out on top in a highly competitive game played in attrocious conditions.  Troon were two up at the break and added a third in the second half with Glenafton’s goals coming courtesy of a Richie McKillen free-kick and Paul McKenzie strike.

Only one Super League 1st Division game survived the Saturday call-0ffs and second placed Ardrossan Winton Rovers passed up the opportunity to knock Glenafton off the top spot by going down 1-0 at home to Cumbernauld United.

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Bob Hay’s Away

Defender Bob Hay has been released by the club. He joined the Glens from Girvan in October 2011 has made 2 appearances, both from the bench. The club would like to thank Bob and wish him all the best for the future.

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Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup draw

Glenafton have been drawn at home to Irvine Victoria in the 1st round of the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup. The winners will travel to face Craigmark Burntonians in the 2nd Round.

Glens and Vics last met in the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup back in 2007/08 when goals from Frankie Haggarty and David Gormley secured a 2-1 win at Irvine in the 1st round.

1st Round
Annbank v Kello
Cumnock v Largs
Dalry v Auchinleck
Darvel v Saltcoats
Glenafton v Irvine Vics
Kilbirnie v Troon
Lugar v Irvine Meadow
Whitletts v Girvan
2nd Round
Annbank or Kello v Dalry or Auchinleck
Ardeer v Whitletts or Girvan
Ardrossan v Darvel or Saltcoats
Craigmark v Glenafton or Irvine Vics
Hurlford v Beith
Kilbirnie or Troon v Cumnock or Largs
Kilwinning v Muirkirk
Maybole v Lugar or Irvine Meadow
Posted in GAFC Fixture

Flow Gently Sweet Afton

Happy Birthday Rabbie

On 9th July 1706 William Gordon of Earlstoun (Kirkcudbrightshire) was created the 1st Baronet of Afton, the barony comprising lands in the parish of New Cumnock inherited by his wife Mary Campbell, heiress of Sir George Campbell of Cessnock.

Generations later the Barony of Afton was held by Catherine Gordon and her husband Alexander Stewart, who began to work the extensive coal measures in the parish. The couple also acquired the lands of Stair on the banks of the River Ayr. It was while living at Stair House that Catherine Gordon Stewart met with Robert Burns and became enchanted and fascinated with his work.

In 1786, a collection of 8 poems of Burns including the ‘The Lass of Ballochmyle’ and ‘Handsome Nell’ were published and are now known as the Stair Manuscript. Five years later in 1791 this was followed by the Afton Manuscript comprising 14 poems among which were his mystical ‘Tam O’Shanter’ and his glorious ‘Sweet Afton’.

‘To Mrs. General Stewart of Afton. The first person of her sex and rank that patronised his humble lays, this manuscript collection of Poems is presented, with the sincerest emotions of grateful respect, by the Author’. Robt. Burns

Afton Lodge

After the death of her husband Catherine Gordon Stewart vacated the large Stair House and moved to the purpose built Afton Lodge between Tarbolton and Mossblown.  She, along with two of her daughters, lies buried in Stair Kirkyard.

In the following century the New Cumnock coalfield began to flourish as several companies sank pits in the parish and built the miner’s rows to house their workers and families. So too did the demand to play and watch association football blossom and teams such as senior side Lanemark (1877) taking their name from Lanemark Coal Company (landlord of their Connel Park pitch) and Afton Lads (1879) named from the Afton pits on the Afton estate emerged.

After the Great War Lanemark FC folded and the football gulf was filled by newly formed junior side New Cumnock United named after New Cumnock Collieries which had by this time owned most of the pits in the parish, including those on the Afton estate).  After great success in their early years New Cumnock United fell on hard times and folded in 1928.

The old Connel Park pitch today

Within two years however a new team was formed to take their place, based at Connel Park and for the time being making full use of United’s hamper. But what to call the new team?

The call went out for ideas and it came to past Glenafton Athletic were formed.

Afton Water and Glen Afton

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes!
Flow gently, I’ll sing thee a song in thy praise!
My Mary’s asleep by the murmuring stream –
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream!

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Kilwinning 1 Glenafton 0

Emirates Scottish Junior Cup 4th Round

Sat 21st January, Abbey Park, Kilwinning, KO 1:45pm


Glenafton legend Danny McCulloch (he also had a short spell at the Buffs) scored the Glens opener in the 3-2 Scottish Junior Cup 2nd round win over the Buffs in season 1960/61 at Kilwinning.

With both sides chasing promotion from their respective league, Kilwinning handily positioned third-top of the Ayrshire District League and Glenafton sitting top of the Super League 1st Division, the scene was set for an intriguing all Ayrshire Emirates Scottish Junior Cup 4th round tie at Abbey Park.

Glenafton kicked off in the bright sunshine against a cold cutting wind that blasted from the shed end goal-mouth to the one guarding the Garnock Water gushing its way to the Irvine Bay well fed by the heavy rain that fell overnight.  Neither team could master elements in the opening encounters. The Buffs won two corners in five minutes but both times the ball was more likely to end up in the Garnock rather than in Glenafton’s net. Meanwhile the visitors had little time to dwell on the ball having to rush their clearances from defence and their progress upfield was very much three steps forward and two back at times. A couple of free kicks from 20 yards out came and went without keeper Fraser Stewart being tested.

In stark contrast Kilwinning’s attacks were often at break-neck speed with the pace of Ben Lewis, doubly dangerous when wind assisted, down the right flank keeping the Glenafton rear guard on their toes. On 15 minutes he combined well with the equally impressive David Smith but the attacking wing back’s shot from an acute angle was blocked by Robbie Henderson at the expense of another corner kick. Now having the measure of the wind the kick found the head of former Glenafton striker Michael Hart but the close attention of Richie McKillen forced his header well wide of target. Three minutes later Andy Bell’s perseverance down the left earned the Glens their first corner kick but it too suffered from their previous set piece malaise and lacked threat.

Midway through the half the Buffs made good effect of the left wing with a run by Barry Fleeting ending in a shot that was deflected narrowly wide of Semple’s far post with the keeper stranded. The resultant corner caused panic with Neil Shearer’s header falling for Lewis but his attempt to fire home was blocked by John Dempster and then Barry Russell blasted the loose ball wide.

The sunshine gave way to thick heavy cloud and the heavens opened for seven minutes filling the shed with supporters of both sides in jig time while no doubt at the other end the Garnock swelled further. Not for the feint hearted .This proved to be the visitors’ best spell in terms of possession at least and the Buffs box was the busier of the two. With 33 minutes gone the Glens seriously tested Stewart for the first time and the keeper was up to challenge coming off his line to dive at the feet of Dempster after the big striker had bustled past Shearer and Lee Grant to break into the box.

As the sun made a welcome return, but clearly with the threat of a further deluge, the Buffs emerged reenergised. Lewis won another corner on the right and former Glenafton defender Roland Fabiani won the header at the near post with the loose ball falling to Russell at the edge of the box, his sweetly struck shot stinging Semple’s hands before the keeper gathered the ball at the second attempt.  The Glens responded with a break of their own but with little support Gareth Campbell was forced into a speculative shot from 25 yards out which ended high and wide of target. Two minutes before the break the home side produced the move of the match. Hart picked up the ball in the centre circle and switched to Lewis on the right who released Smith in the box who slipped the ball beyond the outrushing Semple but with too much pace for the incoming Hart to collect and slide into the empty net. Again Afton responded well and Paul McKenzie broke free down the left only for Fleeting to push out him out of play. With what looked to be last chance of the half the Glens launched the free kick into the box which was only partially cleared and headed back into the danger area by Henderson where Stuart Hannah gathered for the Buffs and set Ben Lewis flying down the right wing with McKillen and Craig Potter in pursuit and on entering the box he drilled a the ball home low and hard beyond the advancing Semple into the far corner. Glenafton kicked off and the referee blew to bring the half to a close. H/T Kilwinning 1 Glenafton 0

Buffs defend a Glens corner

The Buffs almost doubled their lead from a Bruce McMaster free kick ten minutes into the new half. Semple at full stretch punched the ball from under the bar as Fabiani looked certain to head home and then Dempster blocked Lewis’ attempt to slot home from close range allowing Semple gather. Three minutes later Henderson headed a McKenzie corner wide of targets as the game entered a period of chances being swapped at either end. Indeed three minutes after that Henderson, in his more natural defensive role slid into prevent Hart and Lewis connecting with another  killer cross from McMaster on the left. The Glens countered with a couple of corners but again the Buffs defence was not to be breached.   On 69 minutes  keeper Stewart looked flustered for the first time as McKenzie wriggled his way through a packed box before Bell picked up the cudgel  but his attempt to scissors kick the ball home went wide.

Another seven minute squall descended upon Abbey Park and both sets of players deserve great credit for continuing to make a contest of it as supporters dived for cover.  Thankfully it cleared and in the closing ten minutes the visitors gained the upper hand as they sought to salvage a replay. With 8 minutes to go former Buffs striker Gareth Armstrong  broke the middle and with Fabiani closing in attempted to toe-poke the ball home form the 18 yard line but Stewart read the situation well and  gathered the ball comfortably. Four minutes later Campbell fired in a free kick from the left touchline but although it beat the keeper at full stretch it whizzed past the post. Two minutes on and a McKenzie corner wasn’t fully cleared and the ball lobbed high into the goal for Stewart to pull of the save of the match rising from his goal line to palm the ball over the bar with Armstrong at his side. The visitors went on to win four or five more corners Stewart clutching the last of these to his chest deep into the four minutes of added on time to end the Glens cup run put the Buffs into the hat for the fifth round. F/T Kilwinning 1 Glenafton 0

Kilwinning: Stewart, Smith, Fleeting, Grant, Shearer, Fabiani, Hannah, Russell, Hart, Lewis, McMaster. Subs McCreadie, Frye, Ferris, Robertson, Deeney, McDowall and Lundy

Glenafton: Semple; McEwan (Cashmore), Murphy, Henderson, McKillen; McKenzie, Armstrong, Potter, Bell (Menzies); Dempster & Armstrong Subs not used. Dunsmuir (gk), McChesney, Hay

Photos here

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Kilwinning v Glenafton

Emirates Scottish Junior Cup 4th Round

Sat 21st January, Abbey Park, Kilwinning, KO 1:45pm


Glenafton Athletic travel to face Kilwinning Rangers on Saturday in the 4th round of the Emirates Scottish Junior Cup . The sides have faced each other five times in Junior football’s ‘Holy Grail’, three times at the 4th round stage.

Mud and Glory

In this season’s competition both clubs received a bye into the second round where the Glens were drawn away to Newmains United. Due to concerns over the Newmains pitch being playable the tie was switched to Loch Park where the Glens eventually proved too strong for a stuffy hardworking United and ran out 5-0 winners with goals from former Buffs striker Ian Cashmore (2), Lewis Sloan, Craig McEwan and Gareth Campbell.  The Buffs travelled to New Elgin and the match ended in a 2-2 draw with the visitors’ goals from former Glens players Michael Hart and Roland Fabiani. The pair each scored in the 3-1 replay with Ben Lewis scoring in between times.

Defence into Attack - Fabi & Neil

The Glens were drawn away to North Premier Division leaders Hermes in the 3rd round and took an early lead through Gareth Armstrong before the home side levelled from the spot soon after the break. An unfortunate own goal put the Glens ahead and then goals from Andy Bell and Paul Murphy sealed the tie. After three postponements Kilwinning’s 3rd round tie with Blantyre Vics got the go ahead. Experienced defender Neil Shearer put the Buffs two up at Abbey Park before Vics put a fly in the ointment and halved the deficit with twenty minutes to go. Any fears of a Blantyre fight back vanished after the visitors were reduced to 10 men and Roland Fabiani ‘steadied the Buffs’ with a killer third goal.

Glens and Buffs Head to Head in the Scottish

Kilwinning Rangers hold the honour of being the first Ayrshire side to win the Scottish Junior Cup when in season 1908/09 they defeated Strathclyde 1-0 at Rugby Park after a goal-less draw at Shawfield; Dickson (no not Bobby!) scoring the winner for the Buffs.  The parish of Kilwinning had two entrants that season the other being Kilwinning Eglinton, similarly the parish of New Cumnock had two entrants in the shape of Craigbank and Afton Thistle.

Buffs vs Glens 1934/35 courtesy Cumnock Chronicle

Glenafton Athletic, formed in 1930, first met Kilwinning Rangers in the Scottish Cup in a 4th round tie at Kilwinning on New Year’s Day  1935, when both teams were  strongly positioned in the race for the league championship with the New Cumnock side sitting top.  The home side raced to a 3-0 lead with a double from Jamieson and another from the deadly Dale. The dependable Brown reduced the deficit from m the penalty spot before Thomson restored the Buffs’ three goal advantage.  Irvine and Miller countered for the Glens to ensure a tense finish. The Buffs held on and marched on to be Ayrshire’s only representative in the 5th round but lost out to Brechin Victoria, while the Glens went on to win the league (with the Buffs 5 points behind in second place) to become the first ‘south Ayrshire side’ to win the Western League.

More than a quarter of century passed before the two met again in the Scottish Junior Cup in season 1960/61 at Kilwinning. Glenafton had thrashed Auchinleck Talbot 6-1 in the 1st round in their first Scottish tie at their new home of Loch Park to set up the 2nd round clash with the Buffs. The Kilwinning side had home advantage but the visitors came out on top in a five goal thriller with McCulloch, Moffat and Wallace scoring the Glenafton goals.

The clubs met in the Scottish no fewer than three times in the 1980s with the first at the 4th round stage in 1982/83 ending in a 5-3 win for the Glens at Kilwinning. In 1987/88, in the most one-sided of the encounters, the Glens triumphed in the 4th round, goals from Mauchlen, McCutcheon, Adams, Gardiner and Morgan returning a 5-1 victory at Loch Park, with Clinton scoring the visitors’ consolation.  The following season the Glens hosted the Buffs in the 1st round and late goals from McGeachie and Billy Dalziel killed off Kilwinning.

The 1990’s of course was a landmark decade for Glenafton in the Scottish Junior Cup reaching three finals in a row and lifting the ‘holy grail’ for the first time in the club’s history in 1993 at Firhill. A landmark decade for Kilwinning Rangers too, winning the Scottish (and almost everything else) in their centenary year of 1999, under the management of New Cumnockian and former Glenafton player Bobby Dickson – his father ‘Kilt’ on the Glens coaching staff that had taken the New Cumnock side to their first Scottish Junior Cup Final in 1963.

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