JOE MELDRUM TOURNAMENT
Saturday 23rd July, 2011 Loch Park, New Cumnock
The Glens played host to St. Cuthbert Wanderers and Troon in the annual pre-season tournament named in honour of former president the late Joe Meldrum. The three 1 hour (30 minutes each way) game format kicked off with the home side facing the visitors from Kirkcudbright.
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0
ST. CUTHBERTS WANDERERS 0
Disappointingly and in complete contrast to the bright sunshine that bathed Loch Park the game was a rather dull affair with both sides struggling to create any real chances from open play. Indeed even from set pieces there was little to concern either goalkeepeer although from a corner kick the visitors did conjure up a cheeky overhead kick-on on the six yard line that sneaked wide of Ally Semple’s back post. Paul McKenzie did raise the tempo of the game on occasion and a trademark run into the box, leaving a line of Wanderers in his wake, ended with shot from a few yards out being blocked on the line. Both sides made a number of changes at the break and indeed the Glens brought on all of their substitutes including young goalkeeper Ryan Dunsmuir. Matters improved slightly in the second half although it did seem there was more chance of rain than goal, of which a set-piece would surely be the more likely source. The Glens perhaps edged their opponents in the ‘corners-won’ department and Steven Greenlees came nearest to converting one of them into a goal but his header sailed over the bar.
Glens: Semple; McEwan, Henderson, McKinnell, Menzies; McKenzie, Bell, Mitchell, Sloan; Armstrong, Trialist1 Subs: Dunsmuir, McKillen, Currie, Greenlees, Wilson, Trialist2, Trialist3
ST.CUTHBERT WANDERERS 1 (McClymont)
Added interest in this game for the home support was the presence of former Glenafton players Jonathan Baillie, Graeme Barbour and Gary Robertson in the Troon starting eleven. More to the point, however the game was a much more open affair with spells of wave after wave of end to end play. In the first half delicately struck lob by Barbour from the edge of the box went just wide while at the other end goalkeeper Stuart Leavy pulled off a stunning save to push a header from the Saints towering centre-half past the post. Indeed Leavy went on to have a fine game, quick off his line and clutching safely or punching clear high balls into the box. The Cuddy’s broke the tournament’s duck ten minutes into the second half and no surprise that man-of-the-match live wire Paul McClymont putting the finishing touch to a goalmouth scramble and hit home what proved to be the match winner.
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 3 (McKenzie 2, Armstrong)
TROON 1 (Moore)
The Glens made one change from the starting eleven of the first match with Craig Menzies unavailable Richie McKillen came in at left back. Troon, who had rested several players from their first game introduced them for the showdown game. including Martin Ure, Dougie Ramsay and Tony Murphy another clutch of former Glenafton players, who were also joined by former Glens Boy Club player 16 year old Dale Moore.
Tangerine Troon were quick out the traps and had the Glens on the back foot in the opening minutes an early vindication perhaps of the ‘fresh legs’ strategy with Neil Sanderson, a summer signing from Dalry pulling the strings and Moore’s wing play catching the eye. However, the home side soon settled and Andy Bell began to boss the midfield and the runs of McKenzie and Lewis Sloan were causing concern for the seasiders. On 26 minutes a Gareth Armstrong header crashed off the post and Kris Mitchell’s attempt to drive the rebound home bounced off the surface and over the bar. Two minutes later Dougie Ramsay impeded the Glens forward (trialist) just inside Troon’s half. Quick thinking by Bell and Craig McEwan caught Troon cold and set up Paul McKenzie to strike home from 20 yards out. H/T Glens 1 Troon 0
Within 8 minutes of the re-start the home side doubled their lead. Armstrong was fouled close to the right hand touch line 25 yards or so from goal and although the ball fell kindly for the Trialist the referee stopped play for the free-kick. The despairing cries of ‘play advantage’ from the terracing were soon replaced with whoops of delight as Paul McKenzie cracked the free-kick past the wall and into the top corner of the post they were guarding with the goalie a spectator. With the passage of another 8 minutes came an equally cracking finish. Ryan McChesney whipped a diagonal ball from the right into the far side of the penalty box where Gareth Armstrong met it first time and thundered it into the roof of the net. To their credit Troon didn’t capitulate in the heat and continue to carve out chances. Sanderson almost pulled one back with a great run through the middle but Semple ran from his line to block before the trigger was fired. Another dangerous break set up Murphy but he sliced his shot wide. With 8 minutes remaining Dale Moore finished off a great run by eluding a block from Stuart Currie and drilling the ball home at the near post for a Troon consolation . F/T Glens 3 Troon 1
Glens: Semple; McEwan, Henderson, McKinnel, McKillen; McKenzie, Bell, Mitchell, Sloan; Armstrong, Trialist1 Subs. Dunsmuir, Currie, Greenlees, Wilson, Trialist2 , Trialist3
Glenafton captain Robbie Henderson being presented with the Joe Meldrum Trophy by club secretary John Stewart.