Auchinleck 1 Glenafton 4


Section 4 : Match 4

Saturday 06 August, Beechwood Park, Auchinleck




The main street of Auchinleck was bedecked in black and gold bunting today, no not to welcome the Glens, but as part of the town’s excellent annual ‘Alive and Kicking’ Festival. No bands at Beechwood but certainly even the most ‘Simple Minds’ wouldn’t begrudge the visitors their comprehensive victory that takes them to the top of the section.

Lewis Sloan in flight

Although the day was overcast the sleek Beechwood pitch had a lush green shine enhanced with a coating of the smirr that fell from the darkening sky on and off throughout the match. The football from the sweet Afton was soon flowing gently upon the green baize while Talbot toiled to work up a head of steam. In particular the tenacious trickery of  Glenafton’s Lewis Sloan caught the eye and it was fitting the young attacking midfielder opened the scoring. The home side failed to clear their lines and with a mini-wall of three Talbot defenders in front of him Sloan was first to react and fire his snapshot home from on or about the penalty spot with 12 minutes gone. Two minutes later the visitors won a free kick some 30 yards out and thunderbolt specialist Craig McEwan stepped up but although the wall stood firm Southy sought out the loose ball and lashed it home to the sheer delight of team-mates, the away dug-out and of course the travelling support .

Gareth 'Bo' Armstrong

The Glens midfield orchestrated by Andy Bell were well on top with Paul McKenzie  Kris Mitchell and Sloan all adding to Talbot woes taking defenders on at will and feeding the two Gareths, Armstong and Campbell, up front. Glens keeper Ally Semple was seldom tested with Robbie Henderson and Cammy McKinnell (who had an outstanding game) at the centre of the defence proving to be a formidable unmovable force.  However, the home side did pull one back 10 minutes before the break. With Henderson off the pitch receiving attention for a head knock a momentary lapse of concentration allowed David Gillies to capitalise and slot the ball beyond Semple from close range. Three minutes later a header from the home side flashed narrowly over the bar but any fears of a renowned Talbot fight back were quickly quashed on 41 minutes. Attacking full back Craig Potter looked to have been boxed in at the corner flag but with great determination he managed to whip an exquisite cross over the heads of four Bot defenders and more or less onto the head of Gareth Armstrong; Bo made no mistake and from 8 yards bulleted the ball home. H/T Talbot 1 Glens 3

The Glens were first to threaten after the break with ‘the Gareths’ combining well to open up the Talbot defence with a slick one-two but the final shot went wide. Five minutes in and Potter picked out McKenzie deep in his own half and off he went ala his Warner Bros namesake like a whirlwind leaving a trail of Talbotians in his wake, one, two, three, four, five took him to the edge of the box but his shot at goal bounced off the knee caps of former Glens defender Rikki Robbo and was eventually cleared. The home side did manage to create a handful of half chances without achieving anything little more than a goalmouth scramble or two, Henderson and McKinnel continuing to win the vast majority of any Talbot aerial attacks.  Substitutions as well as the occasional display of handbags began to disrupt the flow of the game, these often ended with referee showing both offender and offended a yellow card apiece.

It's 4-1 at Beechwood

Midway through the half Armstrong was crudely bundled off the ball and elected to take the free kick himself. The Auchinleck wall lined up a yard inside the penalty box, coaching from the terraced encouraged Bo to pick a corner and he duly did crafting the ball into the postage stamp on the keeper’s right. Eeka peeka puka Bo ! The Glens’ goal suffered a scare a minute later as a ball from the left flashed across the face of the goal but Milliken’s attempt to pop it home at the back post went wide.  Semple then had to be alert to snuff out a Milliken header and two or three similar other chances went a begging too as did Talbot’s hopes of salvaging anything from the game. Indeed the visitors came to close to extending their lead when the Talbot keeper McGarrity fumbled a Sloan shot from the corner of the penalty box but he redeemed himself as he dived at the feet of Jim Wilson to stop him slotting the rebound home. F/T Talbot 1 Glenafton 4

Glenafton: Semple; Potter, McKinnell (McChesney), Henderson, McEwan; McKenzie, Bell, Mitchell, Sloan; Armstrong (Greenlees), Campbell (Wilson)

more photos here

Other scores: Cumnock 2 Kello 0; Lugar 1 Muirkirk 3

Remaining games: Glens v Kello, Talbot v Muirkirk, Lugar v Cumnock

Glens top the section and barring a heavy defeat to Kello and a big win for Cumnock (the Glens have a +14 superior goal difference) they will qualify for the quarter-finals

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