Ardagh Glass Ayrshire Sectional League Cup Quarter Final
Wed 17 Aug, Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 (1)
GIRVAN 1 (1)
Girvan win 4-3 penalties
Glenafton made two changes from the eleven that started at Renfrew on Saturday, Cameron Menzies coming in from captain Robbie Henderson and Stuart Currie for Andy Bell. The home side exploded out the traps and a one two between Craig McEwan and Gareth Campbell ended with Southy’s low drive being tipped wide of the post by keeper Darren Johnston. From the resultant corner kick a powerful Paul McKenzie snapshot was blocked in the box by Iain Fulton and soon after a Kris Mitchell whistled past Johnson’s other post. On 4 minutes Girvan broke upfield and a header to the near post caught the home side napping allowing Stevie O’Donnell to score from close range. The home side struggled to respond to this early set back and there play lacked rhythm and purpose. Gareth Armstrong did test Johnson with a half-volley from the edge of the box but the bulk of the action was at the other end with striker John Bradford proving a handful for the Afton back line. Semple punched the ball from the head of Fulton and then dived to stop a Stuart Peacock effort as the visitors looked to extend their lead.
On 26 minutes the Glens conjured up a kind of magic to claw their way back into the match with a Gareth Armstrong free kick from 25 yards beating the ball and flashing into the top corner of the net. The game now much more evenly balanced in terms of chances created. A Bradford lob from the edge of the box forced Semple to tip the ball over bar while at the other end Campbell beat the offside trap but was caught in the box by the chasing pack and Johnson recovered the loose ball. The keeper was a spectator a minute before the break when a Lewis Sloan cut back from the six yard box was met by Campbell but the striker’s well struck shot from 12 yards rattled the post. H/T Glens 1 Girvan 1
Two minutes after the restart Campbell, who was red-carded on Saturday for challenging with a raised arm, was caught in the face by a flying arm but no card and indeed no foul awarded and soon after still suffering from the blow he was replaced by Jim Wilson. The game once again settled into a state of equlibrium with end-to-end play but little in the way of clear cut chances until the 64th minute when Wilson and Sloan left the Seasiders defence in their wake and homed in on Johnson’s goal. Wilson took the ball to the edge of the box at which point Sloan peeled off to the right awaiting the pass for the tap in but instead his partner attempted to round the keeper only to be foiled by the single-minded Johnson. The visitors went straight up the park and Semple did well to pluck a Sean McKenna effort out the air and normal service was resumed as each side took in turn to seek out the winner, but it remained elusive. F/T Glens 1 Girvan 1
Penalty shoot-out: The home side were first up and after three penalty kicks each the score stood 3-1 in favour of the visitors, Kris Mitchell scoring for the Glens sandwiched between misses from McKenzie and Menzies. Sloan then scored and Semple saved to ensure Armstrong needed to take his kick, which he duly converted to make it 3-3, but the Seasiders slotted home their last of five to win 4-3.
Glenafton: Semple; Currie (McKillen), McKinnell, Menzies, McEwan; McKenzie, Mitchell, Potter, Sloan; Armstrong, Campbell (Wilson).
Other Quarter-Fianl scores: Whitletts 1 Auchinleck 3, Largs 2 Hurlford 0, Irvine Meadow 4 Ardrossan 4 (Meadow wint 3-1 pens). Girvan will travel to meet Auchinleck and Largs Thistle will host Irvine Meadow in the semi-finals. Good luck to all the clubs.