Super League 1st Division
Sat 22nd October, New Clyde Gateway Stadium
RUTHERGLEN GLENCAIRN 0 (0)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0 (0)
The New Cumnock Glens took the early initiative and came close to opening the scoring on 13 minutes after determined play down the left by Lewis Sloan ended with a fine cross picking out Gareth Armstrong ghosting in behind the Glencairn defence but his glancing touch took the ball just wide of the target.
On 20 minutes Richie McKillen and Paul Murphy combined to release Paul McKenzie in the box and although his low drilled shot was spilled by Allan ‘The Cat’ Colquhoun the keeper quickly recovered the ball at the second attempt. Five minutes later the keeper got his right paw to a left footed drive by Gareth Campbell from the 18 yard line and pushed the ball over the bar. Five minutes further on and at the other end Ally Semple was alert to get both fists to the ball and punch it from the head of the leaping Mark McCurry .
With half an hour gone the R’glen Glens almost caught the visitors cold with a well worked quickly taken free kick. The impressive Brian Welsh split from those contemplating the set piece and burst into the box to flash a header square for McCarry but the striker’s effort went high and wide of target. Two minutes later McCarry’s match was over after a two footed challenge on McKenzie earned him a red card.
As the interval approached the visitors continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession but they seldom tested ‘The Cat’ as the ten men bedded-in; a McKillen header from a corner kick looping over the bar and nestling on the roof of the net the pick of the efforts. H/T R’glen 0 Glens 0
Two minutes into the new half and a Craig Menzies tackle on Joe McAlpine had Glencairn baying for the referee to show the Afton man red. The official’s choice of yellow earned Glencairn’s Andy McLay one of the same colour, the former Pollok player being over zealous in his protestations.
A scrappy period of play ensued with little in the way in terms of goalmouth action other than an alert Colquhoun rushing from his line to steal the ball from the feet of Armstrong released into the box by a soft-fruit of a pass by Campbell.
On 63 minutes McKenzie menaced his way down the right flank to the bye-line leaving George Moore in his wake as he doubled back into the box but his attempt to do the same to Andy Neil ended with big defender sticking out his left leg to bring the Glenafton man down. Once the red mist and dust had settled Gareth Armstrong stepped up to blast the spot kick but was left licking his wounds as ‘The Cat’ pulled off a great save to push the ball round the post. Two minutes later Colquhoun topped that save, with McKenzie again the architect and Armstrong the foiled. The little midfielder skipped down the right again and skinned McAlpine on his way to the bye line to cut the ball back for Armstrong who cracked the ball from 8 yards out through a packed six yard box but ‘The Cat’ sprang to his right to claw the ball away to safety with both hands . Soon after the keeper claimed his hat-trick of classy saves as he pushed a McKillen header from a corner-kick round the post. Armstrong continued to pile the on the pressure, outmuscling the triumvirate of Jack Bennet, Reid and Moore to gather a Campbell header played into the box but his lob over the outcoming Colquhoun sailed over the bar.
The ten men weathered the storm and the game entered a period where neither side looked in danger of scoring a goal and thereby conceding one. Semple resorting at times to the long ball to get behind the R’glen defence while his counterpart Colquhoun stuck to his game plan, from kick-off, of holding on to the ball as long as he possibly could before releasing it.
With 6 minutes to go the yellow carded McLay caught Craig Potter in the face and the Glens man had to replaced by Andy Bell, who a minute later caught McAlpine with a high boot. It was yellow for Bell and the clubhouse for Rutherglen’s assistant manager Robert Torrance as he took umbrage with the official’s decision-making.
Rutherglen at last threw caution to the wind displaying a belief that a winner could be fashioned in the dying minutes. The Glenafton defence scrambled clear a few of these attempts but could only look on when an angled shot from Moore had Semple scurrying across his line and relieved to watch the ball trundle wide. F/T R’glen 0 Glens 0
Glenafton: Semple; McEwan, Menzies, Henderson, McKillen; McKenzie, Potter (Bell), Murphy (Mitchell), Sloan; Armstrong (Cashmore), Campbell.
Other league scores: Cumbernauld 0 Renfrew 4, Girvan 1 East Kilbride 2, Dalry 2 Hurlford 5, Lanark 0 Whitletts 0, Shotts P Ardrossan P, Thorniewood 2 Kilsyth 3
Today’s results leave Glenafton top of the league (19 points from 9 games) with Ardossan second (16 points from 7 games) and East Kilbride third (15 points from 7 games).