Emirates Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Round
Sat 29th October, Loch Park, New Cumnock, KO 2:30pm
NEWMAINS UNITED 0 (0) v GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 5(2)
Switching the tie from Victoria Park, Newmains to Loch Park, New Cumnock on this rain lashed day was clearly the right decision as surely this match like several others would have fallen victim to the weather. Glenafton switched a few things around too with young defender Ryan McChesney in for captain Robbie Henderson, Andy Bell in at right back for Craig McEwan and Ian Cashmore partnering Gareth Campbell up front with top goalscorer Gareth Armstrong rested on the bench.
Glenafton’s early pressure was duly rewarded on the 5th minute when a Paul McKenzie corner kick eluded the leaping Kris Frame and the ball pounced upon by the unmarked Ian Cashmore at the rear post, his header guided through the gap between the descending Frame and Paul Sloan on back-post duty and exploding off the surface and escaping the clutches of keeper Peter Gormley. Ninety seconds later Lewis Sloan kept his cool and his feet and capitalised on an untimely slip on the greasy surface by defender Andy Lee to stroke the ball home from close range.
Any thoughts of a glut of Glenafton goals gradually dissipated as Newmains composed themselves and adapted to the conditions by playing the ball out of defence with short telling passes but these too often fizzled out like a damp squib in the final third and possession surrendered. The home side remained the dominant force but as the playing surface became more treacherous with the rain continuing to fall real chances were restricted to a couple of free kicks from the edge of the box but neither Paul Murphy nor Lewis Sloan could conjure up any magic to find Gormley’s goal.
On 33 minutes Newmains carved out their best chance of the match when front man Des Bradshaw held off the challenges of Menzies and McChesney to fire off a shot from twenty yards forcing keeper Ally Semple to push the ball round the post with both hands. Bell cleared the resultant corner kick at the near post at the expense of another. Murphy mopped up the second kick and although the immediate danger was over, Newmains had served notice that this Scottish Junior cup tie was by no means over. H/T Newmains 0 Glens 2
Fresh shirts and fresh legs for Glenafton after the break saw Craig McEwan replace Richie McKillen at left back while new signing Ricky Hay took up the right back berth with Andy Bell moving forward to replace Lewis Sloan.
McKenzie made good progress down the right flank and cut back for Campbell but his shot from 20 yards was partially cleared by Paul Sloan and Hay hammered the loose ball wide of target. On 51 minutes Bradshaw looked to have got the better of Menzies and McChesney again, the latter appearing to have held back the striker before he burst into the box and then robbing him off the ball inside the box with a well timed tackle as the hit man primed to shoot for goal. Six minutes later Cashmore picked out Campbell on the edge of the D of the penalty box who then rolled the ball into the path of Bell and his thunderbolt was tipped over the bar by Gormley.
The game like the pitch was threatening to get bogged down as neither side could gain control of the match or stake a claim to be ‘the likeliest to score the next goal’, which would either surely settle the game in the Glens favour or set up a tense finish. On 72 minutes it was the unlikeliest of goals that settled that score. Craig McEwan launched a free kick from wide on the left into the box where McChesney, Murphy and Kris Mitchell had joined the Glens’ front men but the ball sailed over all of their heads as well as those of their markers and that of keeper Gormley into the back of the net.
Craig Potter came on for the hard-working Andy Bell and the fresh energy had United on the back foot. With 15 minutes to go Gormley redeemed himself coming off his line to force the incoming McKenzie wide and leave the midfielder with a shot at goal from an impossibly acute angle. Three minutes later Murphy fed McKenzie on the right flank who cut inside past Joe Roy before firing for goal, his shot looked to be heading wide of target but in ghosted Gareth Campbell to smash the ball home.
Newmains went in search of a consolation and on 81 minutes Semple had to be alert to punch the ball from the head of substitute Sean McCormack. A minute later the Glens keeper had to dive at the feet of substitute Michael Duddy afte good build up play by Brian McKinlay. However, it was to be Glenafton that would have the last say. Mitchell weaved his way past Paul Sloan and Thomas Devine before laying off the ball to Campbell who neatly with the outside of right boot flicked the ball into the box for Ian Cashmore to bullet home a header from 8 yards out and celebrate with the same exuberance that had greeted his opener, in what seemed an age ago. F/T Newmains 0 Glenafton 5
Glenafton: Semple; Bell (Potter) McChesney, Menzies, McKillen (McEwan); McKenzie, Murphy, Mitchell, Sloan (Hay); Campbell, Cashmore.Subs not used Dunsmuir (GK), Armstrong
Newmains: Gormley; Sloan, Devine, Frame, McKinlay; Murdoch, Lee, Preston, Roy, Bradshaw, Miller. Subs McAlpine (GK),Duddy, McCormack.