2011 Review April: Afton Push for Promotion

The month began with a defeat away to holders Cumnock in the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup 2nd round, a Steven Murray header separating the sides.

The cup exit cliché of concentrating on the league bore fruit for Glenafton with four league wins in 13 days as midweek football ensured a busy calendar.  It began with a crucial win over promotion pusher Girvan. The Seasiders were reduced to 10 men just before the break and the home side made the numerical advantage count with goals from Gareth Armstrong and Paul McInnes; only seven points now stood between third top and third bottom in this the most competitive league in the West Region.  Jim Wilson and Gareth Armstrong proved to be a handful for Hurlford and both scored either side of the interval before the Paul McKenzie fired in a late third.  Armstrong and McKenzie with a stunning free kick) were both on the scoreboard again and gave the Glens a 2-0 lead at the break away at Vale of Clyde. Substitute Aaron Scoular cracked in a contender for the goal of the season from the edge of the ‘D’ late in the game to secure another 3 points.

Vale of Clyde outnumbered by McChesney, Howie, Henderson, McBride and McKillen

The mid-week trip to face promotion hopefuls Whitletts Vics at Dam Park was decided on the hour mark by an indirect free kick six yards from the goal, the ball touched to Gareth Armstrong to blast home.  Thanks to an unbeaten run of two draws and five wins the Glens had climbed to 2rd place in the league with 30 points, 3 points behind leaders Clydebank, with both teams having played 20 games; albeit many of the teams chasing the promotion spots had two or three games in hand.

Armstrong, Wilson and McKenzie celebrate Bo's winner at Whitetts (photo courtesy John Vass)

Striker Gareth Armstrong had scored in every game of the unbeaten run amassing a total of 10 goals, while in the five wins in a row the Glens defence hadn’t conceded a goal with a key feature undoubtedly the blossoming of young Ryan McChesney under the tutelage of the experienced Robbie Henderson and the week in week out consistency of keeper Ally Semple, the real super Ally!

The unbeaten run drew to a conclusion in coupon-buster circumstances with a 1-0 home defeat to second bottom Cumbernauld United, the visitors well worthy of their win.  Gareth Armstrong put the Glens ahead 10 minutes before the break at Kilwinning in the midweek match but the Buffs struck back through a cracking volley from Kris Mitchell with 20 minutes to go and the points were shared. Captain Willie Howie, back to his best, inspired a hard fought win at East Kilbride. A superb passage of passing play ended with trialist Chris McGroarty smashing an unsaveable shot into the roof of the net as the interval loom. The home side’s hopes of salvaging a point were dashed by indiscipline and their numbers reduced to nine during the second half.

Bound for Pastures New - Kris Mitchell and Willie Howie

The Glens ended the month in 2nd place in the league with 37 points but were now 8 points behind leaders Clydebank, both sides having played 23 of their 26 league games. While the pack chasing for promotion places were waiting to pounce – , Girvan (Pl 20/34pts), Whitletts (23/34), Ashfield (20/33) Renfrew (21/32) and Shotts (21/30)

This entry was posted in GAFC Feature and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.