2011 Review June: Play-off pain at Petershill

Glenafton faced Petershill in the 1st leg of the promotion/relegation play-off on Saturday 4th June at Loch Park.  The match failed to live up to cup-tie like expectations and a rather tense affair with defences on top ended goal-less. The hosts’ best chance arrived in 18 minutes but Gareth Armstrong’s close range shot through a ruck of players was blocked on the line by David Barr, with Glens’ appeal for hand ball waved away.  Deep in the second half the visitors’ claim that David Dickson’s attempt to convert a Mark McVittie cross was stopped by a Glens’ hand was also declined.

Hands up for hand ball !

Although everything was still to play for in terms of the play-off, the outcome of the title race was decided after Ashfield defeated Girvan at Saracen Park to pip Clydebank to the flag on goal difference.

Congratulations Ashfield …. now welcoming Premier Division visitors

In stark contrast to the first leg the concluding leg at Petershill Park on the Wednesday night burst into life from the kick-off with Glenafton carving out three decent chances in the opening 10 minutes.  The home side responded with a couple of close calls of  their own as a pattern of end to play was established that ensured the first forty-five flew by, albeit without a goal.

Willie Howie

Two minutes after the restart  Peasy’s Paul McLaughlin was denied by a super save from Ally Semple and two minutes after that Glens’ Stephen Docherty beat Scott Black with a thunderous shot from 25 yards but the ball crashed off the post. This heralded 15 minutes of power play from the visitors as they pinned Peasy back but try as they might with captain Willie Howie leading the way the Glens failed to the find the net. Petershill were on the ropes but the Glens couldn’t find the killer punch and inevitably were undone by a sucker-punch on 65 minutes when Stephen McGladrigan headed home a long throw from Mark McVittie.  The visitors regrouped but again converting chances into goals proved elusive and McLadrigan looked to have killed off the game with ten minutes to go but for a last-ditch tackle by Ryan McChesney. In the closing minutes Kevin McBride leathered a free kick low and hard and although a deflection left Black rooted to the spot the ball went agonisingly inches wide. The home side held out for the win and held on to their Premier league status while a gallant Glenafton faced another season in the Super League 1st Division.

Peasy Play-Off Winner – Congratulations Petershill.

Six days after the play-off heartbreak manager Greg Denham began his remoulding of the side and transfer-listed a number of players, include the club captain Willie Howie, the longest-serving member of the current squad having signed for Glenafton in 2005/06. Two days later the club announced the manager had left Glenafton by mutual consent.

Glenafton Management

On the 20th June, former Dalry Thistle manager Darren Henderson was unveiled as the new manager of Glenafton with his former Dalry mentors John Garroch and Sammy Conn joining Stevie Kerrigan as assistant managers.

While Willie Howie joined Cumnock Juniors four former Dalry players Andy Bell, Cammy McKinnell, Cameron Menzies and Craig Potter all made the move to Loch Park. The month ended with the reassuring re-signing of new club captain Robbie Henderson.

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