Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup 2nd Round
Sat 3rd March , Station Park, Dalmellington, KO 2:00pm
CRAIGMARK BURNTONIANS 1 (0)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 5 (3)
Glenafton welcomed top goal scorer Gareth Armstrong back to the starting line up where he was joined up front with John Paul Boyle who had missed out in last week‘s league win over Dalry. Young defender Ryan McChesney was also given a start playing alongside captain Robbie Henderson in the centre of defence. However, the Glen’s skipper took a sore one early on and Craig Menzies dropped back from his midfield role to replace him, with Gareth Campbell coming off the bench and slot into the middle of the park.
Donned in their new all black strip with a red trim Glenafton took control of the game from the kick off and were swarming all over the young Craigmark side and the promise of an early goal was soon realised. Nothing came of the visitors’ first two corner kicks but soon after a long kick down the park was headed by Armstrong into the path of John Paul Boyle who raced in on goal to slip the ball beyond keeper Jon Lopez. The Glens doubled their lead soon after when a teasing cross from the right was sclaffed onto his own cross bar by defender Stuart Collins and Boyle was first to react and net the rebound .
With the visitors dictating the pace of the game chances were proving to be thin on the bumpy ground for the hosts and the Glenafton back four proving all but impenetrable, with the solid McChesney and Menzies ably supported by Richie McKillen and Craig Potter. The Glens came close to adding a third following a piercing run down the right flank by Potter, his cut back met by Armstrong only for the striker’s nifty back-heel to come off the Craigmark post. However, Gareth Armstrong was not to be denied and ten minutes before the break he turned on a threepenny bit and hooked home to put the New Cumnock side three up at Dalmellington. H/T Craigmark 0 Glens 3
To their credit Craigmark continued to try and make a game off it and battled hard for every ball with some tenacious tackling. There was little they could do to prevent the visitors extending their lead after an excellent passage of passing play conjured up by Paul McKenzie, Andy Bell and Gareth Campbell was topped off by Richie McKillen racing into the box to crack the ball past the gallant Lopez. Still the host heads didn’t drop and Glenafton keeper Ryan Dunsmuir, who had replaced Ally Semple at the break, pulled off a brilliant save from the lively Ross McCulloch. Fortune didn’t favour the brave and on 63 minutes Gareth Armstrong, who had led the front line well, bagged his brace after running on to a well-timed through ball from McKenzie and rounding the keeper before tapping home to put Glens five in front.
With the visitors taking their foot of the accelerator the hosts stepped up a gear and John Henderson deserved better when his long range thunderbolt thundered off Dunsmuir’s post. Minutes later the young keeper was forced to race from his line to defend another ‘Mark attack only for the ball to strike off Ross McCulloch and loop over Dunsmuir’s head and sail into the net. The last chance of the match fell to Glenafton when a trademark McKenzie run ended with Lopez tipping the midfielder’s shot at goal over the bar. F/T Craigmark 1 Glens 5
Glenafton: Semple (Dunsmuir); Potter, McChesney, Henderson(Campbell) & McKillen; Bell, Cashmore (McKenzie), Murphy & Menzies; Armstrong & Boyle.