West Region Super League 1st Division
Wed 11th April , Loch Park, New Cumnock, KO 6:30pm
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 (0)
ARDROSSAN WINTON ROVERS 0 (0)
Ian Cashes in and Ally Saves
April showers morphed into downpours as the first card of midweek fixtures was greeted with woeful weather in the West of Scotland as witnessed by the short notice postponements of the Super League 1st Division match between East Kilbride Thistle and Renfrew and the Central 1st Division encounter between Neilston and Vale of Clyde due to a carpet of hailstones at Brig O’ Lea.
The rain lashed down from the low cloud that hung over Loch Park for most of the match as Glenafton hosted Ardrossan Winton Rovers with both teams desperate for points to sustain their challenge for promotion to the Premier Division. Glenafton made one change from the side that knocked Premier side Beith out of the West of Scotland Cup at the week-end with the then cup-tied Bobby Colligan, making his first start for the club, replacing the injured Gus Cochrane. Rovers too introduced a debutant in the shape of Andy Bell making his first appearance for the club since his move from Glenafton two weeks ago. Also in the Rovers starting eleven was former Glens’ defender Bob Hay and of course in the AWAY dugout was former Glenafton assistant manager John Garroch, with another former Afton lad John McMillan on the bench.
The visitors made all (or most of) the running in the first half with Glenafton’s central defensive pairing of Robbie Henderson and Ryan McChesney at the heart of a concerted rearguard action by the home side. Rovers threatened to run riot as chances came and went the best of which fell on fifteen minutes after a fine passing move ended with Andy Boyle cutting the ball back from the bye-line for striker Scott Adam in the six yard box but his shot crashed off the inside of the post. Glenafton’s respite came in glimpses with Colligan’s pace catching the eye now and again but Winton’s keeper Kenny Pollock was seldom tested. His counterpart Ally Semple played his part in keeping Ardrossan at bay as shots, like the heavens, rained in on Glenafton’s goal. Seven minutes before the break the expected breakthrough arrived but from an unexpected source. An exquisite piece of play by John Dempster made space for Ian Cashmore to glide into the box and guide the ball past Pollock at the near post. H/T Glens 1 Winton Rovers 0
The Glens came much more into the game in the second half with Paul McKenzie motoring about the park which was beginning to cut up badly as conditions worsened. As the light faded fast it was difficult to see where the next goal was going to come from as the contest was now much more even in terms of possession and chances created ( albeit a few each). But, as in the first half, with seven minutes of this half remaining drama descended on the Loch Park stage. Glens’ captain scuppered Scott Adam, as he stole into the penalty area, earning himself a red-card and Rovers a spot kick. Adam, who bagged a brace of penalties at Thorniewood on Saturday to bring his season tally to five from 12 yards out, stepped up to try and make it six. Instead, Ally Semple saved his fifth penalty in three games (four in penalty shoot-outs) and was grateful to see the rebound blasted over the bar. The wind had been taken out of Winton’s sails momentarily and back they came in search of a share of the points but once again fortune in front of goal deserted them as substitute Stuart Wilson’s shot from the edge of the box rattled the woodwork. F/T Glens 1 Ardrossan 0
Glenafton: Semple; Menzies, McChesney, Henderson, McKillen; McKenzie, Potter, Murphy, Colligan; Cashmore, Dempster. Subs, Armstrong, Boyle, Campbell, Cochrane, McEwan, Dunsmuir
Ardrossan: Pollock, Hay, Fisher, Faulds, Bell, Frye, Boyle, Gilmour, Adam, Hamilton, Muir. Subs McMillan, Reid, Wilson, Young
East Kilbride P Renfrew P, Girvan 1 Whitletts 1, Hurlford 3 Dalry 2, Kilsyth 0 Cumbernauld 2, Rutherglen 2 Lanark 3