Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup Quarter-final
Sat 14th April, Campbell Park, Saltcoats
SALTCOATS VICTORIA v GLENAFTON ATHLETIC
Glenafton play their second quarter-final on successive Saturdays tomorrow when they travel to face Saltcoats Victoria in the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup. The ‘Seasiders’ complete a hat-trick of Ayrshire District sides the Glens have met in the competition having defeated Irvine Vics (2-1) and Craigmark (5-1) in the earlier rounds. Bobby Colligan, who scored Irvine Vics goal against the Glens, is of course cup-tied.
Happy Returns (I)
Saltcoats returned to Campbell Park at the beginning of the season after a spell of ground sharing with Stevenston neighbours Ardeer Thistle. It proved to be happy returns as the Vics enjoyed a decent run in their Ardagh Cup Section defeating all three of their fellow Ayrshire District sides Irvine Vics, Darvel and Ardeer while losing narrowly to Hurlford and Irvine Meadow. The good form continued into the league campaign with Saltcoats winning three of their first four games including an 11-2 win at Darvel ( James Callaghan, Paul Monan and Gavin Sim all hitting hat-tricks) and securing a share of the points in the trip doon the water to Troon. Since those summer days league wins have proved to be thinner on the ground but the Vics recently returned to winning ways with a 3-2 home win over Lugar.
Cup football has kept the Campbell Park faithful entertained throughout the season. Although a narrow 1-0 home defeat to the Buffs brought an early end to their West of Scotland Cup campaign the Vics enjoyed a good run in the Scottish. In the 1st round Alistair Ross bagged a brace as Super 1st Division side East Kilbride Thistle were stung 4-1 before Darvel were dumped 8-0 in the next round (Lee Munro the hat-trick man on this occasion) to set up a third round trip to the mighty Bo’ness. It took the East Region giants almost an hour to open their account and only settled the tie in injury time, by which time the Seasiders were down to 10 men. In the Ayrshire Weekly Cup, the Vics defeated Darvel for the third time in the season before enjoying a famous victory at Winton Park, goals from Paul Monan and Jordan Stewart doing the damage against John Garroch’s Rovers.
Happy Returns (II)
Saltcoats Victoria were formed in the 1880’s and were one of the founder members of the Ayrshire Junior Football Association. The Vics later joined the senior ranks and records show that in 1886/87 Lanemark, the senior side from New Cumnock, defeated Saltcoats 17-2 in the 1st round of the Ayrshire Cup. Whether or not this was Victoria, or another Saltcoats side, is unclear. However, the two sides did meet in the 1st round of the Scottish Cup at Saltcoats in 1890/91, the home side winning by the odd goal in five. In 1911/12 Saltcoats returned to the Junior ranks and so this season effectively marks their ‘Centenary Season’ in the Juniors – so happy returns Saltcoats.
Saltcoats and Glens in the Ayrshire Junior Cup
The two sides first met in the Ayrshire Junior Cup in Season 1958/59 with the Glens winning 4-1 in the 3rd round at Connel Park but went on to lose 3-1 to Largs Thistle in the final with the more than ample consolation of claiming the treble of Western League Championship, the Western League Cup and the Vernon Trophy. The following season Vics turned the tables and thrashed the Glens 5-2 in the semi-final at Stevenston, but they too lost in the final going down 6-3 to Ardeer Thistle. The season after that, in the first meeting of the two sides at Loch Park, the home side came out on top winning 4-0 in the 1st round.
Over 30 years would pass before the Glens and Vics met again in the Ayrshire Cup, in
Season 1992/93, – a memorable one for both clubs. The Glens won 2-0 in the 2nd round at Loch Park and went on to beat Cumnock at Townhead in the final to add to the Scottish Junior Cup and Ayrshire 1st Division title, while Saltcoats claimed the Ayrshire 2nd Division title. Three seasons later the Glens trounced the Vics 6-0 in the 1st round at Loch Park but things were a lot closer in the same round in Season 2000/01 at the same venue with the Glens winning by the odd goal in five on way to beating the Buffs in the final.
Glenafton and Saltcoats last met in the competition five years ago, again in the 1st round and again at Loch Park. In goal for Glenafton was the legendary Gary Matthews, who had been the Saltcoats keeper when the two clubs clashed back in 1992/93. Goals from Gavin Brown and Paul Cassidy gave the Glens a 2-0 victory