Wednesday 1st August , Valefield, Kilbirnie
KILBIRNIE LADESIDE 3 (2)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 (1)
Ladeside came close to taking the lead within twenty seconds of kick-off when former Rutherglen Glencairn striker Mark McAlpine caught the Glens cold only for his shot from close range, as well as a tight angle, to be well held by keeper Ryan Dunsmuir. The hosts continued to press and were moving the ball across the bowling green of a playing surface with impressive pace and accuracy in equal measure. Six minutes gone and a Glenafton move down the right flank was halted at the half-way line and in the blink of the eye the ball moved diagonally, via two or perhaps three Blasties, to Josh Mullen on the far side of the visitors’ box, the former Pollok amateur showing great composure to lash the ball low and hard into the far corner of the net. The rain now lashed down just as hard from the thick vale of cloud that hung over Valefield but still Kilbirnie continued to played with some panache. Nevertheless the Glens began to enjoy a greater share of possession and forced a number of corner kicks each of which were manfully defended. However with five minutes of the half remaining a set piece finally paid dividends when John Dempster headed home a Gareth Campbell free-kick, whipped in from the left deep into the Blasties box.
In what effectively was the last kick of the half Mark Archdeacon capitalised on adefensive misunderstanding at the edge of the Glens’ box and kept his cool to loft the ball into the gaping net. H/T Ladeside 2 Glens 1
Twenty minutes into the new half the Ladeside goal went unpunished after keeper Willie Spence lost the ball at the edge of the box but then aided and abetted with his defenders managed to scurry back and scramble the ball to safety. A minute later the keeper kept his nerve and raced from his line to steal the ball from the feet of John Paul Boyle. On the hour mark Archdeacon bagged his brace rifling home an unstoppable shot after Shaun Dillon’s header from a corner kick had been cleared off the line. Seven minutes later Scott McManus came close to halving the deficit by dancing past a host of Ladeside defenders in the box before deftly trying to place his hot beyond the reach of Spence only for the keeper to brilliantly parry the ball and his defender mop up the danger on the rain-soaked pitch. With honours even in the closing period the home side held on for a well deserved win. F/T Ladeside 3 Glens 1
Glenafton: Dunsmuir; Menzies, McChesney, Mitchell G., McKillen (McEwan); McKenzie, Mitchell D., Campbell, trialist; Dempster (Colligan), Armstrong (Boyle)