Stagecoach West Region Premier Division
Saturday 29th September , Holm Park, Glasgow
CLYDEBANK 3 (3)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0 (0)
A quick thinking and slick-passing Clydebank proved too hot to handle for Glenafton in a first half at Holm Park which ended with the impressive home side three goals to the good. The visitors got their passing game going after the break but couldn’t convert any of the number of chances they created to cut the deficit before the Bankies found a second wind when they too saw some good chances go a begging.
Transfer-listed captain Robbie Henderson teamed up with Glen Mitchell at the heart of the Glenafton defence. There was no place however for injured strikers John Dempster, who will be out for six weeks, and top goalscorer Gareth Armstrong and the visitors started with John Paul Boyle and Gareth Campbell up front. In the Bankies side was former Glenafton defender Gordon Moffat, fresh from his brace of penalty kicks in the cracking 4-0 win over Bathgate in the Emirates Scottish Junior Cup 1st round last week-end.
In the opening minute Campbell caught Clydebank cold and released Boyle down the right who burst into the box before drilling a low drive that was well held by keeper Robert Hamilton. The promising start disappeared quicker than the overhead planes on their descent to Glasgow Airport as the Bankies propelled themselves into a two goal lead on just beyond the quarter hour mark. On 9 minutes live wire Paul Allum forced his way down the right and as he cut into the penalty area clipped the ball forward for Ally Graham to gather and square it across the six yard line where Ross McPherson was on hand to poke the ball home beyond the reach of Ally Semple.
Seven minutes on, McPherson lined up to fire a free kick from 25 yards out, or so it seemed, instead he calmly rolled the ball into the box for Paul Allum to peel off the end of the Glens’ wall, collect the ball and drill a low shot past Semple from an acute angle.
Although the visitors got themselves back into the game and enjoyed an equal share of possession their efforts, particularly those of Campbell who chased every ball, failed to generate any chances that severely tested Hamilton. At the other end, with 32 minutes gone, Semple pulled off a stunning save after Graham finished a blistering run down the left with a stinging shot. Six minutes later the home side extended their lead with the move of the match. It began in the Bankies’ box with Andy Paterson bringing a Craig Menzies attack to an end and feeding Ian Gold, tight on the left touch-line, who instantly despatched the ball up field for it to be played across the middle of the park in stages before arriving at Allum wide on the right who in turn played it down the flank to Vinny Berry but with his way to goal blocked by Richie McKillen he returned the ball to Allum who whipped it high into the 6 yard box and although the leaping McPherson failed to connect there was the instigator of the move Ian Gold on hand to bend low and guide the ball over the line.
The Glens almost cut the Clydebank cushion to two within a minute. Craig McEwan and Menzies combined well down the right before Menzies picked out Danny Mitchell on the edge of the box who shielded the ball from Tommy Martin and took Moffat out of play with a cute pass to the incoming Boyle who cracked a great shot only for Hamilton at full stretch to push the ball wide of target.
The keeper then leaped above all and sundry to punch the resultant corner kick half way up the park. A minute later Hamilton did enough to take the sting out of a 25 yard thunderbolt from McEwan and collect the loose ball at the second attempt. H/T Clydebank 3 Glens 0
As in the first half the visitors caught the home side wanting from the kick-off. Again Campbell found Boyle who burst into the box between Paul Bell and Paterson but the latter managed to get a touch to force the Glens man to go wide of the grounded Hamilton and well wide of the gaping goal. Boyle then and cut the ball back to Paul McKenzie whose chip into box was headed clear but found its way back to midfielder and his subsequent drive at goal blocked by a host of Bankies back in defence. The Glens continued to press and Hamilton again showed a clean pair of hands to rise and clutch another dangerous ball into the box.
The home side conjured up some respite with a quick slick passing move between Allum and McPherson setting up Graham but his close range header sailed over the bar without troubling Semple. Back came Glenafton to force a couple of corners that were eventually mopped up by an unnerved home guard. Clever thinking and a burst of speed on 51 minutes saw Menzies defeat the Bankies offside trap and gather the ball wide on the left before firing it across to the far side of the box where McKenzie killed the ball and tried a delicate chip shop which skimmed over Hamilton’s crossbar. Seven minutes later and another Glens’ corner kick was met full on by the head of Glen Mitchell but with Hamilton beaten Bell was on hand to block the ball from crossing the line.
On 65 minutes McPherson through on goal looked certain to add to his and the Bankies’ tally only for Semple to pull off a stunning save. Nevertheless the chance confirmed that the home side had weathered the storm of the visitors start to the second half unscathed and the closing quarter of the match was much more even in terms of possession and chances. The pick of Glenafton’s chances arrived on 71 minutes when a McEwan free-kick played into the box was touched on by Paul Murphy to Richie McKillen who beat Allum to the ball but although his shot from 10 yards out soared past the airborne Hamilton the ball crashed off the bar.
For the Bankies, McPherson came close to capping off a fine performance on 83 minutes when his shot from the corner of the box beat the keeper but drifted inches wide off the far post. In the last minute of the match Gareth Campbell, received a second yellow card for leading with a raised arm when jumping for the ball, a bit harsh on the workhorse of the Glenafton team who had himself to contend with some robust defending throughout the match. F/T Clydebank 3 Glenafton 0
Clydebank: Hamilton Bell Paterson Martin McInnes Moffat Allum Berry R. McPherson Graham Gold subs Andrew Wilson Kelly Campbell C.McPherson (gk)
Glenafton: Semple; McEwan, G. Mitchell, Henderson, McKillen; McKenzie, D.Mitchell, Murphy, Menzies (Colligan); Boyle (McManus), Campbell. Subs McChesney, Cochrane, Dunsmuir (gk)
Other scores: Arthurlie 2 Auchinleck 3; Beith 1 Petershill 4; Cumnock 3 Shotts 0; Pollok 1 Ashfield 0