Glenafton 3 Clydebank 2

Emirates Scottish Junior Cup 2nd round

Sat 20th October, Loch Park, New Cumnock




A gutsy Glenafton maintained their 100% cup record over Clydebank (albeit three games) despite going behind twice in the brilliant sunshine at Loch Park to the side that had outshone them at Holm Park three weeks ago.

Gareth Armstrong returned to the front-line partnering Gareth Campbell up front, while Gus Cochrane came in for the suspended Danny Mitchell. In the visitors ranks was former Glenafton defender Gordon Moffat.

Both sides came out of the blocks in best cup-tie fashion and in the opening minutes keeper Robert Hamilton cut out a dangerous cut-back by Gareth Campbell while at the other end a cracking Chris Wilson drive whistled wide of Ally Semple’s post, taking a nick on the way to win a corner. Panic ensued in the home box when the ball took a wicked bounce from a Wilson shot and foiling Semple but the keeper recovered to make a brave block from Ross Macpherson only for the Bankies to come back for a second and third bite as the home guard struggled to clear their lines. Eventually the breakthrough came when a clever pass by Andrew Paterson from the centre circle picked out Joe Andrew,  wide on the right and breaking into the busy box, who then drilled the ball low and hard into the far corner of the net, just shy of the five minute mark.

Joe Andrew (10) scores the opener

However, within two minutes the home side were on level terms when Paul McKenzie tight on the right-touchline whipped the ball into the goal mouth but it was too near Hamilton to cause any damage, or so it seemed, before the unfortunate keeper let the ball slip from his clutches and fall into the net.

Paul McKenzie takes the plaudits

The sides swapped chances as play continued to move from end to end and both keepers came out on top in aerial battles, Semple denying MacPherson and Hamilton fending off Gareth Armstrong.  With a quarter of an hour gone Glenafton conjured up their best move when Craig Potter deftly lofted the ball over the Bankies back-line into the box for the overlapping Craig McEwan to gather and then drive for the outskirts of the six yard box before blasting the ball for goal from an acute angle only for it to bulge the side netting. A series of corner of kicks at both ends came and went with neither side able to convert them into a lead.

On 20 minutes however the Paterson and Andrew combination put Clydebank ahead for a second time.  Paterson pushed his way up the left flank unimpeded before chipping a perfectly placed ball over the heads of the Glens’ defence for the alert Joe Andrew who then killed the ball expertly before rounding the keeper and slamming the ball home.

Joe Andrew bags his brace

Four minutes later Armstrong won the ball in the air and his knock down into the box was met by Campbell who fended off the attention of Paterson only for Hamilton to rush from his line and make a fine block. Up the park and the Bankies won a free kick 25 yards out and although Macpherson’s well struck attempt beat the wall it sailed over Semple’s bar. The visitors enjoyed a spell of sustained pressure creating a number of half chances that were mopped up by the home defence; however they could only look on when fine play by Wilson ended with his fierce shot beating Semple at full stretch but whiz wide of the post. End-to-end play resumed but neither side could add to their tally before the break. H/T Glenafton 1 Clydebank 2

Injuries forced the Glens to replace Richie McKillen with Craig Menzies and captain Paul Murphy with John Paul Boyle. The fresh faces were soon in the thick of the action as the home side’s determination saw them take the ball down the right to the bye-line where Menzies cut the ball across the face of goal for Campbell  but he sclaffed his shot high and wide of target.  On 50 minutes Hamilton got his fingers to a thunderous free-kick from McEwan to tip the ball over the bar as Glenafton continued to press.  Soon after Boyle breached the Bankies box skipping past Martin McInnes to home in own goal but his shot from the narrowest of angles found the side netting.  Just after the hour mark Glenafton were back on level terms.  Great work by Potter and Menzies down the right touch line ended with the latter firing the ball from the corner to the far side of the box where McKenzie headed it back into the mix. As both sides fought for the loose ball Ryan Kelly’s attempted clearance was met by the blocking foot of the incoming Craig Potter on the penalty spot and the ball flew into the bottom corner of the net.

Craig Potter pots the ball in the far corner

Bankies bounced back and quickly forced a corner kick which was won in the air by substitute Ross Campbell only for Semple to plummet to the ground and clutch the loose ball. The keeper then bravely dived at the feet of Andrew after a lightning break down the left by substitute Ally Graham had set up the striker for a sniff at his hat-trick. At the other end a Campbell drive from 20 yards was helped on its way by McKenzie some 10 yards out from goal but Hamilton parried the ball and gathered it safely before Boyle could hunt down the loose ball.

Midway through the half the Clydebank came within a whisker of taking the lead for the third time. Another exquisite pass into the box was met first time by Andrew and his flick at goal was blocked by Semple on the edge of the six yard box who then dived to grab the loose ball only for Graham to kick it goalward from his grasp but Glen Mitchell was on hand to clear it off the line. The ball then fell conveniently into the arms of the grounded keeper, who held it tightly and saw off the hefty challenge from Gold.   Semple then held a well struck shot from 20 yards out by Paterson and soon after Ryan McChesney and Mitchell double-teamed to prevent Tommy Martin from testing the keeper after fine play saw him menace his way into the box.

With two minutes of regulation play remaining Glenafton got their noses in front for the first time with Menzies again the provider. His quickly taken throw-in from wide on the right was returned by Boyle and the ball instantly whipped over deep into the box where Gold’s attempt to head clear was gathered by Paul McKenzie and then drilled for goal the ball deflecting of the leg of Gold and into the roof of the net.

Taz fires home the winner

In a frantic finish Boyle released Campbell but Hamilton won the race for the ball rushing to the 18 yard line to block the Glens’ striker.  At other end Martin won a corner-kick which was cleared with conviction by McChesney, Mitchell & Co.  In the Bankies’ last throw of the die, Gold launched a long throw deep into the box with defender Gordon Moffat the target only for Menzies to get a toe to the ball and his clearance greeted by the final whistle. F/T Glenafton 3 Clydebank 2

Glenafton: Semple; McEwan, McChesney, G. Mitchell, McKillen (Menzies); McKenzie (Colligan), Murphy (Boyle), Potter, Cochrane;  Armstrong, Campbell Subs. Dunsmuir (gk)

Clydebank: Hamilton Bell Paterson Kelly McInnes Moffat Gold Martin Macpherson Andrew Wilson Subs. Clark, Graham, Berry, Walker, Campbell

Full report to follow

More photos here

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