Stagecoach West Region Premier Division
Saturday 16th March ,Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 3 (2)
CLYDEBANK 2 (0)
The match survived a 9:30am pitch inspection after the lines had been cleared off snow. By kick-off time the surrounding hills were still a blanket of white while Loch Park was a patch of green – if only temporarily as the snow began to fall. The Mitchell brothers Glen and Danny returned to the side while four of the Glenafton U19 side occupied places on the bench. There was no place in the Clydebank side for former Glenafton payer Gordon Moffat, still recovering from injury.
The visitors got off to a flying start and earned a couple of corners in quick succession but to no avail. Glens came close on three minutes when Ross Robertson curled a free kick from 20 yards out into the side netting. The home side were now firmly on the front foot. Five minutes later from a corner kick Richie McKillen at the back post headed the ball past keeper Robert Hamilton and across the face of goal where Paul McKenzie was inches short of touching it over the line only for Ian Gold to clear at the other post and the ball fall kindly into the keeper’s arms.
On 12 minutes another wave of Afton attacks concluded with Bankies partially clearing the ball to the edge of the box where it was picked up by Craig Potter and his run into the danger area was matched by Andy Paterson who slipped on the wet surface before getting his tackle in, ending with the Glens man on the deck and assistant linesman flagging for a foul. Bankies’s protests went unheeded and manager Budgie McGhie was sent to the stand before Ross Robertson slammed home the spot-kick beyond Hamilton at full stretch.
Back came the visitors to force a corner but Robertson back defending won the aerial battle against Ross Campbell and the danger cleared. At the other end the Glens striker, with Martin McInnes glued to his back, chested down a free-kick launched high into the box and as he attempted to gather the loose ball the Bankies’ captain was adjudged to have had a tug at his arm and the referee pointed to the spot. Robertson’s spot kick crashed off the right hand post and the ball returned to almost from whence it came where Gareth Armstrong guided it inches over the line via the inside of the opposite post to put Glens two up with 17 minutes gone.
As the snow continued to fall clear cut chances were few and far between. Ross McPherson did no more than warm Semple’s fingers with a long range free kick and Bobby Colligan returned the favour to heat Hamilton’s hand with a volley from inside the box. On 38 minutes Armstrong hobbled off to warm applause from the home support to be replaced by John Dempster.
The visitors had a flurry of activity before the break but could only add to their corner tally. However in the closing minute McPherson looked certain to halve the deficit after being released by a dinger of a ball from Paul Bell only for Danny Mitchell’s presence enough to force the striker to fire well wide of target. H/T Glens 2 Bankies 0
As forecast the snow fall became heavier after the break and the playing surface followed suit. The Bankies began brightly, a free kick from the right was headed on and met by Paterson at the back post who done well to get his volley away only for Semple to save and then smother the loose ball. Campbell then came close at a corner kick and soon after an airborne McPherson could only look on as his header from a free-kick was scrambled clear by the home defence leading to a Glens break which ended with a speculative lob from Dempster that Hamilton held well.
With conditions deteriorating moves were breaking down almost as quickly as they started and yet there were still much to be appreciated with the quality of some of the play on show, McKenzie and Gus Cochrane for the home side and Berry and Joe Andrew for the visitors catching the eye. Campbell’s courage carved out another half chance but his effort went just wide while at the other end Colligan’s blistering pace took him into the box but his shot too was wide of target. The sides swapped corner kicks but defences to their great credit stood firm on the slippery surface.
Just before the hour mark the visitors made a double substitution, the impressive Bell one of the casualties, as Bankies sought to take something from the game. The changes looked to have made a telling impact as the home side sustained a period of pressure, with Glen Mitchell and McKillen strong in the air. On 64 minutes the visitors were caught on the break when McKenzie’s tenacity released Dempster deep inside the Glens’ half and after driving forward he took no fewer than four white shirts out of play as he threaded the ball through their ranks for Danny Mitchell to give chase. The Glens midfielder slid along the snowy surface to get a foot to the ball as Hamilton raced to the edge of the box, the ball bouncing off the keeper’s chest and in a flash Bobby Colligan left MacAdam for dead in the race for the loose ball and curled it into the empty net from the corner of the 18 yard box.
Fearing that only the game being called off could prevent the three points staying at Loch Park other ideas were soon placed in the heads of the happy home support as the Bankies battled back. On 69 minutes Vince Berry went down in the box after a trip by Glen Mitchell and Joe Andrew sent Semple the wrong way from the spot kick, Bankies two behind with twenty minutes to go.
The visitors continued to press but couldn’t find a way through a resolute defence until five minutes from the break when a Wilson free kick was headed into his own net by Ross Robertson. The drama continued and two minutes from time Cochrane was ordered off after earning a second yellow card. The ten men survived the five minutes of added time to secure a precious three points. FT Glens 3 Bankies 2
Glenafton: Semple; McEwan, G.Mitchell, McKillen, Potter; McKenzie, Cochrane, D.Mitchell, Colligan; Robertson, Armstrong (Dempster). Subs. Dunsmuir (gk), Naismith, Blackwood
Clydebank: Hamilton; Walker, Bell (McAdam) McInnes, Paterson; Gold (Allum) , Campbell, Berry, Wilson; R McPherson (Burns) Andrew
Apologies we were unable to collect the programme from the printers on time please download a PDF here 12_Clydebank_League_16Mar2013
Other Scores: Arthurlie 3 Ashfield 1 , Petershill 1 Pollok 1