Stagecoach West Region Premier Division
Saturday 6th April, Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (1)
SHOTTS BON ACCORD 0 (0)
Glenafton hosted the current Scottish Junior Cup holders and Scottish Cup semi-finalists Shotts Bon Accord in a crucial league encounter for both sides. The home side kicked off with the same line up that began in the Ayrshire Cup win over Ardeer Thistle last Saturday and were first to threaten on 3 minutes when Paul McKenzie headed a Craig Potter cross wide of target. Shotts responded with a quick break that ended with Glen Mitchell getting a brilliant block on Alan McKenzie at the edge of the box and Mark Sideserf firing the loose ball over the bar.
Colin Williamson’s determination saw him break into the box only to be halted by Richie McKillen and his claims for a penalty waved away. Back came the home side and McKenzie lofted a ball over the Bon Accord’s back line for Jack Steele to chase and cut back for Ross Robertson who drilled the ball inches wide. The game was evenly matched with neither keeper severely tested until the 24th minute when the Glens took the lead in spectacular fashion.
Potter collected the ball on the half way line and drove forward before picking out Ryan Miller who flicked it on to Robertson on the edge of the box with his back to goal. As Miller continued his run into the box to complete the one-two with Robertson who instead took a touch before weaving his way between Chris Walker and Alan McKenzie to gain a sight of goal and from 18 yards out powerfully placed the ball into the postage stamp leaving keeper Johnny Murdoch rooted to the spot. A definite contender for Glens goal of the season so far.
The visitors pressed forward but a Glens defence being marshalled brilliantly by Glen Mitchell were full of confidence and Shotts were forced to resort to shots from distance which were dealt with confidently and comfortably by keeper Ally Semple. H/T Glens 1 Shotts 0
The Glens came out of the blocks flying and were unfortunate not to double their lead. McKenzie pounced on the ball in the box and picked out Potter who chipped the ball to the back post where Miller rose to power a header beyond Murdoch only for Darren Ferguson to knee the ball off the line high into the air and Robertson’s header crash off the underside of the bar. Solid play from Paul Finnigan saw him drive forward and feed substitute Andy Scott tight on the right flank who whipped wicked ball across the face of goal only for McKillen to clear in some style at the cost of a corner.
On 58 the big centre half then turned provider, gathering a pass from Craig McEwan before launching the ball upfield over the heads of the Bon Accord back line for McKenzie and Robertson to give chase. Ferguson’s back-tracking proved to be in vain as McKenzie on the 18 yard line calmly lobbed the ball over the head of the out-rushing Murdoch and into the cavernous net.
The Glens controlled the game to its conclusion with Mitchell and McKillen solid in the centre of defence, new signings Steele and Miller fitting in nicely and the fresh legs of Gareth Armstrong and Bobby Colligan keep the visitors on their toes.
F/T Glens 2 Shotts 0
Glenafton: Semple Potter G. Mitchell McKillen McEwan McKenzie D. Mitchell Cochrane Steele Robertson Miller subs Colligan Dempster Armstrong McChesney Campbell
Shotts Bon Accord: Murdoch Finnagan Burns Ferguson Walker Jaconeli Williamson McKenzie McGuire Sideserf Hanlon subs Wharton Scott McStay Goodall Kerr
Other league scores: Clydebank 0 Kirkintilloch 3, Cumnock 2 Ashfield 0, Pollok 3 Arthurlie 1