New Coin Automatics West of Scotland Cup Quarter-final
Sat 11th May, Barrfields Park, Largs
LARGS THISTLE 1 (1)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 (1)
- Glenafton win 7-6 penalties
Glenafton travelled to face a Largs Thistle side that still foster hopes of a securing a play-off place in their bid for promotion from the Super League 1st Division. The trip also provided the first opportunity to witness the quality of the fantastic new playing surface installed at Barrfields. It was soon matched by the quality of the play as both sides served up an entertaining first half. The home side took the early initiative when on 7 minutes a free kick from the half way line was clipped over the top of the Glens defence and gathered by Sean Laurence with some composure before taking a touch and slipping the ball beyond the reach of keeper Ally Semple.
Back came the visitors through Paul McKenzie who made his way into the box and unleashed a scorching shot that had the ice-cream at Nardini’s melting only for the ball to whiz past the junction of post and bar.
The end-to-end theme continued with Willie McClure cutting into the box from the left and skipping past a host of red shirts before drilling a low angle shot that was pushed round the post by Semple. Glenafton’s goal lived a charmed life as Euan Lindsay’s header from the resultant corner was headed off the line by Craig McEwan. At the other end a Craig Potter cross into the box was met by Jack Steele by keeper Stevie Connick was well positioned to clutch the header. Still only 11 minutes gone!
Thistle began to enjoy more possession and their passing at times was a treat to watch with wide men Laurence and McClure catching the eye while keeping the visitors on their toes but although they forced a few corners they couldn’t add to their tally. Glens gradually got a foothold and Ryan Millar’s run to the bye-line concluded with a cut back for Gus Cochrane only for his shot to go wide of target. Another Largs corner came close but Nikky Little’s header scraped past the post.
On 21 minutes the visitors drew level with a well worked goal. Ross Robertson fended off two Thistle defenders before releasing Craig Potter down the right flank to cut the ball back into the box where it was intercepted by Ian Fisher only for Gus Cochrane to pounce on the loose ball and drill it low and hard into the corner of the net.
Seven minutes later Potter was in the right place at the right time at the other end to hook the ball off the line as Largs looked to get their noses in front again. Millar’s perseverance saw him breach the Thistle box and then roll the back to Cochrane who forced his way past a number of defenders before firing for goal, but on this occasion Connick came out on top. Two minutes from the interval after a lightning break down the right Laurence picked out Eaun Lindsay in the six yard box but his touch took the ball across the face of goal and the danger eventually cleared. H/T Largs 1 Glens 1
Glenafton made two changes at the break with John Dempster on for Robertson and Graeme Eaglesham for Gus Cochrane. The visitors were soon on the front foot with the runs of McKenzie and Steele giving the hosts food for thought after their half-time oranges. On 53 minutes the visitors won a corner kick and Connick pulled off a stunning save from Richie McKillen’s header. Millar and McKenzie had each probing runs into the Largs box but the home defence stood firm as the Glens continued to press.
Some respite for Largs on the hour mark when pressure earned a corner kick and although the ball fell to Eddie Walton and then Kevin Struthers neither could conjure up a shot on target. Five minutes later McEwan got behind the home defence down the left to send a cross-field ball to the back post where his met by a vicious volley by Millar which crashed off the top of the bar. Fine play by Eaglesham ended with his cross being headed just wide by Glen Mitchell.
On 78 minutes Eaglesham came within a whisker of putting the Glens ahead, after controlling a rebound from a Dempster drive, but his cleverly executed volley went inches wide with Connick on his knees. In a rare break for Theesel substitute Graham Muir sent Nikky Little through on goal but his attempt was comfortably held by Semple. At the other end Connick blocked a Millar shot at the near post and then pulled off another top drawer save from a Steele drive after good build up play by Eaglesham and Dempster.
In the closing minutes Ryan Millar went off to a rousing reception from the travelling support with Gareth Armstrong on his place. In time added on the hosts almost sneaked but Semple saw off the danger and then in the last action of the match Gault was on hand to stop an Armstrong header falling at the feet of Dempster deep in the box. FT Largs 1 Glenafton 1
The penalty shoot was tied at 5-5 after 10 unstoppable kicks of the highest quality, John Dempster, Craig McEwan, Glen Mitchell, Jack Steele and Gareth Armstrong finding the net for the Glens. In sudden death Graeme Eaglesham slammed home another stunner while Ally Semple got a hand to Creag Little’s effort but no avail as the sides remained tied.
Richie McKillen then curled one in to maintain the visitors 100% record before Ally Semple got down low to hold the unfortunate Sean Lawrence’s spot kick.
Largs Thistle: Connick; Fisher, McLaughlin, Walton C.Little; Lawrence, Gault, Struthers (Lappin), McClure (Muir); Lindsay (Monaghan), N.Little Sub McWilliams
Glenafton Athletic: Semple; Potter, McKillen, G.Mitchell, McEwan; McKenzie, D.Mitchell, Steele, Cochrane (Eaglesham); Robertson (Dempster), Millar (Armstrong). Subs Menzies, McChesney
More photos here
Other scores: League Auchinleck 2 Shotts 1 ; West of Scotland Cup QF Arthurlie v Petershill match postponed
Video highlights here
- Courtesy of Largs Thistle