West Region Premier Division
Saturday 31st August, Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0 (0)
HURLFORD UNITED 2 (0)
Glenafton hosted newly promoted Hurlford in the first Premier Division meeting between the two sides. The home side started with the same eleven that won at Petershill last Saturday while the visitors had four former Glens players in their eleven and two more in the dug-out alongside the former Glens management team.
The home side, facing a stiff breeze, were first to show and on three minutes appeals for hand ball after a free-kick was driven into the box were waved away. Five minutes later another Glens free kick was punched away by keeper Ally Brown and eventually cleared for a corner kick, which came to nothing.
On 11 minutes, a ‘Ford free kick was partially cleared and from 20 yards out Paul McKenzie tried his luck but his effort lacked the power to seriously test Brian McGarrity in the Glens goal. Nevertheless, it heralded a twenty minute period of play that saw the visitors on the front foot. A Stewart Kean shot flashed past the post and timely tackles by Ryan McChesney on Ryan Sullivan and Craig Menzies on McKenzie in turn broke down dangerous attacks. McChesney then did enough to prevent Kean connect with a header at the near post and although the ball was then knocked in at the back post by Danny Mitchell, the whistle had already been blown for an infringement.
The game changed in favour of the Glens and just before the half hour mark Findlay Frye turned Kevin Neilson on the touchline to drive into the box and win a corner kick which again came to nothing. On 36 minutes there was a good old fashioned stramash in the ‘Ford box as the visitors struggled to clear their lines with McChesney and Aaron Connolly in the thick of things. Two minutes later Scott Adam picked out John Craig on the right hand side of the penalty box who then turned two defenders before curling the ball goal-ward only for Brown to pull off a stunning save
In the last action of the half Neilson head-flicked on a ‘Ford free kick which fell kindly for Kean but he shot tamely from the corner of the six yard box and McGarrity saved with ease.
HT Glens 0 Hurlford 0
Five minutes into the new half a through ball from McKenzie was gathered at the edge of the box by Kean and as the striker geared up to fire home the back-tracking McChesney, with no margin for error, timed his tackle to perfection.
On 55 minutes Connolly’s determination earned a corner kick from which an equally determined Cameron Marlow forced his way into the six yard box only for Sullivan’s last ditch tackle keep the game goal-less at the expense of another corner, which was punched clear by Brown.
Although the Glens continued to press, clear cut chances were thin on the ground. On 68 minutes John Craig was replaced by trialist David Dimilita. Five minutes later Jamie McKernon did well to engineer a shot a goal from the corner of the 18 yard box which was well held by Brown.
On 77 minutes the home side contrived to give away a corner kick and paid dearly when former Glens midfielder Danny Mitchell on the six yard line headed the ball down, through the legs of Dempster and into the net.
Although the Glens pushed for the equaliser they couldn’t get the better of a well organised defence. With five minutes to go striker Gareth Armstrong came on for right back Stevie Miller while the visitors replaced one former Glens striker with another as Dempster came off for Ross Roberston. A minute later a ball from the right was headed on by McKenzie and Robertson, in acres of space at the back post, picked his spot to slam the ball home and secure the points.
FT Glenafton 0 Hurlford 2
Glenafton: McGarrity; Miller (Armstrong), McChesney, Menzies, McGeoghan; Craig (Dimilta), Frye, McKernon, Marlow; Connolly & Adam
Hurlford: Brown; McGregor,Neilson, G.Mitchell, Sullivan; McKenzie, D.Mitchell, Masterton, Cameron; Kean (Watt) & Dempster (Robertson)
More photos here