West Region Premier Division
Saturday 12th October, Beechwood Park, Auchinleck
AUCHINLECK TALBOT 2 (1)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 (1)
Glenafton began with the same starting eleven that defeated Arthurlie last Saturday after Alan Cairns recovered from a knock sustained at Dunterlie.
The visitors were first to threaten on 5 minutes through Cameron Marlow advancing deep into the box only for his square ball for John Craig to be cut out and cleared by Colin Spence. Two minutes later keeper Brian McGarrity was well positioned to gather Keir Milliken’s shot from close range in a crowded Glenafton box.
The home side began to get the upper hand in terms of possession and were using both flanks to great effect, the ball at times being switched from one to the other in a flash. Nevertheless the Glens defence marshalled by captain Craig Menzies and with Ryan McChesney in splendid form, kept the Talbot at bay – no better exemplified than on 25 minutes as the home side penetrated the Glens’ box in numbers. First McChesney blocked James Latta’s attempt to nick the ball home at the near post and after Willie Lyle picked up the loose ball he was forced to retreat by Menzies’ presence and pick out the irrepressible Bryan Young whose twists and turns left three red shirts on the ground only for his shot at goal to be well held by McGarrity as Latta waited to pounce on any spillage.
Two minutes later the visitors carved out a great chance. Following a Jamie McKernon free kick which blasted off the Talbot wall the ball was played into the box from the right and Alain Kinney rose above the remains of the wall to head the ball down into the six yard box where the alert Aaron Connolly beat Andy Leishman to the ball and clip it goalward only for the giant keeper to show great agility to turn, dive and scoop the ball off the line; more than atoning for his howler when facing the same player in the previous meeting at Beechwood.
Sixty seconds on and Kinney out-jumped Lyle at the edge of the box and his header was again gathered by Connolly who left the centre backs for dead only for Leishman to deny him with another, albeit painful, block.
Play was now flowing from end-to-end and on 37 minutes the home side made the breakthrough. An unforced error saw the Glens surrender the ball to David Gormley on the left who broke into the box and although his cross was over-hit, Milliken gathered and fed Latta in a central position who in turn picked out Colin Spence and the midfielder took a touch or two before lashing the ball into the net.
Although end to end play resumed it was the Talbot that had the best chance before the break with MGarrity saving a Gormley header. H/T Auchinleck 1 Glens 0
The visitors replaced Stevie Miller with Findlay Frye at the break and within a minute of the restart almost drew level. Craig lofted the ball high into the box and Kinney’s aerial prowess helped it on its way to Marlow on the corner of six yard box, who then out-muscled Lyle before firing for goal from an acute angle, only for Leishman’s fingertips to force the ball across the face of the empty goalmouth.
The home side doubled their lead on 53 minutes when David Gormley dived to head home a Young cross at the near post, a touch of class from the former Glenafton forward.
Glens almost halved the deficit four minutes later after Martin McGoldrick’s headed clearance was gathered brilliantly by Marlow at the edge of the box and although his shot left Leishman rooted to the spot the ball whizzed inches over the bar. Soon after the big keeper got a better view of McChesney’s header from a corner kick and saved comfortably.
Back came Talbot with Milliken driving forward from the half way line before picking out Gormley on the right and his low angled drive pulling out a fine save from McGarrity. Another home goal would surely have killed off the contest but instead on 66 minutes the Glens clawed their way back into the game.
Jamie McGeoghan, on the overlap down the right, whipped in a superb ball into the box for Aaron Connolly and Alain Kinney to compete for, the latter rising above his sandwich of McGoldrick and Lyle to head the ball down and then hold off the defenders to stretch out a leg and guide the ball beyond Leishman – a gutsy goal by any standard,
The home side licked their wounds and were soon on the front foot with some exhilarating attacks. Gormley galloped down the right and his cross from the dead-ball line eventually landed at the feet of MGoldrick, via White and Milliken, but Craig did enough to force the defender to pull his close range shot wide of target. Another Talbot corner kick was manfully defended only for the ball to fall for Craig Pettigrew but his shot too failed to hit the target.
Glens continued to make a game off it without creating any further clear cut chances while the home side came up against a resilient defence including their former keeper Brian McGarrity in fine form, and on one occasion the woodwork to ensure there would be no further scoring. F/T Auchinleck 2 Glens 1
Glenafton: McGarrity; McGeoghan, McChesney, Menzies, Cairns; Miller (Frye), Craig, McKernon (Brown), Marlow; Connolly & Kinney. Subs. Maltoni (gk), Dimilta, Trialist
Auchinleck: Leishman; Lyle, MGoldrick, Pettigrew, Park; Latta (Faulds), White, Spence (K.Connolly), Young; Milliken & Gormley (McCann) Subs. Reilly & Armour.
more photos here