NCA West of Scotland Cup
Saturday 19th October, Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (0)
LARGS THISTLE 3 (2)
Little and Largs have the last laugh
Holders Glenafton exited the West of Scotland Cup at the first round despite a spirited second half fight back against Largs. The visitors went in at the break two goals to the good only for Glens to get back on level terms by the hour. However on 70 minutes Thistle’s Nicky Little smashed home what proved to be the winner.
Glens midfielder Jamie McKernon failed to recover from a calf injury sustained in the league match at Auchinleck last week and Findlay Frye returned to the starting eleven.
As in the recent league encounter between the two sides at Loch Park the visitors raced to an early lead when on 7 minutes centre half Creag Little rose to power a header home from a corner kick.
The game began to flow back and forth like the Millport Ferry with both sides creating decent chances. Good work on the right by Stevie Miller set up Alain Kinney but his header flashed over the bar. At the other end Largs looked to have doubled their lead when a throw in was launched deep into the box and Willie McLure’s knock-down was slammed home by Graham Muir, but the McClure adjudged to have unfairly challenged keeper Brian McGarrity.
The home side enjoyed a good spell of pressure beginning with Aaron Connolly playing a neat one-two with Kinney before testing Ryan McWilliams, the keeper coming out on top with a fine save. Miller making good progress down the right picked out Cameron Marlow at the back-post only for McWilliams to make another good block and the Glens midfielder’s attempt to bury the rebound deflected wide of target. Soon after a Miller corner kick saw Jamie McGeoghan win the ball in the air and Kinney’s follow-up header thunder off the base of the post.
On 28 minutes however the visitors doubled their lead following some excellent individual skill from Andy Monaghan. After gathering the ball from a throw in deep in the Glens half on the left flank he skipped past Miller and cut into the box where he side stepped past Ryan McChesney before firing the ball across the face of the goal and although McGarrity got a hand to it Graham Muir was on hand to poke the loose ball home.
Glenafton responded well and Frye and Miller combined to set up Connolly, his diving header saved well by McWilliams. The keeper topped that save from the head of Marlow when he tried to guide home the ball after a miscued clearance. A long kick upfield from McGarrity was left by the Largs defence to bounce seemingly harmlessly into the box but instead left Connolly and McWilliams in a chase for the ball, the two meeting wide on the left and Connolly floored. Appeals for a penalty were waved away and the Glens forward booked. H/T Glens 0 Largs 2
The home side started the new half on the front foot and on 54 minutes halved the deficit. From the half way line Alan Cairns lofted the ball into the box where Kinney rose to head the ball down for Cameron Marlow who was well positioned to crack a first time volley into the net from 12 yards out.
Glens continued to press and on the hour mark drew level after Alain Kinney’s aerial prowess saw him bullet home a header from a peach of a Miller cross.
With their tails up the home side went in search of a third and forced a couple of corner kicks before Largs struck back in some style. On 70 minutes a free kick from Scott Keogh was launched into the box and the ball headed clear by McChesney only for Nicky Little to meet it sweetly and thump it home from 20 yards out.
The home side tried to counter when Craig Menzies worked his way into the box and rolled the ball into the path of Marlow but his low driven angled shot whizzed past the far post. At the other end McGarrity comfortably held a Creag Little header. Glens second half substitutes David Dimilta and Craig Brown combined well in the box before the latter’s shot was stopped by McWilliams and Largs held onto their lead and progress to the second round.
Glenafton: McGarrity; McGeoghan, McChesney, Menzies, Cairns (Dimilta); Miller (Brown), Frye, Craig, Marlow; Connolly, Kinney . Sub. Maltoni (gk)
Largs: McWilliams; Keogh, Fisher, Walton, C. Little, Muir (Thomson), Stanton,N. Little , Monaghan, McLure (McLaughlin),Struthers (Marks) . Subs. McStay, Weir( gk)
Video Highlights : Courtesy of Glenafton TV