Scottish Junior Cup 3rd round
Saturday 23rd November , Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (0)
ROYAL ALBERT 2 (1)
Glenafton made a number of changes from the starting eleven defeated Cumnock at Townhead last Saturday with Craig Menzies, Findlay Frye and Alain Kinney making way for Craig McEwan, David, Stevie Miller and Craig Brown.
Although the park had survived overnight freeze the match officials only gave the game the green light after the stand-side touchline had been sanded for the well-being of the assistant linesman.
Royal Albert certainly seemed to have little difficulty with the conditions underfoot as they began to stroke the ball about with some purpose putting the home on the back foot. After winning possession wide on the right the visitors played the ball across the face of the 18 yard box in determined fashion before it was slipped into the left-hand side of the box where it was met first time only for the shot to dip inches over the bar.
At the other end good work by Stevie Miller on the right saw him whip a cross from the bye-line to the back post which was missed by the defender allowing Cameron Marlow to stoop and head the ball home, or so he thought, but keeper Craig Smith pushed the ball onto the inside of the post before it was booted off the line to safety.
The keeper then made a fine save from Marlow’s shot from inside the box after the Glens midfield had gathered a great through ball by Craig McEwan. Smith came out on top again when he first blocked Marlow’s close range shot and then clutched Craig Brown’s attempt to bury the rebound.
His counterpart Brian McGarrity then came to the home side’s rescue with a point blank save from a well struck volley by David Hamilton who had pounced on knock-down in the box from a free kick. However, the Glens keeper could do little to prevent the visitors taking the lead on 30 minutes. On this occasion the free-kick lofted in the box was headed well clear by Jamie McGeoghan only for Fraser Stobie let the ball take one bounce before lashing a guided missile of a shot from 30 yards out through a packed penalty box and into the net.
Glens came close to drawing level when Brown’s header from a John Craig free-kick crashed of the bar and Connolly poked the loose ball home but from an offside position. Soon after substitute Alain Kinney turned the defender in the box before drilling a low angled shot that was well held by Smith.
H/T Glens 0 Albert 1
The home side pressed from the kick-off and Craig split the Albert defence with a peach of the pass for Marlow to collect but again an alert Smith had his measure with a brave block. On 55 minutes it was substitute David Dimilta’s turn to catch out the Albert’s defence with a slick ball into the box for Connolly who was brought down by the back-tracking Campbell. Up stepped Alain Kinney to send Smith the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Although Glens continued to push it was the visitors that regained the lead with 15 minutes to go. A throw in from the left was headed out the Glens’ box only for the ball to be quickly fed straight back in and then squared to Davie Dickson who finished in some style from 15 yards out and ignite a right Royal celebration.
Five minutes later a quickly taken free kick by Craig caught the Albert defence and found Connolly in the box who instantly turned and fired an angled shot which Smith could only Parry and the in-rushing Cameron Marlow prodded the loose ball home at the back post from a few yards out.
A long ball over the visitors defence was gathered by Connolly who ran through on goal but Smith ran from his line kept his composure to get a hand to the Glens’ striker shot. A Craig chip into the box was headed down by Marlow but as Kinney looked to pounce the advancing Smith dived at his feet to push the ball away and the presence of another defender forced the Glens striker to fire the loose ball over the bar.
In a rare Albert attack McGarrity had to be alert to hold a strike from distance. Another Glens’ break saw Connolly bomb down the right and his cross killed by Kinney before shooting for goal; claims that the shot was blocked by an Albert hand waved away.
In the dying minutes the visitors came close to claiming the cup-tie when a free-kick from an outrageous distance whizzed over McGarrity’s bar.
Glenafton: McGarrity; McEwan, McChesney, McGeoghan, Cairns; Miller, Craig, McKernon, Marlow; Connolly & Brown. Subs used Dimilta, Kinney and Menzies