West Region Premier Division : Match 16
Saturday 5th April, Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (1)
KIRKINTILLOCH ROB ROY 1 (1)
Rob Roy made the early running and only Craig McEwan’s superb tackle on Ryan Deas deep in the box prevented the visitors taking an early lead. On 8 minutes it McEwan again that was in the right and the right time to bring a well worked free kick to an end , after Deas had neatly flicked the ball over the Glens defence to pick out Willie Sawyers on the bye-line for the striker to cut the ball back into the danger area.
Glens began to edge their way into the game and excellent run by Aaron Connolly saw him power past defender Martin Brogan and drive deep into the box only for the covering Willie Wilson to steal the ball at the expense of a corner-kick. Jamie McKernon perfectly picked out Cameron Marlow at the far corner of the six yard box and the Glens’ midfielder rose unchallenged to send a looping header into the net at the junction of post and bar and his side ahead after 14 minutes.
With their tails up the Glenafton began to enjoy greater possession with McKernon and Findlay Frye winning the majority of the midfield battles as the hosts pushed for a second. Marlow fired an angled shot from 15 yards out which was held well by keeper Stuart Wilson. Frye then forced his way down the right flank beyond Paul McGeough before whipping the ball across goal from the touchline where Marlow with his back to goal made a valiant effort to hook the ball home, only for it to drift wide of the post. On 25 minutes the visitors came close to drawing level when from six yards out Brogan bulleted a header inches over the bar from a free-kick taken by Deas close to the right hand corner flag.
Ten minutes later Glens won back-to-back corners after Marlow’s shot from 12 yards was deflected wide. Although Jamie McGeoghan won aerial battle from the resultant kicks the Rabs momentarily cleared the danger at the expense of a throw-in. McEwan launched the ball to the outskirts of the six yard box where Darren McGill bravely barged his way between two Rabs’ defenders to power a header for goal only for the ball to whizz wide of the post.
Just before the break a free kick launched deep into the box was headed on by Sawyers but before Ally Martin could add the finishing touch an airborne Brian McGarrity punched the ball clear. At the other end his counterpart Wilson brought the half to a close with a brave dive at the feet of Connolly. HT Glens 1 Rob Roy 0
As in the first half the Rabs were quick out the blocks and earned a corner in 30 seconds which ended with Sawyers’ header sailing over the bar. Glens countered through a long range shot from Michael Reilly, it too finishing over the bar. Thoughts of end-to-end play were quickly extinguished as the visitors took control of the game, with the introduction of Chris Duff having an immediate impact.
On 51 minutes a goalmouth scramble ended with a number of red shirts sprawled across the six yard box and McGarrity saving Scott Morton’s attempt to guide the ball home from close range. Three minutes later Glens surrendered possession cheaply inside the Rabs half and the ball was quickly dispatched up-field to be gathered by Sawyers and although he could not shake off the attention of the back-tracking Menzies and McGeoghan, he won a free kick after a trip by the latter on the edge of the box. Deas’ free-kick failed to test McGarrity but did generate another series of goalmouth scrambles and the Glens’ goal intact. Just after the hour mark the visitors’ efforts were rewarded when from a corner kick Willie Sawyers directed a near post header into the opposite post beyond the reach of McGarrity.
Five minutes later the woodwork came to Glens rescue twice in quick succession. Morton’s close range attempt crashed off the post and although McGeoghan managed to clear the loose ball from Sawyers it fell for Ronald who engineered a fantastic shot from the tightest of angles which thundered of the cross bar. As the ball descended McEwan’s presence was enough to force Morton’s header to go wide of target.
Glens made a tactical change with striker Alain Kinney replacing full back Alan Cairns. Still the Rabs continued to press and on 71 minutes Ronald tried his luck with a drive from the corner of the 18 yard box but McGarrity pulled off a fine save and his defence cleared the resultant corner. Five minutes later McGarrity leapt to claw the ball from the head of the incoming Morton.
Some respite for the Glens when Kinney shook off a couple of defenders in the box and eked out a shot at goal which Wilson held comfortably.The Rabs brought on Alan Urquhart’s, whose goal separated the two sides in the corresponding fixture at Adamslie Park, while Glens replaced Darren McGill with Stevie Miller.
On 86 minutes Reilly picked out Kinney on the left hand corner of the penalty box who then skipped past McGeough before sliding the ball across the face of the goal beyond the reach of the outrushing keeper for Aaron Connolly to gather and squeeze the ball between the post and Martin, which rolled along, and perhaps over, the goal-line for Findlay Frye to get the jump on Kris Mitchell and batter into the gaping net.
Two minutes later Kinney was the architect again and after fending off two defenders on the left touchline he whipped the ball into the six yard box for the incoming Miller but Wilson denied him his header after rising to clutch the ball safely. The Rabs pushed for a late equaliser only for the Glens defence to hold firm and secure the points. FT Glens 2 Rob Roy 1
Glenafton Athletic: McGarrity; McEwan, McGeoghan, Menzies, Cairns (Kinney); McGill (Miller), McKernon, Frye, Marlow; Connolly & Reilly. Subs. McChesney, Brown
Kirkintilloch Rob Roy: 1.Stuart Wilson 2. Jonathan Carter 3. Willie Wilson 4. Martin Brogan 5. Paul McGeough 6. Kris Mitchell. 8. Owen Ronald 9.Scott Morton 12. Willie Sawyers 10. Ryan Deas 11 Ally Martin Subs used. Chris Duff, Alan Urquhart.