West Region Premier Division : Match 20
Saturday 3rd May, Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0 (0)
CUMNOCK JUNIORS 1 (1)
Glenafton’s top goal scorer Aaron Connolly remained side-lined through injury while captain Craig Menzies recovering from injury had a place on the bench.
Cumnock enjoyed the early chances and in the opening 10 minutes a game of head tennis in the Glens’ box ended with John Bradford’s header in the safe clutches of keeper Brian McGarrity whilst both Chris Robertson and John Johnston had shots at goal that went wide of target.
On 13 minutes the home side responded through Michael Reilly only for his shot from the outskirts of the box go over the bar. Three minutes later a Craig McEwan free kick was won deep in the box by the head of Cameron Marlow but Stevie Crawford was well placed to clear the ball from the feet of Reilly.
The game became scrappy and neither side had seriously tested their opponent’s keeper before the visitors took the lead on 30 minutes with a touch of quality from Chris Robertson. James Lundie lumped a long ball up-field that deceived the home defence and Robertson on the edge of the box let the ball take a bounce before elegantly hooking it high in the air to descend into the postage stamp.
Four minutes later a Chris McKnight free kick floated to the back post found the unmarked Kieran Wood but the defender guided his free header wide of target. Soon after Wood blocked Alain Kinney’s attempt at goal and although the loose ball was gathered by Stevie Miller his cross from wide on the right was picked out the air by former Glenafton goalie Ally Semple. Five minutes from the break Cammy Marlow hobbled off to be replaced by former Cumnock player Darren McGill. HT Glens 0 Cumnock 1
Minutes into the new half McGill fired a shot from distance wide of the post. On 51 minutes the woodwork came to the Glens rescue when substitute Richard Hanvey’s free kick driven through a ruck of players beat McGarrity before crashing off the post. Just before the hour mark the Glens keeper brought off a stunning point blank save from substitute Gavin Brown. Two minutes later Wood with another free header just failed to hit the target.
Midway through the half Semple was quick off his line to deny Reilly a shot at goal after the Glens’ striker beat the ‘Nock defence to a through ball into the box.
With 20 minutes to go Jamie McKernon, after another tireless shift, was replaced by Craig Menzies , who slotted back into the centre of defence and Jamie McGeoghegan pushed forward into midfield. Two minutes later, in the best move of the game, Findlay Frye in the middle of the park picked out McGill who then fed Reilly on the right to lay the ball into the path of the over-lapping McEwan. The defender drove into the box before blasting an angled shot for goal, only for Semple at full stretch to push the ball away and then look on as Stevie Miller’s attempt to slot home was blocked by Brown and McKnight then clear that rebound from the feet of McEwan.
Glens brought on the fresh legs of Craig Brown for Stevie Miller as the home side pressed for the equaliser. With 10 minutes to go McEwan, from also the same spot in the box as before, sent a shot whizzing past Semple’s near post. Kinney then fashioned a shot from outside the box that zipped wide of the other post.
A McEwan cross from deep on the right was headed clear at the back post by Gavin Brown as his name-sake Craig looked to head home and nothing came of the resultant corner. Semple then tipped a shot from distance round the post and although this corner was better executed Semple, sandwiched between Reilly and Kinney, did enough to punch the ball clear. It proved to be too little too late for the home side and the’ Nock earned their first victory over the Glens in five attempts this season to secure all three points. FT Glens 0 Cumnock 1
Glenafton Athletic: McGarrity; McEwan, McChesney, McGeoghegan, Cairns; Miller (Brown), Frye, McKernon (Menzies), Marlow (McGill); Kinney & Reilly.
Cumnock Juniors: Semple; Lundie, Wood, O’Donnel, Crawford; Johnston, McKnight, Montgomerie, Maguire (Hanvey); Robertson, Bradford (Brown)
more photos here