Ardagh Glass Ayrshire Sectional League Cup
Section 4: Match 4
Wednesday 20th August, Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 (0)
AUCHINLECK TALBOT 2 (1)
After each side had created a half chance in the opening encounters the Glens came close to opening the scoring on 10 minutes after Pat Walker slipped the ball into the box for Aaron Connolly to twist and turn and leave a string of defenders as spectators before firing for goal from close range only for keeper Andy Leishman thrust out a strong right arm to push the ball wide of the post.
The resultant corner kick was won in the air by defender by Mark Campbell and the ball eventually cleared to the outskirts of the box to be met by Jamie McKernon to unleash a thunderbolt from 25 yards but again Leishmann performed heroics and launched himself to push the ball over the bar for another corner.
Just as the home side started to stamp their authority on the match the visitors caught them cold and got their noses in front on 17 minutes. David Gormley deep in the Glens half gathered a short throw tight on the right hand side and despite being seemingly trapped on a pocket of three white shirts managed to whip a ball towards the back post where Graham Wilson got the jump on Ryan McChesney to glance a header beyond Brian McGarrity and into the net.
The Glens recovered quickly and were soon taking control off the game. McKernon was calling the shots in the middle of the park while Adam Strachan’s pace was forcing defenders to back-off as the home side pressed for the equaliser.
Countless corner-kicks were won which seldom varied in outcome with an uncharacteristically uncertain Talbot defence struggling to clear their lines; but clear them they did as the Glens struggled to seriously test Leishman again. Indeed, a minute before the break the visitors almost punished their hosts again as a Keir Milliken cross from left hand side picked out William Boyd in the six yard box only for Walker’s presence to do enough to force the midfielder to head high over the bar. H/T Glens 0 Talbot 1
Within five minutes of the re-start the home side carved out a great chance. Daniel Orsi gathered the ball on the right and took out two defenders to feed Cameron Marlow’s clever run into the box where he gave Campbell the slip before angling the ball beyond the reach of the advancing Leishman but also inches wide of the post.
Two minutes later and Orsi down the right flank slipped the ball past defender Gordon Pope for Craig McEwan to burst into the space and whip a glorious ball across the face of the goal but again Leishman leapt high between Connolly and Walker to grab the ball cleanly and quickly initiate a Talbot attack . Deep and wide on the left Gormley fended off McChesney to lay the ball off to Craig McCracken to crack a sweetly struck drive and despite the best efforts of McGarrity the net bulged as the Talbot doubled their lead on 51 minutes.
Four minutes later a shell-shocked Afton came close to conceding a third as Dwayne Hyslop engineered space in the box, however McGarrity stood his ground forcing the midfield into a low angled shot that skimmed wide of the post. The Glens gave the visitors a taste of their own medicine. McKernon had the home side straight back up the park where Connolly blocked an attempted clearance by Campbell before forcing his way into the box only to be clipped from behind by Boyd to earn the Glens a spot-kick which on 55 minutes was blasted home by Adam Strachan .
Re-energised, the Glens took the game by the scruff of the neck with ‘quarter-back’ McKernon dictating play while the pace of Strachan and the forceful running of Orsi down the right flank pegged the visitors deep in their own half. Glenafton corner-kicks were again in abundance and on the hour mark after Leishman, under pressure from Jamie McGeoghegan, dropped the ball for the first time hopes were high of a reward from this source at last, only for Ally Park to get a timely block on Walker’s shot at goal.
The home side freshened up things with Darren McGill coming on for Marlow and Walker making way from Michael Wardrope soon after. In between times Orsi’s power took him to the dead-ball line and although his cross eluded Leishman there were no takers at the back post. Park also cut out a telling cross from Strachan at the expense of a corner-kick, which was mopped up by a determined defence.
Strachan released the overlapping McEwan down the right to fire in another peach of a cross for the awaiting Orsi and Connolly it was the orange clad leaping Leishman that came out on top as clutched the ball cleanly in the failing light.
In the closing minutes Connolly pulled up with a hamstring injury as he hunted down another through ball with Findlay Frye taking his place. The Glens continued to press but couldn’t break down the Talbot defence and it was the Auchinleck side that secured the points to maintain their 100% record in the section. F/T Glens 1 Auchinleck 2
Glenafton Athletic: McGarrity; McEwan, McGeoghegan, McChesney, Cairns; Orsi, Marlow (McGill), McKernon, Strachan; Connolly (Frye), Walker (Wardrope)
Auchinleck Talbot: Leishman, Park, Lyle, Campbell, Pope; Hyslop, Boyd, McCracken, Milliken; Gormley, Wilson Subs:Spence, Armour, White
more photos here
Other Section scores : Kello 3 Cumnock 4; Muirkirk 0 Lugar 4