Stagecoach Western Super League Premier Division : Match 7
- Saturday 8th November, Portand Park, Troon
TROON 3 (1)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 3 (2)
Prior to kick off a minute’s silence was observed as an act of Remembrance, simply and sincerely.
The game started in lively fashion with a Troon attack repelled in the opening minute and Glenafton’s response mopped up by Dean Keenan at the edge of his own penalty box. The central defender drove forward before clipping a peach of a defence splitting pass down the left flank for Mick McCann to hunt down and with David Gillies in support earned the home side the first corner of the game. Keenan duly delivered the ball to back post where Gillies’ downward header found the back of the net with some ease, to put Troon ahead on 2 minutes.
Five minutes later Adam Strachan exploded down the left flank to the bye line and whipped the ball across the face of goal beyond the reach of the keeper Darren Johnson only for Alain Kinney’s flashing header to be headed clear by Gareth Armstrong ( no, not ‘Bo’). Strachan continued to glide across the wet surface and another blistering run down the left to the bye-line ended with the keeper pushing the ball past for a corner-kick which was won in the air by Jamie McGeoghegan and cleared by former Glens defender Martin Ure.
In his next attack a change of plan saw Strachan cut in from the left and ghost past a couple of black and blue shirts before unleashing a shot from 25 yards which, at full stretch, was pushed round the post by Johnston. Again Kinney won the aerial battle for the corner-kick and his glancing header at the near post whizzed inches wide of the back post.
Some respite for the home side following a neat touch by McCann in the middle of the park to release Stevie Wilson and after tearing down the right flank his cross for the incoming McCann was pushed away low at the near post by keeper Brian McGarrity and the loose ball cleared by Craig Menzies at the expense of a corner. Keenan’s execution failing to match that of the one that led to the opener.
Back on the front foot the visitors earned a free kick deep in the Troon half after Ure brought down Cameron Marlow. The Glens midfielder wasted no time and his quickly taken kick caught the home defence off guard as he rolled the ball into the path of Alain Kinney who burst into the box to drill a low angled shot beyond the advancing Johnson to level the match with 15 minutes gone.
Like the rain pelting down on Portland Park, play was relentless flowing from end-to-end without any further clear cut chances created by either side. Kinney and Aaron Connolly completed a neat one-two allowing the latter to dart into the left hand corner of the box beyond the Troon defence only for the outrushing keeper to slide perfectly and clutch the ball from the striker’s feet. While, at the other end a timely tackle deep in the box by Craig Menzies on McCann yielded another corner for Troon that was punched well clear by McGarrity.
On 37 minutes the tide turned Glenafton’s way after McGeoghegan broke down a Troon attack and picked out Jamie McKernon in the middle of the park. His stunning cross-field pass was killed by Strachan tight on the left flank from where he darted infield before slipping the ball to Alain Kinney. The striker with his back to goal and sandwiched between two opponents wheeled and lashed an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box into the rigging. H/T Troon 1 Glens 2
Glenafton began the second half in determined fashion and it was midfielder McKernon pulling the strings beginning with a 25 yard thunderbolt that whizzed wide of the post. He later picked out Strachan and in turn he fed Daniel Orsi, who had temporarily switched from the right to left flank, and incredibly his cut back across face of goal saw Kinney, Marlow and Connolly in sequence all denied by tackles from a trio of Troon defenders.
On the hour mark a combination of excellent build up play and clinical finishing doubled the visitors lead. Strachan hypnotised a defender before drilling a diagonal ball to Kinney and in a flash with a classy touch of the outside of his boot diverted the ball into the path of Aaron Connolly to present him with a free run into the box. The striker picked his moment and just as the back-tracking Neil McGowan closed in from the rear and keeper Johnson raced from his line to narrow the angle he drilled the ball low and hard from 15 yards into the corner of the net.
Glens were now well on top with the mobile McKernon feeding Orsi and Strachan down either flanks as the visitors pressed for a fourth, only for the Troon defence to hold firm. The home side were only seen as an attacking force in flashes and in 70 minutes they won a free-kick 30 yards out. Keenan stepped up seemingly to loft the ball into the box but instead attempted to curl one into the top corner, only for McGarrity to quickly readjust and get both hands to it.
With 15 minutes to go Glenafton introduced Michael Wardrope for Orsi and soon after Darren McGill for Marlow. In between times Kinney escaped the clutches of Armstrong on the half-way line and stormed his way forward to the edge of the box where the tireless Keenan timed his tackle perfectly.
On 80 minutes McGill, on the right, slipped the ball to Connolly who in turn found Strachan on the left before continuing his run into the box. Strachan skipped past Armstrong before squaring the ball across the six yard box where Kinney’s effort was blocked by Keenan and Connolly’s attempt to net the rebound crashed off the underside of the bar. Instead of being three ahead, the deficit was cut to one some three minutes later. Wilson cut inside from the right and rolled the ball to substitute Tony Murphy on the outskirts of the box who casually lobbed the ball high over the Glens defence into the six yard box where Mick McCann enjoyed space and time to pick his spot with a glancing header.
Glens brought on Patrick Walker for Connolly, however the momentum was now all with the home side as they dug deep for the equaliser. McCann engineered a great chance but his lob over McGarrity went well wide. With three minutes to go another dangerous ball into the box was headed clear by Ryan McChesney as Moore waited to pounce only for former Glenafton player Murphy to gather the ball at the edge of the box but his drive sailed over the bar.
In the 4th minute of added time Troon won a free kick in the centre circle and in a last throw of the dice Keenan launched the ball high into the sardine-packed box over the heads of all and sundry which landed kindly at the feet of Stevie Wilson who with the deftest of touches killed the ball and guided it home from close range to secure a share of the points.Troon 3 Glenafton 3
Troon: Johnson; Ure (McGowan), Keenan, Collins, Armstrong; Wilson, Wylie, Chatham, Moore; Gillies (Murphy) & McCann Subs – Harvey, Baillie, Paterson
Glenafton Athletic: McGarrity; Menzies, McChesney, McGeoghegan, Cairns; Orsi (Wardrope) Marlow (McGill), McKernon, Strachan; Connolly (Walker) & Kinney
- Troon striker David Gillies had to be stretchered off with a torn medial ligament injury . Glenafton would like to wish David a speedy recovery.
More photos here