Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup 2nd round
Saturday 2nd May, New Pebble Park , Annbank
ANNBANK UNITED 0 (0)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (1)
Glenafton were short of personnel and made several changes from the starting eleven that had faced Auchinleck earlier in the week. In came manager Craig McEwan, Klark Thomson and Aaaron Connolly for Jamie McKernon, Darren McGill and Alain Kinney. Meanwhile keeper Brian McGarrity was on the bench as an outfield substitute and David Buchanan took his place in goal.
The visitors enjoyed the best of the early play and a fine passing moving down the right ended with Craig Menzies clipping a dangerous ball into the box that was volleyed just wide of target by Thomson. An Annbank free-kick from the edge of the box had the same outcome, the ball curling past the Glens’ wall and wide of the post.
Attempts from distance by both Thomson and Connolly whizzed over the Bankie’s bar before Glenafton broke the deadlock with a well worked goal midway through the half. Daniel Orsi stole the ball on the half way line and quickly picked out Connolly to drive through the middle before drilling a low pass to Joe Andrew who turned a defender at the edge of the box with the ball falling for the incoming Daniel Orsi who placed it perfectly beyond the reach of the out-rushing keeper Jordan Callaghan and into the far corner of the net.
The home side carved out a good chance with a clever ball down the right flank that was quickly gathered and a good touch took the ball into the box before a fine shot was blocked by an equally fine save by Buchanan.
Jamie McGeoghegan, bossing the midfield, evaded a challenge before released an inch perfect pass into the right hand side of the box for Andrew to chase down and although his shot beat the outcoming keeper the ball skimmed wide of the far post. McGeoghegan turned provider again after bursting down the left flank and whipping the ball into the box where Connolly’s header looped over the bar.
In a change of flanks, Orsi’s powerful run down the right concluded with a ball into the box that was trapped well by Andrew before a turn and shot was saved well by the keeper. A fine flowing move beginning deep in his own half by McEwan and with excellent touches by Connolly and Andrew ended with Thomson side stepping the keeper in the box only for his shot to be headed clear by a well-placed defender. H/T Annbank 0 Glenafton 1
Annbank began the second half brightly putting together a string of passes and only a timely intervention in the box by Chris Meikle prevented Buchanan being tested. At the other end Connolly came within a whisker of doubling the visitors lead his thunderous swerving shot from 22 yards crashing off the base of the post with the keeper beaten. The striker then turned provider flying down the right wing before whipping a wicked ball into the box and Andrew’s header batter of the bar. A Connolly free kick into the box was only partially cleared and the loose ball blocked before being scramble clear and at the other end an Annbank shot from wide on the left bulged the side-netting.
Patient build up play by the Glens moved the ball to the bye line where Menzies cut-back was met by Orsi and claims that his attempt to slot the ball home was pushed onto the post by the hand of defender were waved away. The home side, still very much in the game, fashioned out a fine chance taking the ball deep into the Glens’ box only for Alan Cairns to time his tackle to perfection and Buchanan rushing from his line to collect the loose ball.
With 10 minutes to go Craig McEwan was replaced by Brian McGarrity in his ‘outfield debut’ against his former club Annbank, indeed McGarrity had saved a penalty kick from McEwan on his Glens debut!
Aaron Connolly curls home the second (Photo courtesy of John B. Vass)
The keeper had a hand in the Glens clincher, hooking the ball from the left touchline back infield where the ball was eventually collected by Andrew, before he was fouled on the edge of the box. Aaron Connolly, stepped and curled an unstoppable shot round the wall and into the net to set up a quarter-final tie with Beith at Loch Park next Wednesday. F/T Annbank 0 Glenafton 2
Glenafton Atheltic: Buchanan; McEwan (McGarrity), McChesney, Meikle, Cairns; Orsi, Menzies, McGeoghegan, Thomson ; Andrew & Connolly. subs McGuffie
Thank you to Alex Jess and John Vass