McBoookie.com West of Scotland League Super League Premier Division : Match 10
Saturday 23rd January 2016, Guy’s Meadow, Cumbernauld
KIRKINTILLOCH ROB ROY 0 (0)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (2)
The outcome of the first competitive game in the New Year for both Glenafton and Rob Roy would result with one or the other leapfrogging Auchinleck Talbot (on Junior Cup duty) to top of the league. Glenafton made one change to the starting eleven that faced Kilbirnie Ladeside in the West of Scotland Cup in mid-December with Jamie Hay replacing Michael Wardrope (recalled by Ayr United for the first team match at Albion Rovers) while new signing David Gray was on the bench.
The visitors were first threaten after a powerful run down the right flank to the bye-line by Dan Orsi only for his cut-back intended for John Paul Boyle to be cut out by his name sake Daniel Boyle. Back came the Glens through Craig McGuffie who skipped past one defender before firing from the edge of the box and the ball pushed wide for a corner-kick which was duly cleared by the Rabs defence.
On 7 minutes the pressure paid off after a wonderful turn and pass from Joe Andrew set up John Paul Boyle to give both centre backs the slip before forcing his way into the right hand corner of the box and drilling a low hard shot beyond the reach of keeper Jordan Brown and the ball nestling in the net at the far post.
Glens continued to press and Orsi whipped another wicked ball across the face of goal from the right but Paul Finnigan marshalled the danger away as Boyle closed in. A corner-kick gave the Rabs some respite but this was cleared comfortably.
On 17 minutes a powerful headed clearance by Chris Meikle aided by a touch from Orsi released Joe Andrew from the half-way line to run unimpeded toward goal. As Brown advanced to his six yard line the Glens striker all but stopped on the outskirts of the box to get his bearings to calmly loft the ball over the keeper’s head into the gaping net.
Jamie Hay muscled Scott Upton off the ball on the left hand side before it was quickly gathered by Andrew and moved across field to Orsi who tried his luck from range, the ball whizzing over Brown’s outstretched arm and the bar.
On 27 minutes Rob Roy appeared to have halved the deficit from the corner kick after keeper Brian McGarrity, under pressure from Kevin Watt, had dropped the ball at the back post, before Watt then forced the loose ball over the line with the keeper pushed back onto the post, by which time the referee had blown for the infringement. Five minutes later Watt, with time and space on his side, spurned a great chance to score from open play, only to drag his shot well wide of target.
Glenafton suffered a blow ten minutes before the break after Dan Orsi landed badly on his right ankle and was stretchered off to warm applause from both sets of supporters with Darren McGill coming on in his place.
On 41 minutes the visitors came close to adding a third after Boyle’s cross into the box was initially cleared from the feet of Ally Park by Finnigan and the ball fell for McGuffie only for Brown to make a fantastic one-handed save and the alert Finnegan followed up to clear the danger. In the last action of the half a Rob Roy free-kick floated into a packed box was punched clear by McGarrity from the head of Boyle. HT Rob Roy 0 Glens 2
The home side were late out the dressing room and were nearly caught sleeping from Glens kick off as JP Boyle gave chase to a through ball and although he saw off the challenge of David Barr to advance deep into the box the back-tracking defender did well to block the shot at goal at the expense of a corner-kick, which came to nothing.
An excellent run through the middle by Upton was ended by a trip by Park and although the midfielder’s sweetly struck free kick curled past the Glens wall it also whizzed just wide of the post. At other end Hay’s long range effort was held well by Brown.
Although possession was evenly balanced there was now a real sense of urgency in the home side’s play that was missing in the first. Sawyers did well at the bye-line to turn Ryan McChesney before clipping the ball to the back post where Finnigan quickly picked out Luke Whelan and his pass gathered by Watt before turning and firing for goal only for McGarrity pull off a fine save, low at the post.
Glens won another corner-kick but again failed to fashion an attempt at goal. Soon after McGuffie waltzed his way to the bye-line before clipping the ball into the six yard box for McGill only for Lee Gallacher to gather and clear.
Midway through the half the Glens goal lead a charmed life topped off with a class piece of defending. Gallacher’s ball into the box was controlled well by Watt who then side stepped the advancing McGarrity before curling his shot from a tight angle beyond Meikle at the near post only for the ball to crash off the underside of the bar and onto the line before cannoning off the inside of the far post. Bad luck over, McChesney then stood strong to take the ball off the toe of Sawyers to prevent the hit man scoring from a yard out. A few minutes later the big Glens defender had to leave the field through injury to be replaced by David Gray, on his Glens debut.
Both keepers made light work of efforts from McGill at one end and Gallagher at the other end. With 15 minutes to go the visitors brought on Mick McCann for Joe Andrew, the striker leaving to well-deserved applause from the travelling support.
The home side enjoyed the best of the chances as the game drew to a close but could not get the better of the Glens defence. McGarrity coolly clutched another Upton free-kick that had deceived the Glens wall and then leapt to gather a looping header from Barr and in the dying minutes Craig Menzies was on hand to head the ball off the line.
Another solid performance from the Glens extending the run to 6 wins in a row , including 5 league wins taking the New Cumnock side to the top of the league.
FT Rob Roy 0 Glenafton 2
Glenafton Athletic: 1.McGarrity, 2. Menzies, 3.Cairns, 4.Meikle, 5.McChesney (15. Gray), 6.Park, 7. Orsi (14.McGill), 8.Hay, 9.Andrew (12. McCann) 10. JP Boyle, 11.McGuffie. Subs Unused: 16. Potter, Buchanan (gk)
Kirkintilloch Rob Roy: 1.Brown, 2.Finnigan, 3.MacKenzie, 4.Barr, 5.D.Boyle, 6.Whelan, 7.Gallagher, 8.Upton, 9.Sawyers, 10.Watt, 11.Duff. Subs: 12. Aitken, 14.Martin, 15 J. McGuire, 16. S McGuire , Murdoch.
More photos here
Footnote: The Glens are happy to report that Dan Orsi did not suffer a broken ankle has first feared. He has ligament damage and everyone at the club wishes him a speedy recovery. The club would also like to thank Rob Roy on Dan’s behalf for their well wishes.