McBoookie.com West of Scotland League Super League Premier Division : Match 12
Saturday 5th March 2016, Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETC 1 (0)
TROON 1 (1)
Prior to kick-off club captain Craig Menzies posed with mascot Sonny Coughtrie wearing the new Fun Fours strip sponsored by Afton Homes. Joining them was Hughie Holland who played for the Glens in the 1970s and was visiting with match day sponsors Catrine Whisky Bond. Hughie thoroughly enjoyed his visit and said it brought back many happy memories. A big thanks to Zee, who went on to win the Sponsors award on the day.
Glenafton made two changes to the side that started against Benburb last week with John Paul Boyle and Darren McGill coming in for Mick McCann and Craig McGuffie. On the bench was midweek signing Cameron Marlow, making a return to the club on a loan deal from Queen’s Park until the end of the season. Starting for Troon were former Glenafton players Ally Semple and Martin Ure.
Troon came flying out the traps and the home side found themselves on the back foot for much of the half facing waves of attacks. The visitors opened the scoring on 3 minutes after Dale Moore darted down the right and although his route to goal was blocked he earned his side a throw-in which was collected on the bye-line by Adam Forsyth. The Troon hit-man shook off a couple of defenders as he progressed along the line before firing for goal and although keeper Brian McGarrity got a hand to the ball the alert Forsyth pounced and drilled the loose ball through a ruck of legs and into the net.
Three minutes later Forsyth came within a whisker of doubling the lead. Good build up play down the left set up Colin Spence to stroke a measured pass into the box which was cutely dummied by Forsyth for Moore to gather and turn a defender before clipping the ball into the danger area only for Forsyth’s header to fly inches wide of the near post. No respite for the Red shirts and after gifting possession upfield the lively Scott Chatham lifted a lethal ball over the home defence for the menacing Moore to trap with one foot and then attempt to lob the outrushing McGarrity with the other, only for the ball to drop over the bar.
On 13 minutes Glenafton won a corner-kick courtesy of Ure after he shanked a cross-field pass that had the ball heading for Royal Troon! Ryan McChesney’s header was partially cleared and the big defender was robbed of the ball by Forsyth who then also saw of the challenge of McGill before exploding upfield and picking out Craig Harvey wide on the right to cut back the ball into the box and there was the back chasing McChesney to mop up the danger.
The visitors continued to dictate play and the alert Forsyth chased down an under-hit back pass only for McGarrity to win that race and his clearance cannon off the shins of the striker and the ball spin harmlessly wide. Midway through the half the keeper foiled Forsyth following another excellent passage of play by the Portland Parkers which concluded with a quality through ball to Moore to deftly dink over the Glens defence for Forsyth to collect and tee up a shot before McGarrity bravely dived at his feet to smother the ball. A minute later another fine move culminated in Jordan Muir floating the ball to Moore at the corner of the box to head back for Spence to meet sweetly on the volley and send the ball whizzing over the bar.
The home side continued to toil with only glimpses of half-chances on show. Jamie Hay gathered the ball in the centre circle and his ball through the middle was touched on by Andrew for Ally Park to slip into box for Boyle to chase but Semple had a head start and gathered safely. Semple came out on top in a similar race with Boyle before the break only on this occasion he had to kick the ball clear. H/T Glens 0 Troon 1
The half-time oranges added a much needed zest to the Glens play and within two minutes of the restart they equalised with a peach of a goal. McGarrity launched a free kick from the outside of his box to the edge of his opponents’ box where Andrew got the jump on his shadow Chris McKnight to knock the ball into the box where John Paul Boyle with his back to goal gave Gavin Collins the slip and let the ball bounce a couple of times before lashing a net-bulger beyond the reach of Semple.
The goal set the scene for the Glens to lift the tempo of their play and press forward while the visitors crisp passing moves were less of a feature of their play. Hay tried his luck from distance only for his low drilled free kick to take a deflection and Troon clear the corner-kick that followed. Craig Menzies lofted the ball from half-way and Andrew triumphed in the aerial battle with Collins to head the ball back into the path of Ally Park to curl a shot for goal that was well held by Semple. The keeper was then head and shoulders above both attackers and fellow defenders to clutch a wicked ball into the box by Alan Cairns.
On 57 minutes Semple pulled of his save of the match. Cairns broke down a Troon attack deep in his own half and quickly found McGill tight on the left flank. The midfielder carried the ball for a few strides before launching it up-field where Andrew outpaced Dale Keenan and McKnight before he trapped it with his right and in a flash fired with his left only for Semple to push the ball away with both hands and McKnight clear up the rebound.
Moore fashioned a chance for Troon on the hour mark when he picked out Chatham in the box who showed great determination to force his way past a clutch of defenders on his run across the face of goal only to scoop his shot over the bar. Back came the Glens and Park pounced on a slack defensive header by Collins before powering to the edge of the box and drilling a low fierce shot that beat Semple and slipped inches wide of the post.
More chances were now coming the way of the visitors. Midway through the half substitute Peter McGill snapped up a misplaced pass at the edge of the Glens’ box only to be brought down by Hay and although McKnight’s curled the free-kick round the wall McGarrity gathered comfortably.
On 74 minutes the injured Hay was replaced by Craig McGuffie and his jinking runs were soon giving Troon a new threat to consider. Five minutes later he picked up a square ball in the middle of the park from Andrew and pushed forward before thundering a shot from 25 yards out that boomed off McKnight and out for corner kick. Glens used the break swap the front pairing of Andrew and Boyle for Chris Dallas and Mick McCann before Meikle’s header from the corner was deflected wide by a fellow red shirt.
The visitors brought on Dean Keenan for Chatham to shore things up at the back while no doubt hoping for an opportunity to exploit his notable dead-ball skills. With 5 minutes to go McGuffie slide-ruled a ball into the box for Dallas to chase and round the keeper only for the offside flag to bring the move to an end, much to the relief of Keenan who appeared to have played the Glens man onside. At the other end McKnight played a clever one-two with Forsyth at the edge of box and with McChesney closing down, he instantly shot for goal but McGarrity was his match.
A Glens’ corner won by McCann was scrambled clear of the box before Menzies took matters into his own hands and slalomed his way back into the box only for Ure to time his last ditch tackle to perfection. Further half chances came and went at either end before the whistle blew without the deadlock being broken. FT Glens 1 Troon 1
Glenafton Athletic: 1.Brian McGarrity 2. Craig Menzies 3. Alan Cairns 4. Ryan McChesney 5. Chris Meikle 6. Jamie Hay (15. Craig McGuffie) 7. Ally Park 8. David Gray 9. Joe Andrew (12. Mick McCann) 10. John Paul Boyle (14. Chris Dallas) 11. Darren McGill. Subs: 16. Cameron Marlow, 17. David Buchanan (GK).
Troon: 1. Ally Semple 2. Martin Ure 3. Dale Keenan 4. Chris McKnight 5. Gavin Collins 6. Scott Chatham (14. Dean Keenan) 7. Craig Harvey (16. Peter McGill) 8. Colin Spence 9. Adam Forsyth 10. Jordan Muir (17. Dale Shirkie) 11. Dale Moore 12. Gavin Armstrong 15. Ross McCrea
More photos here