McBoookie.com West of Scotland League Super League Premier Division : Match 13
Saturday 19th March 2016, Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETC 1 (0)
BEITH JUNIORS 3 (2)
Before kick-off both sides and supporters observed a minute’s silence in memory of life-long Glenafton fan Jack Harris who sadly passed away and will be sorely missed at Loch Park.
The Glens made three changes to the side that started against Troon a fortnight with Cameron Marlow, Craig McGuffie and Mick McCann taking the places of Craig Menzies, Darren McGill and John Paul Boyle.
On a glorious spring day is was sunshine on Beith with 4 minutes gone. Richie Burke’s angled shot from deep in the box was deflected wide for a corner-kick which was taken by the same player to be met at the near post by the head of Nicky Docherty and despite the hosts’ attempts to clear the ball off the line the referee eventually signalled a score after confirmation from his assistant.
The visitors were forced into an early change after John Sheridan sustained a knee injury and was replaced by Zander Ryan. Following a minor reshuffle Beith were back on the front foot and Paul Frize picked out Burke in the box only for the outrushing keeper Brian McGarrity and the outstretched leg of Ryan McChesney blocking a certain second. At times it seemed there were two McChesney’s on the park as he had to hunt down waves of quick breaks by the visitors.
At the other end Joe Andrew fashioned a half chance as he turned make-shift centre back Ross Fisher at the edge of the box before striking a low angled drive that was well held by keeper Stephen Grindlay. On 17 minutes Glens threatened again when McGuffie’s cross was headed by Marlow at the far corner of the six yard box across the face of goal only for McCann’s attempted header to drift wide. A minute later David Gray saw off a challenge from Docherty to force the ball into the box where McCann beat Fisher to the ball before pulling off a fine block from Grindlay.
The Mighty responded through David McGowan who despite being surrounded by four red shirts managed to engineer a low shot at goal from a tight angle that beat McGarrity but the ball slipped beyond the far post. McGowan then turned provider following another quick break that stretched the Glens defence and the ball played to Darren Christie with time and space in the box but uncharacteristically his shot failed to test the keeper. However, soon after on 26 minutes Beith doubled their advantage. Ryan mopped up a Glens attack and his clearance was gathered by Christie deep in his own half before he shook off the attention of Gray and sidestepped the tackle of Jamie Hay to burst through the open space to the edge of the box and with his way to goal now blocked by two defenders he slid the ball to McGowan who quickly returned it to Christie to guide a cracking shot into the back of the net from 20 yards out.
Marlow made good progress down the left before firing in a decent cross that saw Grindlay leap to clutch ball cleanly as McCann threatened. The visitors broke upfield again and after twisting and turning at the corner of the penalty box Burke curled a shot that seen late by McGarrity and the ball pushed wide with two strong hands. The keeper then got a strong fist to the ensuing corner-kick to punch the ball clear from the ‘two heads are better than one’ of Andy Reid and Docherty at the back post.
On 39 minutes the Glens earned a corner-kick after Grindlay punched clear a free kick clipped into a crowded box. McGuffie floated a peach of a ball to the back post where Mick McCann timed his jump to perfection and bulleted his header home – text book execution.
Two minutes later Andrew fired in a wicked cross from the right only for Grindlay to pull off another fine save as McGuffie and McCann waited to pounce.The visitors ended the half with back to back corner kicks that were defended stoutly by the home guard.
H/T Glens 1 Beith 2
The home side were first to threaten after the break through a snapshot from McCann that whizzed past the post. At the other end Christie’s blistering run down the right ended with a wicked ball across the face of the goal that Reid was studs away from guiding it home. Play was raging from end to end and on 52 minutes Andrew and McCann combined at the edge of the box and claims that their progress was denied by Fisher’s hand ball were waved away.
The visitors broke upfield and the ball eventually fell for Docherty in the box but under pressure from Chris Meikle he rushed his shot and the ball sailed high over the bar. McGuffie replied with a shot from distance that zoomed wide of the post. On 57 minutes Andrew’s foxed Fisher in the box before squaring the ball for the inrushing Marlow who shrugged off tackle from Josh McArthur before shooting from 8 yards out only for the advancing Grindlay to save in some style.
Both sides made a brace of substitutions with Beith bringing on Tom Collins and Jamie Wilson for Tommy Martin and David McGowan and Glens replacing Jamie Hay and Chris McGuffie with Chris Dallas and John Paul Boyle.
With 10 minutes to go Reid broke down the right before cutting the ball back for Burke to dink the ball with the outside of his foot and with the ball destined for the keeper’s top left corner McGarrity launch himself at full stretch to push the ball away with his left hand – a save of the highest quality that kept the Glens in the game.
That status remained until five minutes from time after Reid time his run to perfection and spring the offside trap to gather Christie’s through ball and continue unimpeded deep into the Glens box before lashing an unstoppable shot beyond McGarrity.
Glenafton came close to clutching a life-line a minute later only for McChesney’s looping header from a corner-kick to skim the far post and the chance like the points were gone.
FT Glens 1 Beith 3
Glenafton: 1. Brian McGarrity 2.Ally Park 3. Alan Cairns 4. Ryan McChesney 5.Chris Meikle 6. David Gray 7. Craig McGuffie (14. Chris Dallas) 8. Jamie Hay (12. John Paul Boyle) 9. Joe Andrew 10. Mick McCann 11. Cameron Marlow. Subs: 15. Dan Orsi 16. Craig Potter.
Beith: 1. Stephen Grindlay 2. Ross Fisher 3. Nicky Docherty 4. Josh McArthur 5. John Sheridan (15. Zander Ryan) 6. Tommy Martin (12. Jamie Wilson) 7. Darren Christie 8. Paul Frize 9.David McGowan (16. Tom Collins) 10. Andy Reid 11. Richie Burke. Subs: 14. Kenny McLean17. Calum Watt.
More photos here