McBoookie.com West of Scotland League Super League Premier Division: Match 01
Saturday 27th August 2016, Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 (1)
POLLOK 0 (0)
Glenafton began their league campaign with a 1-0 victory over Pollok at Loch Park and truth be told there was much more between the two sides on the day than Ally Park’s headed goal on 18 minutes. The home side outplayed their opponents throughout the length of the park. Lone striker Chris Dallas led the line with a tireless display while Dan Orsi’s powerful runs down the right flank and Conor Lynass’s quick-thinking down the left had the ‘Lok defence on the back foot for long spells. The midfield trio of David Gray, Cammy Marlow and Park seldom gave their counterparts an inch of space or a second to dwell on the ball. The back four of Kyle McCausland, captain Craig Menzies, Ryan McChesney and Alan Cairns were resolute in its defending and in particular in the closing minutes as the visitors piled on the pressure in pursuit of a late leveller. Last but not least keeper Brian McGarrity’s immaculate handling throughout the game played a key role in delivering the clean sheet.
The Glens were first to threaten on 7 minutes after Orsi’s low drive from outside the box was stopped and the loose ball then pounced on by keeper Jordan Longmuir. Four minutes later Marlow snapped up a defensive header from Paul Gallacher, forced his way into the box before taking Mark Sideserf out of play as he squared the ball for the inrushing Orsi only for the back-tracking Del Hepburn to time his tackle perfectly and prevent the Glens midfielder firing from 12 yards out.
Pollok made progress down the right and the unusually quiet Gary McCann managed to get to the dead-ball line only for his cut-back into the box cleared at the near post by Menzies. The loose ball was gathered by Cairns who combined with Dallas to set Lynnas off and running down left wing after giving former Glens player Findlay Frye the slip and then sending the ball up the line to chase only for central defender Ross McCabe to come across with no intent (or chance) of playing the ball and hacked down the Glens winger, out of character of the big defender it has to be said. The referee immediately pulled out a card and to the disbelief of the home support and bench (and perhaps many of their Pollok counterparts), the card flashed was yellow in hue.
Tempers cooled, play resumed and on 15 minutes the visitors won a free-kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the box and although Carlo Monti’s free kick beat the wall the ball sailed harmlessly wide of the post – setting the scene for the visitors’ below par set plays throughout the game.
On 18 minutes the home side put a free-kick wide on the left to greater use. Gray clipped the ball deep into box wher Ally Park, in the space between Sideserf and McCabe, jumped unchallenged to bullet a downward header from 8 yards out that flashed into the net beyond the reach of the keeper.
Four minutes later Park came within a whisker of doubling Glenafton’s lead following clever build up play between Lynass and Dallas that took the ball into the Pollok before it was rolled back for Park to thunder a shot from 22 yards out that whizzed past Longmuir at full stretch and inches wide of the post. Glens continued to press and Lynass outjumped Hanlon to get a head to Orsi’s cross only for McCabe to head clear. Soon after another cross into the box evaded McCabe only for Marlow to loop his header over the bar.
Before the break Pollok enjoyed a spell of pressure through a free kick floated into the back post and a couple of corner kick none of which resulted in McGarrity in goal being tested.
H/T Glens 1 Pollok 0
In the first action after the break Hanlon’s cross to the back post from wide on the right was cleanly clutched under the bar by McGarrity as Conti challenged. The keeper’s throw-out began another Glens attack deep in their half and that ended with Lynass breaking free to skip round the advancing keeper at the edge of his area and close in on the empty goal only for Hanlon to keep the visitors in the hunt with a last ditch tackle.
The Glens came back again with powerful runs for Park and then Orsi to the bye-line, the latter earning a corner-kick which was won in the air by McChesney and the ball snatched from the head of Dallas by Longmuir.
At the other end Monti collected a ball from Frye at the edge of box before turning and shooting but his low angled shot was easily gathered by McGarrity. A game of head tennis initiated in the Glens box after a free kick was floated to the back post ended with the keeper claiming the ball from the heads of McAusland and Hepburn.
On the hour mark the visitors suffered a scare when a misdirected pass back wrong-footed Longmuir but the keeper kept his cool and caught up with the ball before it found the gaping net to boot it out for a throw-in from which the Glens won a corner-kick. Park once again got the better of the Pollok backline only for his glancing header from inside the 6 yard box to go wide of target.
Pollok pushed forward for a spell with David Winters firing a couple crosses in from the left both of which were cleared by the head of McChesney. Back came Glens with Lynass breaking down the left before picking out Orsi in the box to quickly feed Marlow but his snapshot sailed high and wide of goal.
On 70 minutes the visitors won a corner-kick which was headed on by Gallacher at the near post with the ball falling to substitute Colin Williamson and under pressure from Orsi his close range shot sailed over the bar. Soon after, Williamson was brought down on the outskirts of the box by Park but Hanlon’s poorly struck free kick deflected of the wall and out for a corner kick that was mopped up McAusland.
Lynass gathered the ball wide on the left at the half-way line and cut inside bfore threading the ball into the box for Marlow and as the midfielder tried to set up the shot the ‘Lok defence took no chances and booted the ball out for a corner which ended with McChesney’s header being held by the keeper.
On 87 minutes Glens brought on Chris Meikle for Craig Menzies, the visitors having used all their substitutes by this time. Two minutes later the Glens almost secured the points after Dallas held the ball up at the edge of the box before slipping it to Orsi on the right to chip the ball to the back post where it was met first time by Marlow only for his volley to thunder over the bar from the tightest of angles.
Longmuir was now launching long balls up the park as Pollok looked to sneak a point at the death and it almost paid off. Substitute Liam Rowan tried his luck from the edge of the box but his shot was blocked by Meikle and in the scramble for the loose ball the hopes of Michael Daly, McCabe and Hepburn of engineering an equaliser were undone with Meikle clearing the danger.
F/T Glens 1 Pollok 0
Glenafton Athletic: 1. Brian McGarrity 2. Kyle McAusland 3. Alan Cairns 4. Craig Menzies (12. Chris Meikle) 5. Ryan McChesney 6. David Gray 7. Ally Park 8. Cameron Marlow 9. Chris Dallas 10. Dan Orsi 11. Conor Lynass: Subs Blair Lochhead (gk), 14. Andrew Hunter 15. John Paul Boyle 16. Kieran McAnespie
Pollok: 1, Jamie Longmuir 2. Tam Hanlon 3. Mark Sideserf 4.Paul Gallacher 5. Ross McCabe 6. Finlay Frye (16. Liam Rowan) 7. Gary McCann 8. Allan McKenzie 9. David Winters 10. Carlo Monti (14. Colin Williamson) 11. Del Hepburn (14. Colin Williamson) Subs 12: Chris Walker 17. Grant Evans
More photos here