Scottish Junior Cup 1st Round
Saturday 24th September 2016, Albyn Park, Broxburn
BROXBURN ATHLETIC 3 (1)
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 3 (1)
GLENAFTON’S GREAT ESCAPE
For a split second after the final whistle blew on this Scottish Junior Cup 1st round tie I envisaged the ghost of Steve McQueen scrambling his motorbike up the red rugged barren bings of Broxburn that overlook Albyn Park. Instead, the Great Escape had been played out in the dying minutes of the match as 10 men Glenafton scored two late goals, in the 90th and 93rd minutes, to secure a 3-3 draw and force a replay against a bewildered Broxburn side that appeared to be cruising into the second round. Just like the Cooler King, the Glens got out of jail – even Donald Pleasance could have seen that!
Broxburn began brightly stroking the ball slickly across the synthetic surface and pegging back the visitors deep into their own half. Midfielders Nicky Locke and Ross Nimmo combined well to set up the first chance in the first minute with the latter’s shot from the edge of the box dipping over the Glens bar. Although Locke was dictating play he was caught in possession on the outskirts of his box by Ally Park and David Gray before the loose ball fell to Chris Dallas and his snapshot from 24 yards whizzed past the post. Back came Broxburn and with the Glens struggling to clear their lines the ball eventually fell to Scott Richards in the six yard box but his shot was blocked by Craig Menzies before being booted clear by Kyle McAusland.
On 18 minutes another powerful run by Lowe ended with the midfielder being clipped by Cammy Marlow five yards out from the 18 yard line. Kieran Anderson delicately chipped the free kick into the box and up leapt Scott Richards unchallenged to loop an equally delicate header beyond the reach of keeper Brian McGarrity to give the home side a deserved lead.
Midway through the half the tide began to turn in terms of possession as the Glens got to grips with the game. A couple of corner kicks came and went, the first cleared comfortably and the second ended with Chris Dallas’s clever hook shot falling safely into the hands of keeper Connor Wallace. On the half hour mark Conor Lynass picked up the ball tight on the left touchline on the half-way line and skipped past a couple of defenders before cutting inside and feeding Dan Orsi wide on the right who in turn beat defenders before whipping the ball to the back post where Joe Andrew’s attempt to slot the ball home was blocked by defender and keeper combined.
Lynass then burst down the left and shrugged off a pull-back from defender Craig Purves before clipping the ball into the goalmouth for Chris Dallas, only for the whistle to sound and the visitors left aggrieved at the advantage not being played. Play resumed and David Gray’s vicious angled free-kick was pushed away by the keeper at the near post and the chance gone. Glens continued to push and earned a free-kick on the right hand corner of the penalty box after centre back Darren Cole barged into Andrew. Up stepped David Gray to lash an unstoppable free-kick beyond the wall and the keeper at full stretch before the ball tested the tensile strength of the bulging net and levelled the cup-tie with 34 minutes gone.
Tails up the visitors turned the screw and Orsi progressed down the right before picking out Andrew and his cute back-heel put the ball into the path of Dallas at the edge of the box only for his shot to be deflected wide for a corner-kick which was partially cleared; the same fate fell to another corner that was earned soon after. On the stroke of half-time McAusland’s long ball into the box saw Dallas get the jump on Gavin Grant only for his first time snap shot sail wide of target. H/T Broxburn 1 Glens 1
Glenafton replaced Conor Lynass with Mick McCann at the break. The tide that had turned in favour of the visitors ebbed away within two minutes of the restart. A free-kick from the left was headed well clear by Ryan McChesney with the ball quickly snapped up by Nimmo who threaded an exquisite ball into the box that was gathered by Scott Richards and in flash he twisted and turned to shake off the centre-backs fired a low angled shot into the corner of the goal.
Broxburn continued to badger the Glens defence and McGarrity had to be on his toes to block Locke’s angled shot at the near post after another powerful run by the midfielder. A throw-in from the left was headed on its way to the back post by Richards where Nimmo with space and time looked certain to double Broxburn’s lead but he skewed his shot over the bar with only the keeper to beat from close range. On 57 minutes the hosts’ pressure produced a third goal after a corner kick appeared to have evaded attackers and defenders alike before Craig Purves‘ late run deep into the box to bullet a header into the net put Broxburn 3-1 ahead.
Glenafton rallied and a minute later Gray clipped a free kick into the penalty box where an Orsi header sneaked inches wide of the post before the incoming Dallas could get a touch on it. Soon after it was McChesney that headed on Gray’s free-kick and although McAusland got a touch at the back post the keeper caught the ball cleanly. The visitors continued to press but couldn’t convert corner kicks into clear-cut chances.
On 70 minutes Park was penalised for a hold on Lowe on the outskirts of the box and although the resultant free kick was curled round the wall and McGarrity saw the ball late the keeper managed to push it wide for a corner kick that was mopped up by the Glens defence. Four minutes later a cheeky lob from wide on the left had McGarrity scurrying along his line and relieved to see the ball bounce just wide of the post.
Played raged from end to end for a spell with neither keeper tested until 84 minutes when another Gray free-kick brought out a fine save from the keeper. Three minutes later any hopes Glenafton had off salvaging anything from the game appeared to be extinguished after Ally Park earned a second yellow card and the New Cumnock side reduced to 10 men.
A ray of hope flickered in the darkening sky on 90 minutes when Marlow took a quick throw-in and a Dallas’ flick-on into the box took three defenders out the game before the ball was snapped up by Joe Andrew who held off the challenge of Cole before clipping a low shot beyond the reach of the keeper and into the far corner; 3-2 Broxburn.
A minute later the home side conceded another free-kick and Gray’s cross from the left was won in the air by McAusland only for his header to scream a hairbreadth’s wide with the keeper rooted. On 93 minutes Broxburn brought another Glenafton attack to an abrupt end five yards outside the penalty box, perfect striking range for Gray. With keeper and the three-man wall unclear of his intentions he took the latter out of play and three more red shirts as he lofted the ball to the back post where the incoming Kyle McAusland powered a header goalward and although the keeper got hand to the ball he couldn’t prevent it from crossing the line.
Starkly contrasting scenes of despair and joy in the home and away camps ensued and the final whistle brought an enthralling cup-tie to an unlikely end.
F/T Broxburn 3 Glens 3
Glenafton Athletic: 1. Brian McGarrity 2. Kyle McAusland 3. Cameron Marlow 4. Craig Menzies 6. David Gray 7. Dan Orsi 8. Ally Park 9. Chris Dallas 10. Joe Andrew 11. Conor Lynass (16. Mick McCann). Subs 12. Chris Meikle 14. Alan Cairns 15. Andrew Hunter GK Blair Lochhead
More photos here