Hurlford 2 Glenafton 3 West of Scotland League Super League Premier Division: Match 07

Saturday 5th November 2016, Blair Park, Hurlford




A minute’s silence was observed before kick-off as a mark of respect for the passing of Mrs Jean Robertson the wife of Scottish SJFA Secretary Scott Robertson. Glenafton Athletic would like to offer their deepest condolences to Scott and his family and this very sad time.


Although the Glens fell behind twice in this pulsating match before Mick McCann cancelled out Hurford’s lead on both occasions and substitute Dan Orsi struck a sublime late winner there was little question that the best footballing team on the day were worthy winners.

Glenafton made three changes to the line-up that kicked off against Cumnock last week with David Gray (injured), Chris Dallas (work commitments) and Dan Orsi making way for Cameron Marlow, Darren McGill and Mick McCann.

The sun shone brightly on Blair Park to take some of edge of the bitterly cold breeze.

The visitors were first to threaten with a quick ball into the box forcing an early error by the ‘Ford defence earning the Glens a corner that was punched away at the near post by keeper Ally Brown. His counterpart Brian McGarrity pulled off a fine save to push a Ryan Donnelly shot behind for a corner kick. This appeared to have come to nothing as the Glens recovered possession only to surrender it quickly allowing Stuart McColm to gather the ball and bolt down the left-wing to whip the ball into box where Donnelly stooped to guide a glancing header into the net with 3 minutes gone.


Ryan Donnelly heads home for Hurlford

Glens bounced back and good build up play set up Darren McGill at the outskirts of the box but his shot was well off target. Minutes later his free kick from a similar range proved to be more threatening as it whizzed past the junction of bar and post. On 11 minutes Kyle McAusland lobbed the ball down the right-wing for Joe Andrew to gather in the box and slip past Chris Robertson before firing past keeper Ally Brown from a tight angle; only for an early offside flag to curtail celebrations.  Soon after Brown comfortably clutched a close range header from Ally Park as the Glens continued to press.

Another blistering run down the left by McColm topped off with a peach of a cross to the back post ended with McGarrity pulling off a stunning save to push John Gemmell’s header on to the bar; before the whistle went for the towering striker’s push on Craig Menzies.


Joe Andrew with Martin Brown and keeper Ally Brown

Back came the Glens earning back-to-back corner kicks the latter of which was only partially cleared before the ball was played back into the box by Chris Meikle to be gathered by Joe Andrew and his quick turn and shot was brilliantly saved by Brown on 31 minutes. Some respite for ‘Ford through McColm on the left advancing deep into box but his cross was missed by Gemmell’s toe-nail at the near post and the ball continued harmlessly across the face of goal.  Glens’ next chance ended in a similar fashion after Ryan Borris combined well with McAusland down the right before the defender fired the ball across the face of goal and although it deceived Brown tight on the near post it skimmed inches wide of the back post.

Although both sides conjured up a couple of half chances before the break there was no more scoring and the home side held on to their narrow lead.

H/T Hurlford 1 Glenafton 0 

Within 2 minutes of restart Glenafton drew level. Darren McGill quickly recovered his corner kick, which had been cleared at the near post, and from the outskirts of the box curled a shot for goal only for Mick McCann to intercept the ball with a glancing header to redirect its flight into the net at the back post with the keeper completely wrong-footed.


Mick McCann loops a header home for 1-1

A minute later Cameron Marlow switched play from the left to pick out Borris on the right for the former ‘Ford player to burst into the box and clip an angled shot beyond the reach of Brown at full stretch only for the ball to bounce inches wide.

On 63 minutes Hurlford had a half-hearted shout for hand-ball in the box after Gemmell’s shot cannoned off Meikle’s arm.  Efforts from Darren Moffat for the hosts and then Ally Park for the visitors were comfortably saved as the ebb and flow of the game matched that of a cup-tie. Controversy came calling on 54 minutes when Menzies’ tackle on Moffat was adjudged to be inside the box and John Gemmell blasted the spot kick into the goal to give ‘Ford the lead again. The striker’s choice of celebrations in front of the travelling support and assistant referee left the referee with little choice to issue a red card.


John Gemmell blasts home from the penalty spot , 2-1 for ‘Ford

Five minutes later Joe Andrew brilliantly held off a couple of defenders in the box before flashing a shot at goal forcing the airborne Brown to pull of the save match with a powerful punch sending the ball to safety.

Hurlford brought on Stuart Kean for Donnelly while Glens replaced McGill and Borris with Connor Lynass and Dan Orsi; changes that proved to be more effective for the visitors.

On 76 minutes Marlow, deep in the ‘Ford half, slipped the ball down the left to Menzies on the overlap and on receiving the ball back considered his options before rolling the ball into the box for Andrew. Again he skilfully held off defenders with ease to force his way to the corner of the six yard box and although his shot beat keeper Brown at his near post the ball was blocked by the heel of his namesake Martin Brown on the line only for Mick McCann to pounce and lash the ball home.


Mick bags his brace and it’s 2-2

With their tails up the visitors pushed for the winner. Park and McAusland combined to release Orsi down the right and his swerving shot from the outside the box was well held by Brown.  Another Glens attack followed when Menzies wide on the left passed the ball infield and then received it back at the edge of the box, after clever build play by Park and Andrew, before brushing aside two defenders and stroking the ball past the Brown at his near post only for the ball to run the length of the open goal and thud off the base of the far post.


Zee beats the goalie but not the back post

The New Cumnock side piled on the pressure and on 86 minutes their efforts were rewarded with a wonder goal. McChesney’s clearance upfield was headed back to the half-way line where Marlow killed the ball dead with a cute header infield to Dan Orsi who then wheeled past his marker Michael Kelly before releasing McAusland to push on down the right. With his way blocked at corner of the box by former Glens player Richie McKillen and the back-tracking Kelly the Glens defender knocked the ball sideways at a perfect pace for Orsi to meet first time and lash a screamer of a shot from 22 yards into the top corner of the net and spark off joyous celebrations.


Kyle looks on as Dan lashes the ball for goal


The ball begins its descent to goal

The visitors continued to dictate play however a glimmer of hope of Hurlford with a long throw to the back post only for McChesney to get the better of McKillen in the aerial battle and Menzies partially clear the ball. Kelly gathered the loose ball and whipped the ball to the back post where McChesney again came out on top, Robertson the combatant on this occasion. The tireless McCann, who it seemed had covered every blade of Blair Park, picked up the clearance on the half way line and forged his way upfield before thundering a shot from 25 yards out that screamed past Brown at full stretch and inches wide of the woodwork. No hat-trick for Mick, however he left to a rousing reception from the travelling support after he was replaced with Kieran McAnespie as the game entered that time added on phase.

F/T Hurlford 2 Glenafton 3


Glenafton Athletic: 1. Brian McGarrity 2. Kyle McAusland 3. Craig Menzies 4. Chris Meikle 5. Ryan McChesney 6. Cameron Marlow 7. Ryan Borris (12. Dan Orsi) 8. Ally Park 9. Mick McCann (15. Kieran McAnespie) 10. Joe Andrew 11. Darren McGill (14. Connor Lynass) Not Used: 15. Andrew Hunter Gk. Blair Lochhead

Hurlford United: 1. Ally Brown 2. Hodge 3. Richie Mckillen 4. Martin Brown 5. Chris Robertson, 6. Ross Chisholm, 7. Darren Moffat 8. Craig Molloy 9. John Gemmell 10. Ryan Donnelly 11. Stuart McColm Subs used: 12 Stewart Kean, 14. Michael Kelly Subs not used 15 Paul Byrne, 16. Iain Fisher, Chris Murchie (gk)

More photos here

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