- McBookie Premier Division
- Match 12
- Loch Park, New Cumnock
- Saturday 4th Marhc 2017
- GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 4 (1)
- Darren McGill (2), Mick McCann, John Carter
- LARGS THISTLE
- John Tennent
Glens returned to league business with the visit of Largs Thistle and earned all three points to close the gap on league leaders Kirkintilloch Rob Roy to two points with the New Cumnock side having a game in hand.
Several changes were made to the starting eleven that defeated Dunbar United in the Scottish Junior Cup 5th Round. Chris Meikle was recalled from his loan spell at Benburb to replace the injured Ryan McChesney while striker John Carter made his first start for the side replacing Joe Andrew who was unavailable due to work commitments. Kyle McAusland and Darren McGill came in for Ryan Borris and Conor Lynass.
The home side created most of the half chances that were on show in the opening cncounters without however seriously testing Thistle keeper Sean Lundy.
Glens breakthrough came just after the half hour mark through the award of a penalty kick. McAusland’s throw-in from the right was gathered in the box by John Carter and after holding off one defender, giving another the slip, riding the tackle of a third he was brought down by Laurie McMaster back supporting the defence. Darren McGill stepped up and lashed the ball home to put the home side one up on 31 minutes.
Four minutes later after breaking down a Largs’ attack deep in the Glens half McGill sprinted upfield and as defender Creag Little closed him down he slipped the ball into the path of Mick McCann, who had matched his run, and the striker took one look and one touch to guide the ball beyond Lundy and into the net.
The visitors created their best chance of the half when a long throw from Ian Fisher into the box was headed on by Kevin Struthers and the ball met on the volley by the irrepressible James Marks only for it to crash off the underside of the bar before forlorn claims that the ball had crossed the line were waved away.
H/T Glens 2 Largs 0
Thistle began the second half brightly with a couple of decent chances created again from Fisher’s throws into the box. For the first Little’s close range header lacked the power to test keeper Brian McGarrity while for the second the keeper pounced on the ball just as Marks was trying to tee up a shot a goal from within the six-yard box.
Glens responded with a quick break that saw McCann release Carter to run through on goal only for his shot to whiz inches wide of the post.
The visitors continued to threaten and John Tennent whipped a vicious free kick into the goalmouth from wide on the left that forced a fine save from McGarrity to push the ball onto the bar and out for a corner-kick.
However, it was Glenafton that added to their tally on 65 minutes. McAusland wide on the right chipped a perfectly weighted ball to the back post where Darren McGill outjumped Fisher to head the ball over the outstretched arm of the keeper and into the net.
Three minutes later Thistle’s cause suffered another blow when Struthers earned a second yellow card. However the 10 men rallied and pulled one back on 74 minutes when John Tennent fired home a spot kick after McGill had barged McMaster in the box.
Two minutes from time Glenafton completed the scoring after a fine passage of passing play. David Gray on the right played the ball back to Alan Cairns to switch play down the left to McGill who instantly dispatched the ball down the wing for substitute Chris Dallas to chase and gather before advancing to the dead ball line and cut the ball across the face of goal for the incoming John Carter to net from close range for his first goal for the club.
F/T Glens 4 Largs 1
Glenafton Athletic. 1. Brian McGarrity 2. Kyle McAusland 3. Alan Cairns 4. Craig Menzies 5. Chris Meikle 6. David Gray 7. Dan Orsi (14. Conor Lynass) 8. Cameron Marlow (12. Ryan Borris) 9. Mick McCann (15. Chris Dallas) 10. John Carter 11. Darren McGill. Sub not used gk. Scott Watson
Largs Thistle: 1. Ross Lundy 2. Iain Fisher 3. Creag Little 4. Eddie Walton 5. Nicky Jamieson 6. Jamie McDonald (Gary Fleming) 7. John Tennent 8. Kevin Struthers 9. Robert Love (12. Glenn Thomson) 10. James Marks 11. Laurie McMaster (14. Matthew Ashe) subs unused 15. Kris Littler 21. Sean Graham
More photos courtesy of John B. Vass