- McBookie Premier Division
- Match 13
- Loch Park, New Cumnock
- Saturday 11th March 2017
- GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 3 (1)
- Mick McCann (2), Chris Dallas
- KILBIRNIE LADESIDE 1 (0)
- Adam Forde
GLENS COME OUT ON TOP AGAINST BATTLING BLASTIES
Glenafton kicked off with the same eleven that started against Largs in last week’s league match at Loch Park. With leaders Rob Roy’s match against Arthurlie postponed the New Cumnock side knew that victory in their game of hand would take them to top of the league.
Kilbirnie were quick out the blocks and their early pressure forced and corner-kick quickly followed by a free-kick at the right-hand side of the penalty box with neither of these deliveries converted into an attempt at goal.
The visitors first chance came on 10 minutes when Cammy Marlow deep in the six-yard box stretched to get a toe to a long free-kick from David Gary only for the ball roll inches wide of the post.
In a game peppered with stoppages for free-kicks Kilbirnie continued to look the livelier with former Queen’s Park midfielder David Anderson pulling the strings and former Rob Roy winger Paul Ronald keeping the Glens defence on their toes. On 15 minutes the two combined well down the right flank before Ronald was brought down close to the corner flag and then floated the free-kick into the heart of the six-yard box to present Martin Grehan with a free header that ultimately lacked the power or direction to test keeper Brian McGarrity who clutched the ball effortlessly. The Glens defence prevailed as Ladeside pressed for the opener.
Midway through the half the home side succeeded in string some passes together and Kyle McAusland forced his way to the bye-line and whipped a ball to the near post where it was headed clear by Ciaran Donnelly. The resulting corner was headed clear by Anderson as a line of red shirts queued up for the delivery. At the other end, Forde gathered the ball in the box but with McAusland blocking his way to goal the striker made his way for corner flag and took a tumbled before exiting the box – and was duly booked for simulation.
Glens enjoyed the closing 15 minutes with the half beginning with Darren McGill giving Mark Staunton the slip to slip ball into the box for Mick McCann in space between two defenders only for the striker to skew his shot wide of target. Cameron Marlow stooped to win a header from a corner-kick that sent the ball looping over the bar.
On 38 minutes Mick McCann burst into the box leaving defender David Green looking at his clean pair of heels and before the back-tracking Staunton could close him down he cracked an angled shot from 12 yards that found that gap between the outstretched hands of keeper Kieran Hughes and the far post to put the Glens ahead.
H/T Glens 1 Kilbirnie 0
Although the visitors regrouped and started the second half as brightly as they had the first it was the Glens that took their chance and in some style. Marlow, on the half way line, kept his balance to thread a perfectly weighted pass through the middle that took both centre backs out of play and presented McCann with a free run at goal with John Carter for company. The striker however wasted no time and from 22 yards lashed an unstoppable shot that was still bulging the net as the airborne keeper crashed to the ground to double the Glens lead on 53 minutes.
Ladeside rallied and on 59 minutes halved the deficit. Grehan’s close range header from a corner-kick was blocked in the six-yard box by McGill only for Adam Forde to snap up the loose ball and turning neatly before squeezing a low drilled shot home at the back post.
Tails up the visitors pushed for an equaliser but their hopes were dealt a blow after Darren Smith’s tumble in the box was adjudged to be simulation earning the winger a second yellow card and his marching orders. Matters almost got worse when another peach of a pass from Marlow released McCann into the box only for the back-tracking Donnelly to time his tackle to perfection to prevent the striker with a clean shot at goal and then the keeper block his second bite of the cherry. From the corner-kick that followed Dan Orsi’s near post header flashed inches wide of the back post.
Ronald went equally close at the other end with an angled shot from the left corner of the penalty box.
Glens made a double substitution with Ryan Borris coming on for the injured Cameron Marlow and John Carter making way for Chris Dallas while Ladeside brought on Stevie Meechan for Harkins. Soon after the substitutions were completed with the home side bringing on Conor Lynass for Dan Orsi and the visitors replacing Ross McKinnon with James Creaney
Although Kilbirnie through Anderson continued to press for the equaliser it was Glenafton that were creating the best of the chances against the 10 men. With 10 minutes to go Dallas’s knock on left McCann with a one-one on the keeper with Hughes coming out on top. Five minutes later the striker did well to meet Dallas’s cross from the bye-line and engineer and overhead shot at goal but was again denied his hat-trick by the keeper.
The Glens won a couple or corner-kicks late in the match and elected for the short variety to run down the clock. A free kick from the right-hand corner of the penalty box proved too tempting and David Gray floated a ball with pin point accuracy on to the head of Chris Dallas in acres of space between two defenders to guide the ball beyond the reach of Hughes to complete the scoring on 89 minutes.
F/T Glens 3 Kilbirnie 1
Glenafton Athletic: 1. Brian McGarrity 2. Kyle McAusland 3. Alan Cairns 4. Craig Menzies 5. Chris Meikle 6. David Gray 7. Dan Orsi (15. Conor Lynass) 8. Cameron Marlow (16. Ryan Borris) 9. Mick McCann 10. John Carter (12. Chris Dallas) 11. Darren McGill. Subs not used 14. Joe Andrew Gk Scott Watson
Kilbirnie Ladeside: 1. Kieran Hughes 2. Mark Staunton 3. Ross McKinnon (15. James Creaney) 4. David Green 5. Ciaran Donnelly 6. Paul Harkins (12. Stevie Meechan) 7. Paul Ronald 8. David Anderson 9. Martin Grehan 10. Adam Forde 11. Darren Smith Subs unused 14. Ian Gray 16. Mick O’Byrne gk Kerr