- ETHX SCOTTISH JUNIOR CUP
- Loch Park, New Cumnock
- Saturday 18th March 2017
- GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1 (1)
- Chris Dallas
- SAUCHIE JUNIORS 0 (0)
GLENAFTON TO THE FORE AND SEE OFF SAUCHIE
Glenafton progressed to the last four of the Scottish Junior Cup for the 10th time in the club’s history with a 1-0 win over Sauchie in what was the first meeting between the two sides. Thanks to the hard work of the committee and volunteers the park passed an early morning pitch inspection and thankfully the heavy rain forecast for the afternoon failed to precipitate.
Glenafton made four changes from the side that the started against Kilbimie last week with Ryan McChesney, Ally Park (both returning from injury) Ryan Borris and Chris Dallas replacing Chris Meikle, Dan Orsi, John Carter and the injured Darren McGill.
Flowing football was always going to be challenging on the difficult surface however it was following a neat interchange of passes in a crowded box that set up a chance on 4 minutes for the Glens through Mick McCann’s lob from the 18-yard line that skimmed of the top of the bar with keeper Greg Matiland a spectator. Sauchie spurned a good chance a minute later following a corner kick to the back post where two of their players challenged in the air for the same ball and the effort went wide. Back came Glenafton and went ahead on 12 minutes. David Gray deep on the left side switched play to the right for Ryan Borris to gather the ball and progress to right hand corner of the penalty box before drilling a low ball into the danger area for Chris Dallas to guide it home before keeper and defender could react.
The home side continued to press for a second goal without seriously testing Maitland while closing down the free scoring Sauchie. Ally Park and Gray bossing the midfield and Ryan McChesney winning most things in the air to break down any Sauchie moves not played on the tricky surface.
The visitors came more into the game in the closing 15 minutes of the half with Andy Shirra shining in the middle of the park. On 32 minutes Sauchie’s claim for a penalty kick were waved away. Gary McCulloch wide on the left whipped a vicious cross to the near post where the aerial battle between striker Darren Cummings and keeper Brian McGarrity ended with ball falling free and the keeper winning the battle on the ground to recover the ball as the striker tumbled to the ground. The rest of the half passed without any further clear-cut chances, however Glens were forced into making a change and after Mick McCann failed to shake off a knock he was replaced by Joe Andrew .
H/T Glens 1 Sauchie 0
The Wee County side were quick off the blocks after the break and Joshua Flood warmed the hands of McGarrity with a shot from 12 yards. It was to be a false dawn however and the Glens went on to dominate the second half in terms of possession and chances. On 53 minutes Dallas rose head and shoulders above the visitors’ defence to connect with a Cameron Marlow cross only for the ball to sail over the bar.
Two minutes and two corner kicks later the striker’s header flashed wide of the post and soon after Maitland got down low to push Borris’s low drive from outside the box round the post for another corner-kick. Borris was denied again on 65 minutes with a superb reflex save from the keeper as he improvised to get a foot and block a shot from the edge of the six-yard box. Two minutes later Joe Andrew, on for the injured Mick McCann, leathered a shot from 22 yards but again Maitland had its measure and blocked the shot before smothering the loose ball. The Glens striker fashioned another shot from deeper in the box and although looking goal-bound it was deflected wide for a corner-kick.
On 70 minutes Glens made a double substitution with goal-maker Ryan Borris and goal-taker Chris Dallas making way for Dan Orsi and John Carter. The visitors also made a change with Colin Samuel coming on for former Glenafton striker Ryan Millar and unfortunately chances had been thin on the ground for Sauchie’s top goal-scorer.
Sauchie rallied and enjoyed a decent spell of pressure without however creating space within a sea of a well-drilled defence of red shirts to set up any chance of note.
At the other end Maitland narrowed the angled expertly to force Carter’s shot wide and a minute later palmed down the striker’s shot from distance.
On 77 minutes Sauchie came within a whisker of grabbing what seemed an unlikely equaliser after good work down the right by substitute Brian Morgan to pick out the inrushing Samuel only for his shot under the challenge from McGarrity to fly wide of the post. The visitors’ hopes of salvaging a replay were dealt a severe blow after being reduced to ten men on 83 minutes. Play-maker Andy Shirra earned two yellow cards for two rash challenges within three minutes, the first for taking the legs from Marlow and the second for a tackle from behind on Gray.
In between the cards Maitland had punched away Gray’s thunderous free kick from 30 yards before saving perhaps his best save for last when an outstretched leg prevented Cameron Marlow from doubling the Glens lead with three minutes to go.
In the closing minutes the home side won a series of corner-kicks and free-kicks as the clocked ticked down before the final whistle gave way to celebrations and commiseration on and off the park.
F/T Glens 1 Sauchie 0
Glenafton Athletic: 1. Brian McGarrity 2. Kyle McAusland 3. Alan Cairns 4. Craig Menzies 5. Ryan McChesney 6. Ally Park 7. Ryan Borris (16. Dan Orsi) 8. David Gray 9. Mick McCann (12. Joe Andrew) 10.Chris Dallas (14. John Carter) 11. Cameron Marlow. Subs not used 15. Conor Lynass Gk Blair Lochhead
Sauchie Juniors: 1. Greg Maitland 2. Stuart McFarlane 3. Gary McCulloch 4.Steven Dolan 5. Oliver Fleming 6. Anthony McTaggart 7. Ryan Millar (17.Colin Samuel) 8. Andy Shirra 9. Darren Cummings 10. David Morrison 11. Joshua Flood (16.Brian Morgan) Subs not used 12. Mark Sharp 14. Martin Shields 16. Ben Hutchison