Glenafton 0 Hurlford 1

  • McBookie Premier Division
  • Match 18
  • Loch Park, New Cumnock
  • Saturday 6th May 2017
  • GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 0 (0)
  • HURLFORD UNITED 1 (1)
    • Ross Robertson (pen)

Glenafton suffered only their second home league defeat of the season after losing out to an improving Hurlford side that in recent weeks have escaped the relegation battle and secure a top half finish.

In bright sunshine and against a strong wind the visitors came flying out the traps and after gathering the ball on the right Paul McKenzie played a neat one-two with Mark Roberts to progress down the right and whip a ball to the back post for the incoming Ross Brash only for the referee to spot his push on Ryan McChesney.

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Cameron Marlow challenges Paul McKenxzie in the box

Ford’s keeper launched a free-kick down the right which McKenzie quickly trapped before skipping past Alan Cairns and slipping the ball to Ross Robertson who completed a one-two to take Ryan McChesney out of play to allow McKenzie to continue his run into the box where he was brought down by Cameron Marlow. The spot kick was slammed home by Ross Robertson to give the visitors the lead with 2 minutes gone.

Glens first chance came 5 minutes later through a David Gray kick from 30 yards out which sailed wide of the post. McKenzie then chipped a free-kick from the left corner of the penalty box with Ross Fisher the target but Craig Menzies beat him to the jump and the ball fell safely into the hands of Brian McGarrity.

Glens physio Michelle McInnes had a busy spell after Gray got a crack in the jaw from Brash’s flying and a minute a later Ross Fisher won the ball with a high foot only for his follow through to catch Marlow full on and floored the Glens’ midfielder; no foul let alone a card left the home support perplexed!

The home side then enjoyed a good spell of pressure and on 20 minutes a corner kick was met by an unchallenged McChesney on the edge of the six-yard box only for his powerful header to dip over the bar.

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Ryan McChesney’s header sails over the bar

Gray’s free-kick floated into the box was headed over his own bar by Chris Robertson and the visitors mopped up the resulting corner-kick. Another corner-kick was played short to Cairns and his cross into the box was eventually cleared as the Glens continued to press. Joe Andrew’s shot dipping shot from 20 yards out went over the bar while Marlow low’s drive slipped wide of the post before Gray’t free-kick from 30 yard out was comfortably held be keeper Ally Brown.

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Another Glens corner

Back came Hurlford and on 31 minutes they passed up a great opportunity to double their lead. The lively Dean Agnew snapped up the ball on the left-hand corner of the penalty box and although his first attempt to the cross the ball was ball his second bite at the cherry ended plumb on the head of the rising Ross Robertson only for the ball to slip inches wide of the back post with the keeper beaten. Robertson then returned the favour and picked out Agnew in the box with a peach of a pass to drill a low shot that McGarrity got down low to save well. Ten minutes from the break McKenzie did well to kill a pass into the box and tee up a shot only to skew the ball wide of target as the red shirts closed in.

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Paul McKenzie fires wide

The final chance of the half fell to the home side after winning another corner-kick and again McChesney lost his markers and again his header looped over the bar.

HT Hurlford 1 Glens 0

Glens started the second half brightly with Brown in the Ford goal called into action through saving a low angled from Conor Lynass, blocking a shot from John Carter after latching onto a great pass from Gray and then holding Marlow’s shot from distance.

The home side continued to push for the equaliser but were finding it difficult to penetrate into the box with Chris Robertson and Richie McKillen standing firm at the heart of Hurlford’s defence.

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John Carter and Richie McKillen

On 53 minutes Carter in the box and with his back to goal held off Robertson to roll the ball back out the box for Gray to thunder a shot that went screaming past the post. McKillen then got a header to a Glens corner kick and the ball fell for Marlow only for the former Glens defender to block that too.

Both sides made changes with the visitors bringing on Stewart Kean for Mark Roberts while the home side replaced Ryan Borris with Darren McGill.

Despite their pressure the Glens were almost caught out when another attack was broken down and McKenzie gathered the ball and surged forward from the half-way line to the outskirts of the Glens box before lashing a left foot shot that McGarrity tipped over the bar. McKillen’s powerful header from the corner kick that followed was cleared by Cairns.

Hurlford strengthened their midfield by replacing the attack-minded Agnew with Stephen Chisholm while the Glens countered by bring on forward Mick McCann for Cameron Marlow.

The home side won another corner-kick without testing the keeper while at the other end Kean gathered the ball the in the box and played it back to McKenzie at the edge of the box to hit a cracking low shot that whizzed wide of the post.

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Joe Andrew and Michael Kelly

With 15 minutes to go Dan Orsi chipped the ball high into the box forcing Brown to rush off his line to punch the ball from the head of Carter but failed to connect properly and the ball fell for McCann only for his attempt to chip Brown fall into the keeper’s hands. Four minutes later the Gray-McChesney combo to engineer another header at goal that was saved comfortably by Brown

Set pieces continued to be the most likely route for the side to salvage a point. On 82 minutes Gray whipped a free-kick into a packed box and McChesney outjumped Robertson only for his flashing header to scrape inches wide of the post with the keeper beaten.

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Ryan wins the header again

In the last minute Hurlford came close to delivering a sucker punch after Kean’s shot was blocked by the outrushing McGarrity and the ball fell for Ross Robertson  on the edge of the box only to miskick his shot and send the ball high in the air.

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Not today !

A hopeful long ball lobbed high into the box ended with Brown coming out to punch the ball clear as three Glens shirts challenged and in the final action of the match Lynass’s header from 12 yards flew wide of the target.

FT Glens 0 Hurlford 1

GLENAFTON ATHLETIC: 1. Brian McGarrity 2. Dan Orsi 3. Alan Cairns 4. Craig Menzies 5. Ryan McChesney 6. Cameron Marlow (12. McCann) 7. Ryan Borris (15. Darren McGill) 8. David Gray 9. Joe Andrew 10. John Carter 11. Conor Lynass  Subs not ued: 14. Chris Dallas 16. Chris Meikle 17.Blair Lochhead

HURLFORD UNITED: 1. Ally Brown 2. Ross Fisher 3. Michael Kelly 4. Richie McKillen 5. Chris Robertson 6. Craig Molloy 7. Paul McKenzie 8. Ross Brash 9. Mark Roberts (12. Stewart Kean) 10. Ross Robertson 11. Dean Agnew Subs 14. Stephen Chisholm 15. Pail Byrne 16. Anthony Marenghi gk Adam Hodge

More photos here

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