- McBookie West Region Super League Premier Division
- Match 21
- Guy’s Meadow’s Cumbernauld
- Saturday 20th May 2017
- KIRKINTILLOCH ROB ROY 0 (0)
- GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (0)
- Chris Dallas (2)
Glenafton are Champions! The only scenario that could draw the race for the league title to a conclusion today came to pass after leaders Glenafton were victorious at second placed Kirkintilloch Rob Roy while fourth placed Auchinleck Talbot lost at third placed Beith Juniors.
Glens travelled to Guy’s Meadow, Cumbernauld to face Rob Roy in the first of their two back-to-back league fixtures and it was the home side that were soon on the front foot with a wave of attacks. The visitors were dealt an early scare on 6 minutes after Ryan McChesney required treatment following a clash of heads with Willie Sawyers – the tussle between those two players both giving their all would become a fascinating feature of the match.
A couple of corner-kicks in quick succession had the hosts continue to put the Glens under pressure and although the first one ended with keeper Brian McGarrity being impeded the second was scrambled clear to the outskirts of the box where the ball was met by defender Kevin Green only for his shot to scream wide of the post. On 15 minutes another chance was passed up as Kevin Watt’s close range header looped over the bar.
The Glens were struggling to get their passing game going and although they did get forward on occasion they were chiefly on the back foot. Howeve, in defence the visitors remained resolute with McChesney getting the better of target man Sawyers in the bulk of their aerial battles. On the deck the Rabs came up against a forest of legs in the Glens box as the path to, or shots at, goal were blocked time and again.
Sawyers gathered Chris Duff’s header in the box and although he initially gave McChesney the slip the big defender double-teamed with Kyle McAusland to rob the striker before he could engineer a shot at goal. On 20 minutes a free-kick was floated into the box and the ball fell for Watt whose shot from the edge of the six-yard box was blocked by a last-ditch tackle from Ally Park before Cairns’ brave block on Shaun Fraser’s attempt to bury the rebound.
Midway through the half Glens won their first corner-kick of the game after Mick McCann and Dan Orsi had combined well down the right flank. The kick was initially cleared at the near post before the ball fell for Cameron Marlow 20 and his drive from 20 yards was deflected wide of the back post, while the resulting corner-kick was punched clear by keeper Michael McKinven.
Back came Rob Roy and Sawyers evaded McChesney at the edge of the box to fire a low-angled shot that took a deflection to send the ball wide of the post. The corner-kick that followed was scrambled clear with the ball falling for Daniel Boyle to clip a well struck shot from 15 yards out only for McGarrity to pull off an equally good save and tip the ball over the bar.
Another corner came and went for the home side. Their luck was no better from open play with McChesney rising head and shoulders above all around to head clear a wicked cross by Duff before McGarrity clutched the midfielder’s second bite at the cherry clean out of the air.
Glens finally began to get a foothold on the game and on the half-hour mark David Gray’s free-kick from 30 yards whizzed inches wide of the post. His corner-kick was cleared at the near post as the visitors enjoyed a good spell of pressure. The midfielder’s cross field pass was chested down by Orsi at the edge of the box before the ball slipped to McAusland on the overlap down the right to whip a great ball to the back post where it was headed over his own bar by Green. The corner-kick that followed was headed clear to the outskirts of the box where the ball was gathered by Marlow and fed to McAusland who managed to create some space to tee up a shot that was then blocked by Fraser. Glens continued to press and Park released Gray down the right to clip the ball to the back post for Chris Dallas but with his way to goal covered he was forced to retreat to the left flank and fire a cross into the box which the keeper collected safely as Orsi threatened.
At the other end McChesney outjumped Sawyers in the nick of time to head the ball inches wide of his own post and Glens, through Craig Menzies, mopped up the corner-kick that followed.
Back game the Glens with Gray powering his way through the middle only to be tripped by Boyle and his free-kick deflected of the wall for a corner that was headed clear by Green.
H/T Kirkintilloch 0 Glenafton 0
Rabs started the second half brightly only for the Glens to quickly stamp their authority on the half. Gray and Orsi combined to send McAusland tearing down the right-wing before whipping the ball into the goalmouth where, with McCann lurking, the keeper decided to play it safe and tip the ball over the bar; the right decision as the corner-kick was cleared. At the other end, Duff fired a ball from wide on the left to the near post where again McChesney got the jump on Sawyers.
On 55 minutes Glenafton took the lead. Menzies picked up the ball deep in his own half and in flash it was with McAusland wide on the right flank level with the 18 yard box. Here he took a touch or two before clipping the ball with great precision to the edge of the six yard box where Chris Dallas nipped in front of Scott Walker to powerfully head the ball downward where it exploded off the Guy’s Meadow surface and shot into the roof of the net despite McKinven’s best efforts to keep it out.
Five minutes later Dallas hunted down a through ball with two defenders giving chase where on reaching the box he held off one defender before progressing to the penalty spot and slipped the ball beyond the reach of the advancing keeper only for it strike the base of the post allowing the second defender to clear it.
Afton were clearly in the ascendancy and looked dangerous on the break with McCann next to burst into the box only for play to be stopped for an earlier foul on Gray; the free-kick cleared by a rattled Rabs’ defence. Marlow was next to breach the box only to be stopped by a timely tackle from Green. A trademark box-to-box run by Menzies ended at the corner flag after Boyle’s intervention.
Glens freshened up a rampant midfield with Darren McGill coming on for Cameron Marlow and before he had kicked a ball the visitors doubled their lead on 66 minutes. McCann got between the central defenders to head the ball into the box for both Park and Dallas to chase, the latter better positioned to let the ball take a bounce before unleashing a missile of a shot from a tight angle that flew past the keeper at the near post and into the far corner of the net. Joyous scenes on and off the park for those in Glenafton colours.
The beleaguered Rabs picked themselves up and within a minute had earned a corner kicked that McGarrity had to push over the bar as Watt closed in. The keeper, sandwiched between Sawyers and Boyle, claimed the follow-up corner-kick with a stretch and a juggle.
On 73 minutes the visitors reshuffled their frontline with Chris Dallas and Mick McCann replaced by Joe Andrew and John Carter and their first action was help defend a Rabs free-kick. Jordan McGuire fired the ball to the left-hand side of the box for Boyle to bullet a header across goal where Sawyers’ glancing header beat McGarrity at the near post, but from a offside position.
Up the park McAusland played successive one-two’s with Carter and Andrew to force his way into the right hand side of the box and send a low angled shot wide of the far post with the keeper ushering it on its way.
Rabs made a double substitution and with time running out they created a number of half chances from set pieces. A free-kick was partially cleared and the ball quickly recovered by Fraser only for his shot from close range to be deflected inches wide by Menzies before the resulting corner-kick was mopped up. A looping header from deep in the box was comfortably caught by McGarrity.
The Glens defence manfully warded off a couple of free kicks floated into a packed box, the last of which McChesney and Carter cleared together before the sweet sound of the referee’s whistle and the news that Auchinleck had lost confirmed Glenafton as Super League Premier Division Champions.
FT Kirkintilloch 0 Glens 2
Glenafton Athletic: 1. Brian McGarrity 2. Kyle McAusland 3. Alan Cairns 4. Craig Menzies 5. Ryan McChesney 6. David Gray 7.Dan Orsi 8. Ally Park 9. Mick McCann ( 12. Joe Andrew) 10. Chris Dallas (14. John Carter) 11. Cameron Marlow (16. Darren McGill) Subs not used: 15. Chris Meikle17. Blair Lochhead
Kirkintilloch Rob Roy: 1. Michael McKinven 2. Scott Walker 3. Daniel MacKenzie 4. Kevin Green 5. Daniel Boyle 6. Jordan McGuire 7. Lee Gallacher 8. Shaun Fraser 9. Willie Sawyers 10. Kevin Watt 11. Chris Duff
League Table at Close of Play