Sat 12th Jan 2018 KO 1:30 pm
Ardagh Group West of Scotland Cup | 2nd Round
Loch Park, New Cumnock
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 2 (0) LESMAHAGOW JUNIORS 1 (1)
Prior to kick-off a minute’s silence was observed in memory of Alan “Tubbs” Graham who sadly passed away this week. Alan formerly served on the Glenafton committee as well as being club secretary for a period and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.
THE BRIAN GAME
Glenafton welcomed club captain back to the starting eleven. Leading the Lesmahagow line was top goal-scorer Jonny McStay, son of former Glenafton manager John McStay who led the club the title of “Last Champions of Ayrshire” in 2001/02, the season before league reconstruction.
Gow currently sitting second in West Region League Two and having already knocked out Premiership side Largs Thistle in the 1st round of the West of Scotland Cup kicked off with a strong wind at their back. The first decent chance fell to the visitors on 6 minutes after tenacious midfielder Paul Woodlock picked out Scott Schoneville wide on the right to whip the ball to the near post where a Ryan Innes header flashed across the face of goal and roll unimpeded to the far side of the six-yard box where Matty Clarke’s shot was blocked by Dan Orsi. Four minutes later McStay found himself with time and space on the right-hand side of the box to square the ball for Clark who took a good touch to shake off a couple defenders before forcing keeper Brian McGarrity into a point-blank save from a powerful shot from 8 yards. Gow continued to press and look the livelier but could not take advantage of a couple of free-kicks won in dangerous areas.
Glens began to weather the storm, literally, and on 13 minutes Conor Lynass tried his luck from 25 yards only for his shot to drift wide of the far post. Lynass then combined down the left with Alan Cairns before driving into the box only for S. Schoneville to block his cut-back for Mick McCann at the expense of a corner-kick which was delivered by Lynass and headed clear by Darren Lygate. The home side were now winning the majority of the midfield battles with Cameron Marlow and Dale Moore giving no quarter in 50-50 balls. On 18 minutes Joe Andrew slipped a cheeky ball into the box for Lynass to chase down only for centre back Neil Schoneville to intervene and eventually the loose ball was cleared for corner kick which was headed inches wide of the back post by McCann.
Although the Glens threatened down both flanks through Oris and Lynass the visitors well marshalled defence along with the strong head wind and driving rain was proving a hard nut to crack ensuring clear-cut chances were thin on the rain-soaked ground. Midway through the half Orsi deep on the right rolled the ball back Ally Park who leathered an angled shot from 22 yards which keeper Sandy Thomson did well to block with both hands and then smother the ball securely on the slippery surface.
Andrew picked out Lynass on the left-hand corner of the box and as S. Schoneville came across to cover, a jink to the right left the Gow man flat-footed and gave Lynass the space to curl a shot for goal only for it to sail over the bar. On 37 minutes Orsi cut in from the right flank before cracking a powerful low shot from the corner of the penalty box that Thomson once again got down to stop and hold on tightly to a ball that could otherwise have squirmed out of less sure hands in such conditions. Two minutes later Lynass floated a corner-kick to the back post where N. Schoneville cleared with a powerful header only for the tireless Marlow to snap up the ball and lash a 30 yarder that had Thomson scurrying across his line to push the top-corner bound ball away and no fewer than three of his defenders stand their ground to see off Lynass’s cut back across the face of goal.
On 41 minutes McCann and Moore combined on the outskirts of the box and the latter threaded a ball into the box for Lynass only for S. Schoneville to execute an excellent last-ditch tackle to deny the Glens man a shot from 8 yards out. The home side continued to press and Moore’s drive into the box earned a corner that was played to the near post where McCann got the jump on McStay only for his header to sail wide.
McStay won a free-kick on the half-way line tight on the wing. It was quickly taken and the ball rolled seemingly overhit up the line for Paul Woodlock to chase with Lynass in pursuit. However, the Gow man persevered and did well to take the ball to corner before whipping a cross aimed for the incoming Neil Schoneville at the back post only for the ball to be caught in a gust of wind and end in the back of the net to the dismay of the home support and the delight of the away. Gow 1-0 up on 43 minutes.
The visitors visibly lifted and in the last action of the half won another free-kick in a dangerous position that again came to nothing.
HT Glens 0 Gow 1
The Glens with the wind at their back, although it had died down by a notch or two, started the second half in determined fashion. Within a minute of the restart Lynass broke in to the left-hand side of the box and his chip into the six-yard box was headed inches wide by McCann with the keeper rooted to his line. Orsi then attacked down the right and although his chip into a crowded box was headed on by Gary Nicholson the ball fell for Moore only for his close range shot to be deflected wide for a corner kick. Lynass played it short to Cairns and his cross was met by McCann only for his leader to loop over the bar.
Some respite for Gow through a good break down the right which ended with Scott Schoneville drilling a low angled shot from the edge of the box that was carefully gathered by McGarrity at the near post.
Back came the Glens and on 51 minutes their pressure was rewarded following a fine passing move and an equally fine finish from Mick McCann. It began with Marlow’s forward pass to Andrew who took one defender out of play with a knock-on to Moore who broke forward on a diagonal run that drew two further defenders out of position before he switched play inside leaving McCann free to run into the box, gather the ball and calmly slip it past the advancing Thomson.
The visitors responded well with Innes breaking into the box and setting up McStay for a close range shot from a tight angle that was well held by McGarrity at the post.
On the hour mark Lesmahagow brought on Jason Thomson for Matty Clarke while soon after Glens replaced Conor Lynass with Leon Murphy and both substitutes were soon in the thick of the action. First Thomson, who gathered a pass from McStay on the left hand-side of the box and attempted to complete the one-two with a super ball played into the near post only for Menzies to make a goal saving block and deflect McStay’s shot from two yards out wide of target. The corner kick was cleared and set up a counter attack that began with Murphy deep on the right and ended with him in the box, following touches from McCann and Moore, where he was stripped off the ball with a brave save from the advancing keeper.
Play was raging from end to end and on 67 minutes the visitors threatened again. A ball from wide on the left was floated to the back post where Woodlock deftly guided it back to the penalty spot for the incoming Innes to meet it sweetly only for McGarrity to pull off the save of the match with a strong hand pushing the ball over the bar. The corner kick that followed was cleared. Back up the field where a super through ball by Moore set up Orsi with a one-on-one against the keeper and it was Thomson that came out on top again through initially diving at his feet to knock the ball away before regaining his feet and diving on the loose ball.
A flurry of substitutions began with Glens bringing on Chris Dallas for Joe Andrew and the Findlay Frye for Dan Orsi while the Gow were forced to replace the injured Paul Woodlock with James Faughan.
On 77 minutes Dallas chased down a through ball and met it on the bounce at the right edge of the box and cracked a volley that dipped over the bar. This marked a period of good pressure or the Glens and they now had a stronger wind at their back. Murphy pounced on a poor clearance and darted into the box forcing the keeper to rush from his line to get the slightest of touches on the midfielder’s shot and send the ball narrowly passed the back post. The corner kick created a stramash in the box but the visitors stood firm.
With five minutes to go Marlow, who had covered every blade of grass, fired a low shot from outside the box and keeper Thomson showed a clean pair of hands, if not gloves, to clutch the ball. Glens continued to push for a late winner and like their counterparts their set pieces were not creating clear-cut chances.
On the 89 minutes, in what was now a rare attack, Gow won a free-kick on the left just outside the box, however it trundled along ground and straight into the hands of Brian McGarrity. The keeper quickly launched the ball upfield where Dallas, on the outskirts of the box had pulled 2 yards clear of back-tracking defenders, however the ball bounced beyond the reach of the striker and high over the head of keeper Thomson on his six yard line and despite his best efforts could not get a hand to ball as it dropped from the sky to land on the goal-line and into the net. While McGarrity’s team-mates rushed to celebrate with the unlikely goal-scorer it was difficult not to feel for his counter-part who had played exceptionally throughout. A minute later the goal-scorer turned goalkeeper diving bravely at the feet of McStay.
At the other end Marlow fashioned another powerful shot from outside the box that was deflected for a corner that was scrambled clear. Three minutes of added time had passed when McGarrity had to rush to the outskirts of the box to beat Jason Thomson in the race for the a through ball. Kyle Weir whipped a fine cross from the into box for McStay but McChesney won that aerial battle and Frye ushered the ball upfield before the whistle brought an engrossing cup-tie to a conclusion.
FT Glens 2 Gow 1
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC: 1. Brian McGarrity 2. Ally Park 3. Alan Cairns 4. Craig Menzies 5. Ryan McChesney 6. Dale Moore 7. Dan Orsi (17. Findlay Frye) 8. Cameron Marlow 9. Mick McCann 10. Joe Andrew (12. Chris Dallas) 11. Conor Lynass (15. Leon Murphy) Subs not used: 14 Kit Cummins 16. Darren McLean 18. Craig Burns (gk)
LESMAHAGOW JUNIORS: 1. Sandy Thomson 2. Darren Lygate 3. Jordan Whitefield 4. Paul Woodlock (12. James Faughan) 5. Neil Schoneville 6. Gary Nicholson 7. Ryan Innes 8. Scott Schoneville 9. Matty Clarke (16. Jason Thomson) 10. Jonny McStay 11. Kyle Weir Subs Not used 14. Jordan Lithgow 15. Lewis Noble