Sat 13th APR 2019 KO 2:00 pm
McBookie.com West Region Premiership| Match 26
Loch Park, New Cumnock
Glenafton Athletic 1 (0) Kirkintilloch Rob Roy 0 (0)
GLENS ROB ROY
Glenafton kicked off with the same eleven that started off in the draw away to Beith last Saturday. Although the sun was shining brightly an icy wind cut across the length of the Loch Park in a westerly direction for most of the time, interspersed with periods of unpredictable swirling gusts.
The visitors were first to show through Willie Sawyers but his low trundling shot from the edge of the box was easily gathered by keeper Brian McGarrity.
Glens responded with Leon Murphy picking out Mick McCann in the left-hand side of the box to curl a well struck ball that beat keeper Craig Gordon at full stretch but slipped past the far post. Davie Winters and Dan Orsi combined down the right before the latter slipped the ball to Murphy deep in the box only for his shot from 12 yards to be deflected wide for a corner kick. This was partially cleared by the Rabs defence before the ball was played back into the box where McCann earned another corner. This kick too was initially cleared before being recovered by Craig Menzies to feed Joe Andrew in the box and after his shot was headed clear by Scott Forrester the Glens captain pounced to volley the loose ball which took a boounce before Gordon saved well.
On 15 minutes a cushioned header from Sawyers in the box was nodded on by strike partner Alex Cassells before cleverly turning to give two defenders the slip and wrong footing the Glens keeper but his low angle shot slipped well wide off the post.
Back came the hosts with Murphy’s mazy run ended by a trip and Alan Cairns free kick floated into the box and although Ryan McChesney leapt head and shoulders above the Rabs’ defence his header sailed high over the bar. Soon after, Cairns whipped a killer ball from wide on the left into the box where Winters got the jump of the full back and from yards tried to guide it passed Gordon, however made a fine block and then juggled the ball to safely as Winters tried in vain for a second bite at the cherry. A Murphy cross caused some uncertainty in the Rabs box and, adopting a safety-first policy, the defender conceded a corner kick which concluded with McCann’s header at the back post being blocked and cleared.
The visitors came close to breaking the deadlock on 27 minutes after Martin McBride’s free-kick from 25 yards cracked off the junction of the post and bar.
The Glens, with the wind at their backs, enjoyed another decent spell of pressure but their only reward was another corner-kick which like the ones that had gone before was handled well by the Rabs defence. In stark contrast the corner-kick won by Sawyers on 37 minutes caused chaos in the Glens six-yard box. Played to the back-post McBride headed the ball back into the goal mouth where Cassells tried to head it home only for McGarrity to get a hand to it and then McChesney block Forrester’s attempt to force the loose ball out from a few yards out before McCann hoofed it clear from the goal line.
Menzies initiated the counter-attack for the Glens to break upfield where from the left-hand corner of the penalty box Andrew switched play and picked out the incoming Orsi at the back post to lash a fierce shot from a tight angle that flashed wide of the opposite post. A minute later Murphy and Andrew combined to set-up Winters to curl a shot from the edge of the box which was well held by Gordon.
Just before the break Cassells good run into the box ended with his shot being deflected wide and the corner-kick that followed was cleared by the home rear guard.
HT Glens 0 Rabs 0
The visitors, now with the strong wind at their back, made a lively start to the new half. Joe Slattery pushed deep into the Glens box to cut the ball across the face of goal which was cleared by Cairns. Soon after Sawyers’ header in the box was easily held by McGarrity. A free-kick floated to the back post was lashed over the bar by Connor Hughes. A corner-kick to the same back-post was knocked back into the danger area where an alert McGarrity snapped it up as Hughes threatened.
Some respite for the Glens as a determined run by Orsi took him to the bye-line before rolling the ball back to Findlay Frye to thump a first time shot that flew over the bar.
The game went through a period where even half chances were drying up as both sides battled the vagaries of the now swirling wind.
Midway through the half the Glens made a tactical change with Kyle McAusland replacing Davie Winters to take up Dan Orsi’s place at right full back, while Orsi pushed forward on the right flank.
The visitors enjoyed a good spell of pressure beginning with a corner kick which Forrester met at the back post but his header dipped over the bar. McGarrity had to be alert to push the ball away from the head of Hughes and run to smother the loose ball. The keeper then had to rush from his line to beat Sawyers to a race for a ball into the box taking a sore one from a late tackle; as did the big striker.
Glens were struggling to make any headway against the wind and a well organised Rabs defence other than occasional runs down either flank by Murphy and Orsi.
On 77 minutes Rob Roy brought on Graeme Ramage for Joe Slattery and a minute later Gary Carroll came on for Willie Sawyers, who hadn’t recovered from his tackle on the Glens goalie.
Although McBride did well to fashion a shot from the edge of the ‘D’ the wind-assisted ball flew well over the bar. McGarrity then got down low to hold a low angled shot from Gavin Mackie. Murphy countered with an attack through the middle before picking out Orsi on the right to square the ball into the box for McCann for a snapshot at goal that Gordon held well. McBride made another impressive but again his shooting boots let him down as the ball skewed high and wide of target.
Although the Glens began to see more of the ball unpicking the Rabs defence continued to prove a hard nut to crack.
A minute from time Kirkintilloch made their final substitution with striker Alberto Vezza replacing defender Michael Tuohy.
Into added time and Ally Park won the ball in the middle of the park and squared it to Orsi who then gave Lewis Kinnaird the slip before riding the tackle from Mackie to drive down the right-wing and whipping the ball into the box where the incoming Park got in front of McBride to gloriously guide the ball into the net with the deftest of touches.
While the Glens celebrated what proved to be a 91st minute winner the Rabs were understandably devastated to leave Loch Park with nothing to show for their considerable efforts. If it’s any consolation that boot has been on the other foot a few times this season!
FT Glens 1 Rabs 0
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC: 1.Brian McGarrity 2. Dan Orsi 3. Alan Cairns 4. Craig Menzies 5. Ryan McChesney 6. Findlay Frye 7. Davie Winters (12. Kyle McAusland) 8. Ally Park 9. Mick McCann 10. Joe Andrew 11. Leon Murphy Subs 14. Kit Cummins 15. Connor Lynass 16. Craig Potter 17. Craig Burns (gk)
KIRKINTILLOCH ROB ROY: 1. Craig Gordon 2. Jordan Currie-McLean 3. Lewis Kinnaird 4. Michael Tuohy (16. Alberto Vezza) 5. Scot Forrester 6. Martin McBride 7. Connor Hughes 8. Joe Slattery (15. Graeme Ramage) 9. Willie Sawyers (14. Gary Carroll) 10. Alex Cassells 11. Gavin Mackie Subs 12. Lee Gallagher 17. Michael Morris