Fri 27th JUN 2019 KO 7:30 pm
McBookie.com West Region Premiership| Match 30
Loch Park, New Cumnock
Glenafton Athletic 1 (1) Auchinleck Talbot 5 (2)
Glenafton formed a guard of honour to applaud Auchinleck Talbot, Scottish Junior Cup winners and West Region Premier champions, on to Loch Park on this the last league game of the season. In what was there first game in almost three weeks the Glens were without Brian McGarrity, Ryan McChesney, Findlay Frye, Dale Moore, Leon Murphy and top goalscorer Chris Dallas while on the bench were Glenafton U19s players Sean McVey and Nick Terry.
The home side were first to threaten on 3 minutes with a low long range effort from ‘slayer’ Alan Cairns which drifted wide of the post and in any case on this occasion keeper Andy Leishman appeared to have it well covered.
The visitors quickly broke upfield switching play from left to right for Keir Samson to chase down the ball before whipping a cross into the box for the incoming Mark Shankland to crash a header off the bar and following an almighty scramble the loose ball was safely gathered by keeper Craig Burns.
This triggered a sustained period of Talbot pressure with front man Sean McIlroy leading the line and proving nippier than the mass of midgies that had descended on Loch Park to chomp indiscriminately on those gathered. The visitors notched up a series of corner kicks a few of which came close to providing the opening goal including on 12 minutes when Gordon Pope’s back-post header dipped inches over the bar while a minute later McIlroy’s low crouching header at the near post whizzed wide of the other.
Some respite for the home side after Dan Orsi’s determination won a corner kick which was powerfully punched clear by Leishman.
Back came Auchinleck with another flurry of corners in quick succession. At the conclusion of the third on 22 minutes the ball fell for Mark Shankland on the outskirts of the box to crack an unstoppable dipping shot into net.
Although the Glens began to see more of the ball, they were unable to fashion any meaningful attempts to test Leishman.
Talbot came close to doubling their lead on the half hour mark after another clever run by McIlroy took him to the edge of the “D” before lashing an angled shot which although it beat Burns at full stretch the ball bounced of the post and was eventually snapped up by Shankland to drive deep into the box only for the keeper to pull off a stunning block.
On 34 minutes Glens surrendered possession cheaply on the half way line initiating another untouchable run from McIlroy that saw him cut in from the right and progress to the left hand side of the “D” before slipping the ball into the box for Calvin Kemp to take a touch before slamming the ball home from the corner of the six yard box.
Two minutes later the Glens countered with David Winters driving through the middle before picking out Orsi tight on the right touchline to float a ball into the box only for Leishman to beat Kit Cummins to the jump and punch the ball to safety.
Talbot responded with another lightning break in which McIlroy on the right switched play to Pope powering down the left and although his cross into the box was headed clear by Kyle McAusland the ball was gathered by Shankland to thump it from the 18 yard line which Burns did well to get down low and push it wide of the post. The corner-kick and the one that followed came to nothing.
Three minutes before the break the Glens halved the deficit following some intricate passing in the sequence of Winters to McCann to Cairns to Winters to Marlow and back to Cairns on the left. The attacking full back then curled a ball into the box where the incoming Ally Park got in front of the tracking Pope, but the ball seemed to go through the legs of the former and clip off the latter before it fell for Kit Cummins on the penalty spot to take a touch before drilling the ball low into the corner of the net beyond the advancing keeper.
In the last action of the half Burns cleared the ball from the head of McIlroy.
HT Glens 1 Auchinleck 2
The visitors stormed out the blocks as Kemp smacked a shot from just outside the left-hand side of box that cracked off the far post. The ball was rapidly recovered by Shankland and drilled low along the face of the goal evading attackers and defenders on its way to the back post where Kemp contrived to miss the empty net and fire the ball over the bar from 2 yards.
Pope then burst down the left before picking out the inrushing McIlroy at the back post only for Burns to dive bravely at his feet and get a strong hand to push the ball wide. Talbot’s corner count was now reaching dodecahedron proportions and this one ended with Kemp’s looping volley being cleanly clutched by the young keeper.
On 50 minutes Shankland pushed forward again only to be robbed by Marlow who then broke through the middle before slipping a superb defence splitting ball for Andrew to gather and cut into the box to fire a low angled shot that was comfortably held by Leishman.
Another Talbot corner kick produced a fantastic point blank save by Burns from a Pope header and the ball scrambled to safety.
Back at the other end and Orsi lasered a shot from 30 yards out that Leishman stopped with both hands before clutching.
Talbot doubled their lead on 58 minutes after a ball played in from the right found Shankland in the box with time and space to pick his spot and blast the ball home from 10 yards out.
Six minutes later and Burns pulled off another point blank save by sticking out a foot to stop Steven White’s close-range shot.
Midway through the half Glens brought on young Sean McVey for Davie Winters while Auchinleck replaced Sean McIlroy.
Talbot continued to press and Burns was forced into another good save blocking Neil McPherson’s effort and soon after he stopped a low shot from White. On 72 minutes however the visitors extended their lead as Glens were made to pay after giving away possession to allow Shankland to push down the left unimpeded before whipping the ball to the back post where the incoming Kemp guided the ball into the net from close range.
Glens brought on young Nick Terry for Joe Andrew and soon after Talbot made a double substitution.
With the last kick of the game Craig McCracken through on goal slotted the ball beyond advancing Burns to make it 5-1 for Talbot and complete the scoring .
Glenafton Athletic: 1. Craig Burns 2. Ally Park 3. Alan Cairns 4. Craig Menzies 5. Kyle McAusland 6. David Winters (12. Sean McVey) 7. Dan Orsi 8. Cameron Marlow 9.Mick McCann 10. Kit Cummins 11. Joe Andrew (14. Nick Terry)