- Sat 03 AUG 2019 KO 2:00 pm
- McBookie.com West Region Premiership| Match 01
- Beechwood Park, Auchinleck
- Auchinleck Talbot 4 (2)
- Samson 2, Young, McKinlay
- Glenafton Atheltic 1 (0)
Glens kicked off their league campaign with a short trip to face champions Auchinleck Talbot with their hosts mindful that the New Cumnock were the only team to inflict a league defeat on them last season. Of course, the visitors would be more mindful that they lost 4-0 to Talbot on the same ground last Saturday in the opening game of the West Region Sectional League Cup, albeit the result was not a true reflection of the Glens’’ contribution to a game that was a lot tighter than the score-line suggested.
In glorious sunshine the home side dominated the first half with lightning quick breaks, slick accurate passing, strength in tackle along with a of host of chances and would argue but for a number of fine saves from Glens goalie Brian McGarrity that the 2-0 lead at the break far from flattered them.
Glens had a decent early chance when Dan Orsi powered down the right to break into the box before drilling a low angled shot past two back-tracking defenders and beyond the reach of keeper Andy Leishman only for the ball to slip inches wide of the far post. Minutes before the break Mick McCann and Ryan Nisbet combined to set up a shot from the edge of the box that was comfortably saved by the keeper. In between times the few corner kicks they won were comfortably cleared by the Talbot defence.
In stark contrast Talbot attacked with menace throughout the half with Mark Shankland often the instigator. On 12 minutes he gathered the ball in the middle of the park and slipped the ball down the left for Kier Samson to hunt down before clipping a low angled shot that beat McGarrity but drifted narrowly wide of the back post. Shankland then whipped three corner kicks in quick succession into heart of the six-yard box each of which were frantically cleared by the Glens defence including the last of which was bravely punched clear by McGarrity. Graham Wilson then picked out Samson in the box with a peach of the pass but the striker’s attempt to bury the ball in the far corner was denied by the outstretched arm and strong hand of McGarrity. A minute later the keeper then pulled off a point blank save from Samson’s shot from 8 yards out.
On 27 minutes the home side broke the deadlock following some excellent build up play. Samson slipped the ball to Wilson on the outskirts of the box and after a few twists and turns rolled the ball to Shankland in space on the left hand side of the box only for his attempt to curl to ball into the net to be pushed away by McGarrity before the incoming Samson forced the ball over the line from a few yards out. The visitors unfortunately were down to 10 men with at the time with Cameron Marlow requiring treatment on the touchline.
Marlow was still off the park when Auchinleck doubled their lead two minutes later. Samson earned the home side another corner-kick after McGarrity got down low to push his angled shot wide of the far post. Wilson got his head to Shankland’s kick and defender Dylan Young was in place to head home the loose ball from a few yards out.
With Cameron Marlow failing to recover from his knock he was replaced by Ryan McChesney who teamed up with Craig Pettigrew at the heart of the defence while captain Craig Menzies moved to fill Marlow’s position at right back. The big defender was soon in the thick action and blocked Samson’s attempt to find the empty net after having given McGarrity the slip. A minute before the break the keeper then got a hand to a net-bound close-range header from Stephen Wilson.
HT Auchinleck 2 Glens 0
The Glens were forced to make a change at half-time with Brian McGarrity unable to continue due to a knee injury that required a visit to the hospital at the close of the game. Craig Burns who covered for Brian at the end of last season took his place.
The visitors started positively with Lee Gallacher on the left switching play to the right for Orsi to gather and drive forward from the half way-line to the corner of the penalty box only for his shot to sail over the bar. Glens won a free-kick 30 yards from goal that thundered into the wall initiating a counter attack which concluded with Burns pulling off a good save from Samson. A minute later the keeper showed a safe pair of hands after hold Shankland’s free kick from the corner of the box as Young threatened to pounce on any spillage. Graham Wilson then broke into the left hand of the box and although his shot beat the keeper the ball crashed off the bar.
Glens steadied the ship and enjoyed a good spell of possession as the push men forward. Menzies floated a ball into the box only for Leishman to make a clean clutch to deny McCann a header. Frye and Orsi combined wide on the left and earned a throw in yards from the corner flag. It was taken quickly and trapped by Nisbet before he weaved past two defenders to fire the ball into the danger area only for the ball to strike the arm of Willie Lyle to fall foul of the new hand ball rule and referee point to the spot. Despite the Talbot defender’s protest, similar to Glenafton’s on two occasions at Beechwood last Saturday, Findlay Frye fired the spot-kick into the corner of the net beyond Leishman at full stretch to halve the deficit on 57 minutes.
Glens continued to press and contended well with a couple of Talbot counter-attacks. On the hour mark Gallacher, from within a pocket of black and gold strips, found McCann on the edge of the box who slipped it wide to Nisbet on the overlap to drill the ball to edge of the six yard box for the inrushing Frye only for Leishman to make a brave two footed block to clear the danger.
Talbot were now camped in their own half but try as they might through runs by Nisbet and Orsi or by balls floated into the box by Menzies, Pettigrew and Dale Moore the Glens couldn’t convert these into clear goal scoring chances.
Midway through the half the home side made a double substitution with Mark Shankland and Gareth Armstrong replaced by Kieran Healy and Jamie Glasgow and slowly the Talbot began to grow back into the game.
On 76 minutes the Glens from wide on the left squared the ball across the front of their own penalty box before passing it back to Burns to clear only for the keeper to miskick it directly to Samson who accepted he gift and slotted the ball home for 3-1. With their tails up Talbot pushed for a quick fourth but Burns denied Graham Wilson with a fine save.
Two minutes after going two down Glens went down to 10 men. Gallacher didn’t take too kindly to an elbow in the face during an aerial challenge and shoved Glasgow to the ground in the aftermath, earning a second yellow card, both for retaliation.
Credit to the Glens they regrouped continued to compete. Orsi fashioned an overhead kick in a crowded Talbot box that was gathered by Leishman. In the closing minute the keeper got down low to stop a thundering low shot from Kyle McAusland and then save McCann’s attempt to bury the rebound, albeit the effort was flagged for offside. Lucky white heather and Leishman launched the ball upfield which fell for substitute Hamish McKinlay, on for Samson, who cracked the ball home in some style to make it 4-1 with the last kick of the game.
Auchinleck 4 Glens 1
Glenafton Athletic: 1. Brian McGarrity (19. Craig Burns) 2. Kyle McAusland 3. Cameron Marlow (12. Ryan MChesney) 4. Craig Menzies 5. Craig Pettigrew 6. Findlay Frye 7. Dan Orsi 8. Dale Moore 9. Mick McCann 10. Ryan Nisbet 11. Lee Gallacher Subs not used: 14. Ally Park 15. Edward Campbell (trialist).