- Sat 07 DEC 2019 KO 1:30 pm
- Macron Scottish Junior Cup| 4th round replay
- Loch Park, New Cumnock
- Glenafton Athletic 1 (0) |McAusland
- Irvine Meadow XI (1) |McLenann
Prior to kick-off a minute’s silence was observed in memory of Jean McCulloch who passed away recently. Jean was the daughter of Haddow Nisbet the Glens trainer in the late 50’s and early 60’s and in 1960 she married Glenafton’s legendary forward Danny McCulloch who would later play in the Scottish Junior Cup final against today’s visitors Irvine Meadow XI.
Meadow kicked off as the rain lashed down on an overcast Loch Park but play was quickly halted as a playful dog entered the field of play to spend the next 5 minutes chasing its own leash up and down the park evading any attempts of capture before succumbing and returning its frisbee, now clenched in its jaws, to its exasperated owner.
Play resumed and both sides had bounded up and down park unleashed before the first decent chance fell to the visitors on 8 minutes after Lee McCrae floated a freekick into a packed Glens box and Calum Gow leapt to flash a header inches wide of the post. Meadow continued to press and following some neat build up play the ball was played over the top into the right-hand side of the box for Eddie McTernan to chase down with Glens captain Craig Menzies in pursuit. However, keeper Davie Wilson had already rushed from his line to dive low and get both hands on the ball before the attacker and defender tumbled over his body; the former forlornly appealing foul play to the well-placed assistant referee.
The home side then enjoyed a good spell of pressure creating a hatful of half chances beginning on 14 minutes with Ally Park at the left-hand corner of the penalty box whipping the ball into the centre for Dale Moore on the penalty spot to bullet a net bound header only for keeper Paddy O’Neil to get down and at full stretch push the ball away.
Jarred Willet’s clearance was quickly recovered by the Glens and Findlay Frye floated the ball back into the danger area where the incoming Mick McCann got between two defenders but his header looped high over the bar. Soon after Matthew Reilly picked up the ball in the centre circle and progressed to the edge of the box where with his route blocked, he cut the ball back for Park to fire a shot from 30 yards out that flew high over the bar.
On 20 minutes Glens broke down a Meadow attack on the left and in a flash, Moore picked out Andrew to release Reilly through the middle with defender James Latta back tracking. On reaching the box the young midfielder cut inside, leaving Latta wrong-footed, and after creating space he miscued his shot sending the ball drifting well off target. Menzies from just inside his own half clipped a high ball to the edge of the box for Andrew to gather and drive into box with defenders Calum Gow & Neil Slooves in pursuit; the former doing enough to prevent any power in the striker’s shot and the latter mopping up the loose ball.
On 26 minutes Meadow created a great chance after McLennan collected the ball in the centre circle and quickly despatched a forward pass for McTernan to chase down the right flank and as defenders Alan Cairns and Menzies closed in he cut the ball back from the bye-line to the heart of the box for the incoming Willet only for Frye’s presence to ensure his shot from 8 yards out to lack the power to test Wilson as he got down low to hold cleanly.
The rain relented slightly and play raged from end to end keeping both keepers on their toes. On 31 minutes the visitors came close to opening the scoring in spectacular fashion. Slooves cut out a defensive clearance in the centre circle then took a touch before setting his sights for goal and although his smoothly struck shot beat the outstretched arm of Wilson the ball crashed off the crossbar with force that the ball rebounded clear of the penalty box.
Back came Glens and Cairns’ long free kick deep into the box was punched clear from the head of Kyle McAusland by O’Neil. The home sided recovered the ball and McAusland tight on the right touch line drilled a low diagonal ball into the box where Park got the jump on the Meadow defence only for O’Neil to dive bravely at his feet and hold the ball tightly in difficult conditions.
At the other end Wilson had to be alert to rush from his line to try and beat Brendan Sharpe in the chase for Willet’s well directed header into the box. Although the keeper got to the ball first it slipped through his hands and the big striker unable to apply the brakes continued his run and tumbled over Wilson before he recovered the ball. Penalty appeals from his team-mates were waved away.
Play was frantic as both sides endeavoured to fashion a lead before the break. The home side’s best remaining chances came from set pieces. The first a Reilly free-kick from the left-hand side of the box to the back where although McAusland won the aerial battle his header dipped over the bar. The second came from a corner kick in added time that was met on the drop at the penalty spot by Craig Pettigrew only for his hooked shot to slip just wide of the post.
The final chance of the half fell to Meadow from open play after Sharpe broke into the left hand side of the box and whipped a great ball for McTernan to bullet a glancing header high over the bar.
HT Glens 0 Meadow 0
The visitors began the new half in determined fashion and forced three corner kicks in quick succession without however testing the keeper. On 52 minutes Glens responded through fine work from Pettigrew to set himself up for a shot from 18 yards which although it beat the keeper the ball slipped just wide of target.
Three minutes later the home side was forced to make a change with Dan Orsi replacing the injured Dale Moore.
On 59 minutes the Meadow took the lead after Lee McCrae’s short throw in from deep on the left was returned from McTernan before he curled a ball to the back post where Wilson leapt to grab the ball with two outstretched arms only to lose possession under pressure from Willet’s challenge. The ball fell kindly for McLennan to poke the ball home from 5 yards and spark off Meadow celebrations in contrast to the shunned appeals from the Glens that the keeper had been impeded.
The home side recovered well through Frye and Orsi combining down the right before the latter fired a cross to the back post which was headed down by Slooves and fell for McAusland to blast a shot from 18 yards that O’Neil pushed over the bar with two firm hands and the corner that followed was cleared.
Back came Meadow to win their fourth corner of the match that eventually fell for lly McLaughlin at the left hand corner of the box to curl a ball to the back post which comfortably clutched by Wilson.
On 69 minutes Glens brought on Ryan Nisbet to replace Matthew Reilly. A minute later keeper Wilson launched at clearance to the edge of the Meadow box where it is was headed clear and the ball gathered by Frye to push it wide to Cairns on the left to float a ball into the box that was met on the drop by Kyle McAusland to guide the ball home in some style. Cup tie all square on 70 minutes.
The home side’s tails were up and Orsi progressed down the right to the bye-line before clipping a ball to the back post for the incoming Frye to guide a header goalward only for O’Neil to rise and clutch the ball under the bar. At the other end McLaughlin header from a cross from the left flew just wide of the back post. Back came Glens and Orsi won a corner-kick that was played to the same player but his effort from inside the box sailed over the bar.
On 78 minutes the visitors replaced Colin Spence with Darren Jones.
Glens then enjoyed a sustained period of pressure with chances coming and going. Nisbet gathered the ball wide on the left and cut aside at pace before rocketing a low shot that was deflected wide for a corner. The kick skimmed off the top of Slooves head before falling for Nisbet at the back post to bullet a header that O’Neil stopped on his line with a strong hand while Glens hands raised in unison to claim the ball ground had crossed the line as it dropped to the grounded.
The now grounded goalie managed to push the ball a few yards out only for Nisbet to pounce for a second bite that O’Neil blocked and juggled on the line before getting both hands on it and initiating further claims from the home side that the ball had again crossed the line. O’Neil’s goal remained intact.
Glens continued to press and won another corner kick which O’Neil pushed over the bar for and the corner that followed was finally cleared after a stramash deep in the box. Soon after Nisbet cut in from the left again to blast a low ball from 25 yards that the keeper got down well and hold firmly in the fading light.
Some brief respite for Meadow as a break down the left concluded with a good ball into the box only for Wilson to smother the ball between a pack of two attackers and two defenders.
Back came Glens and Andrew trapped the ball on the outskirts of before turning his marker only to drill his low angled shot wide of the post. The home side continued to press with Orsi exploiting space down the right flank. First on the overlap through picking up a great ball from Andrew only for his angled shot to be held cleanly by the keeper. Next, Frye’s ball from the centre circle released him in acres of space free to run into the edge of the box and square it for the inrushing Frye only for his shot, under pressure from Slooves, to fly over the bar.
On 89 minutes O’Neil’s heroics kept the Meadow in the tie with a fantastic exhibition of goalkeeping. Menzies launched a ball up the left for Nisbet who cut inside and unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot that had the keeper diving to his left to block the ball away before getting of the ground far enough in order to block McCann’s attempt to bury the rebound and finally drag himself into a position to stop Frye’s effort to fire home that rebound from 8 yards out, sending the ball high over the bar.
O’Neil enjoyed a touch of good fortune from the corner that followed with a bit of juggling before the ball was hooked cleared of the box only to be recovered by the Glens leading to Pettigrew’s shot from the edge of the box that drifted wide of the post.
Two minutes into added time Glens earned their seventh corner kick of the match which was punched clear to create a Meadow counter attack that eventually petered out. In the last action of the match Wilson launched a free kick from just inside Glens half which was headed out the box but immediately hooked back into the danger area by Pettigrew to set up a header for McCann that dropped into the hands of O’Neil.
FT Glens 1 Meadow 1
O’Neil with momentum on his side saved the Glens two first spot kicks from Frye and then McCann and although McAusland and Andrew converted their kicks Meadow with all four of their attempts to win the shoot 4-2. So for the second successive season Glens crashed out the 4th Scottish Junior Cup on penalties, after 0-0 and 1-1 draws
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC: 1. David Wilson 2: Kyle McAusland 3. Alan Cairns 4. Craig Menzies 5. Craig Pettigrew 6. Ally Park 7. Dale Moore (14. Dan Orsi) 8. FindlayFrye 9. Mick McCann 10. Joe Andrew 11. Matthew Reilly (16. Ryan Nisbet). Subs: 12. Cameron Marlow 15. Lee Gallacher /17. Craig Burns (gk)
IRVINE MEADOW XI: 1. Patrick O’Neil 2. Mark McLennan 3. James Latta 4. Calum Gow 5. Neil Slooves 6. Jarred Willet 7. Colin Spence (12. Darren Jones) 8. Ally McLaughlin 9. Eddie McTernan 10. Brendan Sharpe 11. Lee McCrae Subs: 14. Ryan Carnwarth 15. Reece Pearson 16. Patrick Woods 18. Adam McLean (gk)