- Sat 07 MAR 2019 KO 2:00 pm
- McBookie.com West Region Premiership| Match 20
- Loch Park, New Cumnock
- Glenafton Athletic 5 (3) | Moore 2, Andrew 2, Gallacher
- Largs Thistle 1 (0) | Love
Glenafton to the Fore plue One
Glenafton hosted Largs Thistle in a league fixture six weeks (and 2 games) since the two sides last met at Loch Park in the West of Scotland Cup tie. On that occasion Thistle scored what proved to be the winner 5 minutes after the restart through former Glens striker Scott Adam before repelling wave after wave of Glens attack to secure their passage to the 3rd round of the competition. Today Adam was missing from the visitors’ line-up due to suspension and Thistle’s goal when it came 5 minutes from time proved to be a consolation as Glens had netted no fewer than 5 times in a 35 minute spell. The score did not reflect Largs’ contribution to the game as under difficult conditions they played some neat passing football from box to box, only for their touch in either box to let them down while Glens were clinical in their finishing.
The gusting wind caused problems for both sides on a difficult surface as well as in the air. Nevertheless, played raged from end to end as possession often came and went before any decent chances, including from corner kicks, could be fashioned. On 10 minutes Craig Pettigrew, from deep on the right flank, picked out Joe Andrew in a busy box to turn a hit a low diagonal shot that was well held by keeper Jamie McGowan as the lively Lee Gallacher waited to pounce on any loose ball. George Sewell was at the heart of a number of Thistle’s breaks and on 18 minutes he struck the ball sweetly from 25 yards out that sailed high over the bar.
At the other end Pettigrew clipped a ball high into the box for Gallacher that George Sewell headed clear only for Kyle McAusland to meet the ball on the drop and thunder a shot from 22 yards that pulled off a great save from McGowan who pushed the ball over the bar.
Gallacher delivered the corner kick high into the heart of the box where Ross Love’s attempt to clear Dan Orsi’s downward header rebounded off Ryan McChesney and the ball fell for Dale Moore to guide home from 3 yards out to break the deadlock on 23 minutes.
Largs responded with a couple of breakaways the best of which saw Kane O’Neill cut in from the left and slip a forward pass to George Sewell on the 18 yard line who did well under pressure from Alan Cairns to curl a shot that keeper David Wilson pushed high into the air from under the bar before safely clasping the ball on its descent. The same player from the right flank then whipped a ball into the box that was cleared by Craig Menzies who then blocked O’Neill’s attempt to fire home the loose ball from 18 yards.
Glens broke up the right through Orsi to win a throw. Pettigrew picked out McAusland who quickly returned the ball for his teammate to float into the box only for Stuart Faulds to head it clear as far as McAusland who opted to keep the ball on the ground. Although his attempted pass to Andrew in the box was cut out by Darren Hynes the ball bobbled up into the air where Dale Moore controlled it brilliantly before holding off Stuart Faulds and cutting inside the unfortunate Hynes to lash an unstoppable shot into the net from 18 yards. Glens 2-0 up on 30 minutes.
As before the visitors enjoyed a good spell of pressure after conceding a goal with Ben Black and then William Sewell menacing down the right, the latter then crashing a shot against the outside of the post from the tightest of angles. Blair McIntyre’s low shot from the edge of the box was comfortably held by Wilson but soon after he unleashed a more powerful dipping one from 25 yards out that battered of the top of the bar and the ball eventually cleared by McChesney.
McIntyre then fired a low ball into the six-yard box looking for William Sewell to get a touch only for Wilson to block and then gather it safely. The keeper then launched a long ball upfield where the bounce was misjudged by Hynes allowing Joe Andrew to give chase and drive into the box drawing the keeper from his line before slotting the ball through his legs and into the net to make it 3-0 on 38 minutes.
On cue Largs pushed forward and an excellent run from McIntyre ended with a ferocious shot from 20 yards that Wilson, at full stretch, pushed away with both hands only for George Sewell to recover the ball on the left hand side of the box and curl a vicious shot that beat Wilson but whizzed inches wide of the back post. Thistle continued to press and Ben Eardley lofted a free kick int0 a packed post where a brave Wilson jumped high above a mass of attackers and defenders to punch the ball away; McChesney picking up an injury in the process.
At the other end his counterpart McGowan tipped an Andrew shot over the bar before Gallacher’s corner-kick picked out Moore at the near post only for his header to flash over the bar.
HT Glens 3 Largs 0
The injured McChesney was replaced by Ally Park and Glens reshuffled with McAusland filling the centre back role. Park was soon in the thick of action and after gathering a ball from Orsi deep down the right he whipped it high into the box where although it was missed by attacker and defender alike it was retrieved by the alert Gallacher at the junction of the bye-line and the penalty box. As Eardley closed in, he calmly chipped a low ball to the near post for Joe Andrew, where with Hynes marking him tightly and the keeper tighter on his post, he lifted his left foot to cutely back-heel the ball with the deftest of touches to roll itunimpeded into the net for 4-0 on 48 minutes.
Largs’ heads remained aloft as they quickly earned a corner-kick that was comfortably defended and soon after a Glens corner suffered the same fate.
Largs made their first change and brought on Kieran Brophy for Kane O’Neill
On 57 minutes Wilson did well to get down low and stop William Sewell’s close-range glancing header with a strong hand at the base of the post.
In a flash Glens carried the ball from box to box beginning with Cairns deep on the left playing it forward to Andrew to lay off to McAusland on the half way line. From here he played it infield to Frye who switched play to Park wide on the right where the midfielder threaded a superb long forward pass for Moore to chase down before clipping the ball into the box and although Eardley prevented it reaching the incoming Orsi the ball fell for Lee Gallacher to take a touch before blasting it home from 10 yards. Glens now 5-0 up with 58 minutes on the clock.
On the hour mark Mick McCann replaced Joe Andrew who had taken a knock.
Soon after Dan Orsi made way for young Gabe Skeoch recently signed from Ayr United on a loan deal while Largs also brought on Simon McBryde for Ben Black.
The rain came on for a spell and conditions underfoot worsened as the temp of the game dropped during a scrappy period of play.
On 77 minutes Brophy did well to strike a sweet shot from 18 yards under pressure from Pettigrew only for the ball to fly wide of the target. Glens responded with a quick break down the right through McAusland who picked out Frye at the edge of the box to lay off to Skeoch who smacked a left-footed shot that McGowan tipped over the bar to deny him a goal on his debut.
Gallacher whipped another dangerous corner kick which was met at the near post by the head of Eardley sending the ball over his keeper and heading for the far corner only for Brophy to head it clear; Glens claims the ball had crossed the line dismissed.
Back came Glens and Skeoch evaded McBryde’s tackle before slipping the ball forward for McCann to break into the box and get his shot away as back-tracking defenders chased him down only for the advancing keeper to get a foot to it before the ball was mopped up.
With 5 minutes to go William Sewell’s persistence earned him a corner-kick that was brilliantly trapped by Ross Love before he turned to leather home a well struck angled shot for a worthy consolation goal for a side that never gave up.
The day however belonged to Glenafton who defended stoutly, controlled the midfield and finished clinically.
FT Glens 5 Largs 1
Glenafton Athletic: 1. David Wilson 2. Craig Pettigrew 3. Alan Cairns 4. Craig Menzies 5. Ryan McChesney (14. Ally Park), 6. Kyle McAusland 7. Dan Orsi (17. Gabe Skeoch) 8. Findlay Frye 9. Joe Andrew (12. Mick McCann), 10. Dale Moore 11. Lee Gallacher. Subs Not Used: 15. Cameron Marlow 16. Matthew Reilly
Largs Thistle: 1. Jamie McGowan 2. Ben Eardley 3. Laurie McMaster 4. Darren Hynes 5. Ross Love 6. Stuart Faulds 7. George Sewell 8. Blair McIntyre 9. William Sewell 10. Kane O’Neill (12. Kieran Brophy) 11. Ben Black (14. Simon McBryde) Subs Not Used: 15. Ross Lundy 16. Stuart Davidson