|PDM Buildbase WOFL | Match 01||17/07/2021|
|Irvine Meadow XI||1 (1)||Slooves|
|Glenafton Athletic||3 (1)||Fisher, McIlroy, Murphy|
Glenafton Athletic travelled to face Irvine Meadow XI in a league fixture some 88 years after the two sides had first met as junior clubs in the then Western Junior League. Today, history was in the making again as both sides were facing each other in their first ever competitive match as senior clubs, now members of the West of Scotland Football League.
Undoubtedly a number of “firsts” would be made today, the most important of which was the return of supporters to football, a shared experience greatly welcomed by all. On a personal note, entry to the ground by the James Crescent gate was a first, eventually after three circuits round the housing schemes! Other firsts for the Glens were a new management team and 9 players (including substitutes) making their Glens debut in a competitive match.
Young striker Sam McKee kicked-off for the Glens, adorned in their new away top of red and white hoops. Despite the sweltering heat the game started at a high tempo with both sides mounting attacks the first of which that threatened the goal came in 4 minutes when former Glens midfielder Michael Wardrope cut in from the left and into the box to crack an angled shot that keeper Scott Johnston clutched cleanly as Ryan Mckie waited for any spillage. Two minutes later and McKie, from almost the same spot, flashed a shot across the face of goal.
Glens’s McKee countered with a low drilled shot from 20 yards that sneaked past the far post of Marc Waters. The keeper then held a Craig Pettigrew header from a Cameron Marlow free kick.
Some fancy footwork in a busy Glens box by James Martin was eventually foiled by Pettigrew as the striker lined up his shot. On 13 minutes McKie gave two defenders the slip in the box before shooting from close range only for Johnston to pull off a great save and push the ball round the post. The corner was played short but the attack fizzled out as Gilmour and Darren Curtis stood their ground before clearing up field for McKee to give chase.
The Glens were now enjoying a good spell of possession with Marlow and Curtis controlling the middle of the park and combining well with Gilmour and Alan Cairns down the left. However, on 16 minutes after Marlow whipped a ball into the box that was headed out for a throw-in, he fell to the ground in some discomfort. Sean Bennie launched a long throw into the box and although McIlroy won another aerial battle the ball drifted wide of the back post. Marlow, sadly had to leave the field and was replaced by trialist Justin Devenny who quickly impressed with some fine touches. Meadow won a couple of free-kicks that were floated into the box abd readily mopped up by Glens defence. At the other end Gilmour and Mark Findlay clashed in the box and the Meadow defender appeared to over react but the situation concluded with both players receiving a stern word from the referee.
FISHER NETS GLENS FIRST SENIOR GOAL
On 36 minutes Michael Wardrope was penalised for a late tackle on Ross Fisher in the centre circle, albeit he came out the worse for wear! Alan Cairns floated the free kick into the right-hand side of the box and it was Fisher that leapt to send a looping header over the heads of the keeper and two defenders at near post for the ball to drop into the far corner of the net with Sam McKee on hand in case it needed a helping touch.
Glens kept their composure despite a couple of unsavoury challenges and eventually Kyle Faulds name went in the book. Cairns’ free kick into the box was won by McIlroy and the loose ball fell for Pettigrew to square for Murphy on the right wing to shake off two defenders before returning it to Pettigrew to quickly slip it to Bennie breaking into the right hand side of the box to sweetly strike a low shot that Waters got down low to hold at the near post.
In the closing minutes of the half Wardrope broke down the left and twisted and turned past a number of defenders in the box before fashioning a low shot that Johnson got down to push away. Meadow then won a free-kick and Wardrope’s glancing header flashed wide of the post.
Glens countered with McKee running through the middle with Whyte giving chase into the box before the striker hit a low shot through the defender’s legs only to be comfortably blocked by Waters.
HT Meadow 0 Glens 1
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first with play going from end to end without testing either keeper. A Murphy shot from outside the box dipped over the bar while at the other end Martin did well to set a close range shot that slipped wide of the post.
SEAN OF THE HEAD DOUBLES GLENS LEAD
On 59 minutes Gilmour made a lung-bursting run down the left wing while McKee and McIlroy, with a couple of defenders for company broke, into the box; Gilmour then, after a quick glance clipped a glorious ball into the edge of the six yard box for McIlroy to rise and bullet a “pick-it-out header” past the keeper to double the Glens lead.
Meadow made a double substitution with Graham Boyd and Andy McLaughlin coming on for Dylan Pooler and Martin Findlay.
Glens continued to press and McKee won a corner that cleared while the Meadow counter attack ended with Jared Willet’s low angled shot from inside a packed box drifted wide of the back post. Soon after Boyd’s low shot from outside the box suffered the same fate.
Back on the front foot Glens pushed forward with McKee’s direct running proving a handful. Down the right Bennie played a superb one-two with Murphy before driving into the box and drilling a low shot that Waters blocked and Mark McLennan cleared the loose ball for a corner before McIlroy could pounce.
MAGIC FROM MURPHY MAKES IT 3-0
Glens were in full flow now and on 72 minutes went 3-0 up with a glorious goal.Sean Bennie launched a high ball down the right. As it dropped from the glare of the sun Leon Murphy, tight on the touchline and with a defender on his back, killed the ball with an exquisite touch to keep it in play before cutting into the box. As Slooves closed in, he bided his time to wrong foot him, and then curl a low ball from 8 yards under the body of the keeper and into the net.
SLOOVES SLOTS HOME FOR MEADOW
Meadow however pulled one back two minutes later after a free-kick on the right was pushed away at the back post by Johnson and the ball played back into the packed box by McKie where Wardrope’s shot was blocked only for the ball to fall for Graham Boyd to slip to Neil Slooves who stroked at home from close range as Glens forlornly claimed for offside.
Glens brought on fresh legs with David Blyth replacing Darren Curtis and soon after Scott Sherrie on for Sam McKee; both having worked tirelessly. The sting was taken out of a possible late comeback by the Meadow who were pinned back into their own box for long spells.
Blyth’s shot from 22 yards dipped over the bar and soon after Sherrie left Faulds for dead as he broke into the box and cut past Slooves before tumbling the ground and his claims for a penaly waved away.
Another Glens attack broke down and Boyd counter down the left wing ended with Bennie bring the Meadow and down and earning a booking. Once again Meadow’s set-piece again didn’t go as planned and seconds later the final whistle blew.
FT Meadow 1 Glens 3
1. Scott Johnson 4. Sean Bennie 2. Ross Fisher 6. Craig Pettigrew 3. Alan Cairns 11. Leon Murphy 10. Cameron Marlow (17. Justin Devenny) 5. Darren Curtis ( 8. David Blyth) 13. Mark Gilmour 7. Sam McKee 9. Sean McIlroy Subs: Ryan McChesney, Calum Thomson, Lewis ? , Daniel Sloan (gk)
|IRVINE MEADOW XI|
| 1. Marc Waters 2. Martin Findlay (Andy McLaughlin) 3. Jared Willet 4. Neil Slooves 5. Jamie Whyte 6. Mark McLennan 7. Kyle Faulds 8. Michael Wardrope. 9. Dylan Pooler (Graham Boyd) 10. Jamie Martin. 11. Ryan McKie. Other used sub Sam McLoy|
|Irvine Meadow v Glenafton Athletic|