Glenafton 1 Darvel 2

PDM Buildbase WOFL | Match 0221/07/2021
KO 2:00pm
Loch Park, New Cumnock
Glenafton Athletic1 (0)McKee
Darvel FC2 (0)Meggatt, Ferguson
Alex Jess

Prior to kick-off players and supporters of both clubs along with match officials joined In a minute’s applause in memory of Alex Jess, former President, Secretary and lifelong supporter of Glenafton Athletic who passed away on Sunday morning.

A minute’s applause for Alex

Darvel kicked-off in the glorious sunshine and were quickly on the front foot through Andrew Stirling’s low angled shot from the left hand-side of the box which was well held at the base of the near post by Glens’ keeper Scott Johnson. Darvel won their first of what would be a ‘wheen’ of corner kicks and this like many to come was manfully defended by the home side.

Some brief respite for Glens as Mark Gilmour broke up the left before whipping a ball across to the edge of the box for the chasing forward only for Ian McShane to pick up the loose ball and set up a counter-attack that saw the ball switched back and forth before another corner was earned. Although Daryll Meggatt, at the back post, headed the ball across the face of goal the keeper bravely snatched it before Allan McKenzie could get a toe on it.

The Glens made some ground upfield but as yet were still to breach the Darvel box.

On 15 minutes Sean Bennie cleared a corner-kick, one of three for the visitors in a five a minute spell. The second was punched away by the keeper and the third repelled, time and again, by the red line of defenders.

Sam McKee weaved his way out a pocket of Darvel midfielders before playing a clever one-two with Bennie only for his forward pass for Leon Murphy down the right to be intercepted and the danger cleared. Darren Curtiss and Sean McIlroy then both initiated attacks that showed some promise and of course gave the defence a breather. Speaking of which the referee blew for a water-break midway through the half.

Glens enjoyed a good five-minute spell of forward play including earning their first corner-kick which albeit came to nothing while McKee, McIlroy and Murphy were seeing more of the ball but without testing the keeper.

The next five minutes, however, belonged to Darvel. The impressive Bennie burst a lung to track back and get an outstretched leg to the ball preventing Darren Miller with a free route to goal.  Nevertheless, Darvel retained possession and pegged the Glens back in their box. Another corner-kick initiated a number of half-chances before the ball fell to Andrew Stirling to curl a shot from the right-hand-side of the box that flew past the back post. Yet another corner kick was brilliantly blocked at the near post by Johnson leaving MacKenzie holding is head in his hands. From the resulting corner the keeper got both hands to push it from the head of Ross Caldwell.

The closing five minutes of the half were less intense and Glens made a couple of breaks which ended with McKee winning a free-kick near the corner flag that was cleared and then the tireless striker was caught just offside when chasing down McIlroy’s through ball.

In the closing action of the half Darvel won a free-kick at the corner of the left-hand side of the box, like all other of the visitors set-piece the Glens defence stood firm.

HT Glens 0 Darvel 0

Play quickly fell into a pattern of end-to-end play without any direct shots on goal until 51 minutes when McKee in the box nicked the ball from the feet of Meggatt before quickly turning and lashing a low angled shot that keeper Chris Truesdale, on his knees’ could only watch drift inches wide of the back post. Soon after the keeper got a sore one on the face after he did well to clutch the ball from the head of McIlroy.

McIlroy then played a great ball into the box for the fearless McKee to chase only for Jordan Allan and Meggatt to double team and win the ball at the expense of a corner-kick. Initially cleared the ball was later recovered by Justin Devenny and clipped to the near post where Meggatt again headed clear.

The game continued to flow from end-to-end before Darvel came close to taking the lead on the hour mark. A Darvel corner, possibly their 10th, bounced about the busy box before falling for Ross Caldwell to rifle a shot that Johnson stopped superbly with a strong hand and Cameron Eadie’s attempt to bury the rebound dropped over the bar.

Soon after Mark Gilmour took a knock and was replaced with David Blyth while Sean McIlroy made way for Jordan Ryan; with both soon in the thick of the action. Blyth forced his way into the box but with his way blocked the ball was played back to Curtis who cracked a cracking shot from 30 yards out that dipped over the bar.

Another water-break on 64 minutes at which time Ryan McChesney came on for Ross Fisher who put in a shift and a half already.

Soon after play resumed Darvel won a free-kick on the outskirts of the box which was headed clear by Pettigrew while the corner-kick that quickly followed came to nothing.

On 75 minutes the Glens finally broke the deadlock with wonderfully worked goal. Blyth robbed McShane of the ball just inside the Glens half before clipping forward pass upfield for former Darvel player Ryan to chase and although Meggatt appeared to have won the race for the ball, he stumbled in the box as he tried to shield it from the Glens striker, who then calmly threaded it along the six yard line between the keeper and back-tracking Benjamin Marr for the incoming Sam McKee to keep his cool and guide the ball into the gaping net .

Glens continued to push forward and won a free kick that Devenny instead of floating it into the box lasered shot from 35 yards which well held by Truesdale as the incoming was ready for any spillage.

Play then reverted to the end of end stuff and McKenzie won a hotly disputed corner-kick on the right for the visitors. It was played to the far-side of the box and then clipped back across the face of goal to Caldwell unmarked at the post only for Johnson to save instinctively at the expense of another corner kick. It proved to be lucky 13 as Daryll Meggatt towered up the Glens defence in a packed six-yard box to head the ball home from a few yards out to draw the sides level on 82 minutes.

Two minutes later Blyth’s running down the right flank ended with Darvel conceding a throw-in. Bennie, as he does, propelled the ball deep into the box where Meggatt towered high again but with both his hands on Pettigrew’s shoulders to do so and on 84 minutes the ref pointed to the spot. Pettigrew stepped up to take the spot-kick and although it beat the outstretched arm of the keeper the ball slipped wide of the post.

Rejuvenated Darvel went on the hunt for the winner which failed to materialise from their final two corner kicks. Glens responded with another strong run from Ryan into the box. Back came Darvel with a dangerous ball into the box that Pettigrew cleared.

On 90 minutes Murphy wide on the right near the half-way line attempted a pass back to the keeper but it was short, forcing Johnston to run to the outskirts of the box in a race for the ball against two Darvel front men, and although he managed to boot the ball upfield it was gathered by Scott Ferguson who from inside his own half launched the ball high into the air to drop into the net with the valiant back-tracking keeper now only two yards from his goal line. A truly marvellous finish to take the lead.

Following a delay of 4 minutes, in the aftermath of the goal celebrations, the match was restarted. One last throw for the Glens, Bennie’s shy reaching deep into the six yard box only to be headed clear.

FT Glens 1 Darvel 2

1. Scott Johnson 2. Sean Bennie 4. Ross Fisher (5. Ryan McChesney) 6. Craig Pettigrew  3. Alan Cairns 7. Leon Murphy 8. Justin Devenny 5. Darren Curtis 11. Mark Gilmour (15. David Blyth) 9. Sean McIlroy (16. Jordan Ryan) 10. Sam McKee Subs: not used 17. Scott Sherrie 18. Calum Thomson 21. Daniel Sloan (gk)
1. Chris Truesdale 2. Cameron Eadie 3. Jordan Allan 5. Daryll Meggatt 6. Ian McShane 7. Darren Millar 8. Andrew Stirling 9. Alan Mackenzie 10. Ross Caldwell 12. Benjamin Marr 18. Henry Monaghan Subs. 11. Ryan Thomson 14. Dominic Bolland 15. Gavin Mitchell 17. Scott Ferguso 22. Aaron black 21. Lyle Avci (gk)
Match Photographs
Glenafton Athletic v Darvel FC
(sorry for quality; into sun at begnning and then darker near the end!

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