Glenafton 1 Kilbirnie 2

PDM Buildbase WOSFL | Match 1706/11/2021
KO 2:00 pm
Loch Park, New Cumnock
Glenafton Athletic 1 (0)Murphy
Kilbirnie Ladeside2 (1)Scullion, McWatters

Prior to kick-off there was a minute’s applause in memory of Paul Kelly, manager of St. Roch’s F.C. who sadly passed away on Thursday.

In memory of Paul Kelly, St. Roch’s F.C.

Glenafton made two changes to the side that started against Gartcairn last Saturday with David Blyth and Darren Curtis making way for Gregor Fotheringham and midweek signing Jamie McKernon, returning to the club for a third time. In the Kilbirnie line-up wascentre-back Paul Murphy, a member of the Glens 2011/12 side that won the Super League 1st Division title.

A ferocious wind swept across the length of the park joined at times with squally torrential rain and both sides deserve great credit for making the most of the dreadful conditions.

Glens kicked off into the teeth of the wind and it was no surprise that Kilbirnie were soon on the front foot with the wind at their backs. Waves of attacks were broken down by the home defence but possession then often surrendered as goal-kicks and clearances were blown back into their own half or curled out of play for a throw-in to the visitors.

Jamie McKernon & Mark Gilmour with Paul Murphy

In the opening exchanges the lively Jon Scullion running through the middle had a shot from the outskirts of the box blocked by the outstretched leg of Ollie Rowe. Ladeside pressed down both flanks and on 8 minutes switched from right to left via Paul Murphy to John Gallagher who whipped a wicked ball to the near post for the incoming Brendan Sharpe but the former Meadow striker was just a whisker from making contact on the 6-yard line. The visitors won a series of corner kicks only one of which tested keeper Scott Johnson who punched the ball from the head of PaulMurphy.

Conditions continued to vary from horizonal rain to brief bright spells but always with a wind of varying intensity.

The Glens had managed to string some decent spells of passing together with Leon Murphy weaving forward now and then only to hit a wall of defenders in the box. The home side won their first corner on 19 minutes and although it was cleared, they ventured forth again and Sam McKee’s ball in from the right was smothered at the near post by keeper Joe Wilton.

On 28 minutes Kilbirnie came close to breaking the deadlock after a free-kick floated into the box was won in the air by Paul Murphy only for Johnston to pull off a great save and push his bullet header from 8 yards round the post.  The keeper then punched the resulting corner to the edge of the packed box and following a stramash the ball popped out to Scullion on the left to curl a ball into the six-yard box that Johnson gathered.

Two minutes later Craig Pettigrew broke down a Ladeside attack deep in his own half and squared to Mark Gilmour on the left to clip the ball upfield where defender Josh Meechan looked favourite to intercept but lost his footing allowing Fotheringham to gather the ball for a free run at goal only for the advancing Walker to narrow the angle and block his shot from the corner of the six- yard box.

Glens then pinned Ladeside back into their own box as Murphy and McKee switched the ball from left to right and then back again before it was cleared only to be recovered by McKernon on the outskirts of the box to play a one-two with Alan Cairns and then curled a deadly ball into the goalmouth where Fotheringham got the jump on John Kelly only for his header to dip over the bar. The home side continued to press and Leon Murphy’s effort from the edge of the box drifted wide of the post.

Played then began to flow, when it could, back and forward as both sides battled with the elements.

On 37 minutes Liam McGuinness and Gilmour challenged for the ball on the edge of the Glens box with both sides shouting “foul” – the decision going the visitors’ way. Dead-ball specialist Scullion’s free kick from 22 yards deflected of the wall and wide of the post and the corner that followed was cleared.

A minute before the break Gallacher on the left cut-inside to lay off the ball to Daniel Bamford who was brought down in the “D” by Fisher.  Scullion stepped up again and this time he lasered a low ball that whizzed past the edge of the wall and beyond the reach of Johnson to bulge the right hand corner of the net.

HT Glens 0 Kilbirnie 1

The wind had died down a notch or two as Ladeside kicked off the second half but conditions underfoot remained challenging, nevertheless the visitors made a lively start with short and sharp passing.

Gallacher’s low shot from inside the box was well held by Johnson. The same player was then picked out in the box with a fine ball from Sharpe only for Sean Bennie to nick the ball and set up a counter attack down the right that ended with McKee slipping the ball to Murphy who curled a shot from 16 yards that was clutched by Wilton.

Back came Ladeside and although one attack was repelled the ball was recovered by Kelly who released Gallacher to burst down the left, where the referee played advantage after the chasing McKernon clipped his heels, and drive for the bye-line before cutting a diagonal ball back into the box where the incoming Alex McWatters met it first time to slam the ball into the net from 12 yards. Ladeside 2-0 up on 50 minutes.

Glens responded through McKee on the right whipping a ball into the box that was knocked on by Leon Murphy and as Gilmour looked to lash it home from 6 yards Paul Murphy’s timely tackle cleared the danger momentarily. Rowe launched a long ball down the left for Gilmour to roll back to Cairns to loft a high ball into the box that Fotheringham with his back to goal killed it with his right foot before swivelling and shooting with his left only for Wilton to get down low and tip it inches wide of the post. The corner that followed was cleared only for Glens to continue to press with dangerous balls into the box by McKee and then Bennie.

Gregor Fotheringham goes close

Kilbirnie countered and Bennie was in the right place to prevent Sharpe from slotting a great ball from Scullion in at the near post.

On the hour mark Glens brought on striker Jordan Ryan for Mark Gilmour.

Play now raged from end to end.  A Glens’ corner was comfortably cleared and then so too a Kilbirnie one, however the ball was recovered by Scullion to curl a shot from the edge of the box to the far top corner of the goal only for the airborne Johnson at full stretch to push it away.

Back came Glens with a good period of pressure and couple of decent chances. Pettigrew launched a long ball into the box for the inrushing Leon Murphy to try and guide it home at the post but Wilton kept a cool head to gather.

On 70 minutes the Glens halved the deficit. Bennie on the right touchline prevented the ball from being marshalled out by Gallagher for a Kilbirnie throw. Leon Murphy picked up the loose ball, turned his marker and pushed forward to play a one-two with McKee before squaring to Gilmour inside who chipped it into the box where Meechan and Jordan’s aerial battle ended with the ball dropping for Fotheringham to gather and head for goal only for McGuiness to catch him on the shin and send him tumbling – a stonewaller. Up stepped Leon Murphy to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

Play quickly fell into a pattern of ‘end to end’ with each side creating a couple of chances. At one end a dangerous cross deep into the box for Gallagher was headed clear by Bennie while at the other McKee’s cut-back across the goal mouth fell between Gilmour and Jordan.

Glens began to press with Leon Murphy’s shot from 30 yards out sailing over the bar and keeper Wilton then diving bravely at the feet of Fotheringham.

With ten or so minutes remaining both sides brought on fresh legs.  Glens brought on David Blyth for Mark Gilmour while Ladeside brought on Graham Muir for Daniel Bamford and Corey Pearson for Jon Scullion.

Glens made a final push for a share of the points and came close two minutes into added time. After another scramble in the box the ball fell for Blyth who cracked a powerful shot from 18 yards through a mass of bodies for Wilton to leap from a standing position and with an outstretched arm got fingertips to deflect the ball over bar – a wonderful save.The corner kick was cleared and so too a free kick in the dying seconds.

FT Glens 1 Kilbirnie 2

1. Scott Johnson 2. Sean Bennie 4. Ollie Rowe 6. Craig Pettigrew 3. Alan Cairns  7. Sam McKee 5. Ross Fisher (15. Jordan Ryan) 8. Jamie McKernon 11. Mark Gilmour (16. David Blyth) 9. Leon Murphy 10. Gregor Fotheringham.  Subs Not Used: 12. Calum Thomson 14. Darren Curtis 19. Mick McCann 21. Daniel Sloan
77. Joe Wilton 2. Kyle Girvan 3. John Kelly 4. Josh Meechan 5. Paul Murphy 6. Liam McGuiness 7. Alex McWatters 8. Daniel Bamford (16. Graham Muir) 9. Brendan Sharpe 10. Joe Scullion (17. Corey Pearson) 11. John Gallagher Subs. 12. Roan Fitzpatrick 14. Dylan Henry 15. Martin McBride Gk Jamie Walker
Glenafton Athletic v Kilbirnie Ladeside
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